Pakistan Nuclear Proliferation - 02 October 2004

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Postby Rangudu » 25 Mar 2005 09:54

Boston Globe edit. Bang the drum slowly. ... lear_khan/

Nuclear Khan

March 23, 2005

THE MORE that is known about the peddling of parts and designs for nuclear weapons by the network of the Pakistani metallurgist A.Q. Khan, the more pressing is the need to have him divulge what he knows about his network's past and current transactions.

Recent disclosures --from Libya and from a key Khan operative who has been talking to International Atomic Energy Agency and American officials while imprisoned in Malaysia --indicate that Khan and his accomplices dealt in centrifuges for enriching uranium and the designs needed to manufacture centrifuges. In addition, he was hawking the designs and engineering instructions to build the core of a nuclear bomb and set off a chain reaction.

It is already known that Khan's customers included North Korea, Iran, and Libya. He may also have done business with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Ironically, Saddam Hussein rejected an offer from the network, suspecting it was part of a sting operation. In 1995, UN weapons inspectors discovered a document dated June 10, 1990, that described a Khan offer of a ''project to enrich uranium and manufacture a nuclear weapon." The document went on to say Khan was ''prepared to give us project designs for a nuclear bomb."

This early revelation of Khan's nuclear commerce should have been alarming enough to cause the IAEA and concerned governments to swoop down on Khan and his Pakistani protectors immediately. But it was only in the past year, after the turnabout of Libya's ruler Moammar Khadafy and the revelations from an Iranian dissident group concerning the advanced state of Tehran's nuclear program, that Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf was obliged to hear a confession and apology from Khan and place him under a comfortable house arrest.

Now that the full extent of Khan's proliferation operation is being documented, it should be evident that Musharraf must not be allowed to go on shielding the father of the Pakistani bomb from foreign interrogators. The world needs to know exactly what Khan sold to which countries. And since the network appears to still be functioning outside Pakistan, Khan has to reveal everything he knows about manufacturers of parts and the whereabouts of bomb designs and the people who peddle them.

If Musharraf does not want to be seen toadying to the Americans, he can make Khan available to nonproliferation specialists from the IAEA, another UN body, or some delegation from several nations. Musharraf may demand assurances that the interrogators will not ask Khan about the role of the Pakistani military in his transactions, :evil: but he is endangering the whole world if he continues to keep Khan's perilous secrets.

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Postby kgoan » 25 Mar 2005 12:26

An article by A R siddiqi in todays Dawn.

BTW, reading between the lines, it strikes me that is an attempt to warn Mush and other elements of the Pak heirarchy that co-operating any more with the US on Khan could lead to the exposure of some of the members other than Khan.

What I find interesting is that the usual arguments about keeping Paks nukes "safe" are being ignored for a direct attempt to remind people of their personal interests.

i.e. If this is a "protect Khan otherwise *you're* in danger" argument instead of the usual "protect Khan otherwise Paks nukes are in danger", then things have really moved on in PkLand and the US has made some breakthrough there.

I'd say that the progression of the warnings from "Islam in danger", to "Pak in danger", to "Pak nukes in danger" to "You lot in charge are in danger" to be a real signpost of that breakthrough.

Pakistan's nuclear dilemma
By A.R. Siddiqi

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at her joint press conference with Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri during her recent visit to Islamabad did not mince words about the threat potential of Dr A.Q. Khan's nuclear 'entrepreneur ship'.

The Khan network, she said, represented a threat 'not just to the United States, but to Pakistan, to the region, to the international community'. A statement simple in verbiage but ominously loaded in intent.

Whereas Pakistan has cooperated with the US in breaking up the Khan network, the US also had a number of other countries cooperating with it on that front, Ms Rice said. She stressed her country's interest in knowing what happened so that 'we can safeguard against this kind of black market entrepreneurship....'

Ms Rice left no doubt that her country would not rest content until fully equipped with vital information leading to the origins of the Khan network and its international world-wide sweep.

Pakistan might well have gone out of its way to assuage US anxiety on that score, yet, apparently, not far enough to get down to the bottom of the case. In other words, to bring the culprit to book and punish him to meet the ends of American justice, ala Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay style.

One of the questions Pakistan must answer pertains to the mystifying ignorance or the deliberate connivance of authorities at the highest level when this illicit trafficking was going on for over a decade or so.

How could an operation as elaborate and world-wide happen right under the nose of Islamabad without a finger being pointed or a hand raised to stop the mess at the source?

Time magazine in a recent cover story 'The merchant of menace', asked: How did A.Q. Khan become the world's most dangerous trafficker? Even as an essentially speculative story based on information provided by unnamed sources, it did inestimable damage to Pakistan's image as a 'responsible' nuclear state nevertheless.

How can Pakistan boast of ensuring foolproof security of its nuclear assets with whole centrifuges and allied equipment being flown out of Islamabad airport either direct to the end-user or to Karachi for onward shipment to destination? This is a question calling for a categorical answer to satisfy the world community as well as our own public.

Time squarely accuses Abdul Qadeer Khan of 'stealing' nuclear designs from the Netherlands to help Pakistan build a bomb. He was then to create a vast network to trade nuclear secrets and 'illicit technology across several continents'.

Just about three weeks after the publication of the Time canard, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad appeared on TV (March 10) to confirm the substance of the story. Dr Khan, the information minister admitted in so many words, gave centrifuges to Iran in his 'individual capacity' and the government of Pakistan had nothing to do with it.

What sort of government would that be to have allowed the head of its highest security institution to indulge in extended piracy and not know about it?

As if the bare acknowledgement of Dr Khan's role as a private salesman of vital nuclear equipment was not enough, the information minister went on to say that the centrifuges (P-1 and P-2) provided by Dr Khan were 'outdated'. Dr Khan was thus acting not only as a private nuclear proliferator but also as a cheat.

The first to react to his information minister's gaffe was Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz himself. He said the minister was 'misquoted'. Less than a week later, President Pervez Musharraf told the BBC in an interview that no nuclear material was transferred.

Investigation 'revealed' that no 'nuclear material has been given over, other than some centrifuge parts, centrifuge designs.' By implication nothing like enriched uranium or fissile nuclear material was included in Dr Khan's bill of lading. It was the best the president could do in the face of distressing circumstances.

The somewhat baffling diversity of response to the A.Q. Khan affair has left the people at large wondering as to what exactly the truth might be. Even the Foreign Office versions about a 'request' from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were tentative if not exactly evasive. According to the FO spokesman, 'We have not been asked to hand over any centrifuges to IAEA for inspection/verification) nor will Pakistan do so.'

The question remains as to what exactly Pakistan has been asked for. Also for how much longer will we be able to withstand the pressures being brought to bear on us to throw our nuclear programme open (if not the facility itself) to international inspection?

The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army.


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Postby SaiK » 25 Mar 2005 16:30

pakistan agrees to send its centrifuges to iaea!!? something fishy. .. highly possible that they would doctor it.. they have always worked with chinese on these issues, perhaps iaea should verify the centrifuge design with other nations aswell.

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Postby ramana » 25 Mar 2005 22:38

Raman's Trip report on the Madrid congress: MADRID IMPRESSIONS I: PAKISTAN, THE NUCLEAR WALMART

The Forum should critically examine the AQK proliferation story. The way the US is going it is being turned into an axis of evil story. That may be true but there could be other transfers which negatively impact India. In other words the threats that India faces are different than the threats that the West and the US face.

