‘Pakistan dependence on US arms diminishing’: report

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WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s dependency on American military technology is gradually diminishing as China enters the picture now, mentioned by a Financial Times report.

This shift will have geopolitical repercussions as well, mentions a local media outlet. According to the report, the dependency started reducing during the last few months of the Obama administration, when Congress blocked the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

The report said that in Islamabad the sentiment was that the US “could no longer be relied on as their armed forces’ primary source of advanced weapons”.

After the US blocked the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, the country’s focus shifted from F-16s to the JF-17 fighter jets it is developing with China.

The ban accelerated Pakistan’s efforts to shift its “military procurement away from American-made weapons towards Chinese ones”, or those made domestically with Chinese support.

The report also quotes data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, showing that since 2010, US weapons exports to Pakistan have plummeted from $1 billion to just $21 million last year. During the same period, those from China have also fallen, but much more slowly, from $747m to $514m, making China the biggest weapons exporter to Pakistan.