Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 October 2017


The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

In October 2016, Pakistan reiterated its view “that landmines continue to play a significant role in the defence needs of many States. Given our security demands and the need to guard our long borders that are not protected by any natural obstacle, the use of landmines forms an important part of our self-defence strategy. The objective of the total elimination of anti-personnel landmines can best be promoted, inter alia, by making available non-lethal military and cost-effective alternative technologies.”[1] In March 2016, a representative of Pakistan stated that it will not be joining the Mine Ban Treaty because of India, and that Pakistan had previously laid mines along its border with India and would do so again should it be necessary.[2]

In September 2017, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on SAFRON (State and Frontier Regions) urged the government to establish a fund for the victims of landmines. The committee expressed discontentment that at least 50 people have died and hundreds of others have been injured in landmine incidents only in South Waziristan agency. It noted that according to a rough estimate, about ten thousand landmines are in the Mehsud inhabited area, which need to be removed before they claim further lives. [3]

Popular actions regarding mine pollution in the country have begun to occur with greater frequency. Communities in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), for example, have demanded the government clear their villages from landmines. A tribal jirga—a traditional assembly of tribal elders—was held on 14 September 2017, in which community leaders stated that if the landmines were not removed from their communities, they would protest against the government in front of the parliament. Additionally, the jirga asked the government to approve a compensation package for the victims of the landmines in South Waziristan agency.[4] A similar jirga occurred on 15 November 2016 in the Mehsud tribe, and also asked the government to take measures to address the issue of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in their area.[5]

Pakistan participated as an observer in the Ottawa Process and the Mine Ban Treaty negotiations, but it has rarely engaged in the treaty since 1997, and has never attended a Review Conference. Pakistan has participated as an observer in just four of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties. Its last attendance was in December 2013. Pakistan has participated in few of the treaty’s intersessional meetings held in Geneva.

On 5 December 2016, Pakistan abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 71/34 calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. It abstained on all previous annual UNGA resolutions in support of the treaty.

Pakistan is not a party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II.


The Landmine Monitor has received no reports of the Pakistan Army emplacing landmines in 2016 or 2017.

As of March 2017, Pakistan stated again that it has not laid mines since the Pakistan-India border mine-laying more than a decade ago.[6] That last confirmed large-scale use of antipersonnel mines by Pakistan took place between December 2001 and mid-2002, during the escalation of tensions with India.[7] Pakistan maintains permanent minefields along certain portions of the Line of Control that divides Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

In March 2017, Pakistan reconfirmed that antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been used throughout the country, and attributed the use to “terrorists.”[8] In April 2016, a representative of Pakistan told the Monitor that 14% of recovered IEDs used by militants in Pakistan were victim activated. Militant groups’ victim-activated IEDs use pressure and infra-red initiation, and some also have low metal content detonators. In some cases, antipersonnel mines are used as detonators for larger explosive devices, or one initiator sets off multiple explosive devices. Pakistani security forces have recovered 194 tons of explosives from militants, and 2,500 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in recent years[9]

In April 2016, a representative of Pakistan stated to the Monitor that the army has a policy not to use antipersonnel mines around its outposts in operations in FATA.[10] Previously, following an increase in Pakistan army operations in the country’s border areas with Afghanistan in 2012, there were reports in the domestic Pakistani media of new mine casualties in those areas. Media reports in 2012 and 2013 attributed the new casualties to use of mines by Pakistani forces for “security purposes” but it is unclear if the mines were laid recently or in the past.[11] Subsequently, no new reports occurred since 2013 that were attributable to use by Pakistani forces.

Non-state armed groups in Balochistan and FATA used antipersonnel landmines and other victim-activated explosive devices during the reporting period. Use was attributed to Tehrik Taliban Pakistan and Balochi insurgent groups.[12] As in previous years, many military personnel and some civilians were killed or injured in incidents of new use, mostly by unknown perpetrators. The Monitor has recorded numerous antipersonnel mine incidents in Balochistan, FATA, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, although in some cases the precise date of mine use cannot be ascertained, nor can the perpetrator be identified (see Casualties profile for more details). Non-state armed groups also use antivehicle mines. In April 2017, fourteen civilians were killed and nine injured when their vehicle hit an antivehicle mine, for which insurgents claimed responsibility.[13]

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Pakistan is one of a small number of countries still producing antipersonnel mines.[14] Since 1997, Pakistan Ordnance Factories has produced detectable versions of hand-emplaced blast mines in order to be compliant with CCW Amended Protocol II.[15] In 2007, Pakistan reported that it “has also planned incorporation of self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanism in its future production” in order to meet Amended Protocol II requirements.[16] The protocol requires that all remotely-delivered mines have self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms. Pakistan reported in 2002 that it was developing a remotely-delivered antipersonnel mine system, but has provided no further details.[17] In 2007, Pakistan also stated that it had “met the deadlines to improve the specifications on detectability of mines” to be compliant with CCW Amended Protocol II.[18]

Pakistan’s Statutory Regulatory Order No. 123 (1) of 25 February 1999 makes the export of antipersonnel mines illegal.[19] The law penalizes the importation of mines, but no data is available regarding whether anyone has been arrested or charged under this law. Pakistan states that it has not exported mines “since early 1992.”[20] Recent Article 13 reports state simply that “no manufacturing or trade of landmines is allowed in the Private sectors.”[21] In the past, the country was a major exporter of mines. Pakistani-made mines have been found in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.

