Last Updated: 22 October 2010

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In February 2009, Pakistan said that it is “supporting international efforts to address the humanitarian concerns arising from the irresponsible use of cluster munitions,” but that “in view of Pakistan’s security environment and legitimate defence needs, we do not support a ban on use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions due to their military utility.”[1] In November 2009, Pakistan again asserted that cluster munitions are legitimate weapons with military utility, but said that Pakistan was opposed to their use against civilians.[2]

Pakistan did not participate in any of the Oslo Process diplomatic conferences in 2007 and 2008 that produced the convention, and did not attend any of the regional or international diplomatic meetings related to the convention in 2009 or the first half of 2010.[3]

Pakistan is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Convention on Conventional Weapons

Pakistan is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), and it consented to be bound by Protocol V on explosive remnants of war on 3 February 2009.

Pakistan has asserted that the CCW framework “is the only mechanism that brings the users and producers of cluster munitions and promoters of development and application of IHL [international humanitarian law] on one common platform.”[4] It has also said that it “is important to avoid encouraging extra-UN mechanisms” and that the Convention on Cluster Munitions “should supplement and not supplant the CCW process.”[5]

Pakistan has been an active participant in the CCW deliberations on cluster munitions in recent years. In April 2009, it expressed satisfaction with progress made, and optimism that states are at a point where they can “conclude something.”[6] In April 2010, it called on states to “focus on the irresponsible use and transfer of cluster munitions.” It opposed proposals to limit cluster munitions “through a technological approach,” stating that such an approach “will affect 100 percent” of Pakistan’s stockpiles. It said that a transition period before key provisions take effect is essential.[7]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Pakistan states that it has “never used cluster munitions in any conflict to date.”[8]

Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) produces and offers for export M483A1 155mm artillery projectiles containing 88 M42/M46 dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) grenades.[9] The South Korean company Poongsan entered into a licensed production agreement with POF in November 2004 to co-produce K-310 155mm extended-range DPICM projectiles in Pakistan at Wah Cantonment. While the ammunition is being produced for Pakistan’s army, the two firms have said they will also co-market the projectiles to export customers.[10] The Pakistani army took delivery of the first production lots in April 2008.[11]

Jane’s Information Group reports that the Pakistan Air Weapons Center produces the Programmable Submunitions Dispenser (PSD-1), which is similar to the United States Rockeye cluster bomb, and dispenses 225 anti-armor submunitions.[12] Jane’s states that the Pakistan National Development Complex produces and markets the Hijara Top-Attack Submunitions Dispenser (TSD-1) cluster bomb.[13] It lists Pakistan’s Air Force as possessing BL-755 cluster bombs.[14] The US transferred to Pakistan 200 Rockeye cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995.[15]


[1] Letter from Dr. Irfan Yusuf Shami, Director General for Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 February 2009.

[2]  Statement of Pakistan, CCW Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 12 November 2009. Notes by Landmine Action.

[3] For more details on Pakistan’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 225–226.

[4] Statement by Amb. Masood Khan, CCW Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 7 July 2008.

[5] Pakistan, Explanation of Vote on UN General Assembly First Committee draft resolution A/C.1/63/L.56, “Convention on Cluster Munitions” (UNGA 63/71), 63rd Session, 30 October 2008.

[6] Statement of Pakistan, CCW GGE on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 17 April 2009. Notes by Landmine Action.

[7] Ibid, 12 April 2010. Notes by AOAV. In 2008, Pakistan said that “the cost of destroying current stocks of cluster munitions and moving to newer technologies would be huge.” Statement by Amb. Masood Khan, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Conference of Disarmament, CCW GGE on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 14 January 2008.

[8] Statement by Amb. Masood Khan, CCW Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 7 November 2007. Pakistan again said that it has never used cluster munitions in November 2009. Statement of Pakistan, CCW Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 12 November 2009. Notes by Landmine Action.

[9] POF, “Products, Ordnance, Artillery Ammunition, 155mm HOW HE M483A1-ICM,”

[10] “Pakistan Ordnance Factory, S. Korean Firms Sign Ammunition Pact,” Asia Pulse (Karachi), 24 November 2006.

[11] “Pak Army Gets First Lot of DPICM Ammunition,” PakTribune, 13 April 2008,

[12] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 389.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid, p. 843. BL-755s are manufactured by the United Kingdom.

[15] US Defense Security Coooperation Agency, Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970-FY1995,” 15 November 1995, obtained by Human Rights Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.