Pak US arms deal?
[*******#000000][FONT=arial]In the drawdown to the 2014 withdrawal of western troops from Afghanistan, complicated logistics are being worked out by countries which had deployed troops in Afghanistan.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=arial]Large volumes weapons of different specifications, ranging from heavy ones, including armoured vehicles, etc. are to be pulled out of the Afghanistan, posing a major logistic challenge.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=arial]Given the intricate issues involved in transporting these weapon systems into Afghanistan through Pakistan, their withdrawal would also cause immense difficulties.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=arial]Poor security conditions in areas along the Pak-Afghan border which have been the corridor for transportation of such arms and equipment may not be as safe for moving such items at this stage. A cost benefit of such operations are distinctly not favourable and therefore, the US, which has the largest consignment located in Afghanistan, has been looking for ways and means of disposing arms and equipment among countries in the region.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=arial]Pakistan has been the frontrunner in claiming such weapons and has been making desperate efforts to convince US officials at different levels to consider handing over of critical weapon systems to Pakistan. In this connection, during visit by senior Pak officials from the Army as well as the Foreign Ministry to the US, Pakistan has lobbied intensively to take over as many of these weapons as possible. This, no doubt, is a favourable deal for Pakistan since most weapons and equipment have been used and therefore, their costing could be reduced drastically by the owner country.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=arial]During discussions between Pakistan and the US on the matter, the Department of Defence has agreed to hand over weapons and equipment used specifically for anti-terror operations. However, the US has clarified that heavier weapons such as M1A1 Abrams armoured vehicles and Paradim self-propelled howitzers cannot be handed over due to the high power and capability of the weapon systems. This would also have a bearing on the Pak Army’s fire power vis-ŕ-vis other countries (ostensibly India).[/FONT][/COLOR]
[SIZE=2][*******#000080]Among the items which have been identified for handing over to Pakistan are night vision devices (many have been handed over to Pakistan already), sniper pods, laser designators for the Pak Air Force needed for long range target detection and ground surveillance useful for anti-terror operations etc.
The weapon systems handed over also include counter-IED equipment and sophisticated explosive detectors, including buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles as well as combat radio sets and communication equipment, including electronic eves dropping equipment.
Significantly, the US has acceded to persistent Pak request for AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, sidewinder missiles and M-270 multiple launch rocket systems which fall in the category of weapons which are banned from being supplied to Pakistan by any European country or the US. In order to effect the supply of AMRAAM advanced air to air missiles, the US has worked a mechanism for handing over significant numbers of these missiles to Pakistan and Jordan even though they do not fit any counter-terrorism role. The modus operandi would be to do the paper work in a manner that they indicate sale of these weapons to Jordan (or Jordan being shown as the user country) while the missiles would be supplied to Pakistan. Likewise, the latest version of sidewinder air to air missiles (AIM9X), while not falling into the category of anti-terror weapon would be declared as meant for Jordan while it would actually be supplied to the PAF. The M270 multiple launch rocket system, around 150 of which are presently deployed in Afghanistan, would form part of the inventory of supplies to Pakistan through Jordan.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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