Two weapon firms owned by the Pakistan government were expelled from a major defence exhibition in London after it was discovered that they were openly promoting cluster munitions at their stalls, breaching British compliance laws.
“Defence & Security Equipment international (DSEi) can confirm that the Pakistan Ordnance Factory stand and Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organisation Pavilion have been shut down,” the organisers of the exhibition said.
Violation of the UK laws was apparently found out by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.
It said the decision to expel the two Pak defence firms was made “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.”
“Her Majesty’s Government fully supports the decision by DSEi to close the stand and the Pavilion,” an official statement from the organisers said.
“We are now investigating how this breach of our compliance system occurred. However, we believe that the immediate action we have taken highlights our commitment to ensuring that all equipment, services, promotional material, documentation and anything else on display comply with domestic and international law,” it said.
Lucas said she found cluster munitions openly being promoted by both Pakistan government and its companies at exhibition. At the same time as such products are being promoted in London, states are participating in the “Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions” in Lebanon, to decide on further action to be taken to eliminate cluster munitions.