Written evidence submitted by the Campaign
Against Arms Trade
1. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT)
is working for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international
arms trade, together with progressive demilitarisation within
2. India and Pakistan have been engaged
in sporadic sectarian and full-scale military clashes for over
50 years. During this time, 850,000 lives have been lost and the
numbers are still rising. CAAT is concerned that the UK continues
to promote the sale of military equipment to both countries. Such
exports assist the recent expansion of both the countries' arms
industries and their own arms exports.
3. Years of nuclear and ballistic weapons
tests, troop mobilisations and border conflicts, have failed to
provoke an end to arms exports to India and Pakistan. Despite
several UN resolutions condemning both countries for developing
nuclear weapons and requesting that countries do not export dual
use technology to the region, there are no EU or UN arms embargoes
on either country.
4. India has the world's third largest army
(1.26 million troops), the fourth largest air force, and, in 2005,
spent $23.7 billion on the military. It has both nuclear weapons
and ballistic missiles with a range of up to 2,000km.
5. Pakistan has an army of 550,000 troops
and an air force of 45,000. In 2005 it spent $3.7 billion
on its armed forces. It also has nuclear weapons and its longest
range ballistic missile can reach 1,300km. Both countries continue
to refuse to sign any of the multilateral non-proliferation and
disarmament agreements that oversee testing, developing, manufacturing
and use of nuclear weapons.
6. Between 1997 and 2004, India was the
leading purchaser of conventional weapons in the developing world,
accounting for just over 10% of developing world arms transfer
agreements. (CRS Report for Congress, Conventional Arms Transfers
to Developing Nations, 1997-2004.  Richard F Grimmet p 2,
Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress) According
to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia
was India's largest supplier, transferring major conventional
weapons to the value of $9.9 billion. Israel, France, the UK and
the USA were also significant suppliers, along with Ukraine, Uzbekistan
and the Netherlands.
7. Over the same period, Pakistan imported
major conventional weapons worth $4.5 billion from its major suppliers.
Nearly $3 billion of this was accounted for by France, China and
THE UK ROLE
8. The value of recent UK export licences
granted for military and dual-use goods to India and Pakistan
is shown in this table.
|January to March 2006||9
United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls reports, 1997-2005.
The figures refer to Single Individual Export Licences only.
9. The UK government assesses arms exports against its
Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria adopted
in 2000. However, looking at the situation with regards to
India and Pakistan, the application of the Criteria seems token
at best. Most strikingly, the exports would seem to be at odds
with Criterion Four which deals with the Preservation of regional
peace, security and stability. It states: "The Government
will not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that
the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively
against another country..." Though the Government qualifies
this by saying "a purely theoretical possibility" of
such use would not necessarily lead to a licence being refused,
war between India and Pakistan is, unfortunately, a very real
10. The two countries have been in conflict over Kashmir
since partition in 1947. The testing of missiles and nuclear weapons
since 1998, border skirmishes and terrorist attacks have led to
increased tensions in the area. In 2002 there was a very real
danger of a major war. Even then, when the war seemed so likely
that the UK government advised UK citizens that they should leave
India and Pakistan, no arms embargo was imposed.
11. The Criteria are rendered irrelevant because it is
clear the priority for the UK government is to support the arms
industry. This policy was highlighted in 2002. When it was
revealed that India was upgrading Jaguar aircraft to fire nuclear
weapons, the UK refused to halt the sale of BAE Systems components
that were being used to keep the aircraft airborne and could be
used to build the Jaguar delivery systems (Times, 28.5.02).
12. UK government support for arms exports is coordinated
by the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO), which, in
2005, categorised India as a "priority market". DESO
defines this as a market where DESO is currently supporting a
major export campaign and/or where there are prospects for high
value exports. A DESO office in India was established in 1984
and in 2005 five staff were employed there (Hansard 26.10.05).
13. The largest recent deal has been the £800 million
contract for 66 BAE Systems Hawk Jets signed in 2004. Although
the Hawk jets were sold as training aircraft they are also advertised
as "multi-role", in that they can be used effectively
in ground attacks. Though similar to the RAF's unarmed Hawk trainers,
the Indian Hawks will be able to carry weapons. Jane's Defence
Weekly said that the Hawk contract makes "special provision
for weapons integration, including a gun" (Jane's Defence
Weekly, 8.6.05) and the Times of India quoted the head
of the Indian Air Force as saying it would use the Hawk as "a
combat aircraft should an operational scenario present itself".
(Times of India, 26.5.05) BAE Systems has, according to
its Annual Report, a "growing relationship with India",
including MBDA obtaining an order for Exocet anti ship weapons
during the year.
14. The governments of India and the UK have signed a
separate pact to guarantee the supply of jets and related systems.
The deal includes outright purchase of 24 Hawks and manufacturing
the remaining 42 jets by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) after
transfer of technology and parts by BAE Systems.
