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Pakistan’s Nuclear and Missile Facilities Revealed

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    Pakistan’s Nuclear and Missile Facilities Revealed
    Pakistans Nuclear and Missile Facilities Revealed
    News Briefing
    When: Wednesday, 9 AM 15 March 2000
    Where: National Press Club, Lisagor Room
    Contact: John Pike - 202-675-1023

    New satellite images of Pakistans nuclear and missile facilities provide fresh insight into the nuclear dangers on the subcontinent. The high resolution images, acquired by the Federation of American Scientists from the Space Imaging IKONOS satellite, show details of Pakistans weapons facilities previously known only to the secret intelligence world. The public release of these images on the eve of President Clintons trip to India and Pakistan highlights the urgency of new initiatives to address the risk of nuclear escalation between these countries.

    The Federations Public Eye project is acquiring imagery of nuclear and missile facilities around the world. In February it released imagery of the North Korean missile test facility, and imagery of additional facilities will be released in coming weeks.
    The imagery covers two of Pakistans most important special weapons facilities, the plutonium production reactor at Khushab, and the nearby medium range missile base at Sargodha. Plutonium from the Khushab reactor would probably be used in light-weight nuclear warheads for the M-11 missiles at Sargodha, which Pakistan acquired from China in the early 1990s. The new satellite imagery indicates that construction of the Khushab reactor is essentially complete, and that Pakistan has built a dozen garages for mobile missile launchers and associated vehicles at Sargodha.

    Pakistan has laid the groundwork for a force of dozens of nuclear tipped missiles capable of striking Indian cities and military bases. But Pakistan is in danger of having most of its nuclear eggs in one basket, which would be a tempting target for a pre-emptive Indian attack in a time of crisis, according to John Pike, who directs the Federations Public Eye project. The United States needs to work with India and Pakistan to reduce this temptation for launching disarming attacks. With Pakistan and India apparently moving ahead with deploying nuclear forces, the danger of such attacks will grow. In the past, American policy focused on preventing these countries from acquiring nuclear weapons. In the future, American policy need a new focus on initiatives to reduce the risk that these weapons will be used.

    US concerned about Pakistan buildup

    US foreign policy experts have urged President Bill Clinton to inform Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, during his brief stopover in Islamabad, that
    the United States will have little option but to designate Pakistan a ''state sponsor of terrorism'' if it continued to support violence and insurgency in Kashmir.

    Such a designation entails imposition of economic and other sanctions against the country under the current US law.

    ''You should voice strong criticism of their provocative posture toward the Kashmir insurgency, making clear that they (Pakistani rulers) and their country would not be better off if Pakistan foments a war with India over Kashmir or anything else,'' they said in an open letter to Clinton, released last night.

    They wanted Clinton to ask Pakistani leaders to adopt a more realistic approach to what diplomacy might accomplish vis-a-vis Kashmir in the foreseeable future and drop their insistence that Kashmir constitute the
    core of any dialogue with India.

    The letter maintained that Clinton is correct in visiting Pakistan, ''a country in danger of failing''.

    The experts, who constitute an independent task force, warned the president to resist the temptation to place ambitious nuclear weapons-related goals at the centre of
    US aims vis-a-vis India.

    Any attempt to persuade India to eliminate its nuclear arsenal will fail and poison the atmosphere for the constructive discussion of issues, they said.

    They urged both India and Pakistan to take steps to reduce the chance of conflict over Kashmir, but advised the United States to get directly involved in diplomacy
    relating to Kashmir only if all parties so desired.

    South Asia is a far more dangerous place than it was one or two years ago and relations between India and Pakistan
    have sunk to a dangerous level, one that could all too easily lead to conflict, they said.

    The task force sets forth four goals for Clinton's trip and for the remainder of the administration: to build an
    expanded, post-cold war relationship with India, to stem the drift toward war between India and Pakistan, to persuade Pakistan to embrace economic reform, the rule of law, and more responsible behaviour against terrorism and to highlight the potential success of Bangladesh as a moderate, Islamic country.

    They said it was essential that the president should communicate directly with the people of Pakistan and not simply meet with General Musharraf to underscore US
    support for open markets and political freedom.

    The independent task force has been co-sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations and chaired by Richard N Haass, vice president
    and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution.

    The signatories included former US ambassadors to both India and Pakistan and experts on both South Asia and
    non-proliferation policy.

    The letter of the independent task force builds on two previous reports -- US policy toward India and Pakistan (1998) and a new US policy toward India and Pakistan

    The signatories to the letter included former US ambassador to India Frank Wisner, former US ambassador to Pakistan Robert Oakley, Stephen P Cohen, senior fellow,
    foreign policy studies, the Brookings Institution, Francine Frankel, director, Centre for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania and Sumit Ganguly, visiting fellow, Centre for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, Neil Joeck, political
    analyst, Directorate for Non-proliferation, Arms Control and International Security.

    Open letter to the President

    Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward South Asia,
    Co-Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings

    [This message has been edited by mohabbat (edited March 14, 2000).]


      It is interesting that the US decide to release this now...(pre visit), I believ this might have been very interesting had the release been sighted after a refusal to come to Islamabad.

      Otherwise, the info is not new. The pictures of Pakistan and Indian installations are available to military ofiicers in Pakistan.
      I presume the Indian side has similar arrangements too.

      This is a public opinion stunt, the amazement is not the "Old Info", but the conspicuous timing.
      Maybe, India is being coerced to discuss Kashmir, something the BJP was readily denying a month back (NO THIRD PARTY MEDIATION).

      I guess the presidency is using the "we mediated for you in Kargil, you HAVE TO accept our involvement NOW".

      Why else would the US require the media to hype public opinion.
      India might ask for a tougher stance against Pakistan if US business is to get export concessions in INDIA, something only available to the Russians at the moment (I thought the other way round made more capitalist sense).

      BUT, all of this is opinion, and conjecture, nothing concrete, nothing official.

      So, as always, we shall wait and see what the motive is.



        This is fummy

        Two days before the Agni-II missile test on 09 April 1999, the Chandipur Interim Test Range had filed an affidavit in the
        Orissa High Court on behalf of the Defence Ministry, saying that there were no plans to test-fire any missile during the mating
        and nesting period of the sea turtles. The affidavit was in reply to a public interest litigation filed by the Wildlife Society of
        Orissa seeking a halt on all activities including missile-testing on the Wheeler Island in order to protect the turtles.

        Justice system, they hold great regard for the Orissa courts don't they

        Atleast it brings a smile.

        India and Pakistan have got a long way to go in this regard.