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    Britain lifts ban on Pakistan arms sales

    What happened to restoration of democracy and all that bull****. After they realized they will lose business to China... screw englaaaaand and uncle welcome china..

    Britain lifts ban on Pakistan arms sales

    Pakistan: special report
    Labour's ethical foreign policy: special report

    Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
    Thursday July 6, 2000
    The Guardian

    The foreign secretary, Robin Cook, lifted the arms embargo on Pakistan yesterday, only 10 months after condemning the military regime that overthrew the country's democratically-elected government.
    Ending the ban so quickly will create concern in a region which is one of the world's flashpoints. It will also raise questions about Mr Cook's ethical foreign policy, which has been repeatedly undercut by British defence firms.

    Mr Cook put a block on arms sales and successfully led calls for Pakistan to be suspended from the Commonwealth after General Pervez Musharraf's coup last October.

    All 46 applications for export licences to Pakistan from British arms firms have been blocked since the coup. Now, supplies of naval and other equipment are to be resumed.

    But in a deal agreed between Mr Cook and other ministers, the export of small arms and ammunition, which could be used in the disputed Kashmir region or for internal repression, will still be blocked.

    Ending the ban will almost certainly be condemned by India, but will be welcomed as an important gesture by Pakistan, which has been heavily criticised internationally.

    India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons and tensions have been high over Kashmir. Pakistan is widely believed to have been responsible for an incursion into the Kargil area of the territory last year.

    Mr Cook, in a parliamentary written answer, said: "The government has considered the situation in Pakistan and the wider region since the coup before deciding on a number of licence applications."

    He said: "We remain concerned about defence exports to Pakistan, in the light of the incursion at Kargil, the coup, the possibility of diversion to undesirable end-users and continued regional tensions."

    The decision contrasts with Mr Cook's tone at the European summit in Finland in October following the coup. Then he said: "It is important to send a clear message that we deplore the overthrow of democracy". He wanted "a swift and orderly return to democracy and rule of law."

    The diluting of the ban has taken place despite a lack of movement by Gen Musharraf's government to set a date for a return to democracy. The government has also failed to tackle the Islamic terrorists operating within Pakistan's borders, who are among "the undesirable end-users" of Mr Cook's statement.

    Britain's change of view towards Pakistan stems from a belief that it should be engaged rather than isolated and that the country's previous governments, though democratic in name, were shambolic. The fear is that an alternative to Gen Musharraf could be a hardline Islamic government, more tension with India over Kashmir and the attendant threat of nuclear conflict.

    A Foreign Office source said yesterday's decision was not "triggered" by any one event but "if you take a look at what was happening in Kargil last year, we have not seen a repetition, which is a fairly crucial indication of whether there has been renewed aggression."

    The move followed a battle between cabinet ministers earlier this year, revealed in internal memos leaked to The Guardian. Mr Cook at the time was fending off attempts by the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, and the trade and industry secretary, Stephen Byers, to restore arms sales.

    Twenty applications will now be approved, and 26 denied. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Mr Cook is very happy with the decision."

    Although the embargo has been lifted, approval will only be given to exports regarded as the least contentious. These will include spare parts for ships, naval helicopters and naval planes. The Foreign Office believes these would have no role in Kashmir. Approval will also be given to supply bomb disposal equipment and goods for civilian end-users.



    #2
    Excellent news!! Pakistan desperately needs spare parts for Sea-King Helicopters. Small arm emabargo doesn't not really hurt Pakistan in any sense since we can fulfill our and other countries' needs through indigineous sources.

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      #3
      I wish they keep the embargo, and let Pakistan design all the parts, at least we'll be on our foot, not to look at these ugly creatures for spare parts of the equipment/arms they sell.

      ------------------
      We oughta be Changez like, don't we?

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        #4
        Musharraf is the undisputed ruler of Pakistan, and he is here to stay. A pity it took Britain nearly 2 years to recognise that fact!

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          #5
          Originally posted by Changez_like:
          I wish they keep the embargo, and let Pakistan design all the parts, at least we'll be on our foot, not to look at these ugly creatures for spare parts of the equipment/arms they sell.

          I agree. Look at Iran. Now there's an example for us to follow. India did that by policy of forcing the suppliers to setup maint./production factories there. The embargo could further help Pakistan learn to develop indigineous industries.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Changez_like:
            I wish they keep the embargo, and let Pakistan design all the parts, at least we'll be on our foot, not to look at these ugly creatures for spare parts of the equipment/arms they sell.

            Changez, I agree 100% with you on that. We dont need British arms now. It is pathetic that US and Britain including other european countries blocks the arms and aid when desprately needed. The last time they did thsi was in 1965 and 1971 war.

            "Aise dost seh dushman accha".

            ------------------
            "Away from Eyes......Close to Heart"

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Abdali:
              Britain lifts ban on Pakistan arms sales

              Pakistan: special report
              Labour's ethical foreign policy: special report

              Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
              Thursday July 6, 2000

              The Guardian

              The foreign secretary, Robin Cook,
              lifted the arms embargo on Pakistan yesterday, only 10 months after condemning the military regime that overthrew the country's democratically-elected government.
              This seems to be old news, considering the date and the fact that the current foreign secretary of Britian is Jack Straw and not Robin cook.

              [This message has been edited by Ahmed (edited August 14, 2001).]

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