Facts so far:
1) AQK supplied centrifuge technology and spares to a host of countries many of whom are in the axis of evil category- Libya, North Korea and Iran. We do not understand why he might not have done the same for KSA, Egypt or other ummah?
2) All the rumors are about HEU centrifuge based enrichment. Now such a weapon has to be tested which is rather difficult now. So he is said to be throwing in a Chinese 10 kt bomb design. Where did he get it from? If any one recalls Wallace had isolated three spikes in the Chagai -I test on May 28th. So presumably AQK is throwing in the tested design to provide confidence it works.
3) The timeline of this recent transfers is after 9/11. So there is a push to arm the ummah on a priority basis. Why? Was AQK alone in this? If so how does one reconcile the fact that the weapon development was done in PAEC by Mand and his colleagues and AQK was not even present at the test site but was talknig to the CNN on that day with his nervous twitch in his hand? He was only the fuel guy.
4) Given his ummah driven concerns were the transfers only to state actors and not to non-state actors? How does one reconcile the reports of Bashir Mohammed et al and their links to ALQ?

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Postby Rangudu » 26 Mar 2005 08:45

:x :roll:

Cover up, cover up and even more cover up. ... -headlines

Probe Reveals Pakistan Bought U.S. Nuclear Technology

Efforts by two U.S. agencies to gather more evidence have been stymied for more than a year by other American officials.

By Josh Meyer
Times Staff Writer

7:27 PM PST, March 25, 2005

WASHINGTON — A federal criminal investigation has uncovered evidence that the government of Pakistan has made clandestine purchases of U.S. high-technology components for use in its nuclear weapons program in defiance of American law.

Federal authorities also say the highly specialized equipment at one point passed through the hands of an arms dealer in Islamabad, Pakistan, named Humayun Khan, who they say has ties to Islamic militants.

Even though President Bush has been pushing for an international crackdown on such trafficking, efforts by two U.S. agencies to send investigators to Pakistan to gather more evidence have been stymied for more than a year by other American officials, according to U.S. officials knowledgeable about the case.

The impasse is part of a larger tug-of-war between federal agencies that enforce U.S. nonproliferation laws and policy-makers who consider Pakistan too important to embarrass. The transactions began in early 2003, well after President Pervez Musharraf threw his support to the Bush administration's war on terrorism and the invasion of neighboring Afghanistan to oust Pakistan's former Taliban allies.

"This is the age-old problem with Pakistan and the U.S. Other priorities always trump the United States from coming down hard on Pakistan's nuclear proliferation. And it goes back 15 to 20 years," said David Albright, director of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. A former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq and elsewhere, Albright favors getting tougher with Pakistan.

U.S. and European officials involved in nonproliferation issues say they recently have discovered evidence that Pakistan has begun a push to acquire advanced nuclear components in the black market as it tries to upgrade its 30-year-old nuclear program.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the same elements of the Pakistan military that they suspect of orchestrating efforts to buy American-made products also might have worked with Abdul Qadeer Khan, the so-called father of the Pakistani nuclear program who supplied nuclear weapons know-how and parts to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

The scheme U.S. investigators are trying to unravel involves Humayun Khan and a South African electronics salesman named Asher Karni, a former Israeli army major.

Aided by Karni, who pleaded guilty to violating export control laws and began cooperating with U.S. authorities shortly after his arrest 15 months ago, investigators have traced at least one shipment of oscilloscopes from Oregon to South Africa and on to Humayun Khan

But the trail did not end there. According to recently unsealed U.S. Commerce Department documents, agents followed the shipment to the Al-Technique Corporation of Pakistan, which had not been specified on any of the shipping or purchasing documents.

Al-Technique describes itself as a manufacturer of precision lasers and other military-related products. But for federal investigators, "It was a big red flag," said one U.S. official.

"It's definitely a front for nuclear weapons, for their WMD project," the U.S. official said. The company is on a U.S. list of companies prohibited from buying equipment such as the special oscilloscopes that can be used in nuclear weapons programs.

Like other officials interviewed for this article, the official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the political sensitivity of the case, the records of which has been sealed by a federal judge. The judge also imposed a gag order on all participants.

U.S. officials suspect that the Pakistani government was the ultimate buyer behind another purchase Humayun Khan made from Karni, that of 200 U.S.-made precision electronic switches that can be used in detonating nuclear weapons.

U.S. law prohibits the sale of equipment that can be used in nuclear weapons programs to Pakistan and some other countries as part of the American effort to curb nuclear proliferation. Officials accuse Humayan Khan and Karni of conspiring to break those laws by concealing the true nature of the transactions. Khan has not been charged with any crime in the United States, but the Commerce Department has banned him from doing business in the United States

Halting illegal transfers of nuclear weapons components is a cornerstone of the administration's Proliferation Security Initiative, and the departments of Commerce and Homeland Security moved quickly to pursue leads after Karni's arrest.

Karni's cooperation has allowed U.S. officials to expand their investigation significantly, and officials say as many as several dozen suspects are under scrutiny in Pakistan, India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere.

Humayun Khan's involvement in the deal aroused concern because they have linked him to several militant groups, including the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, a Pakistani opposition party that supports fighters in disputed Kashmir.

Last year, federal prosecutors used Karni's ties to Khan to argue successfully against having Karni released on bond while awaiting trial.

U.S. agents began gearing up for an investigative trip to Pakistan in early 2004. They recently had completed a mission to South Africa that produced a wealth of evidence. They hoped to question Humayun Khan and others, locate missing components, and pursue additional leads.

But when the Commerce and Homeland Security Departments asked the State Department early last year to clear the investigators' trip with Pakistan, they never got permission. Law enforcement officials complain that the delay has allowed the trail to grow cold.

Several senior U.S. officials said that the United States had made high-level requests of Islamabad for cooperation in the case, but that none was made forcefully or publicly. Two State Department officials dealing with nonproliferation said the Bush administration has voiced its concerns about Pakistan's ties to the nuclear black market, most recently during private meetings between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Musharraf and other Pakistani leaders last week.

Pakistan also has refused to allow access to Abdul Qadeer Khan. But Gary Milhollin, a nuclear nonproliferation expert, said the Bush administration could apply enough pressure on Pakistan to gain access for the investigators, tying cooperation to the $3 billion U.S. aid package, for example, and the sale of F-16 fighter jets that the White House announced Friday.

"But it seems bizarre that we are letting the Pakistanis get away with nuclear smuggling because we think they'll help fight terrorism," said Milhollin, who heads the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.

Humayun Khan, in a telephone interview from Islamabad, denied any involvement with the recent shipments, insisting "someone else" ordered the oscilloscopes and the switches, had them shipped to his office, then snatched them somewhere along the way.

"It's very tragic," Khan declared. "You don't know where these things are landing. They come through and they vanish."

Khan charged that Washington has allowed dozens of black market companies to flourish in Pakistan and elsewhere by selectively enforcing its nonproliferation laws.

"It's all about politics," Khan said. "If they don't want us to develop these things, they would do everything they can to stop it. ... You (the U.S. government) close one eye and open the other at particular times to these things that have been going on."

He said dozens of front companies throughout South Asia and the Middle East are procuring such components from U.S. companies for questionable purposes.

Khan said he had emailed detailed information to U.S. investigators about at least 10 other Pakistani companies that he claims routinely engage in illicit schemes to buy goods from U.S. suppliers, including Tektronix, Inc., the Oregon company that sold him the oscilloscopes.

U.S. officials will say only that Khan has provided evasive and contradictory answers about the case. Although they have talked to him by telephone, they say it is critical to confront him in Pakistan, where they can do follow-up investigations.

Khan said he assumed that, because U.S. investigators never showed up, they must have dropped him as a suspect. Pakistani authorities, Khan added, also haven't questioned because he and his father have done business with the Islamabad's Defense Ministry for 40 years and would not do anything the government didn't approve of.

"Nobody came to me. Why? They didn't bother," Khan said. "They know us like we were relatives."

Alisha Goff, a spokeswoman for Tektronix Inc. said the company was aware of the investigation, including the purchase of its oscilloscopes, but said authorities have not implicated it in any wrongdoing.

She said the company had stopped all shipments to Khan, pending the outcome of the investigation.

