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.