ISLAMABAD, March 31 (Xinhua) — The United States said on Monday that Pakistan has called for the American defense equipment in Afghanistan and that the request is under consideration.
The U.S. has earlier denied “inaccurate” American media reports and claims by Afghan officials that Washington plans to hand over surplus armored vehicles and other military equipment to Pakistan.
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the Pentagon may give Pakistan some of the 7 billion U.S. dollars worth of armored vehicles and other equipment it needs to dispose of now that the war in Afghanistan is ending.
Afghan officials had angrily reacted to reports and presidential spokesman Emal Faizi had stated last week Kabul would strongly oppose any U.S. decision to give arms to Pakistan. The Afghan Senate had also protested at the decision.
However the U.S. forces in Afghanistan later said they do not provide or intend to provide any such equipment from Afghanistan to Pakistan.
The U.S. embassy in Islamabad on Monday confirmed Pakistan has requested for the excess arms in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has requested a variety of Excess Defense Articles ( EDA). The U.S. is currently reviewing Pakistan’s request for EDA. If approved, this EDA is likely to be sourced from U.S. stock outside Afghanistan,” the embassy said in a statement. It added the U.S. assists Pakistan through many security cooperation programs to build partnership capacity.
“The decisions of who receives EDA are made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration a range of factors including the need of potential recipients, regional security dynamics, how the recipient nations intend to use the equipment and the ability of an EDA recipient to sustain the equipment. Final determinations of EDA are still being made,” it said.
The statement said the military equipment that has been determined to be excess can be made available through the worldwide excess defense articles (EDA) program, which is open to all eligible countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Department of Defense manages the process for identifying recipients for excess defense articles with State Department approval, it added.
“This equipment will not be brought back with U.S. forces from Afghanistan as they redeploy elsewhere,” the statement concluded.