"Tektronix is cooperating fully with the government, and as such cannot provide any additional information on this matter," she said.

U.S. investigators have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of support from inside their own government because they say they see rising indications of Pakistani involvement in the nuclear black market. They cite evidence suggesting that Pakistan has increased its already extensive network of agents operating in the global market for nuclear and missile components.

Foreign officials involved with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, say they believe Pakistan has set aside a huge budget for new black market components to upgrade its entire nuclear weapons program.

Some of the illicit equipment is part of a large program to expand Pakistan's nuclear arsenal with plutonium-based weapons, which are smaller and far more destructive than weapons using uranium, diplomats and investigators say.

"Pakistan does need nuclear technology," said one European diplomat with ties to Pakistan, noting that Islamabad's agents have been caught trying to make illicit purchases of specialized steel and aluminum, as well as nuclear trigger called krytrons.

"We have the names of the companies and we have been talking to them," another diplomat said.

Pakistani officials repeatedly have declined to discuss the Karni case and the investigation. One senior Pakistani official said that while his country does not intentionally violate U.S. nonproliferation laws, it will continue to support and improve its nuclear weapons program as a deterrent to its arch-rival, India, which he said also uses the black market.

The Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Justice would not permit anyone to discuss the criminal case on the record, and the White House and State Department also had no official comment.

State Department officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the administration believes it has few options for pressuring Musharraf when his cooperation is critically important on several other fronts.

"It's one thing for them to cooperate with us in efforts to stop (nuclear components) from going elsewhere, such as Iran," said one of the officials. "But they will never cooperate with us on efforts to stop things that they are trying to get. They've got their own program, which they're trying to keep."
Times staff writer Douglas Frantz in Vienna contributed to this report.

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Postby RajGuru » 26 Mar 2005 15:49

please delete if posted earlier
Washington Post
U.S. shielded Pakistan in report on N. Korean sale of nuclear material
Dafna Linzer, Washington Post

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya. That was a significant new charge, the first allegation that North Korea was helping to create a new nuclear weapons state.

But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the transaction. North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride -- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium -- to Pakistan. It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold it to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the officials said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.

Pakistan's role was concealed because it is Washington's partner in the hunt for Al-Qaida leaders, according to the officials, who discussed the issue on the condition of anonymity. In addition, a North Korea-Pakistan transfer would not have been news to the U.S. allies, which have known of such transfers for years and viewed them as a business matter between sovereign states.

The Bush administration's approach, intended to isolate North Korea, instead left allies increasingly doubtful as they began to learn that the briefings omitted essential details, U.S. officials and foreign diplomats said in interviews. North Korea responded to public reports last month about the briefings by withdrawing from talks with its neighbors and the United States.

In an effort to repair the damage, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is traveling through East Asia this weekend trying to get the six-nation talks back on track. The impasse was expected to dominate talks today in Seoul and then Beijing.

The new details follow controversies over the Bush administration's use of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. In the run-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003, the White House offered a public case against Iraq that concealed dissent on nearly every element of intelligence and included interpretations unsupported by the evidence.

A presidential commission is reviewing the case, and judgments on Iran and North Korea. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also is reviewing evidence on other possible weapons programs suspected in Iran and North Korea.

The United States briefed allies on North Korea in late January and early February. Shortly afterward, administration officials, speaking to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity, said North Korea had sold uranium hexafluoride to Libya and portrayed the briefings as part of regular discussions with China, South Korea and Japan, ahead of a new round of hoped-for talks on North Korea's nuclear program.

But in recent days, two other U.S. officials said the briefings were hastily arranged after China and South Korea indicated they were considering bolting from six-party talks on North Korea. The talks have been seen as largely ineffectual, but the Bush administration, which refuses to meet bilaterally with Pyongyang, insists they are crucial to curbing North Korea's nuclear program.

The White House declined to offer an official to comment by name about the new details on Pakistan. A prepared response attributed to a senior administration official said that the U.S. government "has provided allies with an accurate account of North Korea's nuclear proliferation activities."

Although the briefings did not mention Pakistan by name, the official said they made it clear that the sale went through the illicit network operated by Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdel Qadeer Khan. But the briefings gave no indication that U.S. intelligence believes that the material had been bought by Pakistan and transferred there from North Korea in a container owned by the Pakistani government.

Since Pakistan became a key U.S. ally in the hunt for Al-Qaida leaders, the administration has not held President Pervez Musharraf accountable for actions taken by Khan while he was a member of Musharraf's Cabinet and in charge of nuclear cooperation for the government.

"The administration is giving Pakistan a free ride when they don't deserve it and hurting U.S. interests at the same time," said Charles Pritchard, who was the Bush administration's special envoy for the North Korea talks until August 2003. "As our allies get the full picture, it doesn't help our credibility with them," he said.

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Postby Rye » 28 Mar 2005 01:42

And now the Josh Meyer Article Rangudu posted is in the IE?! ... t_id=67261

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Postby Laks » 29 Mar 2005 18:13

Why can't he call a spade a spade? What neighbourhood BS? I suppose it may be Bhutan which is proliferating.

Clandestine nuclear proliferation in neighbourhood: Natwar Singh

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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2005 20:22

Wilson John's Op-Ed in Pioneer, 29 March 2005

Shadows in Khan's network

Wilson John

It is amazing how the US investigating agencies have taken more than a year to figure out that Dr AQ Khan could not have set up his network of nuclear smugglers without the help of a whole lot of people than thought earlier. According to recent news leaks appearing in some major US newspapers, the investigating agencies are reportedly discovering missing links in Khan's network.

Beginning March 2004, I have been writing that the investigating agencies should look beyond Khan and identify his collaborators and associates who might actually help in tracking down the network's anchors in other states, and within Pakistan. In June 2004, I completed a special report for the Observer Research Foundation titled Pakistan's Nuclear Underworld which attempted to piece together Khan's network, his collaborators, financiers and supporters. The report mentions names and places on record what only a select few in the intelligence community knew.

Before attempting to understand the Khan's network, there are quite a few caveats four of which are worth flagging for the purposes of this analysis. First, it is misleading to presume that the nuclear proliferation activities orchestrated by Khan was a private venture. It was a state-sponsored enterprise for which prime ministers and presidents, besides the chiefs of Army staff and ISI, starting from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto have been guilty of.

Second, US intelligence agencies were clearly aware of these activities. Third, the network was made up of criminal syndicates, politicians and businessmen, prominent financial institutions and legitimate military and intelligence officers - a factor which makes it impossible for any attempt to unmask the real faces behind the network. Fourth, the strong possibility of terrorist networks, not peopled by bearded and turbaned fundamentalists of the past but by young, bright, technically-savvy and highly motivated men and women. They are equally comfortable in temples of worship as in the cyberway, taking advantage of such networks to procure nuclear materials quite capable of making, if not nuclear weapons, radioactive bombs which are no less threatening.

To take the last point first, one of the least investigated links of the Khan's network is the ever-expanding smuggling network which extends from south-east Asia to northern Europe. It is therefore important to cite a few instances of the Khan network using some of the smuggling networks in Europe. A Romanian-Israeli citizen, Shi`mon Na`or, operated one such network through a respectable firm in Bucharest,the capital of Romania. Investigations by intelligence and security officials of several nations revealed the existence of a smuggling network run by former KGB agents that dealt in ex-Soviet nuclear material. Na`or was one of the links. There are reports that Na`or's ring procured nuclear material for Pakistan. He has since been tried and sentenced for seven years.

There are other references to the Russian involvement in smuggling nuclear material for Pakistan. Former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, in an interview disclosed that Russian scientists who wanted to sell enriched uranium approached her. In 1994, a German, Adolf Jaekle, was arrested in Bremen (northern Germany) with a sample of Russian plutonium which he had offered to an undercover policeman. The arrest led to extensive searches in Berlin and those arrested during the raids pointed the finger at Pakistan as possible destination for the plutonium. According to a German parliamentary control commission, Jaekle had a $100 million contract with an unknown country to buy fissile material.

