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Country Reports
PAKISTAN, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999:

Pakistan-backed militants, and allegedly Pakistan Army troops, made extensive use of antipersonnel mines in the conflict in the Kargil area of Kashmir in mid-1999. It appears the militants in Kashmir obtained and used antipersonnel mines manufactured by the state-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF). POF also offered antipersonnel mines for sale to a journalist posing as a representative of a private company in Sudan.

Pakistan ratified CCW Amended Protocol II on 9 March 1999, exercising the nine-year deferral period. Landmine Monitor now estimates Pakistan’s stockpile of AP mines to be at least 6 million, much larger than previously reported. Pakistan has begun the process of making all of its AP mines detectable. Pakistan is producing new mines in compliance with Amended Protocol II. The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines conducted a survey in the Bajaur area, identifying 405 mine victims. The PCBL believes there may be thousands of mine victims in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

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. Still, Pakistan has expressed its support for “the objective of the complete elimination of APLs [antipersonnel landmines] everywhere.”[1] The government has said, “While Pakistan remains fully committed to the cause of eventual elimination of APLs, defence requirements do not allow it to join the Ottawa Treaty at present.”[2] A ban is not possible “till such time as an alternative becomes available to meet its security requirements, which like all other sovereign states, Pakistan alone will determine.”[3]

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. Pakistan 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 pro-Mine Ban Treaty UNGA resolutions in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

Pakistan did not attend as an observer the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in May 1999 in Maputo, Mozambique. It has participated in one of the ban treaty intersessional meetings of the Standing Committee of Experts on mine clearance, held in Geneva in March 2000. Pakistan also sent representatives to the International Committee of the Red Cross’ South Asia Regional Seminar on Landmines, held in Sri Lanka 18-20 August 1999.

Pakistan favors a consensus-driven approach and considers Protocol II (Landmines) of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and the Conference on Disarmament (CD) as the desirable processes.

Pakistan ratified Amended Protocol II of the CCW on 9 March 1999. In ratifying, it indicated it would exercise the option to defer implementation of key provisions for a nine-year period. At the First Annual Conference of states parties to the amended protocol, held in Geneva in December 1999, Pakistan said the protocol’s “membership represents a global partnership of those who have been able to assume obligations to completely prohibit anti-personnel landmines and others who seek to balance their military and security compulsions with critical humanitarian considerations.”[4] It also said that the protocol represented “an evolving process which if fully supported, in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol, will indeed facilitate the objective of a universally accepted ban on APLs.”[5]

At the same meeting, Pakistan called on nations to “[e]xplore in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva further measures which would advance the goal of the ultimate prohibition of APLs. Pakistan was the first country to propose the appointment of a Special Co-ordinator for this purpose. We can continue to support negotiations in the CD for a universal instrument banning transfers.”[6]


Pakistan is a producer of antipersonnel mines. State-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), founded in 1951, has produced six types of AP mines. (See Landmine Monitor Report 1999 for details).

Pakistan has said that it imposed a moratorium on production during the time Amended Protocol II was under negotiation, “so that production goals could be harmonized with an new provisions emerging from the negotiation. Since then limited production has occurred only in response to a real and finite demand from the armed forces.”[7] Pakistan also noted that it “had to eliminate an entire indigenous programme of self-neutralising mines” because such mines were permissible under the old protocol but not the new.[8]

In its first annual report required by Article 13 of Amended Protocol II, Pakistan states that it has taken “[c]omprehensive measures at the production level to make detectable APLs in future,” that “[m]arking features have been incorporated in future productions of APLs,” and that “[s]pecifications for RDMs [remotely delivered mines] have since been implemented.”[9]

In December 1999, a Pakistani diplomat told the ICBL that all AP mines produced since 1 January 1997 were detectable. He also said new production was required because of the deteriorating condition of many mines in the stockpile. He indicated that new production would include both hand-laid mines (with sufficient metal content for Protocol II) and remotely-delivered mines with self-destruct and self-deactivation features.[10]


Pakistan made significant exports of antipersonnel mines in the past, with Pakistani mines being found in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Somaliland, Sri Lanka and other locations.

