Pakistan finalising arrangements to target global arms market

Published: November 9, 2012
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"Exports make up a minor share of our overall production. We have to look at Pakistan’s own needs first," says POF Director Exports. PHOT: EXPRESS/Mohammad Noman

"Exports make up a minor share of our overall production. We have to look at Pakistan’s own needs first," says POF Director Exports. PHOT: EXPRESS/Mohammad Noman

KARACHI: Pakistan is close to finalising arrangements to start the commercial sale of locally manufactured rifle including the POF Eye corner shotgun, which has the capability to see around walls and claimed by its makers to be highly effective in close-quarter battles, officials said on Thursday.

The POF Eye named after Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) where it has been made, was first unveiled in 2008 as one of the new weapons to equip military for counterinsurgency campaigns.

Along with two dozen products exhibited at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2012, POF has put on display three automatic assault and sniper rifles which it does not export as yet.

“There are some United Nations (UN) guidelines that make it difficult to market the weapons,” said a senior POF official.

“Sometimes a gun sold to one country ends up in another where the international community has concerns of the weapon failing into the wrong hands. That is what happened with us and we were made answerable.”

He did not explain, however, the measures being adopted to allay those concerns but said the state-owned company was already receiving orders.

The POF Eye’s front component can bend around walls up to 60 degrees and show locations of enemy on a digital screen attached to the butt of the gun. It helps eliminate a target without coming in direct contact with enemy’s line of sight.

The other weapons include G3M and G3S, variants of the G3 automatic rifles – the standard weapon of the Pakistan Army – that POF manufactures locally to make the gun effective and powerful. All of them were for sale.

But POF’s Director Exports Tabassum Rahman said that the company’s main purpose was to meet the requirements of Pakistan’s infantry. “Exports make up a minor share of our overall production. We have to look at our own needs first.”

He said that POF regularly exports to foreign armies, which prefer Pakistani products because of quality and cost. “A lot of countries make MG3 (machine gun, but Germans preferred us when they recently needed the weapon. We have better quality.”

While the exhibition has not been opened for the public and the halls at the Expo Centre Karachi were crowded by mostly uniformed guests, foreign delegates did take interest in some of the locally developed defence products.

The Directorate General Munitions Production (DGMP) had put up for sale the high-tech indigenously developed tank simulators, which Pakistan Army has been using for the past five years.

“This helps forces save cost and train the manpower effectively,” said a civilian scientist affiliated with the project. “Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and some other countries have already expressed their interest in buying this equipment.”

The simulator has been designed to create war-like scenarios for modern armoured vehicles with the tanks body fitted over a hydraulic system to make the experience real for the driver and the gunner, he explained.

Some local private companies were also trying to woo potential customers, including the Pakistan Army, with products they insisted made a lot of difference on war economy – the set of contingencies undertaken by a modern state to mobilise its economy for war production.

Universal Graphics and Developer is basically an outdoor advertisement company and its CEO Jalal M Khan is now trying to convince the army to use inflatable decoys, which look like military installations and can fool the attacking air force.

“This is a relatively new concept but very cost effective. These inflatable military goods come in every shape from tanks, rocket launchers, radar and aircrafts. For just a few thousand dollars, you can literally save millions of dollars,” he said.

Interesting thing is that they can send out deceptive heat and radiation signals to enemy aircraft as well, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • PakShock
    Nov 9, 2012 - 8:55AM

    Of-Course! Why not!
    By the way, are we showing Darra Adam Khail’s hand made single-shot throw-away guns too, to the world? Also, Clean that mess around the big gun in the picture. Looks like it’s coming loose and please give a better back ground/back drop of Swat or Border areas to show it’s feasibility and effectiveness. Hopefully there is enough security for any misadventures, you know!

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  • antony
    Nov 9, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Srilanka does not need Tanks as LTTE is no more . Srilankan army should not even think of buying tanks or tank simulation for war..War with whom ? . India ?. No amount of tanks can defend if India attacks( India anyway will never attack!) . So if no enemy and only friend around as a neighbour all the money should be for Navy or better still education. Same applies to Bangladesh ,money is more needed in social development than in War fighting abilities. Let pakistan take that route as it is fond of fighting always!.

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  • J
    Nov 9, 2012 - 12:44PM

    Why dont they just play Battlefield?

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  • gothmog
    Nov 9, 2012 - 1:14PM

    @Antony That’s a bit rich coming from someone living in a country that set up records while on a buying spree for all three branches of its military. The level of poverty in that country is also well known

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  • Mahmood
    Nov 9, 2012 - 3:47PM

    As a victim of war itself, it is a sad irony that a country like Pakistan seeks to export it as well.

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  • GT
    Nov 9, 2012 - 6:38PM

    I would like read the source where they said Germany wanted that Gun. I believe it’s not true as Germans is technologically advanced nation which also exports some arms to US. Why would it ask Pakistan ?

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  • 1964
    Nov 9, 2012 - 8:37PM

    Better sell it China!!!!! All time whether friend **
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  • luvpak
    Nov 9, 2012 - 9:32PM

    This is not the first time Pak Ord Factories have home made arms exhibition. They have been selling from air-conditioned tanks to small fighter aircrafts & from war machines spare parts to anti aircraft guns to third word & low budget countries. Pak shop is mostly seen at Dubai or HongKong shows. These sales pay for soldiers’ families, retirement plan, kids education & homes & healthcare. Haven’t you heard “Pak Army Inc.” in western media?

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  • Bala
    Nov 10, 2012 - 12:09AM

    So much weapons and gun companies in Pak with high quality and yet no security for even army/navy bases? Perhaps too much of anything is not good?

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  • SayWht?
    Nov 10, 2012 - 3:21AM

    @Bala: Ya! Like too much of illitracy, corruption, radicalism, racism, extremism, terrorism and violance. You are right!

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  • Nov 10, 2012 - 3:36AM

    GT: As it says in the article Pakistan made weapons are cheap. Germany’s own industry probably focuses on more advanced weapons which command a higher price. Given the high cost of German labour I doubt the Germans are too keen to compete in the low end of the market.

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  • Doofy
    Nov 15, 2012 - 1:10PM

    @antony ,you know dude,singapore places orders for weapons in billions every year ,that doesn’t mean Malaysia is planing of attacking it ,it is for defense,every nation on earth needs defenses if somethings goes wrong

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