Pakistan denies supplying ammunition to Ukraine

Published February 17, 2023
In this file photo, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addresses a press briefing at the Foreign Office. — Picture courtesy: Radio Pakistan
In this file photo, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addresses a press briefing at the Foreign Office. — Picture courtesy: Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday questioned the accuracy of reports claiming that Pakistan was providing ammunition to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

“The reporting about supply of defence items by Pakistan to Ukraine is not accurate,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said at the weekly media briefing.

Reports claiming that Pakistan was providing ammunition to Ukraine have regularly surfaced in media since middle of the last year, but it is rare for Islamabad to have officially denied such involvement in the Russia–Ukraine conflict.

France 24 had a couple of days back reported that “run-down ammunition supplies are one of Kyiv’s most pressing concerns, with Ukraine and its partners resorting to far-flung countries like South Korea and Pakistan as sources of artillery munitions”.

Pakistan, the spokesperson said, maintains a policy of non-interference in military conflicts.

Many of those reports had alleged that the ammunition was sent to Ukraine via some other European country.

“Pakistan only exports defence stores to other states based on strong end-use and none re-transfer assurances. And this is the case of Pakistan’s position in the Ukraine-Russia conflict,” she maintained.

Many of the reports about Pakistani ammunition supplies have sought to target the improved ties between Islamabad and Moscow.

Raids on BBC offices

The FO spokesperson condemned the raids on BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai by Indian tax officials, saying these acts have tarnished India’s so-called democratic credentials.

“We believe that the raids conducted on the BBC offices in India are yet another manifestation of the shrinking space for freedom of media in India,” Ms Baloch said.

The raids were conducted weeks after India banned a BBC documentary that criticised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in Gujarat riots of 2002 in which Muslims were targeted.

“Having failed to hide the truth, the Indian government is now targeting an international media house. This, we believe, is another stain on India’s so-called democratic credentials,” she maintained.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2023

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