Pakistan announced on 13 March 1997 that it would observe a comprehensive moratorium of unlimited duration on the export of antipersonnel landmines. Subsequently, Pakistan strengthened this with a regulation: “As part of its export control policy, the Government has issued an SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) on 25 February 1999, totally banning the export of land mines.”[11] Pakistan claims that it has not exported any antipersonnel mines since 1991.[12]

In early November 1999, Azeem Zaki, an attaché at Pakistan’s High Commission in London offered antipersonnel mines for sale to a British television journalist posing as a representative of a private company operating in Sudan.[13] The offer was filmed and aired on the UK Channel Four Dispatches program on 9 December 1999. The state-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories also offered the mines for sale in a faxed quotation dated 11 November 1999. It lists prices of $2,450 for 100 P-7 MK2 bounding antipersonnel mines and $9,300 for 150 P5A3 Claymore-type mines.[14]

As described in one press account:

“The [Dispatches] programme makers secretly filmed the Pakistani diplomat agreeing to sell landmines to the reporter, posing as a British arms dealer, during a meeting at an hotel in Knightsbridge, Central London.... Representing a fictitious company, Charles Stevens Associates, the Dispatches reporter was told that, despite the ban on exporting anti-personnel landmines, Pakistan Ordnance Factories, a state-owned business, was still producing them ‘for their own need’ and arrangements could be made to export them. At one point, it is alleged that Mr. Zaki was ready to arrange the export of anti-personnel landmines to Sudan.... To back up the conversations at the hotel, Pakistan Ordnance Factories sent a list of weapons that could be made available, including a P7 mark 2 anti-personnel mine, described as a ‘jumping/bounding type’ that created a ‘better fragmentation effect’.”[15]

The ICBL stated, “Such a sale would appear to violate the Landmine Protocol, Pakistan’s domestic law banning mine transfers, and the UK’s domestic law prohibiting sale, or even the offer of a sale, of mines in the UK.”[16] The government of Canada expressed its concerns noting that if true, this would be “in direct violation of their [Pakistan’s] obligations under the Amended Protocol II to the CCW.... Canada would welcome clarification of these issues from Pakistani authorities.”[17]

In reaction, Pakistani officials stated, “Under existing procedures it is not possible to effect any international transfer without the express authority of the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs.”[18] While noting that an investigation was underway, a diplomat insisted that no sale was offered, just discussed, and that the munitions in question were command-detonated devices, not antipersonnel mines, thus eligible to be exported.[19] Another Pakistani diplomat told the ICBL that “quite a few heads will roll” as a result of the incident, not only Zaki but also POF personnel. He said that the attaché was a low-level functionary and stressed that the sale would never have been successfully completed. He also said that while the jumping mine could be command-detonated, that feature could easily be changed, so that the mine was a “dangerous thing to be exported” and would be removed from the export list. He stated that the mine had not been exported in the past.[20]

It also appears the militants in Kashmir have obtained and used mines manufactured by the Pakistan Ordnance Factories. During interviews with senior Border Security Force officials and Army officials in Kashmir, a Landmine Monitor researcher was shown and took photographs of recovered mines, both antipersonnel and antitank, that had the seal of the Pakistan Ordnance Factory on them.[21] This too would appear to be a violation of Article 8 of Amended Protocol II, which prohibits transfers to any recipient other than a state or state agency authorized to receive such transfers.

There are some allegations that antipersonnel mines, including PMN and PMN-2 mines, are shipped illegally by arms dealers from Afghanistan into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, and possibly to Kashmir militants as well.[22]


In response to the requirement in Amended Protocol II, Pakistan said it “accepted to convert our entire stock of APLs to detectable mines. This process is well underway.”[23] Non-detectable mines in Pakistani stocks include the P2 Mk2 and P4 Mk1 mines. Pakistan has said the conversion will be completed within the nine-year deferral period (up to the year 2007).

In Landmine Monitor Report 1999, lacking any official information, it was guessed that there are hundreds of thousands of landmines stockpiled in Pakistan.[24] However, in a meeting with ICBL representatives in December 1999, a Pakistani diplomat stated that Pakistan had since 1997 already converted 2.5 million antipersonnel mines to detectable status. He further indicated that at one point in time this represented about one-third of the total Pakistani stockpile, but now constituted more than one-third. He noted that the stockpile number is secret, but is also fluid and could increase in the future. These comments lead to a Landmine Monitor estimate of at least six million antipersonnel mines in Pakistan’s stockpile.[25]

Various irregular armed groups, non-state actors, and tribesmen 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).[26]


The Pakistani Army used landmines during its three wars with India in 1947, 1965 and 1971. Pakistan has also laid antipersonnel mines in front of its defended localities in Jammu and Kashmir.[27] It has plans to lay mines on the border with India in times of war.[28]

Armed insurgent groups (often called militants) supported by Pakistan, and possibly regular Pakistan Army personnel, used antipersonnel mines in the conflict from May-July 1999 in the Kargil region of Kashmir.[29] India has charged that “during the intrusions in India’s Kargil areas large scale and indiscriminate laying of anti-personnel landmines, including both metallic and plastic APLs and special snow type devices, was resorted to by the retreating intruders.”[30] Two types of plastic mines were used: P2Mk2 in areas not covered by snow and P4Mk2 in areas covered by snow. A total of 8,804 mines had been recovered as of August 1999.[31]

