China Russia and Turkey Replace US as the Main Arms Exporters to Pakistan

China Russia and Turkey Replace US as the Main Arms Exporters to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - China Russia and Turkey Replace US as the Main Arms Exporters to Pakistan.

Pakistan was on Monday ranked the eleventh largest arms importer in the world in a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). According to the report, arch-rival India was ranked second on the list.

Figures released by SIPRI alongside the report showed that China, Russia and Italy were the main suppliers of arms to Pakistan. Import numbers further highlighted that the actual share of Pakistani imports in total global weapons imports had decreased.

According to the Stockholm-based institute, China accounted for 73 per cent of the total arms imports of Pakistan over 2015-2019, with Russia (6.6 per cent) and Italy (6.1 per cent) second and third on the list.

The report noted that Pakistan’s share in global arms imports had decreased by 39 per cent in the period. The overall decrease in Pakistan’s arms imports over the latest five-year period was linked to the US decision to stop military aid to Pakistan.

The institute noted that Pakistan was among the top three buyers of arms from top weapons exporters like Italy and Turkey. Pakistan had a 7.5 per cent share in arms imports from Italy between 2015-2019, and 12 per cent share in Turkish arms over the same period.

SIPRI also identified a significant drop in arms sales to South Asia by the United States, which was listed as the largest arms exporter in the world between 2015-2019. The institute noted that US arms imports to Pakistan declined by 92 per cent, and to India by 51 per cent over this period. The US, which had accounted for 30 per cent of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2010–14, was responsible for only 4.1 per cent in 2015–19.

Meanwhile, Islamabad was identified as the largest buyer of Chinese arms between 2015-2019, accounting for 35 per cent of the arms exported by Beijing — the fifth largest exporter of weapons in the world in the five-year period.

According to SIPRI, China accounted for 51 per cent of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2010–14 and for 73 per cent in 2015–19. SIPRI also noted that Pakistan continued to import arms from Europe, strengthening relations with Turkey with orders for 30 combat helicopters and four frigates in 2018.

The peace research firm also published a short analysis on the February 2019 military confrontation between Islamabad and New Delhi. According to SIPRI, Pakistan reportedly used combat aircraft imported from China and equipped with Russian engines, in the fight.

These aircraft were supported by aircraft from the US, and 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 with Russian engines in the fight.

“Between 2010–14 and 2015–19, arms imports by India and Pakistan decreased by 32 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively. While both countries have long-standing aims to produce their own major arms, they remain largely dependent on imports,” the institute highlighted.