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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 3, 2007
Pak still dependent on smuggling networks for maintaining its nuke arsenal: UK think tank
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Pak still dependent on smuggling networks for maintaining its nuke arsenal: UK think tank

Leading Britain-based think tank, the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), has claimed that Pakistan is still dependent on smuggling networks and routes to procure items for its nuclear arsenal.

London, May 3 : Leading Britain-based think tank, the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), has claimed that Pakistan is still dependent on smuggling networks and routes to procure items for its nuclear arsenal.

According to an IISS report, which the Dawn refers to extensively, Islamabad had no alternative but to fall back on smuggling networks for maintaining its nuclear capability, as it had not yet entered international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation with ountries producing and exporting nuclear technology and raw materials.

Mark Fitzpatrick, the IISS author of the research dossier - "Nuclear markets: Pakistan, A. Q. Khan and the rise of proliferation networks - a net assessment", most of the nuclear bomb making capable countries, including the U.S., had acquired their nuclear capability through illicit routes.

The dossier which runs into 176 pages mentions few significant new findings and in conclusion makes it even clearer that without full details of the Khan's confession, the world was not going to know much about his network or other such enterprises, some of which are suspected to be still in existence.

While confirming that Pakistan is still operating illicit nuclear routes, the dossier states that confidential cooperation (with the IAEA) will help the agency and western intelligence bodies establish the answers to the key unanswered questions of how much help Dr Khan gave Iran, which other countries or individuals had access to the nuclear bomb design, to whom else he might have offered nuclear technology, and what became of the missing centrifuge components when the network dissolved.

"If Pakistan were to release Dr Khan's confession and details about the government's investigation and law-enforcement actions, this transparency would help allay suspicions of the government involvement in Dr Khan's proliferation activities," the dossier states rather helplessly.

The dossier meekly concludes: "If Pakistan were to conclude that it already has a sufficiently credible nuclear deterrent and if India were to cap its own fissile material production -- perhaps as part of an international treaty or as an independent decision -- then Pakistan would have no further reason to continue enriching uranium and producing weapon-usable plutonium.

An end to Pakistan's own enrichment-related foreign procurement and the evasion of foreign export controls that this entails would also remove one obstacle blocking Pakistan's receipt of the same exemption from nuclear supplier rules that the US proposed for India".

ANI

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