Pakistan pavilion shut down after banned weapon ads caught at UK expo

Published: September 16, 2011
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This image shows a Pakistan Ordnance Factory stall at the BRIDEX arms show in Brunei held in July 2011. A POF stand along with the Pakistan pavilion were shut down at the DSEi expo in London on Thursday after promotional material advertising weapons in violation of UK law and exhibitor rules. PHOTO: POF

This image shows a Pakistan Ordnance Factory stall at the BRIDEX arms show in Brunei held in July 2011. A POF stand along with the Pakistan pavilion were shut down at the DSEi expo in London on Thursday after promotional material advertising weapons in violation of UK law and exhibitor rules. PHOTO: POF

KARACHI: Defence & Security Equipment international (DSEi) permanently shut down the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) stand and Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organisation Pavilion after promotional material was found on both containing references to cluster bombs at the London expo.

A DSEi statement said that promotional material was found containing references, which on closer inspection were found to be in breach of UK Government Export Controls and the exhibitions own contractual requirements.

The statement posted on the DSEi website further read that the British Government fully supported the decision by DSEi to close the stand and the Pavilion.

The Pakistani arms companies were found distributing brochures bearing advertisement for banned cluster bombs at the expo.

Cluster bombs, are banned in UK under the UK export control act 2002.  They are also prohibited under the explicit acknowledgement of the exhibitors.

Brochures obtained from Pakistan Government companies clearly list cluster munitions including 155mm artillery ammunition containing 88 sub-munitions (weapons having an area of effect damage).

A brochure obtained from the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) lists the 155mm BB DPICM (artillery ammunitin containing 45 sub-munitions).

While a brochure obtained from Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO, Stand S7-265) entitled “Public and private sector companies and their commercial products,” listed the government owned POF (page 9) as able to supply 155mm HOW HE ICM M483A1 (cluster munition containing 88 sub-munitions).

The brochure also listed the Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) [page 5, section e, sub point 3] being able to supply programmable sub-munition dispensers.

The objections were raised by a British Member of Parliament, Caroline Lucas. She also pointed out to the double standard of the exhibitors who were simultaneously holding a conference on cluster bombs, the “Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions” in Lebanon which seeks to eliminate the usage of cluster munitions.

The Guardian reported that some Pakistani arms manufacturing companies were also advertising gold plated sub-machineguns as ‘collectors items’.

Cluster bombs gained notoriety when the US used their infamous daisy cutters during their Afghan campaign.

 

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Reader Comments (58)

  • Sep 16, 2011 - 3:42AM

    These guys will never learn…now what will they say? NATO conspiring against them? And what the hell are they doing selling gold platted sub machine guns! This is what they mean by “all resources will be made available for defense needs”!

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  • David Salmon
    Sep 16, 2011 - 3:56AM

    “Daisy cutters” are not cluster bombs. They are 15,000 lb. single bombs originally used to flatten a forest into a helicopter landing pad. Your article is professional, well-written and useful, apart from your ill-informed final paragraph of political-speak.

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Sep 16, 2011 - 3:57AM

    Thats interesting. The UK is allied with the US and Israel, both of them not only use cluster bombs but have used depleted uranium shells which has caused massive cancer rates in Iraq and Afghanistan but God forbid if Pakistan was to show references to cluster munition in its literature all hell will break loose.

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Sep 16, 2011 - 3:59AM

    actually…just did some more research. The UK used depleted uranium shells in Iraq. Typical British double standards.

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  • American Desi
    Sep 16, 2011 - 4:15AM

    Thank God that Brits didn’t find the brochure from AQ Khan Group.

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  • Cautious
    Sep 16, 2011 - 4:21AM

    Cluster bombs gained notoriety when the US used their infamous daisy cutters during their Afghan campaign.
    A daisy cutter isn’t considered a cluster bomb.Recommend

  • Alam
    Sep 16, 2011 - 4:34AM

    Exporting terror, and getting caught in the act

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  • informant
    Sep 16, 2011 - 4:52AM

    the ban is probably hypocritical; I’m sure a more powerful country would have not been banned like this.

    That being said, why on earth are we spending money and resources on trying to develop a weapons industry, when so many other industries can be built in Pakistan!! I would rather my country ship things that benefit mankind rather than things that destroy it.

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  • Ali
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:00AM

    wat crap? why can’t they sell this? its a weapon its meant to kill? alienation of Pakistan at every level.

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  • Ali
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:01AM

    “We are currently investigating how this breach of our compliance system occurred.”

    yes breach happened in your system. Lets shut that down as well!!!!

