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Country Reports
PAKISTAN, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Pakistan has not signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Pakistan has been one of the stronger defenders internationally of the continued possession and use of antipersonnel landmines, indicating that it recognizes the humanitarian concerns, but believes that security concerns are paramount.

Pakistan attended all of the preparatory meetings of the Ottawa Process as well as the Oslo negotiations in September 1997, but only as an observer in each case. Pakistan did not endorse the pro-ban treaty Brussels Declaration in June 1997. It was one of only ten nations to abstain on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 51/45 (10 December 1996) urging states to vigorously pursue an international agreement banning antipersonnel landmines. It was also among the small number of states to abstain on the 1997 UNGA Resolution 52/38A supporting the December treaty signing, and the 1998 UNGA Resolution A/C.1/53/L.33 welcoming the addition of new states to the MBT, urging its full realization and inviting state parties to the First Meeting of State Parties in Mozambique.

The Pakistan military dominates landmine policy. The Pakistan Armed Forces believes that antipersonnel mines are needed both for potential future conflict with India and for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. According to some observers, no alteration in this approach is likely until major changes take place, either in its own security environment or in military technology.[1] Pakistan has said it opposes a ban until “viable alternatives” are developed.[2] Should a technological alternative be available in the future that can provide a viable alternative to the AP mines, Pakistan will be ready to consider reviewing its options.[3]

Pakistan recognizes the Ottawa process is majority driven and in its place would favor a consensus driven approach such as the Conference on Disarmament (CD). It feels that the security concerns of other nations have not been sufficiently addressed and that there is no flexibility in the Ottawa process to bring in other countries and accommodate their requirements. It considers the CD and the Protocol II to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) the more reasonable processes.[4]

Pakistan ratified the CCW and original Protocol II on mines on 1 April 1985, but has not yet ratified amended Protocol II.

Mr. Shafqat Ali Khan, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the U.N. said in November 1998, "Pakistan played an active role in the negotiations for the Revised Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. We welcome the entry into force of the Revised Protocol II in the near future. Pakistan is expeditiously taking steps to formally assume its responsibilities under the Revised Protocol II of the CCW. Steps now need to be taken to ensure universal adherence to the convention and its protocols. We believe that further measures could be considered in relevant multilateral forums to address the problems arising out of the indiscriminate use of landmines."[5]

He also offered a complaint about the U.N. Secretary General’s report on mine clearance: “In our view, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations simply does not have the mandate to deal with ‘advocacy to stigmatize the use of landmines and support a total ban on antipersonnel mines.”[6]

Pakistan is a member of the Conference on Disarmament, but has not played a notable role either in support or opposition to efforts since 1996 to negotiate a ban, or a transfer ban, on antipersonnel mines in that forum.

The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines was founded on 1 September 1997. It has been registered with the Government of Pakistan as a non-governmental organization.


Pakistan is a producer of antipersonnel and antitank mines. State-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) has earned a reputation as one of the most enthusiastic promoters of antipersonnel landmines and a wide range of other ordinance, munitions and small arms products. The company was founded in 1951. As of the late 1980s, it maintained fourteen factories in and around Wah with a workforce of 40,000. Sales literature from the early 1990s for the firm’s low cost (unit price $6.75) P4 Mk2 stressed the careful calculation of the explosive charge to “make the man disabled and incapacitate him permanently,” because “operating research has shown that it is better to disable the enemy than kill him.”[7]

Pakistan produces six types of anti-personnel landmines: P2 Mk2, P3 Mk2, P4 Mk2, P5 Mk1, P5 Mk2 and the P7 Mk1.

The P2 Mk2 is a small antipersonnel mine with a plastic body with minimal metal content. A metal detection disc can be fitted. It can also be used as the fuze for Pakistani antitank mines. The mine produces few fragments and relies on the blast for its antipersonnel effects. The casualty radius is given as 3 meters with a damage zone extending to 10 meters.

The P3 Mk2 is a bounding antipersonnel mine. An initial blast propels an inverted ARGES-69 hand grenade (also produced in Pakistan) to a height of between 1.25 and 2 meters where it detonates to disperse steel fragments over a lethal radius of approximately 25 meters. The P7 Mk1 is very similar.

The P4 Mk2 is a conventional blast mine that can be used as antitank or antipersonnel. It has a plastic body, making it difficult to detect. A metal disc can be added.

The P5 Mk1 is a directional fragmentation mine of the Claymore type. When detonated, it sprays 760 steel balls in a 60 degree arc with a kill radius of 50 meters. The mine can be fired either by a tripwire or by electrical means from a remote position. The P5 Mk2 is a larger version.

Pakistan is reportedly converting its non-detectable APMs (P2 Mk2 , P4 Mk1) to detectable ones, as prescribed under Protocol II of the CCW.[8]


Pakistan announced on 13 March 1997 that it would observe a moratorium on the export of antipersonnel landmines. Pakistan said that this "unilateral" decision would take effect immediately, and hailed it as "a clear manifestation" of Pakistan's commitment to promote humanitarian norms governing the use of mines. The moratorium is comprehensive and of unlimited duration.

