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Pakistan rejects US N. technology offer !

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    Pakistan rejects US N. technology offer !

    The Nation:
    KARACHI(From Anwer Sindhu) - Pakistan has turned down an American offer of the transfer of technology for the command and control of its strategic nuclear weapons force, and has embarked on a drive to indigenously develop a system of its own, sources close to the project said Wednesday.
    The US offer of command, control and communications technology was made to both Pakistan and India almost immediately after the tit-for-tat rounds of nuclear tests explosions conducted in May 1998.
    In return, Washington asked each country to give a written pledge to cease nuclear weapons testing and not deploy nuclear-tipped missiles.
    In India's case, the offer included a conventional weapons sweetener, but this did not impress the nationalist government in New Delhi.
    "Whatever was offered was already published and in the public domain. Obviously, we had no reason to accept either the offer or the terms attached to it," a senior Indian diplomat told The Nation.
    Pakistan also turned down the offer, because of concerns that employment of US technology might in some way compromise the government's control of its tactical weapons.
    But it was not until the ascension of General Pervez Musharraf to power in October 1999 that a clear-cut policy on the long-term command structure of the country's strategic deterrent force was evolved.
    The Chief Executive gave public voice to his government's plans when he described vowed that Pakistan would act as a "responsible nuclear power".
    Behind the scenes, the country's top military planners and scientists drew up a plan for the development of a state-of-the-art command, control, communications and intelligence (C4I) network for its strategic force.
    "Six to eight months ago, funds were set aside and the hiring of information technology specialists began," a source disclosed.
    A policy decision was also taken to confine the range of Pakistan's indigenously developed, nuclear-capable missiles to 2,500 kilometres (the maximum range of the Shaheen-II).
    "We have already achieved the range and accuracy needed to cover all major strategic targets in India, so there is no need to go any further," a source maintained. "Our emphasis is now to improve the various technological capabilities of our missiles." The development of the Shaheen-II has given Pakistan a qualitative edge over its rival, whose Agni-II alternative (target range: 2,000 kilometres) has yet to succeed in field trials.
    Both countries have already inducted shorter-range missiles, Shaheen-I and Prithvi (range: 250 kilometres).
    The third element of Pakistan's nuclear policy was elaborated by the Foreign Secretary, Inamul Haq, during his visit to Europe in July.
    Speaking in Berlin, he declared that Pakistan would, indeed, consider deploying its nuclear weapons in response to a conventional attack by India, to counter the aggressor's quantitative superiority.
    New Delhi has chosen not to define the circumstances in which it would deploy its nuclear weapons against Pakistan.
    Both sides are currently involved in a race to enhance the technological infrastructure of their respective nuclear weapons programmes.
    This would, in turn, determine the speed with which they could initiate or respond to a strike.
    It would also guarantee that the commanders of regional nuclear forces would be unable to initiate a strike without encrypted authorisation from their head of government.
    Currently, both nations claim to possess automated command, control and communications (C3) structures for their conventional forces.
    However, defence analysts doubt these claims, because of the large element of manual control is employed.
    Effectively, this means both Pakistan and India possess only basic command and control (C2) structures. "As things stand, there is parity as far as command and control is concerned," a source maintained. "However, India does have a head start because of its more extensive fibre optic network and functioning satellite programme." Analysts said Pakistan's planned development of a C4I structure is a daunting undertaking. "Even the major Western powers have struggled to develop efficient C4I," a Western analyst said.

    very interesting!!