POF invites private sector for
Defence products to broaden
Pakistan's export base
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Jan 29 - Feb 04, 2001
Opening the doors for private sector and placing the high quality
weapons for marketing abroad seems to be a brilliant idea on the part of Pakistan Ordnance
Factories (POF) which is taking initiatives for broadening the export base of the country.
Working on these lines, Lt. Gen. Abdul Qayyum, Chairman of the POF
Board visited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) where he highlighted the
production standards being maintained by the POF to produce quality products which gave a
sense of pride to the audience regarding the achievements of the country.
During the course of demonstration, the POF chief also agreed to
support the private sector for manufacturing of the textile machinery and parts within
Pakistan. Despite having a strong textile base contributing over 65 per cent of the total
exports of the country, the textile industry has to rely on imported textile machinery and
accessories, which is a drain on the economy. The POF chief has extended spontaneous
support for to support the textile sector in this respect. He also invited the private
sector to come forward and identify the areas which the two sides can put together the
skill and efforts for mutual benefits.
He disclosed that POF is already engaged in export business and supply
defence goods at least 8-10 countries under the strict compliance to the rules set by the
UN for the exports of these items. Since the UN is considering allowing certain
relaxations to Libya, Pakistan may try to explore that market.
Speaking on the occasion, Zubair Motiwala, President of KCCI said that
Pakistan is the sixth largest importer of defence equipments and in the context of current
geo-political perspective, the country's defence requirements are not likely to be
diminished. The only course, therefore, open to Pakistan is to indigenization of defence
products as much as possible and thus to minimize dependence on imports for armaments.
This could be possible only through the joint and collective efforts both of the public
and private sectors. The induction of the private enterprise in the defence production in
a big way would not only pave the way for achieving self sufficiency in defence
production, but would also contribute to the promotion of engineering industry and
transfer of technology. Hence the private sector should not only confine to act as vendor
or sub-contractors but they should also develop integrated industrial units of different
items for defence.
Islamic countries invited to benefit from Pak defence potentials. POF
has invited the business community of Islamic countries to join and utilize the surplus
capacities of POF for manufacturing defence equipments.
The offer was raised by Chairman POF Board Lt. Gen. Abdul Qayyum while
discussing on the subject with Aqeel Al-Jassem Secretary General of the Islamic Chamber of
Commerce and Industry during his visit when he visited the chamber headquarters at
Gen. Qayyum also visited the Islamic Chamber as part of the programme
of the public sector to invite the business community to get involved in the production of
defence items in technical collaboration with POF.
He informed that Pakistan is self-sufficient in defence related
industry and is keen to enhance its interaction with the Muslim countries. He said in
addition to the production of defence equipment, the POF has its own technical training
institute, which can provide training facilities to OIC countries.
Gen. Qayyum called upon the private sector of OIC countries to
undertake joint ventures with POF in manufacturing conventional weapons and ammunition.
Secretary General of Islamic Chamber Aqeel Al-Jassem while responding
positively observed that the area of promotion defence related items was a totally new
concept for Islamic Chamber. He however showed great interest and reiterated the need to
further strengthening public-private sector cooperation. He assured his full cooperation
in assisting the POF to explore the Islamic countries markets with the objectives
eventually to strengthen the Islamic Ummah. He invited the POF to attend the forthcoming
D-8 business forum to be held in Cairo on Feb 22-23. This would provide an opportunity to
POF to display and market its products to the members of D-8 countries.
POF is also planning to establish yet another factory to produce shot
guns of international standards. In effect, POF aims to establish the shotgun factory to
engage the youth of tribal area of Durra and adjoining areas to generate economic
activities in a regularized manner. This proposed project would utilize their skills that
have been engaged in the business of arms making without the assistance of sophisticated
machinery since long. The plan is to polish their skill on sound technical terms. The
factory would either be located at Wah or Peshawar or at any other suitable place.
Currently, the plan is in its feasibility stage while it has been decided that the gun
would be pump action type, which is the most popular among the people.
At present this type of guns are imported into country. The proposed
factory besides meeting the local needs would also be put for export to earn foreign