After Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly defended Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s claim that French President Emmanuel Macron is Islamophobic and to boycott Made In France products, Pakistan had the courage to request to Paris to upgrade its French-made fighters jets, submarines and air defense systems.
Diplomats in New Delhi and Paris told Hindustan Times that Pakistan had recently requested France for upgrades to keep the fighter jets in the air.
“The request has been declined,” one diplomat in Paris said.
The Pakistani Air Force has about 150 Dassault Aviation Mirage fighter jets, comprising of Mirage III and Mirage 5, as well as three Agosta 90B submarines built by French firm Naval Group and a French-Italian made air defense system.
Although the Pakistani Air Force has about 150 Mirage fighter jets, only half of them are serviceable.
The French rejection to upgrade these aircrafts gives India a major military advantage over Pakistan.
According to the Hindustan Times, France also told Qatar, one of the countries that bought French-made Rafale fighter jets, to not allow Pakistani technicians to work with the plane over concerns that they could leak technical information about the fighter to Islamabad as the omni-role jet is the front-line fighter of India.
Diplomats said a third request from Pakistan to upgrade its Agosta 90B class submarines with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems that would allow them to stay underwater for longer has also been rejected by France.
A similar request for upgrading the French-Italian air defence system has also been denied.
Khan defending radical Muslims in France, even at a time when Ali Hassan, an 18-year-old of Pakistani origin, stabbed two persons with a meat cleaver outside the previous office of Charlie Hebdo because it published an image of Muhamad, the founder of Islam, something that is forbidden according to the Muslim religion.
His father, who still lives in Pakistan, told a local news channel that his son had “done a great job” and he is “very happy” about the terrorist attack.
Khan wrote an open letter to leaders of Muslim-majority countries that asked them to unite against “growing Islamophobia in non-Muslim states” and Pakistan’s National Assembly made an embarrassing demand to recall the Pakistani ambassador to Paris. despite Pakistan not having an ambassador in Paris for months already.