One of the serious fallouts of the transnational smuggling networks being used by the Black Network is the real possibility of terror networks like the Al-Qaeda following the same trail for acquiring nuclear or radioactive material. The seizure of 10 lead-lined containers filled with radioactive material, probably Strontium 90 (which can be used to make radioactive bombs) at a remote border in Kazakhstan in early-2000 could be a pointer. The material was marked to a firm, Ahmadjan Haji Mohammad, located in Quetta, Pakistan. It was suspected that the material could have been smuggled out of Kazakhstan for the Al-Qaeda. Kazakhstan has long been suspected to be a key staging post for nuclear smuggling networks. It was one of the outposts of the Black Network where BSA Tahir, one of Khan's key associates in Dubai and Malaysia, had one of the offices of SMB Computers.

A Pakistani newspaper reported in 1996 that U-235 (enriched uranium), stolen from Kazakhstan's Ust-Kamenogorsk province, was available for sale in Peshawar. In 1997, Russian police officials caught seven residents of Altay region for trying to sell 5.2 kg of U-235 from the Ulba Metallurgy Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, for $100,000. The material was being bought for either Pakistan or China.

It cannot be a coincidence that at about the same time when the Strontium 90 consignment was seized, the Al-Qaeda was persuading Pakistani nuclear scientists to share their knowledge and expertise in making radiation bombs. At least two of the scientists, Sultan Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, met with Al-Qaeda leaderships, including Osama bin-Laden, in Afghanistan and discussed the possibility of producing radiological dispersal devices. There is another possible linkage between smuggling rings, terrorist groups and the Khan network which is yet to be investigated.

A significant clue to this possibility could be found in the US State Department designation of Dawood Ibrahim as a global terrorist. Dawood is wanted by the Indian government for several acts of terrorist crimes. "Dawood," says the State Department notification "...has found common cause with the Al- Qaeda, sharing his smuggling routes with the terror syndicate and funding attacks by Islamic extremists... Ibrahim's syndicate is involved in large-scale shipments of narcotics in the UK and western Europe. The syndicate's smuggling routes from South Asia, Middle East and Africa are shared with Osama bin-Laden and his terrorist networks. Successful routes established over recent years by Ibrahim's syndicate have been subsequently utilised by Osama."

Now that US investigating agencies are on to an Israeli businessman settled in South Africa, Asher Karni, and his Islamabad contact, Humayun Khan, it is time to turn to other actors in the drama who have so far remained in the shadows. One such person is Aizaz Jaffri, a prominent businessman based in Islamabad. He owns "Hot Shots", a bowling alley and a mall complex, besides scores of business establishments which, according to the newspaper Jang, are actually owned by AQ Khan. News reports in Pakistan quoted officials as saying, "We believe Jaffri was an intermediary between Khan and the larger illicit network."

Jaffri used to work for Pakistan's National Development Corporation, a state enterprise, before he joined the Khan network and began acting as a front man for dozens of businesses established by Khan. He serves as the managing director of the Best Western Hotel in Islamabad and runs dozens of restaurants and hotels owned by Khan. An intriguing fact is that Jaffri's reported association with China North Industries Corporation or Norinco, a state-owned Chinese corporation which is collaborating with Pakistan on missile and weapons development and production. One link that emerged is the Chinese restaurant in Islamabad, Wang Fu, partly owned by Jaffri two years ago and in which Norinco and Khan's brother, Qayuum, also have a stake.

Jaffri is also tied to Khan's activities in Dubai where he, reports said, might have had laundered the proceeds of Khan's Black Network. Between November and December 2003, when Khan was being questioned and his associates detained, Jaffri made three trips to Dubai, possibly, as investigators suspect, to shut down the financial structure that he ran for Khan. Jaffri and Humayun Khan could tell quite a few tales about AQ Khan and his network.

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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2005 20:28

If you read the Josh Meyer and Wilson John article a disturbing picture emerges: Some powers in the West are allowing the TSP to increase their inventory of nukes based on the HEU design after 9/11. Thats what all the oscilloscopes (for regulating the speed of the centrifuges) and klystrons are all about.

OTH the Pakis might finally be weaponizing the Chinese 10 kt weapons tested at Chagai. If so the intriguing item is why US klystrons for the triggers? Why not Chinese stuff?

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Postby Alok_N » 29 Mar 2005 21:09


I don't know any of the details, but if TSP is acquiring advanced oscilloscopes and klystrons, I suspect that it is not for a nuke centrifuge program. The frequencies involved there are not very high and any old 'scope could monitor them.

Not sure what they would use a klystron for, but it would certainly need high frequency 'scopes to go with it. Are they working on jamming devices?

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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2005 21:22

So the High Frequency oscilloscopes are for proofing the klystron trigger circuits. OK makes sense. So 200 klytrons implies quite a large demand.

One clue needed is how many such devices are used in their Chinese design?

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Postby Alok_N » 29 Mar 2005 21:40


sorry boss, I wasn't reading closely enough ... klystrons make me think of resonant cavities and I took off on RF jamming/warfare ... forget my earlier comments ...

ramana wrote:So the High Frequency oscilloscopes are for proofing the klystron trigger circuits.

ok, so its about triggers. Yes, you would still need special scopes. Especially if they are the new-fangled solid-state devices that can switch 5-10 kAmps ...

OK makes sense. So 200 klytrons implies quite a large demand.

One clue needed is how many such devices are used in their Chinese design?

good point ... the old fashioned tubes would switch anything in the range of 50-100 kAmps @ 10-20 kVolts ... if these are indeed solid-state triggers (important for miniaturization), then you would need several of them in parallel ... a rough guess would be 10-20 per device ... so 200 of them could be aimed at production of about 15 devices or so ...

[a lot of guess work here ... this may be completely off the wall]

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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2005 21:53

Atleast its a SWAG and not just a WAG! So a 50-50 estimate is for atleast 15 weapons/devices since 911 when these were procured thru Karni.

A few questions:
What happened to the 30 weapons estimate of the US think tanks like CIEP etc.
Why this increase in inventory? What prompted this uptick in the inventory?
What about the Pu based weapons tested on May 30 at Chagai? How come we never hear about Pu related proliferation? Were these one off proofing of Chinese weapons not completed in 1996? If so why way Gohar Ayub ecstatic about this later test than the earlier May 28 tests?

Now why are the Pakis using US switches on Chinese designed weapons?

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Postby Alok_N » 29 Mar 2005 22:30

ramana wrote:Alok,

What happened to the 30 weapons estimate of the US think tanks like CIEP etc.
Why this increase in inventory? What prompted this uptick in the inventory?
What about the Pu based weapons tested on May 30 at Chagai? How come we never hear about Pu related proliferation? Were these one off proofing of Chinese weapons not completed in 1996? If so why way Gohar Ayub ecstatic about this later test than the earlier May 28 tests?


these questions are for gurus ... me just the tech guy ... I love reading about these issues and then my head spins and I quit.

Now why are the Pakis using US switches on Chinese designed weapons?

my guess would be that the Chinese are incapable of producing the solid-state switches ... this would be one dual-use technology example and perhaps only US, Japan and Germance can do it ... maybe its reverse and the pakis are stealing the stuff for the Chinese ... [I say that because I doubt that a tsp "scientist" wouldn't know what to do with these devices in the first place] ...

one of my conjectures has been that AQK was actually a Chinese agent and not Paki ... it explains why all the hush-hush ... hanging a Paki out to dry would be easy ... but hanging a Chinese spy out will have repercussions ...

