KARACHI: Pakistan is the eleventh largest arms importer in the world, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday.
According to new data released by the Sweden-based institute — which is dedicated to research on conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament — India was the second-largest arms importer in the world over the past five years.
“As in previous years, in 2019 India and Pakistan — which are nuclear-armed states — attacked each other using an array of imported major arms,” said Siemon T. Wezeman, a senior researcher at Sipri.
“Many of the world’s largest arms exporters have supplied these two states for decades, often exporting arms to both sides,” he said.
According to Sipri, between 2010-14 and 2015-19, arms imports by India and Pakistan decreased by 32 per cent and 39pc, respectively.
China accounted for 73pc of the total arms imported by Pakistan in 2015-19
It noted that while both countries had a long-standing aim to produce their own major arms, they remained largely dependent on imports and had substantial outstanding orders and plans for imports of all types of major arms.
Sipri said skirmishes between India and Pakistan intensified in early 2019. Pakistan reportedly used combat aircraft imported from China, equipped with Russian engines, and combat aircraft from the United States supported by airborne early warning and control aircraft from Sweden.
India reportedly used combat aircraft imported from France and Russia, guided bombs from Israel and artillery from Sweden, it noted.
The report said China — the fifth largest exporter of weapons in the world — accounted for 51pc of Pakistan’s arm imports in 2010-14 and for 73pc in 2015-19.
The overall decrease in Pakistan’s arms imports was linked to the US decision to stop military aid to Pakistan.
The US accounted for 30pc of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2010-14 but for only 4.1pc in 2015-19.
Pakistan continued to import arms from European states in 2015-19 and also strengthened its arms import relations with Turkey with orders for 30 combat helicopters and four frigates in 2018.
The institute said Pakistan was among the top three buyers of arms from top weapons exporters like Italy and Turkey.
Pakistan had a 7.5pc share in arms imports from Italy in 2015-19, and 12pc share in Turkish arms over the same period.
Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2020