Russia rejects Pakistan request for 50,000 AK rifles, assures India of no deals in future

The Russian government has rejected Pakistan’s request to buy new generation Kalashnikov rifles, commonly known as AK, assuring India that there will not be any military deal with Islamabad.

Top sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that India was informed about the rejection earlier this year.

The sources also said Pakistan had sent in a proposal to buy a consignment of 50,000 AK series of assault rifles in an attempt to deepen military ties with Russia. The sources, however, did not mention the particular model sought by the neighbouring country.

Pakistan’s proposals to Russia ::

Pakistan’s proposal had surprised many in the Indian establishment since the nation’s army uses the AK 56 – manufactured by China – besides other rifles.

AK 56 is the Chinese version of the AK 47, but lighter. A number of AK 56s have been seized from the terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

Pakistan’s proposal was, nevertheless, a matter of concern considering the fact that many of these rifles would have landed in the hands of terrorists, said the sources.

They also added that the Russian top leadership has assured India of no such military cooperation with Pakistan – an assurance which came after India raised its concerns with Moscow this year.

Indian intelligence agencies have been keeping a close watch on the activities of Pakistani army and their attempts to build ties with Russia. The agencies had flagged many other proposals made by Pakistan to Russia such as purchase of T90 tanks and new air defence systems following the Balakot airstrikes.

Russia and Pakistan had in 2015 signed a deal for four Mi-35M attack helicopters, which has already been delivered. The following year, in 2016, Russia and Pakistan also carried out their first joint military exercise.

These developments were raised at multiple levels between the governments of India and Russia.