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Pakistan to Provide Weapons to Myanmar as China Backs Ties

A delegation of senior officials from Myanmar is scheduled to visit Pakistan for a possible pre-shipment inspection of arms. 

Myanmar is planning to procure 60 mm and 81 mm mortars, M-79 grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns from Islamabad, according to an Economic Times report.

It added that the East Asian nation is also looking to procure air-to-surface missiles from Pakistan for its JF-17 fighters.

In 2015, Myanmar was the first country to sign a purchasing deal for the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, a multi-role combat aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan.

In September last year, a military delegation from Pakistan secretly visited Myanmar and offered military cooperation in aircraft repairs, maintenance, and naval munitions.

The delegation met the Myanmar defense minister and discussed the sale of upgraded JF-17 jets and air-to-surface missiles to Naypyitaw.

Pak Strengthening Ties

In February 2021, the democratically elected government in Myanmar was ousted by the military which took over the rule in the East Asian nation.

Later the same year, the US and other nations including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand announced banning military exports to the country.

However, Pakistan, encouraged by China, took the opportunity to expand defense partnership with the nation as Myanmar faced blockade from the international community.

China’s Myanmar Involvement

UN experts said on Tuesday that China was among three nations funding the military in Myanmar. The long-awaited report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights situation in the country stated that Beijing provided the military junta with fighter jets and armored vehicles.

The report claimed that Beijing was aware that the arms supplied to Myanmar would be used to attack civilians in violation of international law.

The military junta has been accused of attacking the opposition and displacing and attacking civilians.

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