Arms exports to Yemeni rebels by Pakistani firm, enquiry closed

Arms exports to Yemeni rebels by Pakistani firm, enquiry closed

ISLAMABAD: An inquiry into the alleged arms export to Yemeni rebels by a Pakistani arms firm has been closed as no evidence could be found into the matter, The News has Reported.

The inquiry which was launched on the complaint of the United States has been closed on the condition that if any reliable evidence came on record later, the matter would be investigated again.

In March 2017 the US accused a Pakistani arms firm located in Lahore of exporting weapons to Yemeni rebels. During his meeting with the officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, a US Embassy official on a non-paper (unsigned paper) had communicated the Pakistani officials that as per their information, a Pakistan firm was seeking to import over a thousand AK-105 (5.45X39mm) assault rifles from Russian firm ‘Kalashnikov Concerns’ and The Tula Cartridge in October 2016 .

He claimed that those arms and ammunition were meant for export to Djibouti for further smuggling to Yemen and the company was acting as a representative for a Yemeni-based smuggler as the firm has been associated with him in the past.

“We oppose such transfers, as we believe they will only serve to further destabilise the region and contribute to ongoing regional violence,” the official had observed. The US official warned the Pakistani side that shipping those weapons and ammunition to designated entities in Yemen would violate United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015) which imposes an arms embargo on Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, two military commanders, former president Saleh and his son and those acting on their behalf or at their direction in Yemen.

“The US Department of the Treasury’s office of Foreign Assets Control on July 16, 2014 designated under executive order 13661 the Kalashnikov Concerns for operating in the arms or related material sector in the Russian Federation,” he further pointed out.

The US official further made it clear that by procuring weapons from Kalashnikov Concerns, Pakistani entities made themselves potentially subject to sanctions for material support to an entity sanctioned under the Executive Order 13661.