There is no official information available on the size of Pakistan’s antipersonnel mine stockpile. In the past, the Monitor estimated that Pakistan stockpiles at least six million antipersonnel mines, the fifth largest stockpile in the world.[22] Pakistan has neither confirmed nor denied this estimate.

As in previous years, seizures of mines are regularly reported in Pakistan. In February and July 2017 and November 2016, Pakistani officials seized landmines, among other weapons, in raids in Balochistan.[23] Arrests of persons for possession or use of landmines have been reported in the media. In January 2016, one person with 10 landmines in his house was arrested in Parachinar, Kurram agency.[24] In June 2016, 22 people were arrested in relation to the laying of an antivehicle mine in Khurram agency. The arrest applied collective punishment under the Frontier Crimes Regulation of 1901.[25] In July 2016, four persons were arrested for planting a landmine that injured a woman walking on a roadside in Kurram agency.[26] In August 2016, the Frontier Corps published pictures of antipersonnel landmines, among other weapons, seized in Barkhan on the border of Punjab and Balochistan provinces.[27] Regular discoveries of caches of explosives and bomb making materials are reported in the Pakistani press.[28]


During 2016, Pakistan reported destroying 7,370 antipersonnel mines, mostly of Pakistani manufacture.[29] In April 2016, a representative of Pakistan told the Monitor that all mines reported destroyed in the Article 13 reports are expiring stocks of antipersonnel mines. He further stated that all mines seized during operations in Pakistan by the security forces are destroyed and that “thousands” had been destroyed during previous years.[30]

Previously, during 2015, Pakistan reported destroying 1,429 antipersonnel mines; during 2014, Pakistan reported destroying 2,944 antipersonnel mines of Pakistani origin; during 2013, it destroyed 8,184 antipersonnel mines of Pakistani origin; and in 2012, Pakistan destroyed 2,107 antipersonnel mines of United States, Pakistani, and unknown origin.[31] In 2011, it destroyed 153 antipersonnel mines and in 2010, Pakistan reported that a total of 43,248 antipersonnel mines were destroyed between 2000 and 2009.[32]

Pakistan reiterated that there is no problem of uncleared mines on its Eastern Border.[33] However, in July 2017, members of the Pakistan security forces were killed and injured in mine clearance operations near Lanḍī Kōtal in FATA.[34] Pakistani authorities had to halt repatriation of some communities after conflict due to the presence of landmines.[35] The Pakistan Red Crescent Society declares FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to be weapon-contaminated areas, as significant amounts of ERW remain in these areas, placing the local population at risk.[36]

[1] Pakistan, Explanation of vote on L.7/Rev.1, 71st Session, UNGA First Committee, New York, 31 October 2016, UNGA, Official Records, A/C.1/71/PV.24, pp. 29/35. For similar statements, see also, A/C.1/70/L.50 on 4 November 2015, A/C.1/69/L.5 on 3 November 2014, and A /C.1/68/L.3, 1 November 2013. Landmine Monitor Report 2013; Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 973; Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 948–949; and Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 1,039.

[2] Landmine Monitor interview with Pakistani delegation to the CCW Amended Protocol II Meeting of Experts, Geneva, 8 April 2016.

[3] Email from Raza Shah Khan, Executive Director, Sustainable Peace and Development Organization (SPADO), 21 September 2017. He noted that media outreach and humanitarian response is very limited in South Waziristan but it has been confirmed that the local communities have carried out some other protests requesting the authorities to take immediate measures to clear the areas from landmines and ERW and provide support to the landmine victims.

[4]Scattered landmines in Fata pose threat to people’s lives,” Tribal News Network, 16 September 2017.

[5]Compensation for landmine victims sought,The International News, 16 September 2017.

[6] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form B, 31 March 2017. Pakistan has republished this statement each year. Presentation given by Pakistani delegation to the CCW Amended Protocol II Meeting of Experts, 6 April 2016. Digital recording available on the UNOG website.

[7] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 1,087–1,088; and Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 661. There were also reports of use of mines by Pakistani troops in Kashmir during the Kargil crisis in mid-1999. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1,088. In December 2006, Pakistan stated its intention “to fence and mine some selective sections” of its border with Afghanistan to prevent cross-border militant activity but did not do so after widespread international criticism. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 949–951.

[8] Article 13 Report, Form B, 31 March 2017. See also, previous Article 13 reports.

