Islamabad: Two Pakistani military firms were expelled from a London arms show and their stalls shut down after it emerged that they were advertising cluster bombs, the event's organiser said. (Agencies)
The stands of the Pakistan Ordnance Factory and Pakistan's Defence Export Promotion Organisation Pavilion at London's Defence System and Equipment International exhibition were permanently shut after organisers were informed they had promotional material for cluster bombs.
"Defence and Security Equipment International can confirm that the Pakistan Ordnance Factory stand and Pakistan's Defence Export Promotion Organisation pavilion have both been permanently shut down after promotional material was found on both containing references to equipment, which after close examination, was found to breach UK Government Export Controls and our own contractual requirements," said a statement from the show's organiser.
The British government "fully supports the decision" to close the stands, the statement said.
Defence and Security Equipment International, the show's organiser, said it was "investigating how this breach of our compliance system occurred."
The show's organiser acted after Green Party parliamentarian Caroline Lucas said she had found brochures promoting cluster munitions at the Pakistani stands. Britain is a signatory to the international convention on cluster munitions, which prohibits the use, production, stockpiling or transfer of weapons such as bombs or shells which shower large areas with shrapnel or mini-explosives.
Lucas told the media she had found brochures for 155 mm artillery-fired cluster bombs at Pakistani stands.
Official sources in Islamabad said a daily that the closure of the Pakistani stalls at the arms exhibition was a "political decision" and claimed the country had never violated any UN convention.
The sources contended that Britain had taken the step in pursuance of the Oslo Convention of 2007 that Pakistan is yet to ratify.
They claimed the move was "prompted by the pro-India lobby."
Islamabad: Two Pakistani military firms were expelled from a London arms show and their stalls shut down after it emerged that they were advertising cluster bombs, the event's organiser said.