Pakistan Plans to Buy High-End Drones in China Amid India’s S-400 Deal

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If confirmed, the delivery of the state-of-the-art Wing Loong II drones to Pakistan would become China’s largest such export deal to date.

Shortly after India announced it was buying the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia, China said it would sell 48 advanced Wing Loong II military drones to Pakistan.

While the official figures of the deal were not disclosed, Chinese media reported that Beijing will supply the multi-role UAVs to its longstanding friend Pakistan, The Global Times wrote.

The Wing Loong II is a medium-altitude long-endurance drone designed for surveillance and aerial reconnaissance missions.Fitted with a variety of weapons, the UAV drone has the ability to perform combat operations and can also be used for civil tasks, such as disaster assessment, meteorological operations and environmental protection.

According to the Chinese newspaper The Global Times, the Wing Loong II reconnaissance, strike and multi-role unmanned aerial vehicle will be jointly manufactured by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company and Pakistan’s Kamra Aeronautical Complex.

China’s Xinhua news agency earlier reported that the Wing Loong II made its maiden flight in February.

If confirmed, the supply of 48 Wing Loong II drones would be China’s largest such export deal to date, military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping told The Global Times.

“US drones like the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper are technologically more advanced, but Washington limits their export… Chinese drones will eventually be more successful in the international market in the future as they perform similarly at a lower cost,” Song said.

He added that Chinese-made Cauhong-series of UAVs were popular in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

China’s announcement about the planned delivery of Wing Loong II drones to Pakistan came shortly after India inked a deal to buy five regiments of S-400 missiles from Russia to the tune of $5.4 billion.

Pakistan Will Shoot Down Drones In Its Airspace, Even US Ones – Air Force Chief

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The head of the Pakistani Air Force launched a new policy Friday stating that any and all drones operating within Pakistani airspace must be shot down, the Times of India reports.

“We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace,” PAF chief Sohail Aman said. He warned that that he “ordered PAF to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

US military and paramilitary operations have continued in Pakistan for years in an effort to fight terror groups, according to former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who led a CIA counterterrorism operations team in Pakistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.


Islamabad routinely condemns drone strikes in the country but the announcement to actually engage those drones marks a shift in policy.

The US and Pakistan have butted heads for months since US President Donald Trump’s August, 2017, speech on Afghanistan, during which he blasted the Pakistani government. “For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror… in Afghanistan and Pakistan, America’s interests are clear: We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America,” Trump said at the time.

“Pakistan needs to, I think, take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe haven inside of Pakistan,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in late October.

Addressing the Pakistani government, Tillerson said “You’re a sovereign country. You’ll do what you want to do, but understand this is what we think is necessary,” referring to the demand that Pakistan stop providing safe haven for terrorist groups.

“And if you don’t want to do that, don’t feel you can do it, we’ll adjust our tactics and our strategies to achieve the same objective a different way,” the top US diplomat said.

Speaking further on the issue on Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear, Kiriakou, who now co-hosts the show, said in late October that “the Trump administration is demanding that the Pakistanis step up military activities against the Taliban, and against the Pakistani Taliban, which is resonant in the north of Pakistan. Presumably, if the Pakistani government doesn’t do that to the satisfaction of the Trump White House, the Trump White House will do exactly what [former US presidents George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama did: launch military or paramilitary operations deeper into Pakistani territory.”

Washington Must Accept ‘Defeat’ in Afghanistan to Move Forward – Pakistan

The Pakistani government responded to US assertions that it supports terrorist groups Thursday by saying the never-ending US war in Afghanistan should not be blamed on Islamabad.

Washington Must Accept ‘Defeat’ in Afghanistan to Move Forward — Pakistan

The Pakistani government responded to US assertions that it supports terrorist groups Thursday by saying the never-ending US war in Afghanistan should not be blamed on Islamabad.

“Their failures over the past 16 years in Afghanistan [are] before them,” Pakistan’s Dawn news outlet quoted Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif as saying in an address to the Pakistani Senate. “There will only be room for improvement if Washington accepts their defeat, their failures in Afghanistan,” Asif said. The US is “not ready to accept this.”

“We will not compromise on our sovereignty, our dignity. Our relations with the US should be based on self-respect and dignity,” the diplomat said.

“Pakistan needs to, I think, take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe haven inside of Pakistan,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday. Islamabad frowns on comments like these as lecturing, a charge Tillerson was compelled to respond to on Friday.

“There’s nothing achieved by lecturing, but we should be very clear about expectations and what we’re asking,” the US diplomat said Friday during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tillerson continued, “We’re asking you to do this; we’re not demanding anything,” he said, addressing the Pakistani government. “You’re a sovereign country. You’ll decide what you want to do, but understand this is what we think is necessary. And if you don’t want to do that, don’t feel you can do it, we’ll adjust our tactics and our strategies to achieve the same objective a different way.”

John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who led counterterrorism operations in Pakistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, explained the situation on Friday’s Loud & Clear broadcast.

​”The Trump administration is demanding that the Pakistanis step up military activities against the Taliban, and against the Pakistani Taliban, which is resonant in the north of Pakistan,” the intelligence expert said. “Presumably, if the Pakistani government doesn’t do that to the satisfaction of the Trump White House, the Trump White House will do exactly what [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama did: launch military or paramilitary operations deeper into Pakistani territory,” he said.

Such operations would be “illegal,” international legal expert Christopher Black told Loud & Clear, adding that if Pakistan does not bend to Washington’s will, they will likely go on anyway, disrupting Pakistan’s sovereignty in the process.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia, said Washington looks forward to seeing Pakistan take concrete steps “over the next few weeks and months.”

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