Pakistan has been ranked as the eleventh largest arms importer in the world, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
According to the figures released by SIPRI, China, Russia and Italy were the main suppliers of arms to Pakistan. China was the major supplier as it accounted for 73% of the total arms imports to Pakistan from 2015-2019, with Russia (6.6%) at the second and Italy (6.1%) third on the list.
However, Pakistan’s arch-rival India was ranked second on the list of arms importers, according to the report.
The research agency stated that the import numbers further highlighted that the actual share of Pakistani imports in total global weapons imports had decreased. Pakistan’s share in global arms imports had decreased by 39% in the period. China accounted for 51 percent of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2010–14 and 73 percent in 2015–19.
The overall decrease in Pakistan’s arms imports was linked to USA’s decision to stop military aid to Pakistan. USA accounted for 30 percent of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2010–14 but for only 4.1 percent in 2015–19.
The report further stated that Pakistan continued to import arms from European states in 2015–19 and also strengthened its arms import relations with Turkey with orders for 30 combat helicopters and 4 frigates in 2018.
India and Pakistan
The research firm also highlighted that the Cross-border attacks between India and Pakistan intensified in early 2019. It stated that Pakistan reportedly used combat aircraft imported from China, equipped with Russian engines, and combat aircraft from the USA supported by airborne early warning and control aircraft from Sweden.
India reportedly used combat aircraft imported from France and Russia, guided bombs from Israel and artillery from Sweden.
The research firm stated that “between 2010–14 and 2015–19, arms imports by India and Pakistan decreased by 32 and 39 percent, respectively. While both countries have long-stand in aims to produce their own major arms, they remain largely dependent on imports and have substantial outstanding orders and plans for imports of all types of major arms.”
Russia was the largest supplier to India in 2010–14 and 2015–19, but deliveries fell by 47 percent and its share of total Indian arms imports went from 72 to 56 percent. The USA became the second-largest arms supplier to India in 2010–14 as the security relationship between the two countries developed into a strategic partnership.
However, in 2015–19 India continued with its policy of supplier diversification, and imports of arms from the USA were 51 percent lower than in 2010–14.
Global Arms Trade Increases
The volume of international transfers of major arms in 2015–19 was 5.5 percent higher than in 2010–14 and 20 percent higher than in 2005–2009.
The largest exporters of weapons in the last five years were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China, noted the firm. The five largest importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China.
Who were the five largest arms exporters in 2015–19?
— SIPRI (@SIPRIorg) March 9, 2020
Between 2010–14 and 2015–19, there were increases in arms transfers to the Middle East (by 61 percent) and to Europe (3.2 percent), while there were decreases in the transfers to Africa (–16 percent), the Americas (–40 percent) and Asia and Oceania (–7.9 percent).
Who Buy the Weapons?
SIPRI, in its report, highlighted that the main importers of weapons in the last five years were:
- Saudi Arabia with 12 percent,
- India with 9.2 percent,
- Egypt with 5.8 percent,
- Australia with 4.9%
- China with 4.3%.
The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East have countries there stepping up their weapons imports by 61 percent compared to the years before, with Saudi Arabia being the world’s largest importer between 2015 and 2019.