The British government is promoting a new way to help the 500 million Indian people in poverty-sell them weapons. Defexpo 2002, an arms fair, opened in New Delhi on Monday.
Britain's Defence Manufacturers Association is organising a National Pavilion 'with funding support from Trade Partners UK available to British firms who participate'. Trade Partners UK are a tax-funded government service, part of the Department of Trade and Industry, for attracting foreign investment for British companies.
The Defence Manufacturers Association is made up of the government's Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) and 14 companies. These firms claim they are concerned with UK national security. But Richard Bingley of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade says:
'It is difficult to see how arms exports to India and Pakistan, at this time of heightened tension, furthers UK security and foreign policy interests.'