Pakistan is developing armed drone aircraft even while it struggles with the testing of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology. The U.S. is has been making extensive use of drone technology in Afghanistan, and has also conducted drone strikes in Pakistan. China is reportedly offered to assist Pakistan by selling its drones to Pakistan. However, the capabilities of Chinese-made drones has been called into question by aviation experts.
Defense Minister Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan said that his country's drone program is only in its initial stages. Speaking to media at the recent International Defence Exhibition and Seminar IDEAS-2012 in Karachi, he claimed that Pakistani drones do not have arms capability as yet. At the November 17-18 conference, Pakistani premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that he is seeking help from China to develop drone technology, since Washington has refused to share American technology. Pakistan says that it wants to use drones to target Islamist militants, but the U.S. is chary of sharing because of the sensitive nature of the technology and doubts that Pakistan would reliably target US enemies. “Pakistan can also benefit from China in defense collaboration, offsetting the undeclared technological apartheid,” said Ashraf.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.