ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s defence production sector has the capability of manufacturing up to 50 battle tanks annually whereas 1,598 sophisticated guns are being manufactured in the Pakistani ammunition factories, a Senate panel was informed Tuesday.

The heads of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra, Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Wah Cantonment, heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and Karachi Shipyard on Tuesday appeared before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence Production to give briefings on Pakistan’s defence production capability. The officials said that over 100 armed vehicles or personnel carriers had been manufactured at HIT whereas manufacturing of Al Khalid tanks in significant number was also under way. The officials cited funds scarcity as a relevant factor in this regard, saying at least Rs 80 million were required for the manufacturing of JF-17 Thunder.

Different agreements with other states for the production and subsequent exports of pistols, guns, sniper rifles and even battle tanks were under the negotiation stages with other states, the officials said adding that an agreement for the export of 110 Al Khalid Tanks was signed with China.

 The defence production officials argued that if the federal government provided continuous funding and support to the defence production sector, Pakistan’s defence exports could improve manifolds and the indigenous requirements could be fully met as well. The Senate panel’s session was chaired by Senator Saeeda, the committee’s chairperson.