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    US surprised as Pakistan plans export of nuclear material

    ISLAMABAD, Aug 03: The government of Pakistan is to allow the export of radioactive material and equipment for nuclear reactors, in apparent breach of recently drafted guidelines. The news surprised and confused US officials, who said it appeared to undermine much of the recent progress made in talks on introducing greater controls on nuclear materials. In a full-page newspaper advertisement the Pakistani commerce ministry has published an application form for the export of 11 radioactive substances, including depleted uranium, enriched uranium, plutonium and tritium, and 17 types of equipment, including nuclear power reactors, nuclear research reactors and reactor control systems.

    Would-be exporters, who have to pay up to 2,100 dollars in application fees, must declare that the sale is for peaceful purposes only and the material will not be re-exported. They must reveal the source of the material or equipment, supply an end-user certificate, and obtain a "no-objection certificate" from the government. Although almost all nuclear material is held by the government, there are some private contractors. "This is a fulfillment of our commitment to transparency," Javed Jabbar, the information minister, said yesterday (weds). "There is absolutely no scope left for any kind of misuse or pilferage or illegal export of any substance. We are doing it only in order to be a good nuclear citizen."

    He said Pakistan had exported no nuclear material in the past and had no immediate plans for exports now. Ishfaq Ahmed, the head of the Pakistani atomic energy commission, said the export of fissionable material, including enriched uranium and plutonium, was banned but other nuclear material exports would be considered. His statement contradicted the advertisement's suggestion that enriched uranium and plutonium could be exported.

    "We made a commitment to the international community that we would put in a place a system to exercise controls on nuclear exports and that is what this is," he said. A US state department official said: "This is not exactly what the US had in mind when we talked to them about nuclear controls."

    Another, engaged in monitoring Pakistan's nuclear programme, said Islamabad only two had drawn up export control guidelines weeks ago, and the advertisement seemed to contradict them. "Up to now the Pakistanis have not supported the idea of making money out of selling this stuff," the official said. "We're still trying to figure out what all this new stuff means." Pakistan's newest nuclear reactor went operational last month. The 300MW plant at Chasma, in Punjab, was built with Chinese help. Another on the same site should be ready within 10 years.

    The country's first plant, a 125MW reactor in Karachi, began operations in 1971. Pakistan also operates a research reactor at Khushab, near Lahore, also built with Chinese help. It produces enough weapons-grade plutonium for five nuclear warheads every year, according to the Federation of American Scientists. It has at least two uranium enrichment plants and two plutonium reprocessing plants.

    The decision to invite nuclear exports comes as the government struggles to revive the economy. With 38bn dollars in foreign debt still to be paid, it must raise revenue quickly. "The purpose of this is very clear: it is to earn much-needed money," a former army chief, General Mirza Aslam Beg, said. "It shows we have enough material to maintain our low-level nuclear deterrence and so much in surplus that we can sell it in the open market. It is a respectable way of earning money." (Copyright Guardian News Service)

    this is one more reason for US not to put any more sanctions on Pakistan. can israel afford to have a nuclear iran, libya, syria, saudi at the cost of putting sanctions on Pakistan. Time for jews to think really hard.

    Pakistans internal economic reasons aside... I think the export of nuclear tech will go a long way in the development of Muslim countries. This will reduce their military budgets and dependency on western equipment. As King Faisal of Saudi once said Pakistan is the fort of Islam. Pakistan is certainly proving that true!!!

    yeah about time too.
    The only reason Pakistan is being humoured is the hope it will help curb islam and the fear that if it disintegrates the big bombs will be in control of.
    So if Pakistan starts distributing the technology or material offcially the cat is out of the bag.Not good for Pakistan

    [This message has been edited by sabah (edited August 03, 2000).]


      Andhar - so now PAK is being humoured Yes thats why the CE has now publicly come out in support of the Taliban huh? and not given into a single demand from the USA?


        CE is not even an year old in office
        Look at Pak history


          How will this announcement effect our talks with the IMF?

          What other Muslim countries would be interested in this offer, or can actually buy the stuff? How many of them are capable to making use of them? Excuse me for moi ignorance but what can all this radioactive stuff be used for, except making mass killing weapons?

          All other factors aside this is another reason for us to be proud of Pak, only few years ago, Pak didn’t even have a tiny winy nuclear program – and all the trouble Pak had to face to buy the necessary stuff to even start working on a program. And now we are ready to export it. Although this will make this word a more dangerous place to live in, but all the major players in this field should also think about this. Its high time Pak starts exploring its possibilities, and start working for the nation like other nations.

          By the way, how will this effect Pak’s image in the international fora?


            Sabah, imf and other institutions have already put sanctions on Pakistan for whatever reasons. Thus leavnig Pakistan to turn to other sources of income.

            U.S still sells more arms than anyother country in the world.... nukes if used wisely can be a good substitute for the conventional arms pile up. Particularly in the Muslim world which has no choice but to purchase a lot of western arms after the fall of ussr. arabs have been guilty of spending their money lavishly on small toys from u.s, u.k, france etc. Particularly Saudia has been guilty of purchasing arms that no one in the world would buy. each patriot missile had a cost of $1.1 million which was deducted from king fahads bank account.
            the toys Pakistan has to offer to these countries.... would prevent any country from messing around with them in the first place. Thus making the world more safe.

            Pakistan still has a couple of options to offer these countries where we can make pacts.... in which any country who went to war with say Saudi or Kuwait... would go to war with Pakistan as well. This will allow these countries to use Pakistans facilities instead of starting from scratch etc.


