Pakistan has rejected a report claiming it sold arms and ammunition to Ukraine to obtain a crucial bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Monday dismissed as “baseless and fabricated” an Intercept report alleging that cash-strapped Pakistan provided weapons to the United States to enlist its support in sealing a deal. 3 billion dollars with the IMF at the end of June to avoid by default.
The Intercept, an investigative website, reported Sunday that “secret Pakistani arms sales to the United States helped facilitate a controversial IMF bailout earlier this year.”
The report said the arms sales were “carried out for the purpose of supplying the Ukrainian military,” marking Pakistan’s involvement in a conflict in which it had faced pressure from the United States to take sides.
Pakistan has struggled to maintain a balance in ties with the Kremlin and Washington since the crisis between Russia and Ukraine began early last year.
‘The IMF Reserve Arrangement for Pakistan was successfully negotiated between Pakistan and the IMF to implement difficult but essential economic reforms. Giving any other color 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 with arms or ammunition in that context.
“Pakistan’s defense exports are always accompanied by strict end-user requirements,” he said.
During a visit to Pakistan in July, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had rejected similar reports that the cash-strapped country was supplying weapons to Ukraine to support its military during the ongoing conflict with Russia, according to Dawn.
He had clarified that the two nations did not have any agreement for the supply of arms and ammunition.
Former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also expressed similar views, maintaining that Pakistan had not signed any agreement with Ukraine for military supplies since the war began.
In July, the IMF transferred $1.2 billion to cash-strapped Pakistan as part of the nine-month, $3 billion bailout program to support the government’s efforts to stabilize the country’s ailing economy.
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