(The Express Tribune)

Pakistan and China on Thursday agreed to a multi-billion dollar deal that would see Beijing provide eight submarines to the Pakistan Navy, in an agreement that analysts are calling the largest-ever defence deal China has agreed to with any country.

A Type 039A submarine in service with China’s navy. The submarines Pakistan will be procuring from China are believed to be of the S20 type, a scaled down export version of the Type 039A

Despite the magnitude of the deal, government officials did not provide any details, even declining to confirm the size of the transaction. However, the composition of the Chinese delegation with which the agreement was reached suggests that the arrangements have been struck for purchase of eight submarines.

“Pakistan and China have reached an understanding on matters of defence cooperation relating to Pakistan Navy,” announced the finance ministry after a meeting with Chinese authorities. “Financial arrangements to this effect were also concluded.”

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