ISLAMABAD: Ukra­inian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is set to land in Islamabad on Thursday, on an emergency visit, sources told Dawn. The visit is likely to raise many eyebrows and be closely watched by Moscow, New Delhi, and Western capitals.

An official said Pakistan has always maintained neutrality in the conflict and asserted that it would not send a negative message. He said meetings also take place between Russian and Pakistani authorities.

The Ukrainian foreign minister will meet his Pakistani counterpart Bila­wal Bhutto-Zardari and is likely to call on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and military authorities.

The visit takes place at a time when a controversy is still going on over alleged arms and ammunition supplies by Pakistan to Ukra­ine.

Pakistan however rejects these reports asserting that it had not supplied arms to either side after the conflict.

A report last month claimed that arms consignment from Pakistan Ordnance Factories was being shipped to Ukraine.

An earlier report also claimed Pakistan has set up a defence trading firm in Warsaw to smoothen the process of arms supplies to Ukraine. In April in an interview with BBC, a Ukrainian commander talked about receiving rockets from other countries including Pakistan.

But officials strongly reject claims of providing any ammunition to Ukraine insisting the country maintained a “policy of strict neutrality.” An official however said if a third party supplies weapons purchased from Pakistan to another country, it was their responsibility.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2023

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