              >> imf and other institutions have already put sanctions on Pakistan for whatever reasons. Thus leavnig Pakistan to turn to other sources of income. <<

              Mundyaa some of the reasons are very understandable also, I was actually thinking about the on-going talks with IMF.

              I understand that this could be a historical move by Pak, especially if succeeded, but the question is how many of those countries are actually capable of using this – How many have the technology?

              >>Pakistan still has a couple of options to offer these countries where we can make pacts.... in which any country who went to war with say Saudi or Kuwait... would go to war with Pakistan as well.<<

              United Ummah haaN.

              >>This will allow these countries to use Pakistans facilities instead of starting from scratch etc. <<

              You mean nuke program or what?


                Personally, I think it's a very good idea. But I would go one step further...if they have the know-how to build nuclear power plants, then they should offer the whole service like that which Pak sought from the Chineese. That, build AND maintain!

                There are a lot, an awfull lot of countries in this world that are desperate for more electricity supply, yet cannot afford the huge sticker prices demanded by the few western giants that have this industry in a strangle hold!

                But, if we are talking about selling knowledge of nuke weapons, are the Pakistanis willing to sell to ANYONE prepared to pay or will they be more discerning towards their clientele?

                If the latter, can you imagine what would happen if the likes of the Rawandan 'Hutu's' were to buy a nuke?

                [This message has been edited by AnokhaUK (edited August 07, 2000).]

                [This message has been edited by AnokhaUK (edited August 07, 2000).]


                  In my opinion, nuclear bomb is, afterall, a technology of 40's. so making a crude bomb should not be tough once u have reactor ans start making material for urself (mart bombs that can loaded on missiles etc. is different story)
                  and it is very difficult to distinguish between a 'peaceful' and not so peaceful nuclear program.
                  so the concerns will be there. now if arab world has nuclear weapons, it does not make sense to use it against israel since israel will retaliate. if jeruslem is bombed, mecca or madina could be target. if other parts are bomber, it could be bagdad or teheran. It is a small piece o land and nuclear attack will simply make it impossible to live for both israelis and palestinians. what will arabs do with the poisoned land particularly when some of its own land will get poisoned in turn.
                  the likelihood of using nuclear weapons is higher against enemy which does not have the nukes. so its usage in wars within arabs is not ruled out.
                  the craziest thing will be if taliban get nukes. that wil lead to an absolutely unpredictable scenario.


                    Yes Pakistan is ill advised to export this technology.
                    The thought of Taliban getting hold of them must be as scary to them as it is to rest of the world
                    If the English are to be believed the Taliban already have fissile materials left behind by Russians


                      taliban possibly cant afford this technology. Saudies and Kuwaities can.... and they can have libya do their laundry.

                      Now that the hizbul broke off peace talks with hindu govt.... Pakistan should in near future give more autonomy to Azad Kashmir. There is already a proposal underway for more autonomy for the rest of the provinces along with Kashmir. With this new autonomy comes the responsibility of dividing our resources equally among the five provinces of the land of pure...... which means Kashmiries will get their share of nukes.

                      Then things will be a little bit more interesting.... a nuclear Kashmir can take on hindus much better than Pakistan. Its about time Kashmiries were given full control of deciding their fate along with the fate of their enemies.

                      [This message has been edited by mundyaa (edited August 08, 2000).]


                        This is my 2 cents worth - well actually they are worth a couple of dollars but who cares!!!
                        We have the right to export what we want - it is called sovereignty.
                        Nobody can tell us what to do.
                        Least of all they US.
                        Heck they supplied Isreal with its program and footed about 75% of the bill.
                        Heck recently like last year Isreal developed their own version of "Star Wars" with American military, scientists and the US paid 50% of it!!!
                        So who the is the US to threaten us.
                        However the Taliban should not have this stuff.
                        All of they are psycho's!!!
                        Andhra talking about cat out of the bag the us and all western countries know that Pak will not go any where near curbing Islam.
                        It is a known fact.
                        It is not a secret.
                        Islam is a force which can not be curbed!!!!

                        Sahab baji i will answer your questions if you don't mind.

                        1. Yes this will affect our talks with the IMF.
                        For the following reasons:
                        A. The West funds the IMF and are scared ****less of the fact that terrorists might get the bomb - rightly so.
                        B. We don't have any PAK people in the higher end of the heirarchy of the IMF.
                        I am sorry to say that Shaukat Aziz was the last top notch pak guy in the IMF.

                        2. The other muslim countries:
                        a. Iran
                        b. Iraq
                        c. Syria
                        d. Lebanon
                        e. Libya
                        f. Egypt

                        Who will be able to pay - NONE!!!
                        Who have the technology - Egypt and maybe Libya.

                        What can it be used for??
                        Sahab Baji Nuclear power plants can produce large amounts of electricity which can be used instead of other items like gas, oil or water.
                        So the ME can use the other of their limited resources to increase the standard of life.
                        This will make gas and oil cheaper to buy and use.
                        And with Nuclear powered generators the electricity would be cheaper relative to before and produce a larger amount of electricity.
                        This would make most things in life way cheaper.

                        As for its image - nothing changes we will be seen as a terrorist nation which produces terrorists to kill the white folk and with nuclear powers.
                        Heck we have been living with this story for the past 10 years - unjustly so.

                        Also ZZ Jeruselum is sacred to muslims there is no way in hell a MUSLIM WOULD BOMB THERE!!!!!
                        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!