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17 Feb, 2023 07:53

Pakistan responds to Ukraine conflict claim

Media reports of arms shipments from Islamabad to Kiev are “not accurate”, the Foreign Ministry has said
Pakistan responds to Ukraine conflict claim

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has denied claims that Islamabad has been supplying Kiev with military items. Rumors of Pakistani involvement in the armed conflict have been swirling for several months.

When asked about reports in the Indian media that Pakistan was supplying “defense items” to Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch called them “not accurate”.

“Pakistan maintains a policy of non-interference in military conflicts. Pakistan only exports defense stores to other states based on strong End Use and none re-transfer assurances,” she added, speaking during a regular press briefing on Thursday.

Claims of Pakistani involvement in the Ukrainian conflict have been circulating since at least August, when images of munitions marked as produced in Pakistan emerged on social media.

Media reports of alleged supplies from Pakistan to the conflict zone have come from outlets including French newspaper Le Monde in September, and Indian daily The Economic Times last month.

The Indian paper claimed Pakistan was preparing a shipment of 159 containers of artillery munitions to Poland, which were meant for Ukraine. The report, based on anonymous sources, provided details of the purported shipment, including the name of the vessel, its intended destination, and the content of the cargo.

The newspaper stated that previously Pakistan “played a critical role in transfer of arms on behalf of the UK to Ukraine” and that it expected to receive Ukrainian help with upgrading Soviet-designed helicopters in return.

The US and its allies have pumped Ukraine with arms, pledging to keep helping Kiev for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. The rapid depletion of Western military stockpiles, particularly artillery shells, has emerged as a major issue with the assistance programs, as the conflict drags on.

Moscow has accused the US of derailing peace talks in order to prolong the conflict, and assessed that its strategy can only result in more deaths and destruction, while not changing the outcome.

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