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Last Updated: 26 July 2010

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

Not a State Party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Abstained on Resolution 64/56 in December 2009, as in previous years

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Did not participate in the Second Review Conference in November–December 2009, or the June 2010 intersessional Standing Committee meetings


The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Pakistan has repeatedly stated that “Pakistan remains committed to pursue the objectives of a universal and non-discriminatory ban on anti-personnel mines in a manner which takes into account the legitimate defence requirements of States. Given our security compulsions and the need to guard our long borders, not protected by any natural obstacle, the use of landmines forms an important part of our self-defence strategy. As such, it is not possible for Pakistan to agree to the demands for the complete prohibition of anti-personnel landmines till such time that viable alternatives are available.”[1]

In November 2009, Pakistan reiterated its view that Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) had the capacity—if fully implemented—to minimize human suffering caused by mines, and that the protocol maintained “a delicate balance” between humanitarian concerns and security imperatives.[2]

Pakistan did not attend the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Cartagena, Colombia in November–December 2009, although it did participate as an observer at the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in November 2008.  It has not attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings since 2002.

On 2 December 2009, Pakistan abstained from voting on UN General Assembly Resolution 64/56 calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. It abstained on all previous annual UNGA resolutions in support of the treaty. 

Pakistan is party to the CCW and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Pakistan submitted an Article 10 transparency report in April 2010 as required under Protocol V, but has not submitted an Article 13 report as required under Amended Protocol II since 2008.


The Pakistan army and security forces have been engaged in armed conflict with Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Baloch insurgents in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), parts of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), and in Balochistan province. While there is a widespread perception among local populations that Pakistani forces are laying mines to defend some military bases and outposts in these conflict areas, no one could provide Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor researchers with specific details and the Monitor has not been able to substantiate the allegations.[3] Moreover, the Monitor is unaware of any allegations carried in the media during 2009 and 2010 of use of antipersonnel mines by the army or security forces.

The last confirmed use of antipersonnel mines by Pakistan took place between December 2001 and mid-2002, during an escalation of tensions with India when it laid very large numbers of mines along their shared border.[4] Pakistan also maintains permanent minefields along certain portions of the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Pakistan is one of a small number of countries still producing antipersonnel mines.[5] Since January 1997, Pakistan Ordnance Factories has produced detectable versions of hand-emplaced blast mines in order to be compliant with CCW Amended Protocol II.[6] In 2007, Pakistan reported that it “has also planned incorporation of self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanism in its future production” in order to meet Amended Protocol II requirements.[7] The protocol requires that all remotely-delivered mines have self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms. Pakistan reported in 2002 that it was developing a remotely-delivered antipersonnel mine system, but has provided no further details.[8]

Pakistan’s Statutory Regulatory Order No. 123 (1) of 25 February 1999 makes the export of antipersonnel mines illegal.[9]The law penalizes importation of mines, but no data is available regarding whether people have been arrested or charged under this law. Pakistan states that it has not exported mines “since early 1992.”[10] In the past, the country was a major exporter of landmines. Pakistani-made mines have been found in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere.

There is no official information available on the size of Pakistan’s antipersonnel mine stockpile. Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor has estimated that Pakistan stockpiles at least six million antipersonnel mines, the fifth largest stockpile in the world.[11] Pakistan has neither confirmed nor denied this estimate. In previous years, Pakistan reported that it destroyed “a large number of outdated mines every year,” but has not provided information about the quantity or types of mines destroyed.[12]  In 2007, Pakistan stated that it had “met the deadlines to improve the specifications on detectability of mines” to be compliant with CCW Amended Protocol II.[13]

Non-state armed groups

Non-state armed groups have sporadically used antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in attacks on Pakistani security forces and civil administration, and in sectarian, inter-tribal, and inter-family conflicts.[14] In November 2009, Pakistan stated that during “ongoing law enforcement operations” in Pakistan, “terrorists had on several occasions used mines and IEDs against army personnel and civilians.” It further claimed that those “devices had foreign imprints, confirming the link between terrorists and actors beyond the borders of Pakistan.”[15]

It appears that Baloch and Taliban groups continued to use antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, and IEDs in 2009 and 2010.[16] In June 2009, two residents of Sui district were killed when their motorcycle struck a landmine.[17] In February 2010, one member of the security forces was killed and two were injured after one of them stepped on a mine while on patrol outside Quetta.[18] In September 2009, two women and two children were killed and two others were injured while traveling in a bullock cart which hit a landmine in Dera Bugti district.[19]

In May 2009, a Pakistani army representative said that the army had encountered victim-activated IEDs and factory-made antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in the Swat Valley in the NWFP, which it attributed to the Pakistani Taliban and “foreign elements.”[20] In August 2009, a resident of Kabal in Swat died after reportedly stepping on a mine.[21] In September 2009, two boys were killed after they reportedly stepped on mines in Tank in the NWFP.[22]

Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor has previously provided anecdotal evidence of mine use by militants in both North and South Waziristan. While armed conflict has escalated in those areas since the Pakistani government launched an offensive on Pakistani Taliban, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor cannot document a specific instance of new use. However, antipersonnel mines have been seized from militants, and deaths and injuries to mines have occurred. For example, in November 2009, in South Waziristan, the army and police recovered antipersonnel mines among other weaponry,[23] and in January 2010, two people were injured by a mine in Bajaur agency.[24]


[1]Pakistan, Explanation of Vote on the draft UN General Assembly resolution, A/C.1/62/L.39, 17 October 2007.  For similar statements, see Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 973; Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 948–949; and Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 1,039.

[2] Oral Remarks by Pakistan to the Eleventh Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, CCW/AP.II/CONF.11/SR/1, Geneva, 11 November 2009.

[3] Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor conducted interviews with community elders, staff of NGOs and humanitarian agencies, and journalists in FATA, North-West Frontier Province, and Balochistan province in March 2010 and March 2009. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1,057.

[4] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 1,087–1,088; and Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 661. There were also reports of use of mines by Pakistani troops in Kashmir during the Kargil crisis in mid-1999. See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1,088. In December 2006, Pakistan stated its intention “to fence and mine some selective sections” of its border with Afghanistan to prevent cross-border militant activity, but did not do so after widespread international criticism. See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 949–951.

[5]Pakistan Ordnance Factories, located in Wah cantonment, is a state-owned company established in 1951 that in the past produced six types of antipersonnel landmines, two low-metal blast mines (P2Mk1 and P4Mk2), two bounding fragmentation mines (P3Mk2 and P7Mk1), and two directional fragmentation Claymore-type mines (P5Mk1 and P5Mk2).

[6]CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form C, 2 November 2005; and Sixth Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, “Summary Record of the 1st Meeting, Geneva, 17 November 2004,” Geneva, CCW/AP II/CONF.6/SR.1, 13 May 2005, p. 14.

[7] Article 13 Report (for the period 16 August 2006 to 15 August 2007), Form C.

[9]Article 13 Report, Form D, 10 November 2006 states, “Pakistan has declared a complete ban on export of landmines, even to States Parties, with effect from March 1997.”  

[10]Interview with Muhammad Kamran Akhtar, Director, Disarmament Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, 23 April 2009. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 725.

[11] See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1,058, footnote 17.

[12] Article 13 Report (for the period 16 August 2006 to 15 August 2007), Form B. It is unclear if Pakistan has continued to destroy mines, as it has not provided new information since 2007.

[13]Article 13 Report (for the period 16 August 2006 to 15 August 2007), Form C. The nine-year deadline for Pakistan to destroy or modify all stockpiled low-metal-content (non-detectable) antipersonnel mines was 3 December 2007. Pakistan provided no details about how or when it met the requirement.

[14] Pakistan stated in its Article 13 reports submitted from 2005 to 2008 that non-state armed groups “have several times used mines and improvised explosive devices against army personnel and civil administration. The Corps of Military Engineers continues to assist both military and civil authorities in defusing and clearing such devices.”  It has not submitted a report in 2009 or 2010.

[15] Oral Remarks by Pakistan to the Eleventh Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, CCW/AP.II/CONF.11/SR/1, Geneva, 11 November 2009.

[16] For background, see Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1,059.

[17] “Two killed, 2 wounded in Sui landmine blasts,” Daily Times (Sui), 28 June 2009, www.dailytimes.com.

[18] “Security man killed in mine blast,” The Nation (Quetta), 21 February 2010, www.nation.com.

[19] “4 women, kids killed in landmine blast,” Daily Mail, 14 September 2009, dailymailnews.com.

[20] ICBL, “Nobel Laureate Campaign Denounces Taliban Use of Landmines in Pakistan’s Swat Valley,” Press release, 20 May 2009, Geneva, www.icbl.org.

[21] “Taliban appoints successor to militant chief Mehsud,” Agence France-Presse, 22 August 2009, www.france24.com.

[22] “Two minors die in Tank mine blast,” The News, 4 September 2009, www.thenews.com.  The report stated that earlier, similar mine blasts in Manzai, Waruki, and Umar Killay killed two minors and injured others.

[23] “Security forces recover huge cache of arms from terrorists,” Associated Press of Pakistan (Islamabad), 2 November 2009, www.app.com.pk; “Forces secure Ladha Fort,” The Nation, 6 November 2009, www.nation.com; and “Street skirmishes rage in Uzbek militants’ stronghold,” Dawn, 2 November 2009, www.dawn.com.

[24] “Land mine blast injures 2 in Bajaur,” The News, 6 January 2010, www.thenews.com.pk.