Dawn News

— File photo by Reuters
— File photo by Reuters

Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said in an interview with the BBC that Pakistan was making efforts to sell small arms and fighter jets to Saudi Arabia while also maintaining a balance between its ties with Iran and Saudi Arabia.

When asked if Pakistan would supply arms to Syria, Aziz said at this point in time there was no Syria-specific agreement, adding that Pakistan was making efforts to sell small arms and fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister's adviser said that like any country which with a flourishing arms industry, Pakistan was trying to sell its arms and there was nothing dubious about Saudi Arabia's interest in purchase weapons from Pakistan.

He further reiterated the government's claim of Pakistan's neutral stance on the Syria issue.

On Iran and Saudi Arabia, Aziz said Pakistan wanted to restore the balance of relations with the two countries which he said had been disturbed during the past five years.

Comparing the current state of Pakistan's relations with other countries with that in the past, he said not a single Saudi minister had visited the country during the tenure of the previous government but after the coming of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) into power, the government and military leadership of both countries had exchanged visits.

He further added that he hoped Prime Minister Sharif would visit Iran in May or June this year in line with promoting peace in the region.

Speculation had been rife in Pakistan after a joint Pakistan-Saudi declaration in February called for the “formation of a transitional governing body” with full executive powers as part of a solution to the bloody Syrian civil war.

The move was criticised by the opposition in the National Assembly and even though the government dispelled the impression, it failed to convince the opposition.

The un-official revelation of $1.5bn aid from Saudi Arabia, following a climb in the Rupee value against the dollar, raised further questions, regarding Pakistan's stance.

Again, the opposition rejected the government's claim that the donation was only 'a gift from friends' and not a loan nor given in return of any services,


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Comments (39) Closed



Raj
Apr 02, 2014 02:08pm

Cat is out of the bag!!!

Parvez
Apr 02, 2014 02:09pm

........and in return we grant them the freedom to fight their proxy war against Iran on our soil.

Oz
Apr 02, 2014 02:17pm

So now we are going to provide weapons to Saudis for obvious reasons !

$1.5billion dollar was not 'gift' after all

AReader
Apr 02, 2014 02:19pm

Pakistan selling fighter jets to Saudi A? How can Pak supply these jets when they cannot fulfil their own requirements.

AReader
Apr 02, 2014 02:23pm

How can Pakistani PM promote peace in the region when he is incapable to gurantee peace in his own country of Pakistan. Do politicians and their cronnies know what they are talking about?

Mathew
Apr 02, 2014 02:32pm

Good and brilliant geo-strategic decision.I see the books behind this brilliant diplomat.

JoKER
Apr 02, 2014 02:35pm

Another face saving story from the Regime; why can't leaders simply be honest to their people, after all they are our representatives, instead of changing their stance every time. Keeping the Optimum Balance in foreign policy making should be Pakistan's TOP MOST priority. It is clear that leadership has failed to deliver that so far, and one should not keep high hopes from them. So what's the solution to that problem...!

M. Emad
Apr 02, 2014 02:41pm

The cat is out of the $1.5 bn 'gifted' bag ....

Karachi Wala
Apr 02, 2014 03:02pm

That 1.5 billions have started to talk. Cat is coming out of the bag.

Sudarshan
Apr 02, 2014 03:07pm

Iran Gave you buses for free and now you give discounted weapons to their top enemy... Y such inconsistent and erratic policy decision making

Masoud
Apr 02, 2014 03:18pm

Very good news, Pakistan should do all possible to export its arms & jets. This will fetch revenue & good relationship

khanm
Apr 02, 2014 03:56pm

Indeed we need armament to protect us against our enemies

JQ
Apr 02, 2014 03:58pm

How many small jets we are making? Or how many we have? Ok sell arms.

Taimoor Khan
Apr 02, 2014 04:12pm

Selling arms to a state is absolutely fine. It will help Pakistan to create its own profile in highly lucrative global arms market. Pakistan do need Jf-17 first customer to lunch it on international market and once that first hurdle is removed, it will be a lot easier to sell it to other nations as well. However, what Pakistan must ensure that these arms are sold to the client state only for the purpose of the defense of that country, not to be passed on to any "thrid party" later.

TKhan
Apr 02, 2014 04:39pm

You know when Mr. Aziz is lying? When his lips are moving! I don't mind good humor but please don't make a fool out of us. Thank you.

Rao
Apr 02, 2014 04:54pm

What is it Saudi Arabia needs from Pakistan when some of the finest and modern weapons and systems are sold by USA?

I think the " gift " is an advanced payment contractor fees that can be distributed between various vendors . Fortunately it is all a legitimate fee.

winston
Apr 02, 2014 05:01pm

Like they say 'there is no free lunch in America", I am sure there is no free lunch in Pakistan too, $1.5 billion has strings attached to it regardless what Sharif says. Lying is an art and all politicians have an MS degree in it. Sharif has a post graduate degree in lying.