15. The sale of these jets to a country involved in a
regional conflict is alarming, but that did not stop UK government
involvement. During 2001 and 2002, when India and Pakistan had
mobilised their armies for war, there were 17 visits by Prime
Minister Tony Blair and other UK ministers. Many involved direct
lobbying for the sale of the Hawks. In October 2002, after the
major crisis passed, the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee,
visited Tony Blair and the latter encouraged India to seek reconciliation
with Pakistan. However, this message was at best mixed given that
Tony Blair used the opportunity to promote the Hawks (Financial
16. Furthermore, it has been suggested that one reason
no arms embargo was placed on India and Pakistan at the height
of the crisis in late May and early June 2002, when a million
troops were mobilised, was the need to preserve the prospects
for the Hawk sale. The Guardian (29.5.02) believed that
comments by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in London were
a veiled warning against the imposition of the embargo. He said:
"In any ministry of defence, particularly when thinking about
security, an assurance of supply is absolutely paramount."
The UK's ability to send a clear, unambiguous message against
an imminent war was undermined by the desire to support an arms
company in its attempt to land a major contract.
17. The Indian government is actively supporting the
development of an indigenous arms industry. India has several
state-owned arms companies and a smaller number of private manufacturers.
They produce armaments both in collaboration with international
companies, under licence from these companies and independently.
18. HAL is the largest of the state-owned companies;
it mainly supplies the Indian military but also exports to over
30 countries (http://www.hal-india.com/aboutus.asp). As mentioned
above, HAL will be manufacturing some of the Hawks. HAL has four
joint venture companies with overseas companies, including BAeHAL
Software Ltd (BAeHal), a joint venture between BAE Systems and
HAL. BAeHAL make flight control systems, glass cockpit displays,
advanced electronic instrumentation systems, flight warning systems
and flight management systems (www.baehal.com accessed 29.3.06).
19. The government-owned Ordnance Factories Board (OFB)
is a major producer, it administers 40 ordnance plants, employing
some 138,000 people and producing guns, ammunition and armoured
vehicles (Defense News, 14-20.1.02). Its main customer
is the Indian army, but also it exports to Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia,
Germany and Turkey.
20. India hosts two main arms fairs, Aero India and DEFEXPO
to which buyers and sellers from around the world are invited.
21. Pakistan has not been one of the UK's most important
arms export markets, but the the 2005 DESO Strategic Market Analysis
lists it among the middle tier of key markets. DESO co-organised
a briefing called "Doing Defence Business with Pakistan"
with the Defence Manufacturers Association in February 2006 (DMA
News, March 2006). Over 80 people attended, but plans to have
a UK National Pavilion at the IDEAS arms fair in November 2006
in Karachi do not seem to have materialised.
22. There have been some significant deals. In October
2005, Saab, a BAE Systems "partnership", signed a provisional
contract worth £400 million to supply airborne surveillance
systems to Pakistan (BAE Systems Annual Report 2005). A Memorandum
of Understanding signed between Pakistan and UK to enable joint
military exercises and increase defence collaboration was signed
in May 2005. (Guardian, 21.5.05).
23. In 2002, when India and Pakistan were on the brink
of war, it was discovered that Alenia Marconi Systems, then half
owned by BAE Systems, was training elite Pakistani pilots and
fighter operations controllers in the use of integrated electronic
warfare at a specialist training college in Wales (http://news.scotsman.com).
Additionally, between 1999 and 2002, Marconi Super Skyranger radars
were fitted into Pakistan's fighter jets (Jane's Defence Weekly,
24. Before the "war against terror", the UK
attitude to Pakistan was not always uncritical. Although the UK
decided not to impose an arms embargo following the nuclear tests
in 1998, after the military coup in October 1999 there was a brief
period when licences were "frozen", effectively delayed
(Guardian, 1.12.00). In October 1999 the Foreign Secretary,
Robin Cook, said: "It is important to send a clear message
that we deplore the overthrow of democracy" and that he wanted
"a swift and orderly return to democracy and rule of law."
25. The freeze on arms sales was controversial within
the UK government. In January 2000 a memo leaked to the Guardian
revealed that Robin Cook and International Development Secretary
Clare Short campaigned for a formal embargo but Defence Secretary
Geoff Hoon and Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers were
keen to resume sales (Guardian, 12.1.00). Although the
political situation had not changed, 10 months later Foreign Office
minister Peter Hain said: "There has been no arms embargo
on Pakistan we continue to assess export licence applications
on a case-by-case basis". (Hansard, 21.7.00, col 371W).
In July 2000, 26 out of the 40 licences that were caught in limbo
were approved (Hansard, 5.7.00, col 221/2W).
26. Like India, Pakistan is developing its own arms industry
which is producing both for its own armed forces and for export.
In 2000 it set up the Defence Export and Exhibition Directorate
to assist with the latter. At the IDEAS 2000 exhibition in Pakistan,
General Musharraf called for "aggressive marketing"
by the arms industry to increase its exports (Jane's Defence
Weekly, 29.11.00). Asked if there were any countries to which
Pakistan would not export, the IDEAS organiser said there would
be no bans: "I don't think we have a problem on that score.
Maybe Israel we wouldn't like to sell weapons to." (Guardian,
27. The UK government is promoting an international Arms
Trade Treaty. This is undermined by its policy of promoting arms
sales, even to countries on the brink of war, and to its licensing
of technology transfers which allow the growth of overseas arms
industries. The proliferation of arms and military technology
to countries that are undertaking their own arms export drives
is likely only to increase global arms proliferation and contribute
to a more dangerous world. The Government must put the need for
peace and disarmament before the interests of the arms companies.
Campaign Against Arms Trade