Germany declines arms export to India over HR abuses in IIOJK

Islamabad, February 21, 2021 (PPI-OT): In a big snub to India over its poor human rights record in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the German government declined license to two firms planning small arms export to India. Though Germany is India’s sixth-largest trading partner and its largest trading partner from the European Union, it feared that their small arms could be used against the civilian population in IIOJK.

According to a report published in Telegraph India, the concerns over the forces’ human rights record in IIOJK had raised a barrier before Germany’s small arms exports to India. German regulations and covenants restrict, and often prohibit, arms sales to nations or regions where their use might cause direct or collateral damage to civilian populations and institutions.

The report also revealed that a Belgian arms manufacturer too had recently walked out of a deal to supply arms to India’s army amid concerns in the Belgian government that the weapons would be used in IIOJK. Belgium’s FN Herstal had signed the Rs 70-crore deal in 2020 to supply small arms and assault rifles to the army’s Special Frontier Force (SFF).

Reports said that German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch, whose MP5 submachine guns have been part of the armoury of the National Security Guards (NSG) and Marine Commando (Marcos) units, had withdrawn from the Indian market saying it lacked approval from the German government. “After being rebuffed by Germany, the defence ministry has decided to procure US-made assault rifles,” a security official said.

In November 2019, three months after Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government had revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and restricted movement and communication, Germany had expressed reservations about the clampdown and concern for the people of the region. Germany had earlier too restricted arms export to India citing poor human rights records in states such as Gujarat, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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