Pakistan had made significant exports in the past, with Pakistani mines being found in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and other locations. According to one expert, Pakistan appears to have been the largest supplier, by a wide margin, of mines deployed in Somaliland.[9]

Pakistan is not believed to have imported mines, as all are domestically produced.


It is presumed that Pakistan holds significant numbers of each of the mines that it produces, but the government will not make any information available. It is guessed that there are hundreds of thousands of landmines stockpiled in Pakistan.[10] Mines are held only by the regular armed forces and are kept secure and well protected. However, irregulars have traditionally possessed a wide variety of arms and explosives in the country. Many such groups are likely to have independent stocks of mines and high quality modern explosives capable of being made into Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).[11]


Pakistan has laid antipersonnel mines in front of its defended localities in Jammu and Kashmir.[12] It has plans to lay mines on the border with India in times of war. Pakistan’s defense policy is based on preventing a surprise, sudden attack from the east from India. It views obstacle systems as vital to offsetting India's conventional military superiority, and that these obstacle systems need to be strengthened by minefields. In wartime, minefields will be laid all along the border and will consist of both antitank and antipersonnel mines.[13]

Non-state actors use landmines and IEDs in the tribal belt of Pakistan (Bajaur Agency, Mohmand Agency , Kurram Agency , District Dir and the Azad Kashmir valley). Tribesmen use landmines in their personal conflicts.

Landmine Problem

While the government reports no problem with uncleared landmines, Pakistan is mine-affected in the tribal belt. No assessment or detailed survey has been made of the extent of the problem of landmines. The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines reports that agricultural and grazing land, as well as routes leading to schools, houses and mosques are affected by landmines.

Mine Action Funding

Pakistan's contribution to mine action has beenin theform of in-kindcontributions; it has played a very active role in the demining operations in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Somalia, Angola and more recently in Bosnia.[14] Pakistan has contributed to demining operations in Afghanistan since 1989. It has provided military contingents, mine detectors, training facilities and medical facilities for deminers injured in mine clearance operation. The resources have been allocated to the United Nations Mine Action Program for Afghanistan.

Mine Clearance and Mine Awareness

Currently, no agency is involved in mine clearance or training operations in Pakistan. However, according to the Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines, some of the local people have purchased mine detectors on their limited resources to save themselves and their respective families from falling victim to mines. They daily check the paths leading to their houses and agriculture land by using these mine detectors.

There are no mine awareness programs in place.

Landmine Casualties

According to a Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines survey and news clippings, 400 people have fallen victim to mines in one area of Bajaur Agency, and the number of victims is on the increase. No detailed survey of the landmine victims has been carried out so far. However, based upon media reports and the data collected by PCBL from two mine-affected villages, approximately eight to ten people fall victim to antipersonnel landmines monthly in mine-affected areas of Pakistan.[15]

The victims have all been civilians, including women and children ranging from a baby who has just learned how to walk to a man walking with a cane. The landmine victims belong to the tribal belt of Pakistan (all the seven agencies), District Dir, and Azad Kashmir in particular, and in few cases other areas of Pakistan. In addition, thousands of Afghan refugees maimed by landmines have been treated in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Pakistan.

Landmine Survivor Assistance

Since the mine-affected areas are far away from the major cities of Pakistan, even first aid facilities are not available for landmine victims, let alone advanced facilities. Generally victims are rushed to hospitals in the big cities, though some die on the way.

There are no psychological, social and rehabilitation facilities provided to them by the Government or any national or international organization. Prosthetic and assistance device facilities are available in Pakistan but they are available only against payment. It is beyond the ability of most victims to afford these facilities.


[1] Dipankar Banerjee, Co-director Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, “South Asian Regional Survey,” prepared for Landmine Monitor, p. 21. Banerjee based this on observations from the South Asian Regional Landmines Workshop, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh 7-8 December 1998, which included active duty and retired military officers from Pakistan.

[2] "The News International (national English daily), 10 December 1998; Awsaaf (national Urdo daily), 11 December 1998.

[3] Banerjee, “South Asian Regional Survey,” p. 21.

[4] Ibid., p.22.

[5] Statement by Mr. Shafqat Ali Khan, Second Secretary , Permanent Mission of Pakistan to United Nations, in the Plenary of the 53rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly, 17 November 1998.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993), p. 95.

[8] The Daily News, 10 December 1998, quoting retired Pakistani Lt. General Talat Masood; South African Campaign to Ban Landmines and Human Rights Watch, “The Non-Aligned Movement and the Global Campaign Against Antipersonnel Landmines,” August 1998, p. 46.

[9] Human Rights Watch, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, p. 95; South African Campaign to Ban Landmines and Human Rights Watch, “The Non-Aligned Movement and the Global Campaign Against Antipersonnel Landmines,” p. 46.

[10] Banerjee, p. 23.

[11] Ibid.

[12] U.S. State Department, Hidden Killers: The Global Problem with Uncleared Landmines, July 1993, p. 137, states “there are significant minefields along [Pakistan’s] disputed border with India in Kashmir.

[13] Ibid., p. 22.

[14] Statement of Mr. Shafqat Ali Khan, in the Plenary of the 53rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly, 17 November 1998.

[15] See, for example, The Frontier Post (English daily), 18 December 1998.