Secret Pakistani arms deals to the U.S. assisted with working with a dubious bailout from the Global Financial Asset recently, as indicated by two sources with information on the game plan, with affirmation from inside Pakistani and American government records. Pakistan's involvement in a conflict in which it had been pressured to take sides by the United States was demonstrated by the arms sales, which were made with the intention of supplying the Ukrainian military.
The revelation is a window into the kind of behind-the-scenes maneuvering between financial and political elites that rarely is exposed to the public, even as the public pays the price. Harsh structural policy reforms demanded by the IMF as terms for its recent bailout kicked off an ongoing round of protests in the country. Major strikes have taken place throughout Pakistan in recent weeks in response to the measures.
The protests are the latest chapter in a year-and-a-half-long political crisis roiling the country. In April 2022, the Pakistani military, with the encouragement of the U.S., helped organize a no-confidence vote to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan. Ahead of the ouster, State Department diplomats privately expressed anger to their Pakistani counterparts over what they called Pakistan’s “aggressively neutral” stance on the Ukraine war under Khan. They warned of dire consequences if Khan remained in power and promised “all would be forgiven” if he were removed.
Since Khan’s ouster, Pakistan has emerged as a useful supporter of the U.S. and its allies in the war, assistance that has now been repaid with an IMF loan. The emergency loan allowed the new Pakistani government to put off a looming economic catastrophe and indefinitely postpone elections — time it used to launch a nationwide crackdown on civil society and jail Khan.
“Pakistani democracy may ultimately be a casualty of Ukraine’s counteroffensive,” Arif Rafiq, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and specialist on Pakistan, told The Intercept.
Pakistan is known as a production hub for the types of basic munitions needed for grinding warfare. As Ukraine grappled with chronic shortages of munitions and hardware, the presence of Pakistani-produced shells and other ordinances by the Ukrainian military has surfaced in open-source news reports about the conflict, though neither the U.S. nor the Pakistanis have acknowledged the arrangement.
Records detailing the arms transactions were leaked to The Intercept earlier this year by a source within the Pakistani military. The documents describe munitions sales agreed to between the U.S. and Pakistan from the summer of 2022 to the spring of 2023. Some of the documents were authenticated by matching the signature of an American brigadier general with his signature on publicly available mortgage records in the United States; by matching the Pakistani documents with corresponding American documents; and by reviewing publicly available but previously unreported Pakistani disclosures of arms sales to the U.S. posted by the State Bank of Pakistan.
The weapons deals were brokered, according to the documents, by Global Military Products, a subsidiary of Global Ordnance, a controversial arms dealer whose entanglements with less-than-reputable figures in Ukraine.
Documents outlining the money trail and talks with U.S. officials include American and Pakistani contracts, licensing, and requisition documents related to U.S.-brokered deals to buy Pakistani military weapons for Ukraine.
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