Swiss weapons sales to Pakistan increase

Bern—Switzerland exported around 45 times more weapons and ammunition to Pakistan in the first nine months of this year compared to 2015, according to the latest figures from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).
Between January and September, the Swiss sold war materiel to Pakistan to the value of more than CHF25 million ($25.8 million), as reported in the German-language Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. The paper added that the growth in sales reflects an easing of export rules for the armaments industry, which parliament implemented a few years ago. The value of armaments sold to Saudi Arabia also rose, from CHF4.5 million to 11.6million within the same period. Switzerland is not allowed to sell weapons to a country that systematically and severely violates human rights, nor to a state involved in an internal or international armed conflict. In response to a parliamentary question on the topic in September, the government said that it was permissible to trade in war materiel with Saudi Arabia despite their involvement in the Yemeni civil-war, as the military operation was at the request of Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi against Houthi rebels, and was therefore not a conflict between states.—INP

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