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April 1, 2015

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Pakistan to buy eight submarines from China

Pakistan to buy eight submarines from China

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence was informed on Tuesday that the federal government had endorsed a summary to get eight submarines from China. The committee met here under the chairmanship of Sheikh Rohail Asghar.
The Pakistan Navy officials told the committee that Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division Muhammad Saleem Sethi would be leaving for China today (Wednesday) where the issue was expected to come under discussion.
The officials also said that the national security committee would give the final nod to the plan to get eight submarines from China.
“Other proposals are under consideration as well. The Pakistan Navy is also in touch with Germany, Britain and France to purchase used submarines,” the officials informed the committee.
Keeping in view the level of threat and the present status of submarines, naval officials said Pakistan needed the latest submarines.
The naval officials also revealed that France had refused to provide submarines to Pakistan. They said there seemed to be various reasons behind France’s refusal to sell submarines to Pakistan — including an issue of technology transfer. On the other hand, they said France was selling its submarines to India.
The naval officials rejected some committee members’ concerns that Chinese technology was not of satisfactory quality. They said there was no such issue at hand as the JF-17 Thunder had proven to be a world-class military jet.
The officials informed the standing committee that Pakistan’s defence relations with Russia were also improving.
Meanwhile, the NA’s standing committee strongly opposed sending the Pakistani troops to Yemen and adopted the stance that such an action could have volatile implications in the country, which the current government was incapable of handling.
Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Alam Khattak said that Pakistan Army would abide by the government’s decision on whether to send troops to Saudi Arabia to take part in a military campaign in Yemen.
This was the first time that the defence secretary spelled out the official stance of the Pakistan Army on sending troops to Saudi Arabia to take part in a military campaign in Yemen.
His brief comment came in response to a volley of questions by the committee members as to whether military troops would be sent to the Saudi kingdom.
Chairman Sheikh Rohail Asghar maintained that the Pakistan Army should chase the terrorists regardless of their location but women members belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) had a different point of view.
On the other hand, there appeared to be a divide among the committee members whether Pakistan should send troops to Saudi Arabia.
Committee member MNA Musarrat Zaib said that Pakistan should avoid sending troops to Yemen as it was not our war and we have had enough on our plate.MNA Kishwar Zehra said that there was no threat to Makkah and Madina, hence the army should not go.

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