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  • Pundit
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:02AM

    Another feather in Pakistan’s cap!

    This is how to build an international reputation to be a pariah among the comity of nations!

    And what about literature re availability of nuclear technology to african countries?

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  • guest-worker
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:54AM

    I guess re-sellers are not welcome

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  • raja khalil afzal
    Sep 16, 2011 - 6:23AM

    @Nadir: Nadir bahi gold plated will be sold for profit don’t see any problem concern is clusters should have shown them the whole list in advanced

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  • kala_bacha
    Sep 16, 2011 - 6:38AM

    I first thought they were selling NATO containers ammunition to UK back in there own country expo, which were stolen from Karachi port!

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  • Arzoo
    Sep 16, 2011 - 7:16AM

    This is a baffling and confounding news. Someone on behalf of the Pakistan Government’s Ordinance Factories enters into an agreement with the Expo Management with explicit terms and signs off on the acknowledgment of terms. Then promptly goes to breach those terms and end up getting kicked out of the Expo permanently. What the heck is this all about???? Is it a case of bureaucratic inefficiency, which looking at all the State-run institutions like PIA and Steel Mill and every Governmental department, is pretty understandable. Or, is it a case of knowingly trying to breach Host Government’s requirements, which will indicate extreme arrogance and recklessness. What exactly is this????? If it is a democratic and representative Government, accountable to the people, I would have said that the Government of Pakistan needs to determine where the fault lies and heads should roll for embarrassing and defaming the country. But, since I know that this PPP led government is a quasi-democratic and highly inefficient administration with nothing to account for to the public, any such demand for action will be meaningless and it will meet the same fate as multitudes of Supreme Court’s judgments.

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  • Sep 16, 2011 - 7:31AM

    Frankly it came to me as a surprise. Although condemning ‘cluster bombs’ we have to keep a watchful eye on our borders and our FURTIVE neighbors. These people are at the beck and call of each other to do us in. Remember they used cluster bombs in Afghanistan through B 52 bombers and in Iraq. Let them do our politicians in.

    But dont forget half of our beloved country was truncated by these so called Friends of Pakistan. Agreed, that the Pak Army gets a lot of money but they are doing a fine job, which undeniably gets them our blessings.

    Today there are three institutions in the country that can be recognized for their performance. The Pak Army, he Supreme Court and the Competition Commission of Pakistan. Please accept my Salam.

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  • Mian
    Sep 16, 2011 - 7:33AM

    Of all the countries of the world, the Brits are the ones who really hate Pakistanis. They probably are still living in the past. They are unable to accept free Pakistan.

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  • BruteForce
    Sep 16, 2011 - 7:58AM

    English were always anti-Pakistani. They trapped innocent, “chota bachas” in the spot fixing controversy now this!

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  • Mirza
    Sep 16, 2011 - 8:06AM

    This is unfair and must be a conspiracy against Pakistan. When would the West understand that Pakistani arms are exempt from all International treaties and humanitarian Laws? Shame on UK and the organizations which banned these weapons. The SC and its CJ should take Suo Motu action against this blatant violation of Pakistan’s rights and divine privileges.

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  • Ahmed
    Sep 16, 2011 - 8:47AM

    Oh yes I agree, it’s our mistake and for this we must be punished.Recommend

  • khan
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:06AM

    After spending a large amount of public money (POF being state-owned) to exhibit its products at the DSEi show in UK, I would think that those involved would have had the intelligence to follow the rules of the exhibition.

    What a laugh!Recommend

  • M Bilal
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:10AM

    Use of cluster bombs in other countries is ok for you but cannot bear even exhibition of these in your own homeland… Height of innocense!

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  • MK
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:13AM

    “Daisy cutters are not Cluster bombs”. huh. Same difference as a bomb from a fighter jet or a drone that kills an innocent family in their house is not a terrirost act while a bomber wearing a suicide vest killing same family is.

    Trying to aquire or detonate a “Dirty bomb” is a terrorist act whereas using depleted uranium ammunition is not.

    Pakistanis should have should have known and respected the rules whatever they were when participating in events like these.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:14AM

    I fail to understand about the ignorance which was also shown about what should be displayed. Catalogs/Brochures were also not scrutinized by the promoters is also questionable. Though Cluster Bombs are normally used to disfigure runways etc but it is a known fact they were used for other purpose as well and this is the reason that it is now considered as banned item. We should have known. By the way, what were private manufacturers doing here with their Golden Guns??? We are badly being exposed and insulted.Recommend

  • Sep 16, 2011 - 9:22AM

    Dirty tactics.

