Pakistan to provide $250 million military hardware to Colombo - report

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 June 2006, 05:03 GMT]
A Mumbai based Indian newspaper, Daily News & Analysis (DNA), on Monday, reported that Pakistan had opend up a USD 250 million credit line for Colombo to purchase 40 tanks, and many other offensive systems from Pakistan. The move has raised several "new uncomfortable questions" for New Delhi, the report said. Bashir Wali, a former director of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau and Pakistan's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, has taken a personal interest in the move, the paper alleged.

"India has received requests for such assistance from Sri Lanka in the past. But fear of hurting Tamil sentiments and getting mangled in island nation's fortunes has kept India away," the paper said.

The DNA report further said that the London-based Jane's Defence Weekly, in a recent article, "spoke of only about $60 million worth military assistance from Pakistan to Sri Lanka."

"The [Sri Lankan] Army has asked for 10 Baktar Shikan anti-tank guided missile weapon systems, 300 standard/tandem warheads and two training simulators," the paper said.

Pakistan stepping the credit line up to $250 million has raised "several new uncomfortable questions for India, the paper said.

Publicly known demand from the SLA has only been for about $20 million worth from Pakistan.

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has requirement worth $38.1 million, according to the Jane's report, the paper said.

 

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