Pak deception on Ukraine, plays Russia for oil, supplies arms to Kyiv | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Pak deception on Ukraine, plays Russia for oil, supplies arms to Kyiv

Apr 24, 2023 09:17 AM IST

The Pakistani role in war supplies to Ukraine is now evident as Islamabad watchers have found that Pak ordnance stores have made their way to Kyiv.

Deception and diplomacy often go hand in hand in a globally competitive world. It is a key element of Chinese diplomatic arsenal in its pursuit of global superpower ambitions, but its client state Pakistan has honed it into an art and is using the ongoing Ukraine war for building bridges with the West for its economic survival while wooing Russia for discounted crude oil and military spares.

Pakistan plays deception game on Ukraine war.
Pakistan plays deception game on Ukraine war.

The Russian aggression on Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, is relentless, causing not only death and destruction but also generating headwinds for the revival of the post-pandemic global economy. Apart from the human catastrophe, the war has resulted in hyperinflation, high energy prices, disruption of global supply chains, and high rates of unemployment, resulting in shattering the economies of vulnerable economies in the global south. Pakistan too has been hit by the Ukraine war but unscrupulous Islamabad has found a novel way to make profits out of the war to revive its sunk economy as well as cozy to the Anglo-Saxon powers.

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While overtly Pakistan like its iron brother China has adopted a neutral posture towards the Ukraine war and advocates ceasefire through mediation and negotiations, covertly it is playing a double game with both Russia and West-backed Ukraine. As one of the key reasons for the prolonged Ukraine war is steady supply of weapons, ammunition, and stores to Kyiv to contain the Russian aggression, Pakistan is acting as a bridge between NATO and Ukraine for hardware supply and in turn reaping profits and diplomatic leverage from the West. On the flip side, Pakistan is wooing Russia for crude oil supplies on discounted rates from Moscow as well as replenishing the much-needed military spares for its Russian-origin military platforms. A classic strategy of deception and double standards.

The Pakistani role in war supplies to Ukraine is now evident as Islamabad watchers have found that Pak ordnance stores like 120 mm high explosive cartridges, multi-barrel rocket launchers, detonators, primers, fuses, M-107 155m projectiles and ANZA Mark-II Man Portable Air Defence Systems have made their way to Kyiv for the on-going war. Inputs received indicate that the Ukrainian military is using Pak ordnance factory 122 mm projectiles and international shipping records indicate the transhipment of defence stores from Karachi to Poland and Germany. These transshipments via Poland and Germany not only generate precious foreign exchange for Pakistan but also put pressure on the West to help extricate Islamabad from the economic abyss the Shehbaz Sharif government finds itself in today. This quid pro quo has ensured that Pakistan was removed from the Grey List of the FATF in October 2022 and now West is putting pressure on the IMF to deliver a USD 1.1 billion bailout package to Pakistan despite the latter's reluctance to agree to IMF conditionalities for the loan assistance. It is understood that Pakistan is also mulling on plans to transfer 44 T-80 main battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine in exchange for financial assistance from the West.

This deception is nothing new for Pakistan as Moscow tasted the brunt of it during the war to end erstwhile Soviet Union's Afghan occupation. US forces were pushed into similar quagmire in the same Afghanistan with Rawalpindi using the military and financial aid from the west to revive militant forces against the Washington supported government while overtly playing on the side of America post 9/11. Nothing could be starker in this deception game when then Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted that Afghanistan had shed shackles of slavery on the day Taliban forces captured Kabul on August 15, 2021, by kicking out US forces. Today, Islamabad holds discussion with the US on countering trafficking of drugs from Afghanistan, while its deep state uses the same drug money to fund its clandestine operations against its adversaries in the region including India. Pakistan may be apt at this deception game but Islamabad’s brazenness stands exposed even before Islamic nations in the Middle-East as they distance themselves from Islamabad. Do the US and Russia realize that they are still being played by Pakistan in another great game yet again.

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