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KARACHI, Aug 10: Pakistan’s export earnings from weapons and defence equipment have made a quantum jump of almost 100 per cent during the last two years from $40 million to $85-$90 million, the director-general of Defence Export Promotion Organization said on Saturday.

“We have managed to export Darra Adam Khel-made weapons worth $1.5 million,” Maj-Gen Syed Ali Hamid, the director-general, told a press briefing. Darra, he pointed out, had now appeared on the world arms trade map for legal trading.

He said weapon selling had become a tough business because of the international trend of cutting down on the size of armies and a gradual reduction in tensions in many parts of the world. Besides, he added, the delivery period after booking an order is spread over three to five years and hence the slow movement in weapons exports.

A country like China which has a huge defence equipment production potential earns only $500 million from export of weapons.

Asim A. Siddiqui, manag-ing director of a private consultancy firm, who is oraganizing the second International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS 2002), was present.

The DG said that IDEAS 2002 would be inaugurated on Sept 16 by President Gen Pervez Musharraf in Karachi. The exhibition will remain open till Sept 19.

On the sidelines of the exhibition the organizers are planning a seminar spread over two sessions. Leading scholars and defence experts will be attending the seminar on “Asian Security Scenario” and “Asian Defence Market”.

Gen Hamid expects some 1,500 guests, including delegates from foreign countries, diplomats and representatives of trade organizations and exhibitors, at the show.

In reply to a question, he said the expected visitors and delegates are aware of the law and order situation in Karachi through their missions and media. “There is always a danger in Karachi,” he remarked but added that similar danger was there in London, Belfast and New York.

He said the last IDEAS had proved to be a roaring success with 45 delegates coming from abroad. For IDEAS 2002, he said, invitations had been extended to delegations in more than 70 countries. Of these 20 had already showed willingness to come, he added.

Maj-Gen Hamid said that besides the representatives of local manufacturing sector, exhibitors from China, Turkey, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, UAE and Saudi Arabia were expected to attend IDEAS 2002.