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What Lies Behind Pakistan's Growing Demand for Foreign Military Aid?

© AP Photo / Anjum NaveedA Pakistani Air Force F-16 fighter jet flies during a military parade to mark Republic Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, March 23, 2017.
A Pakistani Air Force F-16 fighter jet flies during a military parade to mark Republic Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, March 23, 2017. - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.05.2023
Pakistani media speculated last week that Islamabad was allegedly looking to resume US military aid to the country at a time when crisis-hit Pakistan is facing an upstick in terror attacks.
Since the launch of the 'War on Terror' by the Bush administration in 2001, the role played by the Pakistan Army in this fight provided a constant source of foreign funding for the institution.
However, since the withdrawal of the majority of Western forces from Afghanistan in 2014, funding channels started depleting, and eventually, in 2018, ex-US President Donald Trump completely suspended all security assistance.
In September last year, however, the Biden administration provided $460 million for a fleet sustainment aid package to upgrade Pakistani F16 fighter jets.
Sputnik reached out to Shreyas Deshmukh, a research associate with the National Security Program at Delhi Policy Group, a think tank in New Delhi, to сomment on the issue that has caused serious concerns in neighboring India.
Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and Pakistani commandos from the Special Service Group (SSG) participate in a ceremony as they wrap up their two-week military exercise in Jhelum on November 24, 2011. - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.05.2023
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According to Deshmukh, Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Masood Khandemand's demand to restore US foreign military financing and sales needs to be seen in the background of the following developments:
Pakistan's chief of army staff (COAS) was in Beijing to discuss military cooperation;
Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu held bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart last week, during which they discussed defense cooperation, including military-to-military ties as well as industrial partnership.
One of the senior Pakistani journalists, Hamid Mir, quoted former COAS Gen. Bajwa as saying “[Pakistan Army] tanks were not capable of running and there was no diesel for the movement of troops."
The Pakistan Army has been carrying out military operations against Tehreek-e-Taliban*, losing many troops in the past months.
Political parties in Pakistan, one way or another, have criticized the Pakistan Army over interference in political affairs.
The economy of Pakistan is on the verge of collapse and the responsibility to recover lies on the present PMLN+PPP dispensation, which may not provide a free hand to the army and may withhold finances.
The last point led to only one option: for the army to generate their own resources to sustain and remain as a deterrent force, Deshmukh opined.

"With every penny Pakistan is borrowing from allies, friends, and creditors to boost foreign currency reserves, contain inflation, maintain security, etc, it is paying the cost with its sovereignty as the other players are controlling its debt, and - unlike before - they are dictating the terms," the expert concluded.

* a terror group banned in Russia and other countries