[9] Time frame not specified. Presentation given by Pakistani delegation to the CCW Amended Protocol II Meeting of Experts, 6 April 2016. Digital recording available on the UNOG website. Landmine Monitor interview with Pakistani delegation to the CCW Amended Protocol II Meeting of Experts, Geneva, 8 April 2016.

[10] Landmine Monitor interview with Pakistani delegation to the CCW Amended Protocol II Meeting of Experts, Geneva, 8 April 2016.

[11] See, ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Pakistan: Mine Ban Policy,” 28 November 2013.

[12] Email from Raza Shah Khan, SPADO, 21 September 2017. See also, “At least 2 FC personnel killed, 5 injured in Kurram Agency blast,” The Nation, 10 July 2017; Ajmal Wesai, “4 children wounded in Tirinkot bomb explosion,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 5 August 2017; and Tariq Saeed, “Landmine blast in KA killed two FC men,” Pakistan Observer, 23 April 2016.

[13] Iftikhar Firdous, “14 killed as passenger van hits landmine in Kurram Agency,” The Express Tribune, 25 April 2017. IS Khorasan and TTP-JUA have both claimed responsibility for the attack.

[14] Pakistan Ordnance Factories, located in Wah cantonment, is a state-owned company established in 1951 that in the past produced at least six types of antipersonnel mines, two low-metal blast mines (P2Mk1 and P4Mk2), two bounding fragmentation mines (P3Mk2 and P7Mk1), and two directional fragmentation Claymore-type mines (P5Mk1 and P5Mk2).

[15] Interview with Khalil Ur Rehman, Pakistan Foreign Office, Islamabad, 9 April 2011. See also, Article 13 Report, Form C, 2 November 2005; and Sixth Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, “Summary Record of the 1st Meeting, Geneva, 17 November 2004,” Geneva, CCW/AP II/CONF.6/SR.1, 13 May 2005, p. 14.

[18] Article 13 Report (for the period 16 August 2006 to 15 August 2007), Form C. The nine-year deadline for Pakistan to destroy or modify all stockpiled low-metal-content (non-detectable) antipersonnel mines was 3 December 2007. Pakistan provided no details about how or when it met the requirement.

[19] Article 13 Report, Form D, 10 November 2006 states “Pakistan has declared a complete ban on export of landmines, even to States Parties, with effect from March 1997.”

[20] Interviews with Khalil Ur Rehman, Pakistan Foreign Office, Islamabad, 9 April 2011; and with Muhammad Kamran Akhtar, Director, Disarmament Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, 23 April 2009; and see, Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 725.

[21] Article 13 Report, Form D, 1 April 2011.

[22] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1,058, footnote 17.

[23] Sajjad Ali, “Large quantity of explosives seized from Chagai,” Khyber News TV, 27 November 2016; “Levies naib risaldar shot dead in Mastung,” The Nation, 5 July 2017; and Salim Shaheed, “23 landmines seized in Loralai operation,” Dawn, 24 February 2017.

[24]Search operation: Man arrested, 10 landmines seized,” Express Tribune (Parachinar), 30 January 2016.

[25]22 held for planting anti-tank mine,” Daily Times (Parachinar), 1 June 2016.

[28] See for example, “Four terrorists arrested, 100-kg explosives seized,” Pakistan Today, 27 December 2015; and “Explosives seized in Swabi,” Dawn, 3 March 2016.

[29] Article 13 Report, Form F, 31 March 2017. This included 3,938 P2, 2,886 P4, 3 P4PRAC, 3 P3 Jumping 227 P5, and 3 M2 A1 jumping and 310 M14 antipersonnel mines.

[30] Landmine Monitor interview with Pakistani delegation to the CCW Amended Protocol II Meeting of Experts, Geneva, 8 April 2016.

[31] Article 13 Report, Form F, 31 March 2015. This included 992 P2, 1 P3, 1922 P4, 8 P5, and 21 P7 antipersonnel mines; Article 13 Report, Form F, 31 March 2014, which included 4,534 P2, 221 P3, 3,363 P4, and 57 P5 antipersonnel mines; and Article 13 Report, Form F, 5 April 2013, which included 645 ND P2, 165 NM M14, 1020 P4Mk-1, 18 M2A4 Jumping P-7, and 259 Shrapnel P50 antipersonnel mines.

[32] Article 13 Report, Form F, 25 October 2010. This included 30,615 Mine AP ND P2 Series, 7,014 Mine AP ND P4 Series, 2,884 Mine AP M14, and 2,735 miscellaneous antipersonnel mines.

[33] Article 13 Report, Form B, 31 March 2017.

[34]Landmine blast kills army’s bomb expert,” Dawn, 22 July 2017.

[35]Pakistan- Repatriation of Dandy Darpakhel TDPs suspended after landmine blast,” MENA FM (Tribal News Network), 15 September 2017.

[36] Landmine Monitor interview with Mr. Adnan Zaman Salim, National Program Manager MRE, PRCS, Islamabad, 20 September 2017.