Pakistan has reportedly rejected the $1.5 billion defense proposal from a French company amid constrained relations with France over Islamophobia.
As per media reports, Pakistan was in the final stages of the multibillion-dollar deal with French aerospace corporation, Airbus.
Reports suggest that Pakistan Navy wanted to buy 27 EC725 Caracal Multi-mission Helicopters for its ASW helicopter program.
Airbus was one of the final contenders to bid for the modernization of the Pakistan Navy helicopter fleet with bright chances to win this contract until the recent wave of Islamophobia engulfed the European power and strained ties with many Muslim countries, including Pakistan.
However, reports suggest that Airbus’ proposal has been dropped, and the company will no longer be considered for the tender process.
The deal’s cancellation has left Pakistan with a ‘hard choice’ as it has to pick between the Chinese Z-20F or the American S-70B SeaHawk.
Note that Pakistan is among the few Muslim countries who took an exception to French President, Emmanuel Macron’s anti-Islam rhetoric and support for the publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Prime Minister Imran Khan has not only denounced the move in the strongest words, but he has also written to world leaders, demanding blasphemy to be condemned and criminalized.