Secret Pakistani arms sales to the United States to be used by Ukraine helped
cash-strapped Islamabad secure a crucial IMF bailout earlier this year, a
report cited internal Pakistani and American government documents as
The arms sales were made for the purpose of supplying the
Ukrainian military marking Pakistani involvement in a conflict it had
faced US pressure to take sides on, the Intercept, an online
investigative website has reported.
Pakistan's Foreign Office
Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Monday, however, rejected as
baseless and fabricated the American non-profit news organisation's
report, saying that the cash-strapped country provided arms to the US to
get its support to clinch the $3 billion deal with the IMF towards
the end of June to avoid default.
Pakistan has struggled to maintain a
balance in ties with the Kremlin and Washington since the
Russia-Ukraine crisis began earlier last year.
The IMF Standby
Arrangement for Pakistan was successfully negotiated between Pakistan
and the IMF to implement difficult but essential economic reforms.
Giving any other colour to these negotiations is disingenuous, Dawn News
quoted Baloch as saying.
Baloch said Pakistan maintained a policy of
strict neutrality in the dispute between the two countries and did not
provide them any arms or ammunition in that context.
defence exports are always accompanied by strict end-user requirements,
During a visit to Pakistan in July, Ukrainian Foreign
Minister Dmytro Kuleba had rejected similar reports that Islamabad was
supplying arms to Ukraine to support its military during the ongoing
conflict with Russia, according to Dawn.
He had clarified that the two
nations had no deal for the supply of arms and ammunition.
foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also expressed similar
views, maintaining that Pakistan had not signed any agreement with
Ukraine for military supplies since the war began.
An earlier report
had also claimed Pakistan set up a defence trading firm in Warsaw to
smoothen the process of arms supplies to Ukraine.
In April in an
interview with BBC, a Ukrainian commander had talked about receiving
rockets from other countries including Pakistan. But officials
strongly reject claims of providing any ammunition to Ukraine insisting
the country maintained a policy of strict neutrality.
however, had said if a third party supplied weapons purchased from
Pakistan to another country, it was their responsibility.
revelation is a window into the kind of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring
between financial and political elites that rarely are exposed to the
public, even as the public pays the price, the Intercept report said.
The Russia-Ukraine crisis began last year when President Vladimir Putin
ordered the latter's invasion on February 24.
In July, the IMF
transferred $1.2 billion to cash-strapped Pakistan, part of the $3
billion bailout programme for nine months to support the government's
efforts to stabilise the country's ailing economy. -- PTI