LAHORE - PR - Consequent to the news item published in the ‘Daily Nation’ and ‘Nawa- I Waqt’ regarding the export of JF 17 Thunder by a reporter is totally based on self-assumption. The strained economic condition of the country, which he talks about certainly need to be improved. However, the Defence industry is a flourishing industry. It is to some to extent adding to bring down the country’s grappling economic crisis. Instead of raising a hue and cry on the economic condition, we should look towards improving the condition. AlhamdoLillah the defence industry is on the path of self-reliance. We are producing defence equipment on indigenous basis. Now we need to understand that indigenous mean by our own self and using our own resources. This indigenous production of a lot many defence items and equipments is itself saving us a lot of foreign exchange, the reporter has to develop an understanding of it. Now, we say that whatever we produce at the Defence Industry, we must also find foreign and local buyers to sell those products.

 As for foreign markets, if we sell the products we will generate foreign exchange which will be used for benefit of both the country and the Defence Industry. As for sale in local market the Ministry of Defence Production has written to all Chief Ministers, Prime Minister of AJK, SAFRON authorities etc for buying locally built defence equipment. We are committed to getting our First Right of Refusal Implemented. MOI has already directed few NOCs to MODP keeping in view our First Right of Refusal.

JF-17 Thunder is the pride of Pakistan. More than 55pc of it is manufacturing is done in Pakistan and with the incorporation of the deletion programme 80pc of it will be done at home. It’s the state of the art aircraft. Defence Industry world over faces huge competition but keeping in view our resources and other conditions the Defence Production Industry is thriving and in future we have made it a point the all deals and joint ventures will be on the basis of Transfer of Technology. Example of which is:

a.    PNS ASLAT – 4th Frigate of Pakistan Navy.

b.    1700 ton Fleet Tanker – STM Turkey

c.    Fast Attack Missile (FAC (M) - with CSOC China.

We have signed MOUs of 2.8 million with different countries and only PAC Kamra saved about US $1 bn through indigenous production, export and savings.

To give boost to local industry our defence organizations procure items from local industry in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Wazirabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Thus the overall progress of the defence industry is commendable and we further hope to enhance our capability and capacity.

Exports world over are a way of earning foreign exchange and does not anyway burden the exchequer.  The reporter’s own assumptions have led him to file a story based on inadequate knowledge.

The ministry very responsibly states all the above listed information.