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Country Reports
Download PDF of country response to Human Rights Watch letter.


The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It did not participate in the diplomatic process in 2007 and 2008 that resulted in the development, negotiation, and then signing of the convention in Oslo in December 2008. Pakistan produces, stockpiles, imports, and offers for export cluster munitions, but is not known to have used them.

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. It has been an active participant in discussions on cluster munitions within the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) mandated by States Parties to the CCW.

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

While “supporting international efforts to address the humanitarian concerns arising from the irresponsible use of cluster munitions,” Pakistan has stated 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] Additionally, Pakistan has asserted 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.”[2]

In CCW discussions, Pakistan has said that “the emphasis on using technologically advanced cluster munitions is not the right track” since it “would only deprive developing countries of weapons that offer military advantage at lower cost compared with other alternative weapons.”[3] Pakistan has contended that “the cost of destroying current stocks of cluster munitions and moving to newer technologies would be huge.”[4]

In July 2008, Pakistan voiced its support for the CCW process, stating that CCW’s legal 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.”[5] At the same meeting, Pakistan played down the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions text in May 2008 in Dublin and insisted that cluster munitions were lawful weapons if used properly. When the CCW negotiations were about to fail at the end of 2008, Pakistan voiced its support for continuing talks.

Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer

Pakistan states that it has “never used cluster munitions in any conflict to date.”[6]

Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) produces and offers for export M483A1 155mm artillery projectiles containing 88 M42/M46 dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) grenades.[7] 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.[8] The Pakistani army took delivery of the first production lots in April 2008.[9]

Jane’s Information Group credits the Pakistan Air Weapons Center with the production of the Programmable Submunitions Dispenser (PSD-1), which is reported to be similar to the United States Rockeye cluster bomb, and dispenses 225 anti-armor bomblets.[10] Jane’s states that the Pakistan National Development Complex produces and markets the Hijara Top-Attack Submunitions Dispenser (TSD-1) cluster bomb.[11] It lists Pakistan’s Air Force as possessing BL-755 cluster bombs.[12] The US transferred to Pakistan 200 Rockeye cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995.[13]

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

[2] 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.

[3] Statement by Amb. Masood Khan, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Conference of Disarmament, First 2008 Session of the CCW GGE on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 14 January 2008.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Statement by Amb. Masood Khan, Third 2008 Session of the CCW GGE on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 7 July 2008.

[6] Statement by Amb. Masood Khan, 2007 Meeting of the States Parties to the CCW, Geneva, 7 November 2007.

[7] Pakistan Ordnance Factories, “Products, Ordnance, Artillery Ammunition, 155mm HOW HE M483A1-ICM,” www.pof.gov.pk.

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

[9] “Pak Army Gets First Lot of DPICM Ammunition,” PakTribune (online edition), 13 April 2008, www.paktribune.com.

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

[11] Ibid.

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

[13] US Defense Security Assistance 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, November 28, 1995.