India has said that the forces were mainly regular Pakistani army troops, backed by rebels, but Pakistan has insisted that it is only providing moral and diplomatic support to the militants.[32]

Asked by Landmine Monitor to confirm or deny allegations of use by Pakistani troops in 1999 in Kashmir, the government in a letter did not reply specifically to the allegation, but instead responded that “Pakistan’s record with respect to the regulated use of landmines is second to none.” It also noted that it fully abides by the provisions of Amended Protocol II.[33]

Since the end of the mid-1999 conflict, there continue to be frequent reports of use of landmines by Pakistan-supported militants in Kashmir. The Indian government claimed to have seized 200 mines from militants in Kashmir in the first four months of 2000.[34]

Tribesmen continue to use landmines and IEDs, mostly in personal and inter-tribal disputes, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan: Bajaur Agency, Mohmand Agency, Kurram Agency, and District Dir.

Landmine Problem

According to its 1999 Annual Report to the CCW, “there is no problem of uncleared mines in the areas under the jurisdiction of the government of Pakistan. However, in certain areas adjoining Afghanistan, there have been instances of the presence of uncleared mines which were deployed during the period of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and its spill over to our borders.”[35]

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. However, the Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) has carried out a study in the Mamoond Tehsil (sub-district) of the Bajaur Agency, believed to be one of the most mine-affected areas in the country.[36] The PCBL reports the presence of mines in agricultural lands, roads, pathways, near schools and other places posing threats to the communities. Of the 405 mine incidents recorded by PCBL, nearly half (196) took place in agricultural fields.

Mine Action Funding

Pakistan's contribution to mine action has been in-kind services; it has played a very active role in UN and peacekeeping mine clearance operations internationally. In 1989, through ‘Operation Salam’, demining training camps for Afghans were established at Risalpur and Quetta in Pakistan under UN auspices. From 1989-1995 a total of 17,055 mine clearance personnel were trained at these camps. Part of Operation Salam’s agenda was also to impart mine awareness to Afghan refugees to identify mines and undertake due precautions.[37]

Pakistani soldiers were also part of the UN demining operations in Cambodia in 1992-93, in Kuwait in 1991, in Angola from 1995-1998, in eastern Slovenia and Western Sahara.[38]

In December 1999, Pakistan stated, “We will continue to offer in-kind contributions to global demining efforts,”[39] but it is not known if any operations are currently underway.

Mine Clearance and Mine Awareness

While actively involved internationally, the Army is not carrying out mine clearance or training operations in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Protocol II Article 13 report details the methods of clearance and the types of detectors employed by the Pakistani Army.[40]

According to the Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines, some of the local people have purchased mine detectors to try to protect themselves from mines. Local “clearance” methods often mean throwing stones or firing bullets at mines.

There are no mine awareness programs in place. The PCBL found tampering with mines, especially by children, to be common. The PCBL is developing a mine awareness and risk avoidance education program in the Bajaur Agency.

Landmine Casualties

The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines’ survey in the Bajaur area identified 405 landmine victims. Of that total 261 (64%) were the breadwinners of their families, 144 (36 %) were females, and 109 (27%) were age eighteen or younger. A staggering 41% of the victims died from their injuries, largely due to lack of or inadequate first aid and medical facilities. Most of the incidents (260 or 64%) occurred from 1995-1998, with 33 recorded in 1999 and 14 thus far in 2000. The most common activity when mine incidents occurred was working in a field (26%); the second most common was walking to work (25%).

PCBL believes that there may be thousands of landmine victims in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Landmine Survivor Assistance

Since the landmine-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. There are no psychological, social and rehabilitation facilities provided by the government or any national or international organization. Prosthetic and assistance device facilities are available in Pakistan but it is beyond the ability of most victims to afford them.

The PCBL study in the Bajaur area noted inadequate and inefficient medical infrastructure, lack of first aid facilities, complete absence of emergency medical care, lack of emergency evacuation capability, severe transportation constraints, and the inability of victims to pay for treatment or medicines. There is no government or NGO program for longer-term rehabilitation in the area.


