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Pak military firms expelled from London arms show

Two Pakistani military firms were expelled from a London arms show and their stalls shut down after it emerged that they were advertising cluster bombs.



Islamabad: Two Pakistani military firms were
expelled from a London arms show and their stalls shut down
after it emerged that they were advertising cluster bombs, the
event`s organiser said.

The stands of the Pakistan Ordnance Factory and
Pakistan`s Defence Export Promotion Organisation Pavilion at
London`s Defence System and Equipment International exhibition
were permanently shut after organisers were informed they had
promotional material for cluster bombs.

"Defence and Security Equipment International can confirm
that the Pakistan Ordnance Factory stand and Pakistan`s
Defence Export Promotion Organisation pavilion have both been
permanently shut down after promotional material was found on
both containing references to equipment, which after close
examination, was found to breach UK Government Export Controls
and our own contractual requirements," said a statement from
the show`s organiser.

The British government "fully supports the decision" to
close the stands, the statement said.

Defence and Security Equipment International, the show`s
organiser, said it was "investigating how this breach of our
compliance system occurred."

The show`s organiser acted after Green Party
parliamentarian Caroline Lucas said she had found brochures
promoting cluster munitions at the Pakistani stands.

Britain is a signatory to the international convention on
cluster munitions, which prohibits the use, production,
stockpiling or transfer of weapons such as bombs or shells
which shower large areas with shrapnel or mini-explosives.

Lucas told the media she had found brochures for 155 mm
artillery-fired cluster bombs at Pakistani stands.
Official sources in Islamabad told The News daily that
the closure of the Pakistani stalls at the arms exhibition was
a "political decision" and claimed the country had never
violated any UN convention.

The sources contended that Britain had taken the step in
pursuance of the Oslo Convention of 2007 that Pakistan is yet
to ratify.

They claimed the move was "prompted by the pro-India
lobby."

PTI

From Zee News

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