Thursday, February 16, 2023
Web Desk

Pakistan rubbishes reports of arms supply to Ukraine

Web Desk
Ukrainian servicemen are seen next to a destroyed armoured vehicle, which they said belongs to the Russian army, outside Kharkiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. — Reuters
Ukrainian servicemen are seen next to a destroyed armoured vehicle, which they said belongs to the Russian army, outside Kharkiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. — Reuters

  • FO spox says reporting about supply of arms to Ukraine inaccurate.
  • "Pakistan maintains policy of non-interference in military conflicts."
  • Tens of thousands of people killed in Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has rubbished claims that Pakistan has turned back on its neutral stance and is sending arms to Ukraine for the nation's ongoing war against Russia.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, pulverised Ukrainian cities, destabilised the global economy, and uprooted millions from their homes.

Showing the scale of disruption, Germany said 1.1 million people arrived from Ukraine in 2022, exceeding its unprecedented migrant influx of 2015-16.

In her weekly press conference, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch termed the reporting on Pakistan's supply of arms to Ukraine inaccurate.

"The reporting about supply of defence items by Pakistan to Ukraine is not accurate," she categorically said, rejecting the claims.

"Pakistan maintains a policy of non-interference in military conflicts. Pakistan only exports defence stores to other states based on strong End Use and none re-transfer assurances. And this is the case of Pakistan’s position in the Ukraine-Russia conflict," she added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's army has received vast amounts of aid. The United States alone has committed $27.4 billion since the conflict began.

Russia calls the invasion a "special military operation" against security threats and has cast deliveries of heavy weapons to Ukraine as proof that the West is escalating the war.

Kyiv and its allies call Russia's actions a land grab.

Pak-US relations

In her presser, the spokesperson also spoke about Pakistan's relations with the United States and noted that they were moving with a "positive momentum".

"Regarding Pakistan-US relations, I would like to state that Pakistan is encouraged with the positive momentum in our relations with the United States and the engagement that is taking place both here and in Washington DC."

"We believe that the ongoing visits will contribute to further strengthening of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States," the spokesperson said.

"Pakistan and United States have a multifaceted dialogue. We are encouraged with the exchanges and dialogue taking place between Pakistan and the US administration and all issues of Pakistan’s interest and mutual concern are being discussed. This includes cooperation in trade and investment as well."

Raids on BBC India offices

In response to a question about raids on BBC offices in India, Baloch said Pakistan believe that the move is yet another manifestation of the shrinking space for freedom of media in the neighbouring nation.

Such repressive measures, she said, are undoubtedly a reprisal after the release of the BBC documentary revealing the truth behind the Gujarat massacre of 2002 and illegal and unilateral steps of August 5, 2019 — when occupied Kashmir's special status was revoked.

"Having failed to hide the truth the Indian Government is now targeting an international media house. This, we believe is another stain on India’s so-called democratic credentials," she added.

Indian tax authorities raided the BBC's New Delhi and Mumbai offices on Tuesday, weeks after the broadcaster aired a documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's actions during deadly sectarian riots in 2002.

Press freedom in the world's biggest democracy has suffered during Modi's tenure, rights activists say, and the opposition Congress party condemned the raids, saying there was an "undeclared emergency" in the country.

— Additional input from Reuters and AFP