‘Made in Pakistan’ weapons being sold to 40 countries

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is manufacturing and selling weapons to over 40 countries, bringing in $20 million annually, the chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) said Thursday.

“POF was [previously] fulfilling the requirements of [Pakistan] army only but now security needs of other civil forces and law-enforcement agencies are also being met,” Chairman Lt. Gen. Muhammad Ahsan Mehmood told media at Pakistan Ordinance Factories in Wah.

Mehmood said Pakistan is also producing new sniper rifles to meet the demands of military and law enforcement agencies, and that new developments and products were expected to be unveiled at the 2014 IDEAS exhibition in Karachi.

He said that modern weapons produced by POF have made it possible to target terrorists taking refuge in caves and buildings. The POF is also manufacturing mortar bombs, small arms, artillery ammunition, tank- and anti tank ammunition and other defence weaponry, he added.

Pakistan is the world’s third largest weapons importer, trailing behind neighbouring India and China, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The country’s arms imports increased by 119 per cent between the 2004–2008 and 2009–13, with China providing 54pc and the USA 27pc of Pakistan’s imports.

But at a guided tour of the tank-rebuilding factory at the Heavy Industries Taxila, Brigadier Sanaullah told journalists that Pakistan is planning to rid itself of foreign dependence in the defence industry.

Brig. Sanaullah said that at the end of 2015 the new Al-Khalid-1 tank was expected to be rolled out — a much superior tank compared to Al-Khalid, the main battle tank produced by the HIT.