Pakistan has stockpiled six million anti-personnel mines: Report

November 14th, 2007 - 2:43 pm ICT by admin  

Peshawar, Nov 14 (ANI): Pakistan stockpiles at least six million anti-personnel mines, the fifth largest total in the world, according to the Landmine Monitor Report 2007.
In the past, the country was a major exporter of landmines. Pakistani-made mines are found in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and other locations, the report said.
However, there was no official information available about the size of the anti-personnel mine stockpile.
Pakistan reported in 2005 and 2006 that the Pakistan Army Ordnance Corps “destroys a large number of outdated mines every year”, but the information about the quantity or types of mines destroyed were not available, the report said.
Pakistani armed forces are regularly reported to seize weapons, including antipersonnel mines, during counter-insurgency operations. Officials have stated that Pakistan destroys confiscated mines. However, no information is publicly available on the number of confiscated mines or their country of origin.
“In the province of Baluchistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), non-state armed groups (NSAGs) continued to use antipersonnel mines, ant vehicle mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against Pakistani armed forces and state administration agencies, and in inter-tribal conflict,” the landmine report revealed.
Pakistani authorities have acknowledged that some landmines continue to arrive in Pakistan from sources in Afghanistan.
Baluchi tribal elders admitted that landmines are smuggled from clandestine sources in Afghanistan to Waziristan, and then to some districts in Baluchistan. Baluchistan Governor Owais Ghani has said that NSAGs in Baluchistan acquire weapons, including mines, from foreign sources, the report said.
Pakistan has repeatedly affirmed that it “faces no problem of uncleared mines.” It has also stated “mines have never caused humanitarian concerns in Pakistan, despite having fought three wars with India and…military standoff during 2001-2002.”
There is evidence, however, that Pakistan is affected by both landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW); this evidence includes the occurrence of ERW casualties, and mine, which were substantially higher in 2006, the report said. (ANI)

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