Aaj English TV

Monday, September 25, 2023  
08 Rabi ul Awal 1445  

No defence products exported to Ukraine, says FO spox

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch cites Pakistan has very strict protocols for defence exports
A combination of still from Aaj News show, Spot Light, host Munizae Jahangir and Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. The show was on air on September 19, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube
A combination of still from Aaj News show, Spot Light, host Munizae Jahangir and Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. The show was on air on September 19, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube

Pakistan has not exported its defence products to both parties since the Russia-Ukraine war began, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has said.

“There are very strict protocols of Pakistan’s defence exports,” she said in response to a query on Spot Light with Munizae Jahangir which was aired on Aaj News on Tuesday.

“According to that [protocol], the importer has to give an end user certificate as for what purpose they are buying this weapon, so after that, we sell weapons. We have not exported any arms and ammunition to Ukraine.”

She was asked about allegations of selling arms to Ukraine and an agreement pertaining to the military-technical sphere by both sides in 1996.

In the interview, Baloch mentioned that the two countries have a history of defence ties under which Pakistan had Ukraine’s support in the development of the Al-Khalid tank.

She reiterated that the South Asian country has maintained a “principled position” to stay neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war. Pakistan has called for resolving the issue via dialogue, the Foreign Office spokesperson said and mentioned that the country has good ties with both warring parties.

The questions were raised against the backdrop of The Intercept story, alleging the sale of Pakistani weapons to Ukraine to get an IMF bailout package for Pakistan. The news outlet also claimed to have confirmed its story from internal Pakistani and American government documents.

But the FO has rejected such accusations, stating that giving any other colour to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund was disingenuous.

When asked whether the US or NATO ever asked Pakistan for weapons, Baloch replied that different countries hold such conversations among themselves.

“Such talks are held in diplomatic circles,” she said. When pressed about the demand, the FO spokesperson replied in affirmative and explained that all kind of support was sought when a country was in a state of war

“Support is sought from both sides for example how you have to vote in the United Nations, even in that both parties come to you and seek support from you. But you make a decision in the interest of your country and our interest is that we don’t support any sides.”

Status of Afghan refugees

She was also spoken about the Islamabad High Court decision that barred the government from cracking down on Afghan refugees.

Baloch clarified that the government was not cracking down on all Afghan refugees who have been living in Pakistan for the past 40 years.

The interim government had announced its decision to crack down on Afghan refugees living in Pakistan illegally as the caretaker setup tried to manage the law and order situation.

According to Baloch, action would be taken against those refugees who would be involved in terrorism, smuggling, or illegal activities. Those who are living with documentary evidence don’t have to worry, she added.

When asked, she said the government was yet to come on whether to file an appeal or not against the IHC decision as the country would consider a lot of issues including security.

“There have been talks on the Afghan refugees bilaterally and on the UNHCR platform. Afghanistan and the world also admit that they [refugees] are Afghan citizens and their real land is Afghanistan and they should return whether today or tomorrow.”

Baloch had no details about any guarantee from the Afghan Taliban that they would not harm Hazara community members when they returned to Afghanistan.

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Russia, Ukraine conflict

Afghan refugees

afghan taliban



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