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Scientists warn of advancements in Pakistani nuclear program

Tim Brown
Image analyst Tim Brown looks at pictures of Pakistani and Indian nuclear reactors. He says Pakistani missiles are vulnerable to an Indian strike (122K/12 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
 

Satellite images may show new missiles

March 16, 2000
Web posted at: 1:21 AM HKT (1721 GMT)


In this story:

New buildings at missile base

Policy may have to be revised

Clinton visit sparks heated debate



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Satellite photographs commissioned by the Federation of American Scientists and released on Wednesday show startling new evidence of the progress of Pakistan's nuclear program, the FAS believes.

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VideoCNN's David Ensor talks with the scientists. (March 15)
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The photographs were released in advance of U.S. President Bill Clinton's trip to India and Pakistan, the world's two newest nuclear powers.

"What's striking about this image is it shows the Pakistanis have all their eggs in one basket," Tim Brown, an image analyst for the federation, said. "These Pakistani missiles are vulnerable to an Indian first strike."

The FAS is a nonprofit organization based in Washington that analyzes scientific, technological and public policy issues concerning global security. Its membership includes more than 55 American Nobel laureates. FAS was founded as the Federation of Atomic Scientists in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project, which produced the first atomic bomb.

New buildings at missile base

The FAS says the pictures show a dozen new garages at a missile base in Sargodha, Pakistan, believed to contain M-11 mobile missiles.

John Pike
Listen to why John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists thinks the United States should not isolate Pakistan and India (106K/12 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
 

These missiles, the federation says, could be fitted with nuclear warheads within a few years. At present neither Pakistan nor its neighbor India have developed warheads small enough to be carried by a missile, according to U.S. administration sources.

CNN's John Raedler reports that the Pakistan Foreign Ministry would not comment on the federation's report.

Policy may have to be revised

The policy of the United States is to attempt to persuade both nations to give up their nuclear arsenals voluntarily.

But international policy analysts believe the policy needs to be revised.

"These countries are not about to get out of the nuclear business," said Richard Haas of the Brookings Institution. "The idea of roll-back, the idea of turning back the clock -- choose your image -- is not on."

The scientists said that without help, India and Pakistan could easily stumble into a nuclear war, particularly in light of their border dispute over the province of Kashmir.

"I think the United States needs to engage with India and Pakistan to help them deploy a limited number of nuclear weapons in the most stabilizing fashion possible," John Pike, FAS member, said.

Clinton visit sparks heated debate

Clinton's visit to Pakistan was reported to be the subject of heated debate within the U.S. State Department.

Satellite
Scientists say this satellite image shows a Pakistani missile base, lower right, where M-11 mobile missiles may be housed  

Those opposed to a visit say it would serve to legitimize the Pakistani government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in a military coup last October.

But supporters of a visit say that engaging Islamabad is the best way to encourage reform in Pakistan, and the poor Islamic country should not be isolated.

The United States and other Western countries want India and Pakistan to resume their interrupted dialogue to ease tensions in Kashmir.

President Clinton is scheduled to leave for India and Pakistan on Saturday.

ASIANOW


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RELATED SITES:
Federation of American Scientists
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Pakistan Link
Pakistan News Service
IndiaTimes.com
Pakistan homepage
Kashmir Net
Nuclear Testing in India and Pakistan
India Nuclear Testing
IndiaInfo: Indian Nuclear Test
Discover India


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