Pakistan to get leftover Afghan war equipment: Defence Secretary

Published March 31, 2014
The MRAP is described as, "the backbone of the US military’s vehicle fleet in Afghanistan". — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
The MRAP is described as, "the backbone of the US military’s vehicle fleet in Afghanistan". — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Defence Asif Yasin Malik on Monday said Pakistan would be receiving the United States’ leftover military hardware after the completion of withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan later this year.

Malik said allied forces had not spoken of handing over equipment to Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan would be receiving the military hardware.

He further said that only after going through the equipment would Pakistan decide what it wants to keep from the remaining supplies.

US reviewing Pakistan's request

A statement issued by the US embassy on Monday said military equipment that has been determined to be excess can be made available through the worldwide excess defence articles (EDA) program, which is open to all eligible countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. This equipment will not be brought back with US forces from Afghanistan as they redeploy elsewhere, it added.

The embassy further stated that the US assists Pakistan "through many security cooperation programs to build partnership capacity and Pakistan has requested a variety of Excess Defence Articles (EDA)".

“The US is currently reviewing Pakistan’s request for EDA. If approved, this EDA is likely to be sourced from US stock outside Afghanistan,” the statement said.

The Department of Defence manages the process for identifying recipients for excess defence articles with State Department approval.

“The decisions of who receives EDA are made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration a range of factors including the need of potential recipients, regional security dynamics, how the recipient nations intend to use the equipment and the ability of an EDA recipient to sustain the equipment. Final determinations of EDA are still being made,” the statement said.

Flip flop?

Earlier, a statement issued by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) had said the "United States Forces-Afghanistan does not provide or intend to provide any such equipment, including MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles), from Afghanistan to Pakistan".

Isaf commander Gen Joseph Dunford had stated: “Our commitment to the Afghan people and the Afghan National Security Forces is unwavering.”

The statement had followed uproar in Afghanistan over reports that the US had planned to transfer some of its excess equipment to Pakistan.

Reports about the transfer of equipment had hit headlines after a testimony by Gen Dunford before the US Senate Armed Service Committee in which he had said that the US was planning to give 1,200 MRAP vehicles to Pakistan, Afghanistan and other allies.

There are around 1,600 such vehicles in Afghanistan.

"We’re in the process right now of seeing if there are any of our allies that can use those vehicles…I’ve put a stop on any destruction of any vehicles except those that are battle-damaged," Gen Dunford had told the panel.

The US had been offering the equipment free of cost to its allies, which would have been required only to pay for its transportation. About 20 countries, including Pakistan, had initially expressed interest in getting MRAP vehicles, but many backed out because of huge cost of transportation involved. Because of continuing militancy and common borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan was considered the most potential candidate for the vehicles along with Afghanistan itself.



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