Pakistan starts commercial production


Sep 23 - 29, 2002


The debt servicing and the defence expenditures were the two major budgetary allocations. The economic managers had no option but to serve these two outlays of crucial importance obviously causing a noticeable impact on the economy of Pakistan.

It is heartening to note that as a result of perfect handling of the situation as well as professional management of the available resources by the present government has started providing a comfortable cushion to the economic managers to take care of other sectors of the economy as well.

The chronic issue of debt servicing which always pose a threat to the country to be defaulter has already been addressed successfully. Country's financial reserves approaching fast towards the target of $8 billion indicates improving financial health of the country. The formidable sword of being a defaulter is no more hanging on our heads, which certainly places the economy in a comfortable position.

Pakistan's emergence as a quality producer and exporter of arms and its performance also reassures that not only country's defence expenditures would remain a burden on the economy but it may also give a tremendous boost to the national economy.

Multi-dimensional growth in producing Land-Sea-Air defence equipment such as Al-Zarar and Al-Khalid Tanks, Agosta Sub-marine and Karakorum-8 and Super Mashak trainer aircraft produced by Pakistan in collaboration with friendly countries have laid strong foundations for a prestigious fort both in terms of defence as well as economic prosperity of the nation.

President General Pervez Musharraf while speaking at a recently concluded Defence Exhibition "Ideas-2002" at Expo Centre Karachi said that Pakistan has started commercial production of Al-Zarar tank and will be producing around 50 tanks by next year. Country has made spectacular progress in defence production and its arms manufacturing capacity has increased a lot.

The defence show itself indicates country's capabilities in defence production. The visiting foreign delegates and defence ministers from friendly countries were surprised to witness Pakistan's capability in defence production. President also pointed out those military products like Super Mashak, Al-Zarar and Al-Khalid tanks have great export potential. The impressive display of arms at the exhibition has paved way for military product exports from Pakistan.

Aircraft: Karakorum-8 (K-8) is a sleek looking elegant and low-winged advanced trainer aircraft produced as a joint venture between PAC Kamra and China Aero Technology Import & Export Corporation. It has been designed to impart basic and advanced training to pilots. Super Mashak is the advanced version of AMF Mashak, originally known as SAAB MFI=17, it is powered by Textron Lycoming 260HP engine with protection against hot and humid environment with a speed of 145 knots in level flights. It has been manufactured in the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

Al-Khalid tank is equipped with a 125mm smooth bore gun, 1200HP multi-fuel turbo-charged diesel engine, auto tracking system, and hi-axis stabilization with hunter killer capability.


Defence exhibition "Ideas-2002" has been arranged at a time when Pakistan has already emerged as a major arms exporter to various countries of the world. Prominent among the buyers is countries from Middle East, Africa and the Far East.

The hot military items in the export market are Al-zarrar and Al-Khalid tanks, Super Mashaq, jeeps and armoured personnel carriers (APC). The Super Mushaq has an annual export potential of $30 million.

This was stated by Air Commodore Masroor Malik, Director, Policy and Development, of Defence Export Production Organization (DEPO) at the briefing on "Ideas 2002" at Karachi Expo Centre.

Pakistan has also exported arms to Syria, Iran, Oman, Malaysia, Egypt and several African countries while there are queries for the major arm products such as tanks, aircraft and APCs from Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Pakistan, which started collaboration in weapon manufacturing with China, Turkey and Ukraine on product-to-product basis, has now entered the advanced stage of research and development in military collaboration with these countries.

The world's interest in arms manufacturing in Pakistan can be gauged from the fact that as many as 19 defence ministers and army chiefs of various countries visited the second grand show in Karachi. The royal family members from UAE and Brunei were also among the delegates. In all 41 delegations from 32 countries witnessed the unique display of Pakistan made arms. About 80 foreign companies also displayed their products at the show.

The commercial production of the military products has a manifold impact on the overall economy of the country. On one hand it will be strengthening the country's exports to a respectable level while it has helped commercial viability of various public sector organizations like Pakistan Machine Tool Factory, Karachi Shipyard, Heavy Mechanical Complex so far lying idle due to lack of economic activity. It is hoped that the commercial production of the defence products will also help developing a strong vendor industry in the private sector of the country.