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Did Pakistan sell arms to Ukraine to secure IMF funding? READ

In July, the IMF transferred USD 1.2 billion to cash-strapped Pakistan, part of the USD 3 billion bailout programme for nine months to support the government’s efforts to stabilise the country's ailing economy.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick7 Washington Updated on: September 19, 2023 12:03 IST
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A secret sale of Pakistani arms to the United States aided in facilitating a controversial bailout from the International Monetary Fund earlier this year, The Intercept reported citing sources that confirmed with the internal Pakistani and American government documents.

Pakistan had allegedly sold arms for the purpose of supplying the Ukrainian military.

Protests had erupted in Pakistan against the harsh structural policy reforms which was demanded by the IMF as terms for its recent bailout. The development has led to major strikes throughout the country recently in response to the measures, The Intercept, an investigative website, reported.

According to The Intercept, the Pakistani army aided organise a no-confidence vote with the encouragement of the US to remove then prime minister Imran Khan. Ahead of his ouster, US State Department diplomats had expressed their anger to the Pakistani diplomats over what according to them was Pakistan’s “aggresively neutral” stance on the Ukraine war under Imran Khan. They had warned Pakistan of dire consequences if Khan remained in power and vowed “all would be forgiven” if he was removed, The Intercept reported.

Since the ouster of Imran Khan, Pakistan has placed itself as a useful supporter of the US and its allies in the war, an assistance which was repaid with an IMF loan, the investigative website reported.

In July, the IMF transferred USD 1.2 billion to cash-strapped Pakistan, part of the USD 3 billion bailout programme for nine months to support the government’s efforts to stabilise the country's ailing economy.

As Ukraine grappled with chronic shortages of munitions and hardware, the presence of Pakistani-produced shells and other ordinances by the Ukrainian military has surfaced in open-source news reports about the conflict, The Intercept reported.

According to the documents, the weapons deals were brokered by Global Military Products, a subsidiary of Global Ordnance, which is a controversial arms dealer whose entanglements with less-than-reputable figures in Ukraine were the subject of a recent New York Times article, according to The Intercept.

Documents outlining the money trail and talks with U.S. officials include American and Pakistani contracts, licensing, and requisition documents related to U.S.-brokered deals to buy Pakistani military weapons for Ukraine. The economic capital and political goodwill from the arms sales played a key role in helping secure the bailout from the IMF, with the State Department agreeing to take the IMF into confidence regarding the undisclosed weapons deal, The Intercept reported citing sources.

Pakistan responds

In the backdrop of the developments and the emergence of the report, Pakistan has rejected the report.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Monday rejected as “baseless and fabricated” the Intercept report saying that cash-strapped Pakistan provided arms to the US to get its support to clinch a USD 3 billion deal with the IMF towards the end of June to avoid default, news agency PTI reported.

Pakistan has struggled to maintain a balance in ties with the Kremlin and Washington since the Russia-Ukraine crisis began earlier last year.

(With PTI inputs)

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