Pakistan on Tuesday claimed it has successfully test-fired an extended ‘smart weapon’ from its JF-17 fighter aircraft.
Pakistan Air Force claimed that the weapon has been indigenously developed and would add to the potential of the JF-17 jet which itself has been jointly developed with China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. It further said that the weapon would enhance the ability of the jets to strike target during daytime as well as night operations.
Although Pakistan claims that the weapon was developed in-house, the country’s military is greatly supported by China. In fact, China’s military help is seen as crucial in a country that has its economy in absolute shambles. Several international security analysts have observed that China is attempting to fill the void left by the United States which has pulled back on military aid it doled out to Pakistan to help it fight terrorism.
US President Donald Trump has, time and again, accused Pakistan of taking American help but not acting on terror groups like the Haqqani network. Last year, Washington froze $1.3 billion in security aid to Islamabad.
Even as the US-Pakistan relations have soured and China has stepped in, India has maintained that Islamabad targets it with weapons given to fight terrorism. Pakistan’s lacklustre efforts to curb home-grown terror – often supporting and sheltering them instead – has been exposed in front of the international community repeatedly.