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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2005 23:11

Alok, What if these 15 devices were for part of package deal along with the HEU centrifuges? IOW maybe AQK was throwing in these to the ummah types(state and non-state) as part of the centrifuge acquisition deal?
From all sources the TSP inventory was supposed to be sufficient per Western experts at the 30 level. Why do they need more of the HEU models in late 2003 as shown by the Karni transfers. By all accounts AQK was transferring HEU technology and hardware. Ergo these could be for the ummah.

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Postby KrishnaK » 29 Mar 2005 23:22

Pardon my cliche, par aap ne to mere moonh ki baat cheen li. The Paki rats are probably fronting for the Chinese. The Chinese have not only provided bums to the rats, but also the delivery systems. Surely they would like to get some something out of the deal. The Chinese/Pakis seem to have hit upon a real jackpot here. The world has already accepted that the Pakis have nukes only because of the Indians. The insecure Pakis don't have the brains to build one for themselves, so they got themselves some on the sly. Since everybody has pretty much accepted Chinese proliferation to Pakistan and N.K. and the subsequent Paki proliferation to the half the Ummah why not accept continued Paki thieving of western technology needed to maintain minimum deterrance in return for not continuing to arm the Ummah. The Chinese get access to pilfered western nuclear technology without any embarassing episodes like the W88/Los Alomos kissa. All of this trouble because of the damned Indoos.
As an aside, what is in it for India, to not point fingers directly at the Pakis and Chinese.


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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2005 23:34

karthik and Alok, The Chinese transferred the earliest nukes to the TSP in the mid eighties. At that time the FSU was breathing down the TSP neck and there was a possibility that the search for warm water port could be realized. The US looked the other way. The implicit understanding was that once the crisis was over then they would be returned. However the Chinese and the TSP saw a historic opportunity to confine India to the sub-continent with the end of Cold War in 1988. In fact the most egregious transfers of missile delivery systems happened after the Cold War was over. IOW the later Chinese transfers were for Chinese interests.

My point is if the stuff is Chinese in origin why does it need US components?


Postby Raju » 29 Mar 2005 23:44

The way I see this spinning is that the americans are shying away from making public comments about this proliferation because they might intend to use it as a tool for the future.

The pakis might have restrictions on their bums of the likes of locks etc opening of which would alert everyone concerned thus spoiling their chances of surprise.

They might want to develop new ones to offset that liability.

Also possible that the pakis are fronting for the Chinese and helping acquire on behalf of the chinese a few parts for the american warhead designs stolen by the chinks. (that would mean american designed weapons using american switches)

Birds flying around have also hinted to facts that a few months back the pakis had been forced to return a few missiles (M-9s) to the Chinese avec warheads probably under american pressure. The reasons mentioned were as usual obscure.

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Postby Alok_N » 29 Mar 2005 23:59

ramana wrote:
My point is if the stuff is Chinese in origin why does it need US components?


I was making a WAG that the stuff was procured by TSP for the benefit of the Chinese, i.e., the devices were intended for improving Chinese technology ... the guess is that the Chinese did not want to have a direct link to these procurements so they used their whore ...

I did some google on the state-of-the-art in solid-state triggers. Here is something ...

3.0 Solid State Devices.

(Note this section may well be considerably expanded following further research by the author.)

There are now a few commercially available transistors on the Market which can switch many tens of kV. There are also a few transistors about that can handle pulsed currents above 5kA. These devices may match for example Krytrons and Sprytrons in terms of electrical performance, but not in terms of size and (in the case of the Sprytron) radiation hardness.

Thyristors are widely available in designs that can handle upwards of 10kA pulsed at several kV. They are however very slow switching devices and are not capable of achieving even low microsecond switching speeds.

A new class of devices is at present showing great promise in the R&D sector. These devices are optically (usually LASER) switched devices employing GaAs or Diamond film technologies. The reader is advised to consult the appropriate reference below for more information relating to these devices.

Final note to the reader: Some of the devices I have mentioned are subject to strict control due to their military applications. Non of the above information is however in any way restricted or controlled. For clarity switching devices that are restricted by dual use guidelines are as follows: (courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory) (a) Cold-cathode tubes (including gas krytron tubes and vacuum sprytron tubes), whether gas filled or not, operating similarly to a spark gap, containing three or more electrodes, and having all of the following characteristics: 1.Anode peak voltage rating of 2500 V or more, 2.Anode peak current rating of 100 A or more, 3.Anode delay time of 10 microsecond or less, and (b) Triggered spark-gaps having an anode delay time of 15 microsecond or less rated for a peak current of 500 A or more; (c) Modules or assemblies with a fast switching function having all of the following characteristics: 1.Anode peak voltage rating greater than 2000 V; 2.anode peak current rating of 500 A or more; and 3.turn-on time of 1 microsecond or less.

It would help to know exactly what the TSP guys stole ... if it is the usual tubes as mentioned above, then yes, the Chinese have no need for them. If they were solid-state devices, then the Chinese would covet them, most likely to try and reverse engineer them ...

there is one other possibility ...

these tubes do have a shelf life ... maybe the stuff that the Chinese provided in the 1980s has now degraded ... it is possible that the Chinese are now telling their whore that "you can't have any more cause you are sleeping with Uncle" ...

ok, this is where my head spins :-?


Postby Raju » 30 Mar 2005 00:11

these tubes do have a shelf life ... maybe the stuff that the Chinese provided in the 1980s has now degraded ... it is possible that the Chinese are now telling their whore that "you can't have any more cause you are sleeping with Uncle" ...

But is it that easy to substitute the Chinese ones with the american ones ??

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Postby Tim » 30 Mar 2005 00:23


Maybe I missed something - I only skimmed this thread. Is there a reason to suspect that Pakistan is NOT building as many nuclear weapons as it can possibly manage, whether HEU or Pu or both? I've always operated under the assumption that they'd be trying to have the components available to weaponize every single milligram of HEU/Pu they have available at any given moment, and acquiring all the materials necessary for weaponization through any means available. You may be overinterpreting the China connection, since it's apparent that Pakistan had at least two competing programs going (KRL and PAEC) and were actively soliciting technology from all available sources.

If you work on that basis (which some might call worst-case, and others might call paranoid - but I know everybody's out to get me anyway :) ), then the 30 figure is nothing more than a guesstimate, and an obsolete one. It was, I suspect, a median number pulled from estimates like David Albright's at ISIS, based on assumptions about the amount of material Pakistan had enriched or processed by a given date.

Of course, that 30 figure was not universally accepted even at the time - it was simply convenient, and therefore quoted repeatedly by people citing it as a "reasonable' source. However, I suspect that estimate is about five years old now.

Latest data from ISIS can be found at: ... tents.html

The estimates for ISIS on the number of weapons available at the end of 2003 is 55-90 for Pakistan (based on estimates of 20-60 kg of Pu and 1000-1250 kg of HEU) and 55-115 weapons for India based on 300-470kg of Pu.

It looks like they're using an assumption of about 5+kg pf Pu per weapon, based on the Indian data, with the 'best case" being a 4 kg estimate. I think HEU loads for a weapon tend to be 15-25kg, although you can make a bomb design with even more to make sure it goes off (the South Africans did - it's not efficient, but it's more reliable).

At a minimum, I'd double that 30 estimate now, based on those stockpile figures. And that's not a worst-case estimate.

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Postby Alok_N » 30 Mar 2005 00:24

Raju wrote:But is it that easy to substitute the Chinese ones with the american ones ??

I have no idea ... it all depends on what exactly is involved ... substituting a tube should be easy enough even for the pakis ... if it is a more complex retrofit of an entire assembly, it is a different matter ...

we know that TSP desperately wants to miniaturize in order to make use of all the paint-jobs that they have done ...

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Postby ramana » 30 Mar 2005 00:28

Since any way all we can do is speculate here is one.

- From popular press accounts the Chinese gave the TSP in the 80s designs of their dual delivery capable device tested in their 4th test that was from 1968 vintage. Such a device was supposed to be heavy first gen weapon.

