China, Beijing: India was the second largest arms importer in the world in 2015, down one spot from number first the last year 2014, a military think tank database reveals, while Saudi Arabia was the leading arms importer in the world, followed closely by India. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) database shows India was the top arms importer in 2014.
In comparison, India imported arms worth $3,078m, while Pakistan spent $735 million on arms imports in 2015. The largest exporter of arms to Pakistan in 2015 was China, with arms transfers worth $565 million, followed by the United States (US) with $66m in arms transfers. Pakistan is also China’s largest buyer for arms, accounting for 35 per cent of total arms sales in the country, followed by Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Close military ties between Pakistan and China have sometimes stoked tensions with India, which is seeking to boost its own homegrown weapons industry and has long objected to other countries forging defence deals with Pakistan.Earlier this month, India raised concerns regarding the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets from the US to Pakistan, saying, “We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism”.
The US rejected India’s concerns, claiming the transfer was made in the interest of regional stability and counter-terrorism efforts. The largest exporter of arms to India is Russia with arms transfers worth $1,964m, followed by Israel and the United States (US) with $316m and $302m in transfers respectively.