Describing India as a long-standing strategic partner, Israel has said it will not do anything that could “undermine” India’s security, as it assured New Delhi that reports of arms sale to Pakistan were incorrect.
“Israel has a long-standing strategic relationship with India, a democracy that also understands what it means to fight terror, and a country we see as a strategic anchor in global affairs,” Israel’s Ministry of Defence said.
“The State of Israel would not do anything that could undermine India’s security,” it said, adding that “Israel strongly denies selling any military equipment to Pakistan.”
Earlier, senior officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry speaking to PTI also categorically denied any such sale.
“Israel does not export defence equipment to Pakistan. That is our stated policy and is implemented completely,” they said.
Israeli daily, Ha’aretz, on Tuesday quoting a British Government report said that Tel Aviv has exported security equipment over the past five years to Pakistan and four Arab countries with which it has no diplomatic relations.
Israel’s Ministry of defence said it “will be liaising with the U.K. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the body responsible for export licensing, in order to receive the necessary clarifications regarding their official reports.”
In 2011, Israel reportedly 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 report as saying.
India is Israel’s largest buyer of defence equipment and analysts say if the reports are true it can prove damaging to the strategic relations evolving between the two countries.
Almost fifty per cent of Israeli defence exports were said to be to India about a few years ago.