Imran Khan faces big blow as France refuses to upgrade Mirage fighter Jets and submarines

Major blow to Pakistan as France refused to upgrade its fleet of Mirage fighter jets, air defence systems and submarines

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France has reportedly decided to give another major blow to Pakistan by refusing to upgrade its fleet of Mirage fighter jets, air defence systems and the Agosta 90B class submarines, amid feud with Prime Minister Imran Khan. The development comes as a result of the fallout between the two nations over Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron, on his recent comments against religious extremism.

Reports also claim that France has decided not to allow Pak-origin technicians to work on the plane over concerns that they could leak technical information about the fighter jets. In its previous crackdown on Islamabad, Paris had revoked the visitor visas of 183 Pakistani nationals, including relatives of Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former chief of Pakistan’s ISI.

It also forcibly deported 118 Pakistanis. This Macron government’s action came in response to the anti-French rhetoric of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan after he stated that Macron “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of controversial caricatures published by French tabloid Charlie Hebdo. Imran Khan’s comments came days after Macron paid tribute to a French history teacher who was beheaded by an Islamist radical who wanted to avenge the use of caricatures depicting religious figures in a class on freedom of expression. Any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous by Muslims. Reacting to the incident, Macron had said that the teacher, Samuel Paty, “was killed because Islamists want our future”, but France would “not give up our cartoons”.

Following the incident, France has witnessed a series of violent attacks by ‘terrorists’ from gruesome stabbing inside a Nice church that killed three, to a suspicious package being found inside St Martin Church in Metz.

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