Pakistani arms for Sri Lanka

Should India really bother?

Let’s consider one narrative: India is opposed to the LTTE, but can’t support the Sri Lanka army because of a number of reasons—mostly having to do with domestic politics, but also perhaps for strategic reasons. So when Pakistan becomes a big supplier of small arms to Colombo, should India really worry?

Rather than go into a tizzy and attempt to counter the Pakistani move, a far more effective position would be to circumscribe the arms trade and Pakistan’s role. India has enough levers over Colombo to set limits on the type and quantity of arms that the latter can import, and ensure that arms suppliers don’t engage in other activities inimical to India’s interests. Indeed such a strategy might provide greater influence over Colombo’s approach to the civil war.

6 thoughts on “Pakistani arms for Sri Lanka”

  1. Should India care?

    Yes and No, actually.

    Yes if arms sales are more than an arms-length affair (which they usually endup being over time).

    No, if our involvement worsens matters.

  2. India armed, trained and funded the LTTE. Was happy to pump money into it and is now screaming about Sri Lanka going to Pakistan? Hilarious.

  3. If India has enough levers over Colombo, why bothered about where it gets arms from ? Move over, Pakistan is not going to sell more offensive arms like submarines, long range missiles etc, as neither Pakistan has them nor Colombo has enough money.

    I suppose Colombo is the only place outside India where it has influence. Lets not spoil that…

  4. Invalid,

    ‘I suppose Colombo is the only place outside India where it has influence. Lets not spoil that…’

    Do you think this is like sharing cake? You take Sri Lanka and I take the rest of South Asia? Dude, this is about national interests. You give no quarter. The aim is to minimize the influence of every rival, *everywhere*, so long it’s realistic to do so.

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