    From The Independent
    UK banks fund deadly cluster-bomb industry
    By Jerome Taylor
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011
    British high-street banks, including two institutions that were bailed out by taxpayers, are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in companies that manufacture cluster bombs – despite a growing global ban outlawing the production and trade of the weapons.
    The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.

    http://ind.pn/p3ZZ7D

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  • Pundit
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:48AM

    Here is a topic worthy of an inquiry commission: just like the innumerable other ones….a sure fire way to confuse and obfuscate the issue.
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  • SAK
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:59AM

    Is it just me, or does no one else find the “Stop to shop” banner on top of an arms stall utterly disgusting?

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  • Pragmatist
    Sep 16, 2011 - 10:03AM

    Why is it so difficult for Pakistan to follow the international laws? You hear all sorts of cockamamie excuses and counter allegations. But never an acceptance of culpability. This is really unique to Pakistan and would probably explain the state it is in at the moment.
    Sure, the US was at fault in invading Iraq. Pakistan has every right to impose sanctions on the US. Same goes to the UK. But it still does not take away from the reason that Pakistan’s pavilion was ordered closed.

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  • Anonymous
    Sep 16, 2011 - 10:33AM

    @pundit
    Instead of always mourning, Indians should Behave like a super power. .Recommend

  • Kafka
    Sep 16, 2011 - 10:41AM

    Cluster bombs are banned in UK, however, the UK army can use it elsewhere. Technical issue…..

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  • Romm
    Sep 16, 2011 - 10:52AM

    (1). Nuclear devices are not banned in UK but cluster bombs are.
    (2). Using cluster bombs by UK against Iraqis is legal but advertising by any other state in an exhibition held in UK is illegal.
    Isn’t this funny?Recommend

  • antanu ghosh
    Sep 16, 2011 - 11:13AM

    @Romm:
    what is so funny. These double standards of the west are the root cause for upheavel across thd globe sesulting in terror

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  • antanu ghosh
    Sep 16, 2011 - 11:19AM

    double standards by west are root cause of all terror.

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  • Hasan
    Sep 16, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Yes, yes, the world (the UK this time) is out to get us! Why is it always us? (please note the sarcasm!)

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  • Beta
    Sep 16, 2011 - 12:16PM

    @ All Pakistanis ranting about double standards

    When you are going to sell your products in a foreign country you should abide by their laws, breaching this your licence will be cancelled, matter ends there.
    Don’t cry saying double, triple standards etc., simple don’t go there to sell, after all you have your domestic customer who have been nurtured for many years by you.

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  • Sep 16, 2011 - 12:25PM

    UK forgets Israel used white phosphorus against civillians yet there is no ban on Israel. Trolls will come on forums and say those munitions were aircraft countermeasure flares.

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  • NJ
    Sep 16, 2011 - 1:30PM

    Another unprofessional act….I think Pakistan has got into the habit of making its own fun!!! Recommend

  • Aizaz Moin
    Sep 16, 2011 - 1:38PM

    As soon as both of us Indians as well as Pakistanis take our heads out of sand and come together as friends, the whole world will be at our feet. It is only because we stand divided on EVERY issue that the world sits down comfortably to watch us tear each other apart. When will our nations open their eyes and look at the bigger picture?Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Sep 16, 2011 - 3:59PM

    @Aizaz Moin: You can’t make an egg out of an omelette.

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  • Cautious
    Sep 16, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Any businessman knows that if you violate the terms of a trade show they close you down — it’s not because of your race, religion etc – it’s because you violated the agreement you signed before they allowed you to enter the show. Trade shows don’t review your promotional material, banners etc. before they allocate you a spot – that’s your responsibility.

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  • Sep 16, 2011 - 4:21PM

    @informant: Your country will fragment and citizens will be saluting various flags. India will breathe down our neck; USA will pop champagne bottles after acquiring our nuclear assets; and UK and Israel will become strange freinds.

    If our VVIPs pay what is due from them, we wont be criticizing the armed forces the way be do. There is definitely a spoof somewhere.

    Nevertheless, your innocence astounds me. For that please accept my Salam.Recommend

  • Ahud
    Sep 16, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Don’t Worry Guys this is just another step to squeeze Pakistan, they just want to stop Pakistan from raising it is a very childish step took against Pakistan? they themselve knew “look who is talking” those who are involved in mascares of Muslims worldwide now say they didn’t killed any human because they don’t feel Muslims as human species i just want to suggest then, please avoid increasing the pressure if it bursted because of their pressures they all will be gone.