[1] Statement by the Representative of Pakistan at the First Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 17 December 1999, p. 5.
[2] Letter from Ambassador Inam ul Haque, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, New York, to Stephen Goose, Chair, ICBL Treaty Working Group, 15 November 1999.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Statement by the Representative of Pakistan at the First Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 17 December 1999, p. 1.
[5] Ibid., pp. 1-2.
[6] Ibid., p. 5.
[7] Ibid., p. 4.
[8] Ibid., p. 3.
[9] Pakistan National Annual Report submitted in accordance with Article 13 of Amended Protocol II, 25 October 1999, p. 5.
[10] ICBL meeting with Brig. Feroz Hassan Khan, Director Arms Control and Strategic Affairs, Geneva, 16 December 1999. Notes taken by Stephen Goose.
[11] Protocol II Annual Report, 25 October 1999, p. 6.
[12] Statement by the Representative of Pakistan at the First Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 17 December 1999, p. 4.
[13] A good summary of this incident is UK Working Group on Landmines, “Pakistan and the sales of anti-personnel mines in the UK,” 9 December 1999.
[14] Landmine Monitor has a copy of the faxed offer. In a letter dated 1 December 1999, POF stated that the items were not antipersonnel mines, but command-detonated mines, that it was a routine response to a query, and that export of the items is subject to issuance of permits by the government.
[15] Michael Evans, “Pakistani ‘in deal for landmines,’” The Times (London), 7 December 1999.
[16] ICBL Statement to the First Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 15 December 1999.
[17] Statement of the Canadian Delegation at the First Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 15 December 1999.
[18] Statement by the Representative of Pakistan at the First Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 17 December 1999, p. 4.
[19] Oral statement by Pakistani representative to the Annual Conference on Protocol II, Geneva, 16 December 1999. See also The News International (national English daily), 2 January 2000.
[20] ICBL meeting with Brig. Feroz Hassan Khan, Director Arms Control and Strategic Affairs, Geneva, 16 December 1999. Notes taken by Stephen Goose.
[21] Interviews by Landmine Monitor/India researcher with senior Border Security Force officials and Army officials in Kashmir, BSF Camp and Army Headquarters in Sri Nagar, 6-9 January 2000.
[22] Interviews by Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines with local communities in the Bajaur Agency, July-November 1999.
[23] Statement by the Representative of Pakistan at the First Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 17 December 1999, p. 3. See also, Protocol II report, 25 October 1999, p.5, which also states, “Devices have been developed which will be incorporated to make the antipersonnel mine detectable.”
[24] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 497, cited in Banerjee, p. 23.
[25] ICBL meeting with Brig. Feroz Khan, Director Arms Control and Strategic Affairs, Geneva, 16 December 1999. Notes taken by Stephen Goose.
[26] Dipankar Banerjee, then-Co-director Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, “South Asian Regional Survey,” prepared for Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 23. 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.
[27] 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.
[28] Banerjee, p. 22.
[29] Ghulam Hasnain, “Under Cover of Night: The presence of Pakistani soldiers deep in enemy territory disproves Islamabad’s claims of innocence,” Time, 12 July 1999, p. 20-21. Pakistan’s claim has been that the intruders fighting at Kargil were freedom fighters and the Pakistan Army had nothing to do with it.
[30] India’s Protocol II Article 13 report, 1 December 1999.
[31] “Mines Used By Pak Intruders,” statistics provided by Ministry of Defence, Government of India, data as of July 1999.
[32] See, for example, “India Accepts Pakistan Talk Offer as battle rages in Kashmir,” Agence France-Press, Srinagar, India, 8 June 1999; “Militants Kill 19 in Kashmir attacks,” Reuters, Jammu, India, 20 July 1999.
[33] Letter from Mr. Shahbaz, Director General (Disarmament), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, to Stephen Goose, Landmine Monitor/HRW, 12 July 2000. Landmine Monitor’s letter of inquiry was addressed to the Foreign Minister, dated 26 June 2000, and stated, “We anticipate that Pakistan will be identified in this report as a government that has used antipersonnel mines since March 1999. This relates, in particular, to use of mines in the conflict with India in Kashmir. Landmine Monitor welcomes any comment on this, including a confirmation or denial....”
[34] “Indian forces say 250 Kashmir militants eliminated in last four months,” BBC Monitoring of Doordarshan television, New Delhi, 6 May 2000.
[35] Protocol II Article 13 report, 25 October 1999, pp. 4-5.
[36] The PCBL conducted interviews at different intervals in 1999 and 2000, but most were conducted from July to November 1999. Details of the PCBL study are contained in the full draft version of the Pakistan country report for Landmine Monitor prepared by the PCBL. It is available to the public.
[37] Protocol II Article 13 report, 25 October 1999, pp. 8-12.
[38] Ibid.
[39] Statement by the Representative of Pakistan at the First Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 17 December 1999, p. 4.
[40] Protocol II Article 13 report, 25 October 1999, p. 7.