NEW DELHI: Recent claims regarding the alleged import of weapons from Israel by Pakistan have sparked a vehement denial from Pakistani authorities. The controversy surfaced following the release of British documents by the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) suggesting that Israel had sold arms to Islamabad, along with several other predominantly Muslim nations.
The documents revealed that British components used in radar systems and fighter jet parts were initially dispatched to Israel and later purportedly transferred to Pakistan. Additionally, Israeli electronic warfare systems, including British components, were reportedly received by Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Morocco. Notably, Britain declined to issue licenses for systems that Israel planned to export to Russia, Sri Lanka, India, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan.
Israel’s reported export of security equipment to Pakistan and four Arab countries over the past five years was highlighted in a British government report focused on permits for arms and security equipment exports. The countries listed in the report where Israel allegedly exported such equipment include Egypt, Algeria, the UAE, Morocco, and Pakistan.
However, Pakistan has vehemently refuted these allegations. The Pakistani Inter Services Public Relations department released a statement categorically denying the reports, terming them as “misleading and not based on facts.”
These claims have emerged amidst a backdrop of concern regarding the export of arms by the UK to certain regimes. Past instances, such as the export of ‘crowd control measures’ to Bahrain during a period of civil unrest, have drawn criticism and scrutiny toward the UK government’s arms export policies.
The potential of Pakistan receiving arms from Israel has raised eyebrows, particularly among religious conservatives in the country. The reported denial by Pakistani authorities comes as liberal Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, published details suggesting that multiple Muslim nations, some without diplomatic ties to Israel, had purportedly received weapons from the Jewish state.
The BIS publication regularly lists export licenses approved for arms sales, particularly highlighting cases where arms or weapon components are intended for transfer to third countries, as seen in this instance.
While controversies around arms trade and exports continue to surface, Pakistan’s firm denial stands in stark contrast to the claims made in the British documents, further escalating the debate surrounding international arms dealings and regional dynamics.