- Recent revelations suggest the AQK was purveying a 10 kt weapon design along with the centrifuges.

- Wallace in Aug., 1998 said there were three spikes in the spectogram of the MAy 28 Chagai test.

- India's NGRI published an article in "Current Science" circa Nov., 1998 a FFT spectrum from which one can deduce that POK II was about 2 to 2.5 times Chagai - ie If POKII was 55 - 60 kt then Chagai was 25 - 30 kt.
Ergo if we take reports of AQK's ten kt dwgs, and Wallace three spikes and the NGRI FFT curve, what was tested was three devices of about ten kt each.

- To add confusion to the mix we have the report of the missing Pu sample. A U-2 flying over Chagai found a single particle of Pu on May 30. Perkovich and other experts thought that it was sample from the POK II test. However this was conducted on May 11 ie a full two weeks before the flight. Also in the Northern Hemisphere the winds blow from West to East. And this venting could happen if Indians were beginners at testing. They had earlier tested in 1974. Moreover if POKII vented the strong NGO community would have come down like a ton of bricks. They did come down and showed cracks to Keotlai village homes apparently from the test. So by the balance of probabilities that venting was from Chagai. However the rub is that TSP Pu reactor went critical only in October 1998 that is five months after the Chagai test. So what is going on?

Now for the speculation part.
- Maybe the original transfer was the 4th test design. However it got refurbished and updated in the 80s. It might have used the latest US switches and a Pu trigger to ensure reliable going off.
- Now who decided to use the US material I dont know. Maybe it was freely available in the 80s when they decided to use the stuff.

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Postby ramana » 30 Mar 2005 00:55

Beg is threatening in his op-ed in Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle.


Postby Raju » 30 Mar 2005 01:01

Do not think there is a Chinese hand in it....too much of a red herring to western agencies to deal via TSP.

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Postby Leonard » 30 Mar 2005 01:03

PS: At the launch of journalist Wilson John's book Pakistan's Nuclear Underworld: An Investigation, a devastating expose of how A Q Khan and his bosses in khaki went around hawking nuclear know-how for a fistful of dollars, in New Delhi last week, a former foreign secretary, mindful of the presence of two diplomats from the US mission in the audience, charged the Americans with "doubletalk and duplicity" on illicit nuclear proliferation by the Pakistanis.

Later, one of the American diplomats, fuming over being shown up so bluntly, accosted him and told him that he had been "offensive and insulting to my country" and "you could have been more nuanced without being inaccurate." Retorted the former diplomat: "We are a free country. We can say what we want… I couldn't care less for pretensions of the American empire."

Let's order a second hot dog!

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Postby svinayak » 30 Mar 2005 01:05

Chinese have also based their designs on western parts. They have been upgrading their tech from somewhere.

AQK may be the nodal agency to exchange tech between Dragon, TSP and the western companies.

Did Uncle allow this on purpose.


Postby Raju » 30 Mar 2005 01:14

Everything that has anything to do with pakistan is marked by Red Flags all around.

China, it seems would prefer to use Singapore/Thailand/CIS or any other non-descript place except for pakistan.

Also it does not make sense to think that unkil will allow anything to China, unless it does not/will not work.

OTH It might allow something to TSP because it knows it can snare it later.

AQK and w/e his agency was has been compromised long back, no one will even think of touching it with a barge pole.

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Postby ramana » 30 Mar 2005 01:29

This one needs deep analysis. Beg is wanting to rope in India for his ummah defence of Iran in a NATO type alliance? Also who died and let M.J. Akbar talk about deterrent?

South Asia’s nuclear security regime
By General Mirza Aslam Beg

The nuclear stand-off between India and Pakistan over the past quarter of a century has reached a point where saner elements in both countries have started thinking of developing a common strategy for maintaining a South Asian nuclear security regime for peace. 1998 was the turning point for Pakistan. Its ambiguity on nuclear policy was put to test by India, and Pakistan demonstrated effectively its capability, establishing a level of nuclear deterrence, which ultimately has led to confidence building measures between India and Pakistan and has modified the climate of confrontation.

The proposal for a South Asian nuclear security regime was mooted by the eminent Indian scholar, M.J. Akbar, editor-in-chief of The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, who accompanied Mr Natwar Singh, the foreign minister of India. I met Mr M.J. Akbar on February 16 in Islamabad and discussed the concept. The same day he participated in a panel discussion organised by a private television channel and discussed the concept of a South Asian nuclear security regime.

The programme was aired on February 24. The main features of his proposal were:

l Iran is under threat for suspected nuclear proliferation and if that threat materialises, the whole region will get destabilised and Pakistan will become a front-line State in the emerging global nuclear stand-off, thus impacting India directly.

* There is a need for evolving a joint nuclear strategy between India and Pakistan to face such impending threat.

* By working on a joint nuclear strategy, India and Pakistan would be able to safeguard their nuclear status, which has helped establish a stable nuclear deterrence in South Asia.

* Civil society should have a role in this respect, and informal study groups may be formed in both countries to study and analyse the proposal and make recommendations for establishing the nuclear security regime in South Asia. The proposal has its merits but there are some grey areas, which need to be viewed with caution:

* India’s nuclear doctrine envisages joining the “Nuclear Club of Five,” hence, its nuclear policy supports a stockpiling of nuclear weapons — approximately 400 — with an intercontinental strategic reach, considered necessary to play a global role as the emerging geo-economic power of the 21st century. Pakistan has no such ambitions. As early as 1989, Pakistan adopted a policy of nuclear restraint.

The main features of this policy were a minimum credible nuclear deterrence; no hot tests to be carried out, since cold tests had proved fairly successful (reliability was tested in May 1998); and to continue developing missiles to reach all territories of India, implying that Pakistan’s nuclear capability will remain India-specific and Pakistan’s nuclear capability will not compensate for its conventional capability. Obviously, nuclear policies of India and Pakistan are divergent. How can such divergence be corrected and harmonised?

* India has justified its nuclear doctrine on the basis of threats from China, the “enemy number one.” Pakistan sees no such threat from China. How would the joint nuclear doctrine of India and Pakistan, address the Chinese concern?

* The proposed India-Pakistan nuclear strategy for South Asia is to cater for the contingency emerging after the attack on Iranian nuclear installations materialises. Why should India and Pakistan wait for the crisis to arise and not pre-empt it? In order to pre-empt, we have to reach out to Iran and make it a part of the joint nuclear strategy on the basis of “US-Nato nuclear security regime.” Iran has declared its intentions not to make nuclear weapons, but would retain uranium enrichment capability for peaceful purposes. Therefore, it would be proper to consider “outsourcing our nuclear strikes” to Iran — as the US and Nato have done:

“A specific number of nuclear warheads which, under US and Nato war plans, will be transferred to US non-nuclear allies to be delivered to targets by their warplanes... Preparations for delivering 180 nuclear bombs are taking place in peace time, and equipping non-nuclear countries with the means to conduct nuclear warfare, is inconsistent with today’s international efforts to dissuade other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons. The arsenal is being kept at eight air force bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey
and Britain” (ARDE:

If India and Pakistan want to dissuade Iran from going nuclear, then “outsourcing nuclear strike” becomes essential. Iran has the missiles which can reach Israel. Iran fears a nuclear capable Israel, and by outsourcing our nuclear strike to Iran, a credible nuclear deterrence will be established, in the Gulf region, West and South Asia. This strategy will thus serve as a meaningful effort towards non-proliferation:

“A non-proliferation policy, must therefore, achieve clarity on the following issues: How much time is available before Iran has a nuclear weapons capability, and what strategy can best stop an Iranian nuclear weapons programme? How do we prevent the diplomatic process from turning into a means to legitimise proliferation rather than avert it? We must never forget that failure will usher in a new set of nuclear perils dwarfing those which we have just surmounted.” (Henry Kissinger, Dawn, February 26, 2005)

* The Kashmir issue is receding into the background as the CBMs gain pace, like the agreement for a bus service from Muzaffarabad to Srinagar, from April 2005. The Kashmir issue has kept the two nations hostage for over half a century. Can this burning issue be swept under the carpet? The symptoms of the flames turning into a wildfire are predicted by the CIA’s National Intelligence Council: “Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training and recruitment ground for the next generation of professionalised terrorists,” who will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology, inside and outside the Middle East, Central Asia, (South Asia) SE Asia and Western Europe.”

