Pakistan’s $900 million munitions sale to Ukraine revealed in ‘bombs for bailout’ deal amid US pressure

Cairo: Hani Kamal El-Din –

In a covert arrangement influenced by US pressure, Pakistan has reportedly sold munitions worth $900 million to Ukraine in the past year, helping Islamabad secure an IMF bailout. This “bombs for bailout” deal, initially disclosed by investigative website The Intercept, has led Pakistan to deviate from its neutral stance in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as the US prioritized supporting Ukraine over promoting democracy in Pakistan.

The Intercept’s investigative report, which was based on documents leaked by a source within the Pakistani military, sheds light on arms transactions agreed upon by the US and Pakistan from the summer of 2022 to the spring of 2023.

Both the Biden administration and the IMF have denied the story, but The Intercept stands by its reporting, citing documents outlining the financial trail, American and Pakistani contracts, licensing, and requisition documents related to US-brokered deals for purchasing Pakistani military weapons for Ukraine.

Some of the documents were authenticated through various means, including matching the signature of an American brigadier general with his signature on publicly available mortgage records in the US, comparing Pakistani documents with corresponding American ones, and reviewing previously unreported Pakistani disclosures of arms sales to the US posted by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The Intercept also highlights that Pakistan is recognized as a production hub for essential munitions required for protracted warfare. While Ukraine faced ongoing shortages of munitions and hardware, reports of Pakistani-produced shells and other ordnance being used by the Ukrainian military surfaced in open-source news reports about the conflict. However, neither the US nor Pakistan has officially acknowledged this arrangement.

The weapons deals were brokered by Global Military Products, a subsidiary of Global Ordnance, a controversial arms dealer with alleged connections to less-than-reputable figures in Ukraine.

This revelation offers a glimpse into the clandestine dealings between financial and political elites, which are seldom exposed to the public eye. It also delves into Washington’s role in encouraging the Pakistani military to remove Imran Khan from office due to his “aggressively neutral” stance on the Ukraine war. Khan’s ouster resulted in widespread protests and unrest throughout the country.

According to the report, Washington had warned of dire consequences if Khan remained in power, promising forgiveness if he were removed. Part of this forgiveness package apparently included the IMF bailout. The economic capital and political goodwill generated from the arms sales played a pivotal role in securing the IMF bailout, with the State Department agreeing to inform the IMF about the undisclosed weapons deal, as confirmed by sources familiar with the arrangement and related documents.

(With inputs from TOI)

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Source of data and images: indiatimes

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