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Israel exports military equipment to Pakistan: report

ISLAMABAD (PTI): Israel has exported military equipment, including hi-tech gear used in combat jets, over the past five years to Pakistan and Arab countries with which it has no diplomatic relations, according to a media report which was dismissed by Islamabad and Tel Aviv.

The report, that can be damaging to Indo-Israel defence ties, released by Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which deals with British government permits for arms and security equipment exports, said besides Pakistan, Israel has exported military equipment to Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

In 2011, Israel sought to purchase British components to export various systems to Pakistan, including radar systems, electronic warfare systems, head-up cockpit displays (HUDs), parts for fighter jets and aircraft engines, optic target acquisition systems, components of training aircraft, and military electronic systems.

In 2010, Israel applied for permits to export electronic warfare systems and HUDs with British components to Pakistan, the Haaretz newspaper quoted the British government report as saying.

The report did not mention what the components would be used for though experts said they believed most of them were meant for use in the JF-17 Thunder jets developed jointly by Pakistan and China.

Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills oversees security exports and publishes regular reports on permits granted or denied to purchase arms, military equipment or civilian items that are monitored because they can be put to security uses.

From January 2008 to December 2012, British authorities processed hundreds of Israeli applications to purchase military items containing British components for use by the Israeli Defence Forces, or to go into systems exported to third countries.

Israel and Pakistan have denied the report.

India is Israel's largest purchaser of security equipments and the Jewish state's sale to Pakistan can be damaging to Indo-Israel defence ties.

Almost fifty per cent of Israeli defence exports were said to be to India about a few years ago.

Reacting to the report, the Pakistani military rubbished it as "misleading".

A spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations, the military's media arm, denied the news report "which appeared in a section of media stating that Pakistan purchased any defence equipment from Israel".

"The report is misleading and not based on facts," the spokesman said in a brief statement.

Israel too dismissed the report.

"Israel does not export defence equipment to Pakistan.

That is our stated policy and is implemented completely," a senior foreign ministry official told PTI.

Israel's other clients for military exports over the past five years, according to the British reports, include India, Singapore, Turkey, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Portugal, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Macedonia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, Ecuador, Mexico, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Equatorial Guyana, Poland and Argentina.

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