A significant development took place the evening I met Mr M.J. Akbar. Soon after the meeting, the bureau chief of a national daily came rushing to me to break the news that 12 Iranian nuclear sites had been hit by missiles. He said, Radio Tehran broke the news which was picked up by our private electronic media. I said such madness was just not possible. It was indeed a disturbing news. But by late evening, it transpired that the news was fake.

Whether the news was fake or prompted, it did help Iran to “test the nerves of United States and Israel”, who promptly declared that no such strikes had been carried out. Thus, nuclear deterrence between Iran and Israel crossed the threshold of ambiguity which indeed is a meaningful development. Come again! Huh? On the part of Pakistan, Chinese sensibility will remain paramount, as Indian nuclear capability is China specific. With regard to Iran, Pakistan and India must not wait for the holocaust to occur.

They should rather attempt to pre-empt such a happening, and the best way would be the outsourcing of nuclear strikes to Iran as US and Nato have done. The strategy therefore must also include Iran as it would ensure stability in the Gulf region, West and South Asia. The South Asian nuclear security regime, could become a reality if the Kashmir issue is seriously addressed well in time because the developments taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan are ominous, as these would not only intensify the Kashmir war of liberation, but would have global impact, as predicted by the CIA. Back to BSBeing pro-active is a better option than being reactive.

{Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg is a former Army chief of Pakistan and chairman of Foundation for Research on International Environment National Development and Security (FRIENDS)}

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Postby svinayak » 30 Mar 2005 01:40

The South Asian nuclear security regime, could become a reality if the Kashmir issue is seriously addressed well in time because the developments taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan are ominous, as these would not only intensify the Kashmir war of liberation, but would have global impact, as predicted by the CIA. Back to BS Being pro-active is a better option than being reactive.

There is some truth to this statement.
But how is the question?


Postby Raju » 30 Mar 2005 01:57

His ar$e seems to be on fire, or it seems very close to catching one.

If we go by Aslam Beg's CR, who in his sane mind will entrust him with the job of "floating ideas".

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Postby ramana » 30 Mar 2005 02:17

I think he is hinting that the revival of jihadi forces in those areas under US protection (Iraq and Afghanistan) could have spill over effect on Kashmir. So the TSP is trying to revive and export the jihadi forces to ummah lands under occupation- formerly Dar-ul-Islam lands now under non Muslim control. See the steady reports of TSP denizens turning up in Iraq.

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Postby Sunil » 30 Mar 2005 03:09


why go in for 200 krystrons after 911

Increased stockpile size possibly outside of David Albright's line of sight. Would explain the sudden hearburn about Karni. I can't think of anything else. Shelf life...

Are the numbers 55-90 etc... corrected for depletion/refurbishment? Sure they have HEU and Pu, but what about replenishing the stocks they had earlier. Atleast some of the stock has degraded by now.

Man... Beg is literally falling at our feet.. the fire must be burning hard.

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Postby Rudradev » 30 Mar 2005 03:09

The difference between Musharraf/Shaukat Aziz/Khurshid Kasuri on one hand, and General Aslam Beg on the other, can be completely understood by applying the metaphor of 1) A Beggar vs. 2) A Beggar With One Week To Live.

See, a normal beggar plies his "trade" with a certain level of audacity and shamelessness that is only to be expected-- he is begging, after all. But his ambitions are restricted to those which, in the eyes of his patrons, behoove him. Such as, maybe staying in control of his jhobadpatti indefinitely. There is a certain grisly balance between his needs as recognized by his patrons on the one hand, and his willingness to compromise what is left of his self-respect on the other. He will ask for 10 rupees but will ultimately be satisfied with 50 paise if no more is forthcoming, and will drop his pants for 2 rupees. If we lower our standards for a moment to Paki levels, we recognize that the activities of Mush and co... holding out on Al Qaeda, delivering centrifuges in exchange for F-16s etc. are in some Paki sense rational.

But how about General Mirza Aslam Beggar? He is like the beggar with one week to live...maybe because of a terminal illness, but far likelier because the other beggars in the slum have decided to turn him over to the cops (for gard-peddling :mrgreen: ) before the week is out and he knows the cops will beat him to death. Why should he stop at Rs.10... he will ask for Rs.500, or Rs.1000 straightaway! He may get laughed at, but what is laughter to a man whose self-respect is dirt anyway, and is facing death at the end of the week besides? Anyway, who knows... the kindly old soul whom the Bhikari used to abuse in his young and healthy days, might just take pity and give that amount of money.

So we have this bheek mangna by Mirza Beggar... made all the more pathetic by the fact that he STILL keeps referring to the Kashmir "war of liberation", STILL continues to make oblique threats about Jihadis as if he believes that might frighten us into coughing up. And the thrust of his begging?

India Pakistan nuclear powers are equal-equal onlee. Gora proliferation regimes turn their backs on both of us equally onlee. So we should start flexing our nuclear muscles together onlee.

My beloved Pakistan wanted to establish pre-eminence in the Muslim world by providing nuclear umbrella to Ummah nations against the Yehoodis. But the truth is we don't know if our Herrowically Repainted Dingdongs will reach Clifton also, let alone Tel Aviv ... so we want India also to provide cover for Ummah against Israel with its kaffir Agnis. That way we can take all the credit, but if the Yanquis decide to come a-knocking they will blame you, and what is more it will scuttle your YYY axis onlee.

But but BUT...we cannot GIVE anything in this give-and-take with you Yindoo kaffirs. We know your nuclear deterrent is against China onlee, and China is our mother no? How we can be madarc****s, at least out in the open? So China will be YOUR problem, not ours. (I have to say this because, when the FBI finally kicks in my mansion door General Flied Lice in Beijing is my last hope of escape-- maybe he will invite me to a last minute dinner of Rat Fu Yong and give me permanent asylum for old time's sake). So instead of offering any incentives I will just leave you with dire rumblings about all the jihadi terrorists you and the world you try to make an honest living trading with will have to face if you don't cooperate. After me *cough hack spit* the deluge...

Really. It is ridiculous to suffer this pathetic swine out of politeness, or imagine that we should perhaps suffer him out of chankian-ness. This is a dead man walking, and talking, and it's a sheer waste of our time to listen.

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Postby KrishnaK » 30 Mar 2005 13:21

The relationship between the Pakis and Chinese is as deep as the oceans themselves. The chinese certainly helped the Pakis for their own needs, but that didn't stop the Pakis from providing them with F-16s and Tomahawks for reverse engg. So why not the latest american nuke components too ?

Tim and Acharya,
What is really worrying is not that the Americans covered up the Pakistani Army's role in the whole sordid saga, but that they are, IMHO, trying to potray the Pakis continued procurement of sensitive technologies from the US as expected behaviour. Once again Pakistan is being propped up as our equal in not only conventional but strategic weapons. I don't quite subscribe to the idea that this is being deliberately by the US to screw India. Whatever their compulsions this farce must end, or the GoI must do the former foreign secretary did at the launch of Wilson John's book.


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Postby Tim » 30 Mar 2005 15:57


The stockpile figures ISIS is using are raw estimates of total material. I don't think they're making any assumptions at all about degradation. I'm also not sure they're right - as Ramana pointed out, there are questions about Pakistani Pu production, and evidence of North Korean transfers of nuclear weapons related materials to Pakistan, and I suspect that the ISIS also has imbedded assumptions about when Pakistan began extracting HEU that could be subject to scrutiny.

