With an eye to corner a major share of Sri Lanka`s military imports primarily aimed at countering the LTTE, a high-level Pakistani team led by Defence Secretary Tariq Waseem Ghazi will visit the island nation on Monday.
The visit comes in the wake of reports of alleged sleaze and bad quality arms received by Sri Lankan forces from Pakistan.
Colombo has placed orders worth up to 100 million dollars with Pakistan for tanks, armoured vehicles, different kinds of bombs, explosives, ammunition and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), premier journal Jane`s Defence Weekly and Sri Lankan media reports have said, confirming that the value of the deals could go up to 200 million dollars in the next 18 months.
During his four-day visit, Ghazi is slated to discuss issues like supply of 22 second-hand armoured personnel carriers, while Colombo is likely to raise the issue of faulty weapons supplied to it.
The reports said a major problem faced by Sri Lankan forces was that of electronic fuses for bombs supplied by Pakistan.
Of the 500 fuses of types AB-103 and AB-104 supplied by Pakistan earlier, 200 were found faulty because of which Sri Lankan forces suffered huge reverses against the LTTE. Islamabad had agreed to take them back, the reports said.
Sri Lankan daily Island has reported that the country`s forces need two UAVs, cluster and fuel air bombs, laser- precision and guided bomb kits, deep penetration bombs, 80mm rockets with fuel explosive warheads, Bakhtar-Shiken anti-tank guided missile launcher, Tandem warhead missiles, mortars, radios and night vision goggles.
The reports said that alleged commissions or kickbacks paid to defence agents representing Pakistan were as high as 20 to 25 per cent, with 15 to 20 per cent allegedly going to Sri Lankan officials. The alleged kickbacks would amount to about 15 to 20 million dollars, they said.
The Pakistanis were sourcing supplies from third countries like Ukraine and re-exporting them to Sri Lanka at inflated costs, the reports said.