The Prime Minister of Pakistan denies selling weapons to Ukraine.
The caretaker prime minister of Pakistan has denied claims that his country sold weapons to Ukraine for their conflict with Russia, stating that these reports are mistaken.
During a special interview with VOA, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar stated that Pakistan did not trade weapons with the U.S. for Ukraine.
“We will look into whether the Pakistan arms have been delivered elsewhere. However, our arms were not intended for Ukraine or any other location, as far as Pakistan is concerned,” stated Kakar.
WATCH: VOA Interview
A recent investigation by the Pakistani online news platform Soch revealed a connection between the sale of Pakistani small arms and ammunition to two American companies. The report used publicly available procurement data and determined that these items were later utilized in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative by the United States and were ultimately used in combat.
“We are currently investigating the origins of this confusion and identifying the underlying causes,” stated Kakar. He asserted that his government was actively addressing the matter through various diplomatic channels with authorities in Washington.
In response to a previous inquiry from VOA regarding this issue, a representative stated via email, “we do not have any information to provide at this time.”
Pakistan attempted to remain impartial in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. However, when then-Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Moscow on the day of Russia’s invasion, it caused embarrassment for Islamabad and displeased Washington.
Currently, Pakistan is in the midst of removing approximately 1.7 million Afghan individuals who do not have proper documentation. Islamabad claims that Afghans were responsible for multiple recent terrorist incidents and blames the Taliban-led government in Kabul for not doing enough to combat anti-Pakistan extremists.
When questioned about the potential safety of Pakistan following the mass expulsion, Kakar clarified that it was not a strategy for counterterrorism.
The Pakistani caretaker prime minister stated that our main goal is to establish a controlled relationship with Afghanistan as a country.
Kakar’s recent remarks regarding the Taliban’s government being deemed illegitimate have caused a stir. He stated to VOA that his wording was regrettable, clarifying that he intended to convey that the de facto government is not officially recognized. He also emphasized that it is ultimately the Afghan people’s decision to determine the legitimacy of their government.
Kakar refuted claims that Pakistan has provided support to the Afghan Taliban and disregarded reports of giving refuge to their leaders as exaggerated.
Kakar stated that in future situations where we are required to take sides with influential countries in regional conflicts, we should carefully consider our decisions before committing. He also expressed frustration that Pakistan was unfairly held responsible for the outcome of a 20-year war and that its efforts and sacrifices were not acknowledged in terms of both human and economic cost.
Pakistan is the location of the approximately $65 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is the primary project in China’s worldwide Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Despite efforts by Beijing to safeguard the BRI from potential hazards, Kakar opposes the idea that Pakistan’s political and economic instability, as well as its inadequate security conditions, are diminishing China’s interest in the country.
Pakistan is considered a medium-sized market on its own. Therefore, they view Pakistan both on its own and in relation to the surrounding region.
Kakar made a momentous trip to Xinjiang, a province in northwest China that shares a border with Pakistan, in order to commemorate ten years of BRI alongside other partner nations.
During his visit to Xinjiang, he participated in Friday prayers at a mosque with local officials and stated that he did not witness any alleged human rights violations.
International organizations that monitor human rights have accused China of committing human rights violations in the region through widespread surveillance of Uyghur Muslims, suppression of their religious beliefs, and detaining approximately 1 million individuals in forced labor camps.
China dismisses this as Western propaganda. It calls the camps reeducation centers meant to curb militancy by helping Uyghurs assimilate with China’s majority Han culture.
Based on my personal observations and experiences in that area, I have noticed that the people there are living a wonderful and exceptional life under Chinese leadership.
According to Kakar, the United States and its allies have diminished their ethical influence due to Israeli attacks on suspected Hamas shelters resulting in the deaths of numerous children in Gaza.
Kakar, as the temporary prime minister, is primarily responsible for ensuring that Pakistan conducts unbiased and just elections, scheduled for February 8th of the following year. This task may be difficult.
If the postponed elections do occur, it is probable that Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, will not be able to take part. Despite being the most favored leader in the country according to surveys, he is currently imprisoned on corruption allegations and is facing numerous politically motivated cases.
Khan’s political party has experienced a large number of members leaving due to a significant crackdown following the storming of government and military buildings by supporters in protest of the leader’s arrest on May 9. The remaining members of the party, who have not been arrested, claim they are unable to carry out any campaigning for upcoming elections.
Kakar stated that his goal is to prioritize transparency and fairness for all players in order to ensure credible elections. He also added that he is open to criticism even after committing to these values.
Over 100 individuals who support Khan have been taken into military custody due to their involvement in the violence on May 9. Kakar strongly objected to the Pakistani Supreme Court’s ruling that prevents them from being tried in civilian courts.
Kakar insisted that the individuals be tried in military courts, regardless of any democratic principles.
After the ruling by the highest court, the Pakistani Senate approved a contentious resolution that calls for military trials for civilians. Additionally, a coalition of individuals who have been affected by previous terrorist attacks have requested the Supreme Court to reconsider their verdict.
According to Kakar, it is acceptable for individuals to demonstrate outside of political offices. However, those who trespass on military properties should be subject to military court proceedings.
He inquired why individuals gravitate towards military bases. If they make the decision to do so, there are laws in place both within this country and others, and they must accept the repercussions of their actions.