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Friday, June 21, 2024

Can Pakistan trade with Taliban for US helicopters?

The US abandoned military equipment at Kabul Airport when they left which was then taken over by the Taliban. The development sparked a debate among defense commenters who consider it an opportunity for Pakistan to procure the Black Hawk helicopters. However, the possibility of that happening seems very low!

As the US finally exits Afghanistan after 20 years, they left behind a great number of sophisticated military equipment. Due to the fall of Kabul, the military equipment is now under Taliban ownership.

Regarding this, an interesting debate sparked on Pakistan Defence. The debate circulated around on whether or not Pakistan could trade with the Taliban for military equipment, especially the Black Hawks Chopper.

According to official reports, the Taliban now own more Black Hawk helicopters than 85% of the world.


Therefore, the debate centered on the possibility of Pakistan doing barter or trade with the Taliban for the Black Hawk helicopters.

Instead of directly purchasing the equipment, Pakistan can offer Super Mushak Trainers, a small batch of Al-Khalid tanks, and basic weapons for police, etc. in exchange. Pakistan can also provide a wheat supply, along with flight services.

Read more: ECC green signals the import of wheat, sugar

Since the Taliban takeover, there are concerns regarding the Taliban’s running of Afghanistan. The Taliban need to come up with a plan to financially sustain Afghanistan as the country is facing an economic crisis.

Moreover, many doubt the Taliban’s ability to operate the military equipment. They also think that the Taliban do not need such sophisticated military systems.

Is it a good & plausible idea?

People against the idea claimed that the US would not allow such a trade. Also, according to news reports, U.S. troops disabled 170 vehicles, aircraft, and weapons systems that they abandoned at the Kabul airport.

Chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told CNN that the Taliban cannot operate any military equipment.

“[The Taliban] can inspect all they want. They can look at them, they can walk around, but they can’t fly them. They can’t operate them,” Kirby told CNN. “We made sure to demilitarize, to make unusable, all the gear that is at the airport — all the aircraft, all the ground vehicles.”

Read more: The evolution of Taliban’s military strategy

As for bartering excess wheat supply, Pakistan itself often faces inconsistent wheat supplies. So offering that in exchange for helicopters seems like a long shot.

However, if Pakistan does manage to procure the helicopters, the maintenance will be another obstacle. Basing on the argument, it seems highly unlikely that Pakistan would ever barter with the Taliban for helicopters.