Pakistan trying to clean muck created in Aghanistan: COAS

Responding to a US journalist during Sunday’s security dialogue, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa explained Pakistan had to look for other sources when the West denied defence equipment to Pakistan.

The journalist had asked the army chief how he viewed the Sino-Pak security cooperation in the next decade. The question and answer were aired by a private TV channel Gen Bajwa said many of the defence deals, which were concluded, have been cancelled, and asked, “So what do we do?” He said: “China is Pakistan’s neighbour and very important friend. It has helped us in many ways.”

Gen Bajwa told him that Pakistan was denied military equipment from the West, though deals had been finalised. Giving examples, the army chief said Pakistan had procured T-129 helicopters fitted with US-made engines from Turkey, but the US refused to allow third-party certification. Similarly, the chief said, Germany refused to provide Pakistan engines for submarines, and added France too did the same under pressure from India, which is a big buyer (of French weapons).

“So what do we do,” Gen Bajwa asked, telling the American journalist, “It’s your (the US) responsibility to maintain the balance. If you are tilted to one side outright, we will have to find sources to get weapons to save ourselves.”

“So you (the US) need to carry out introspection whether your policy is right or not,” Gen Bajwa told the journalist categorically.

Gen Bajwa said Pakistan is not looking for camp politics, rather it would prefer to maintain a balance. He said Pakistan had historically good relations with the US and had been part of Seato, Cento and Baghdad Pact, adding Pakistan supported the US on Vietnam and Afghan issues.

He said Pak Army was largely built and trained by the US, saying, “The best equipment we have is the American equipment. We still have deep cooperation with the US and our Western friends. Months back the US Air Force was here in routine exercise with our air force.”

Having said that Pakistan had helped the US dismantle the erstwhile Soviet Union, Gen Bajwa asked the American journalist to look at the “muck you (the US) have created there (Afghanistan) we are trying to clean that.” “So we have paid a lot of cost (for that support). So what are you doing about us? Are you maintaining a balance or not?”

April 05 , 2022

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