• Says no discussion held on arms supply in telephonic conversation between defence ministers of two countries

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday rejected any notion of discussion on arms supply between Pak-Ukraine defence ministers in a telephonic conversation, clarifying that the country neither supplied arms to Ukraine nor does it intend to do so.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, in a statement, clarified that as a matter of policy Pakistan did not supply arms to a region in conflict.

“It has not supplied nor does it intend to supply any arms to Ukraine,” she added.

“This topic, therefore, was not discussed during the telephonic conversation between the ministers of defence of Pakistan and Ukraine on November 7, 2023,” she remarked.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan had stressed the need for a negotiated solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

In September, the foreign office had vehemently rejected claims that Pakistan agreed to supply weapons to Ukraine in return for securing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout in July, saying the country maintained a “policy of strict neutrality”.

The rebuttal came after The Intercept, a US publication, claimed in one of its report that Pakistan supplied weapons to Ukraine via the United States in order to secure the IMF deal.

Responding to media queries on the Intercept report, Baloch had rejected the story as “baseless and fabricated”.

“The IMF Standby Arrangement for Pakistan was successfully negotiated between Pakistan and the IMF to implement difficult but essential economic reforms. Giving any other colour to these negotiations is disingenuous.

“Pakistan maintains a policy of strict neutrality in the dispute between Ukraine and Russia and in that context, does not provide any arms and ammunition to them. Pakistan’s defence exports are always accompanied with strict end user requirements,” she added.

In the past such reports also published claiming Pakistan was supplying weapons to Ukraine through a third country. However, both Pakistan and Ukraine denied such an agreement.

In July, the Ukrainian foreign minister undertook a first ever visit to Pakistan. During the visit both countries denied having entered into any arrangement that envisaged Pakistan supplying weapons to Ukraine against the backdrop of Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian foreign minister, however, said his country wanted Pakistan to be on his side. Pakistan has tried to tread carefully since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Despite immense pressure, Pakistan refused to vote on a UN resolution condemning Russia. Islamabad has abstained from voting on all occasions.

The US and European countries, nevertheless, wanted Pakistan to take a more clear stance on the Russian invasion.

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