GA
Apr 02, 2014 05:01pm

Why on earth would Saudis buy our jets? It's like trying to sell them Suzukis when they are used to driving Cadillacs. How will they brag to their friends in the region with Pakistani planes?

naghman qureshi
Apr 02, 2014 05:09pm

if only the saudis would stay out of our country

Naeem Zubair
Apr 02, 2014 05:40pm

Pathetic behaviour. We are getting further into ditch of huge problems. Our short visioned leadership is pushing the nation into a bigger mess. For God sake, see the interest of Pakistan, not of Saudis or Iranian.

asgher
Apr 02, 2014 06:31pm

US is the biggest seller of arms globally, nobody asks a question when they seal massive deals with many many countries. So why such a big noise on this deal??

Sayyid
Apr 02, 2014 07:20pm

Up for sell......... This is not a business Mr. Nawaz Sharif. Yes your corporation(family) will again pileup the billions and trillions but this nation will beg for roti & water.

System
Apr 02, 2014 07:23pm

Pakistan selling weapons for purely business purpose, I think is good. But call me a sceptic, we all know that Saudia has always been the yes man of the US. US also knows how they are perceived ib Pakistan. my guess through Saudi now Iran would control Pakistan and try to destroy its realations with Tehran.

Taimoor Khan
Apr 02, 2014 08:07pm

@Rao: JF17 are not "american" and that is the reason that makes them unique and attractive to those states who are "suspicious" of american motives.

Asif
Apr 02, 2014 10:02pm

No harm for trade. The whole world is doing. We are doing trade with our neighboring countries No harm you trade with any other country in the world whether its Saudi Arabia or United States, India..

Khan
Apr 02, 2014 10:15pm

On a serious note what is the harm if Pakistan provides arms to Saudis, as long as we did not get involved in any conflict. In Syria isn't Iran supplying arms and manpower to Syrian government , isn't Hizbollah butchering Sunni Muslims on behalf of Syrian Govt. each country has the choice to look into its interest, look at India didn't they supported Russian invasion of Afghanistan and now become one of the greatest friends of Afghans. Pakistanis are emotional and start jumping on each news and try to find conspiracy in each matter.

Faisal Shaheen
Apr 02, 2014 10:36pm

@System: Basically the idea of the gift of 1.5 billion dollars, in the long run, if you look at the bigger picture is to create shia and sunni civil and global war at some point, this is just a start of build up. Thanks

Nadeem
Apr 02, 2014 10:58pm

It's purely a foreign policy matter & let the concerned people/ experts run this matter. Foreign policy must not be run on media or by those who have nothing to do with it....Government has all the rights to do what is in the interest of Pakistan. Regards!

Hasan
Apr 02, 2014 10:58pm

@AReader: An indian can think like this.

irfan
Apr 03, 2014 12:49am

@Nadeem: It was Gen Zia's foreign policy that brought Pakistan to this stage....

Khurram
Apr 03, 2014 02:54am

@AReader: Because production/assembly is not the problem. Paying for those produced goods is.

Abdul Malik
Apr 03, 2014 03:31am

@Raj: YES

Abdul Malik
Apr 03, 2014 03:33am

@Oz: We need to be real stupid to believe that $ 1.5 billion was a gift. Just wait and watch what else we will barter against the $ 1.5 billion that we have got from the kingdom kings

Abdul Malik
Apr 03, 2014 03:34am

The $ 1.5 billion has started to talk now !

Naseer
Apr 03, 2014 04:45am

@Khan: Actually none of the middle eastern countries have democracy. Lets have a revolution in Syria, then Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and U.A.E. All these countries treat Pakistani's so badly as if we are their slaves.

K.A.Muhammad.
Apr 03, 2014 06:08am

"Comparing the current state of Pakistan's relations with other countries with that in the past, he said not a single Saudi minister had visited the country during the tenure of the previous government but after the coming of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) into power, the government and military leadership of both countries had exchanged visits".

True, PPP's safe haven is Emirates, whereas, Shariffs' chose Saudi Arabia as their safe haven for long Years in exile.

"Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said in an interview with the BBC that Pakistan was making efforts to sell small arms and fighter jets to Saudi Arabia while also maintaining a balance between its ties with Iran and Saudi Arabia"

People would be interested in knowing what is meant by "Small Arms", does it mean in Shape and Size, or it means in Quantity? And how these "Small Pakistani Arms", would save or serve the Kingdom from impending threat?

Mr. Sartaj Aziz, you are not being honest to yourself or to the nation.

sweet news
Apr 03, 2014 08:47am

Every thing is for sale including foreign policy - Daam Do Kaam Lo

smith
Apr 03, 2014 10:23am

It does not matter who and how 1.5 Billion comes to Pakistan, what matter most is how the money is used; there are many fat rats in Pakistan. SA should give industry to Pakistan, not money.

dawn
Apr 03, 2014 05:40pm

And where is Pakistan going to get these from?? I suggest Pakistan maintain ties with Iran and Iran only in the region. Ties with KSA will never untie the US noose from their necks.