Pakistan has ranked tenth among the largest importers of major arms in South Asia, from the year 2016 to 2020. According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Saudia Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia, and China were the top five importers, with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates standing at eighth and ninth place.

SIPRI’s report further revealed Pakistan was among the biggest recipients of Chinese arms. Since 2005, this is the first time that the volume of major arms deliveries did not increase between 2011-2015 and 2016–2020.

“It is too early to say whether the period of rapid growth in arms transfers of the past two decades is over,” said the Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, Pieter D. Wezeman said.

“The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could see some countries reassessing their arms imports in the coming years,” Wezeman added.

“For many states in Asia and Oceania, a growing perception of China as a threat is the main driver for arms imports,” stated Simon Wezeman.


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