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  • Zain Kamran
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:24PM

    cluster bombs are BANNED in UK, but ITS NOT BANNED TO USE IT FOR BLOWING INNOCENT MUSLIMS ?
    great !
    down with west!

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  • kk
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:28PM

    open enmity to islamic states at all levels….

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  • MUNIB
    Sep 16, 2011 - 6:30PM

    For all the Zaid Hamidz up there :

    ” . . . which on closer inspection were found to be in breach of UK Government Export Controls and the exhibitions own contractual requirements . . The Pakistani arms companies were found distributing brochures bearing advertisement for banned cluster bombs at the expo ”

    Stop beating about the bush against UK. As someone said up there, you are supposed to abide by UK laws if you are in their country. Stop throwing trash to defend insensibility.Recommend

  • khan sb
    Sep 16, 2011 - 8:42PM

    British army fully supports US army USING cluster bombs in Afghanistan however they close down Pakistan pavilion on merely mentioning it. It used to be. Called double standards.Recommend

  • maxwell
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:13PM

    @Bruteforce: Dear Bro, that Chhota Bachha accepted in a british court now that he did willingly defamed his country .Recommend

  • Sep 17, 2011 - 7:32AM

    @informant: “I would rather my country ship things that benefit mankind rather than things that destroy it”. Well said brother

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  • Ibaad
    Sep 17, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Whatever its impact on Pakistan’s “reputation” may be, this incident has generated better advertisement of “our” cluster bombs than that expo may have. Articles like this, with are part of a good advertising campaign.

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  • Yousaf
    Sep 17, 2011 - 1:42PM

    UK & USA caused more damaged to world compared to Pakistan Army’s advertisement.

    Not an issue for us. Bravo Army..

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  • anzak
    Sep 17, 2011 - 3:17PM

    @Maulana Diesel: The point is, you dont need to show off that you have cluster bombs!!!
    If their rules say not to put cluster bombs in the expo, then simply DONT PUT THEM THERE.
    If you have cluster bombs, keep them with you and use them when the time comes…!!! Whats the point of breaching the protocols and getting struck off???

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  • A J Khan
    Sep 17, 2011 - 6:58PM

    This is a classic example of ill preparedness by the bussiness development wing of POF Wah. They should have known the “DOs and DON’Ts” before opening a stall in EXPO. It is sheer lack of professionalism and incompetance. These concerned officers should be taken to task for embarrsaing the country.
    As far as USA, UK and ME is concerned, they have all been using it cluster bombs in Middle East specially against Lebanon, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan against the Muslims but never caught with trousers down.
    To know more about it please refer to the article published in UKs Paper:
    //www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-banks-fund-deadly-clusterbomb-industry-2338168.html?actio
    UK banks fund deadly cluster-bomb industry
    By Jerome Taylor
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011
    Reuters
    British high-street banks, including two institutions that were bailed out by taxpayers, are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in companies that manufacture cluster bombs – despite a growing global ban outlawing the production and trade of the weapons.
    The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians. Recommend

  • Akbar Buneri
    Sep 17, 2011 - 11:04PM

    I don’t see any problem if they close the Pavilion on last hour of the exhibition ….. it was from 13 to 16 september ….

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  • Think Ahead
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:20AM

    That’s Why World War 3 would happen. Then Every Banned Country would be free, without
    any hesitation, for launching Cluster-Velaster, Nuclear-Fuclear, Hydric-Bydric Bomb on those countries who banned them.

    Nature Formula =

    Kill Me + So you Would be killed by My Future

    Kill Now + Future would kill you.

    Result = Tit for Tat

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  • jssidhoo
    Sep 18, 2011 - 5:46PM

    @Pragmatist: Can we sit down and eat the omelette together?

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  • Romm
    Sep 18, 2011 - 7:00PM

    @jssidhoo
    Nope because u r vegetarians and would eat omelette out of compulsion and Hypocrisy. Hope u got my point?Recommend

  • firaz
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:20AM

    Guys, dont confuse the issue. It is not about how UK, USA or any country behaves in political or military arena. It is here more about how to behave as exhibitor in an expo. That’s what is to be talked about here. That’s what each exhibitor agrees to, before participating and that’s what Pakistanis did not adhere to… and hence were booted out.

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  • Sep 20, 2011 - 9:51AM

    @Romm:I am non-veg so what would you like to eat? BTW eggs are vegetarian these days as no poultry farmer has cocks on egg farms as they have to be fed.Recommend

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