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FO Rejects Report on Pakistani Arms Sales to Ukraine

Spokesperson describes as ‘baseless’ report published by U.S. outlet alleging the alleged arms sales had facilitated revival of IMF bailout

by Staff Report
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

File photo

The Foreign Office on Monday rejected a report that had claimed Pakistan sold arms and ammunition to Ukraine to secure U.S. support for reviving a suspended bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a statement responding to media queries on a report published by U.S.-based new outlet The Intercept, spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch rejected the story as “baseless and fabricated.” Stressing that the $3 billion Standby Arrangement inked between the IMF and Pakistan was “successfully negotiated between Pakistan and the IMF to implement difficult but essential economic reforms,” she said it was “disingenuous” to give “any other color” to those negotiations.

She further said that Islamabad maintained a policy of strict neutrality in the ongoing dispute between Ukraine and Russia, adding no arms and ammunition was provided to either party. “Pakistan’s defense exports are always accompanied by strict end-user requirements,” she added.

Similar reports of Pakistan supplying arms to Ukraine had been denied by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during a visit to Islamabad in July. Speaking to media, he had clarified that the two nations had no deals for the supply of arms and ammunition.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the same day that then-prime minister Imran Khan was in Moscow on an official visit. The SBA between Pakistan and the IMF, meanwhile, was inked in July 2023 after months of negotiations as Islamabad was teetering on default. The Intercept report, published  on Sunday, sought to connect the two by alleging that Pakistan had “secretly” sold arms to the U.S. for use in Ukraine to secure support for the IMF bailout.

The Intercept claimed its report was based on “two sources with knowledge of the arrangement” and “internal Pakistani and American government documents.” It further claimed the munitions sales had spanned a time from the summer of 2022 to the spring of 2023. However, it was unable to substantiate how the arms sales had impacted the IMF deal, which—based on the timelines—came significantly later than the expiry of the alleged arms deal.

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