UK arms sales 'add to volatility between India and Pakistan'

By agency reporter
February 27, 2019

On 25 February 2019 India carried out air strikes against Pakistan. These followed years of tensions and the killing of 40 Indian soldiers by an armed group in an attack that India blamed on Pakistan.

Government figures, collated by Campaign Against Arms Trade, show that since the election of the Conservative Government in May 2015, the UK has licensed £550 million worth of arms to India and £42 million worth to Pakistan.

The biggest licence to either country was a £195 million licence to India in December 2017 for air-to-air missiles. May 2015 also saw a warship licence worth £83 million. India is on the 'core markets' list for arms exports and has been a target for aircraft deals.

The biggest licence to Pakistan in this time was a £3.7 million licence for small arms in February 2016. Pakistan is one of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's ‘human rights priority countries.’

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "For years now, the UK has armed both India and Pakistan. This has meant ignoring the tensions and dangers, and putting arms sales ahead of peace-building and human rights.

These arms sales have only added to the volatility of the situation, when what is needed is diplomacy and dialogue. The Government must put the need for peace and disarmament before the interests of the arms companies."

* Campaign Against Arms Trade



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