It's simply a decent guess based on available unclassified data. If you combine it with the info coming out about the Khan network, however, it seems to put to rest the old canard about Pakistan not actually having a capability to create nuclear weapons locally, and suggests a range of capabilities that analysts can begin to work with.

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Postby kgoan » 30 Mar 2005 19:00

it seems to put to rest the old canard about Pakistan not actually having a capability to create nuclear weapons locally,

When was it a "canard"?

And how does Paks necessity to still obtain material overseas and maintain the buying networks put said "canard" to rest?

Seems to me that it simply confirms the so-called "canard".

Are we discussing reality or simply the US' version where Pak has a spectacularly advanced and *independent* nuclear capability?


Postby Raju » 30 Mar 2005 20:29

You really have got to give this fellow points for trying hard. :twisted:

kgoan this jells exactly with what Rye mentioned.

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Postby Arun_S » 30 Mar 2005 22:34

Lollipops and Iran : B Raman
Mar 29, 2005
By B Raman

United States President George W Bush notified Congress on March 25 of the intention of his administration to clear the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan. If there is no opposition from Congress within a month, the company manufacturing the aircraft (Lockheed-Martin) could start negotiations with the government of Pakistan on the sale. Before notifying Congress, Bush informed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of his decision.

A US spokesman who briefed the press indicated that the deal, when signed, would involve the sale of 24 F-16s. In the late 1980s, the US government cleared the sale of 32 F-16s to Pakistan. The government of Pakistan had placed orders for the aircraft and paid money in advance. When the planes were about to be delivered in 1990, the Larry Pressler Amendment was invoked against Pakistan for clandestinely producing a nuclear weapon, and all military sales and training to Pakistan were suspended, including supply of spare parts for the equipment sold and delivered to Pakistan before 1990.

After a visit by Mrs Benazir Bhutto, the then prime minister, to the US in 1995, the Bill Clinton administration encouraged the passage of the Brown Amendment by Congress to lift the ban on the sale of military equipment to Pakistan and the training of Pakistani military officers in the US. After this, the supply of spare parts for the pre-1990 military equipment and the training of Pakistani officers in the US were resumed. Some pre-1990 orders for fresh equipment, such as the one for the sale of three P-3 maritime surveillance planes, were executed, but the Clinton administration declined to release the 32 F-16 planes for which Pakistan had already paid. Instead, it had them sold to third countries and reimbursed Pakistan - partly in cash and partly in kind (soya beans) - the money which it had already paid for the planes.

The ban on the sale of military equipment and the supply of spare parts was reimposed after Pakistan carried out its nuclear tests in May, 1998. These restrictions were reinforced after the army, under General Pervez Musharraf, overthrew the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in October, 1999, and seized power. These restrictions were again removed after September 11 as a quid pro quo for Pakistan's cooperation in the US-led "war" against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Since then the Bush administration has been gradually stepping up the supply of military equipment to Pakistan. The first instalment covered spare parts for the equipment supplied in the past, including for transport and military aircraft, which had been given to Pakistan before 1990. It also included equipment required by the Pakistan army and police for their counter-terrorism operations, such as a large number of helicopters and communications equipment. All of the equipment under the first instalment was given to Pakistan free of cost.

During Musharraf's visit to Camp David in June, 2003, for talks with Bush, a fresh aid package of US$3 billion was announced by Bush. Bush indicated that this aid would be disbursed over a period of five years and that half of this would be in the form of economic assistance and the remaining half would be military assistance.

He was asked by the media whether this military aid package would also include F-16s. He replied as follows, "Let me just say - first, let me say, the president is not afraid to bring up the issue of F-16s. He has been a strong advocate for the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. In the package that we discussed, the five-year, $3 billion package, half of that money goes for defense matters, of which the F-16 won't be a part. Nevertheless, we want to work closely with our friend to make sure that the package meets the needs of the Pakistan people."

The subsequent negotiations on the utilization of the military aid component of this package were very slow and did not make much progress until October, 2004. The US kept the finalization of the agreement pending until Pakistan stepped up action against pro-al-Qaeda jihadi terrorists who had taken sanctuary in the South Waziristan area of Pakistan, and cooperated in the peaceful conduct of the presidential elections in Afghanistan.

Musharraf stepped up military operations in South Waziristan, but was unable to capture and deliver Osama bin Laden and his No 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to the US. However, he effectively prevented the Taliban, based in sanctuaries in Pakistan, from interfering in the Afghan elections in October, 2004. He also facilitated the victory of US-backed Hamid Karzai in the first round itself by effectively mobilizing the absentee votes of the millions of Pashtuns of Afghan origin living in Pakistan. They got themselves registered as Afghan citizens and reportedly voted for Karzai.

The US reward for Musharraf was not slow in coming. On November 16, the Defense Security and Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the administration's intention to provide to Pakistan military equipment worth $1.3 billion, including eight P-3C Orion naval reconnaissance planes possibly with anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles, 2,000 TOW-2A heavy anti-armor guided missiles and the Phalanx close-in weapon systems for ships. This second instalment did not have any pretensions of being meant for counter-terrorism operations. Musharraf wanted this equipment for strengthening Pakistan's military capability against India. The Bush administration knew it, but projected the maritime surveillance planes and equipment as meant for strengthening Pakistan's maritime counter-terrorism capability against al-Qaeda.
The second instalment, which was not opposed by Congress, also did not include the F-16s demanded by Pakistan. After his re-election for a second term, Bush has been diluting the focus on bin Laden and increasing the spotlight on Iran in order to neutralize its nuclear capability. Pakistan has acquired added importance in the eyes of the US in this regard. The US intelligence community requires a presence in Pakistani territory for the collection of intelligence about Iran's nuclear installations and for mounting an operation against them, if this becomes necessary. There are clear indications from reliable Pakistani sources (this has been corroborated by Seymour Hersh, the well-known American journalist) that Pakistan has already agreed to this.

The US also required the cooperation of Musharraf in the on-going investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against Iran on an uranium-enrichment facility constructed by it. During a spot inspection, IAEA experts reportedly found that some of the centrifuges in the Iranian facility contained highly enriched uranium, thereby giving rise to a suspicion that Iran might have already started clandestinely producing weapons-grade enriched uranium.

This has been strongly denied by Tehran, which has been claiming that it bought the centrifuges second-hand from an outside party (Pakistan) and that the traces of the enriched uranium found in the Iranian facility might have come from the supplier of the centrifuges. For the last year, the IAEA has been demanding that Pakistan hand over to it some of its centrifuges to have them compared with those found in Iran, and a sample of its enriched uranium to have it compared with the trace found in the Iranian facility. Till last month, Pakistan was refusing to do so.

Since the beginning of March, Western media reports have been quoting IAEA officials in Vienna as saying that Pakistan has relented and has agreed to give some of the centrifuges from its Kahuta enrichment facility, but this is denied by Pakistani government spokesmen.

This subject reportedly figured during the talks of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with Musharraf in Islamabad on March 16-17. In a TV interview on March 24, Musharraf announced that Pakistan was considering sending some nuclear centrifuges to Vienna for inspection. (See US not finished with Pakistan yet
Asia Times Online, March 19.) "To end the issue once and for all we want to send nuclear centrifuges to Vienna for inspection and the matter is under consideration," he said. However, he did not indicate whether he would also agree to the request of the IAEA for the supply of a sample of enriched uranium from Kahuta. One should not be surprised if he has also agreed to this and if in the coming weeks he wriggles out of the project for the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to supply gas to Pakistan and India in order to please the US.

Within 24 hours, Bush notified Congress of his decision to clear the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. Well-informed Pakistani sources say that just as the military package of November last was a lollipop as a reward for Musharraf's cooperation in facilitating the victory of Karzai in the presidential election, the F-16 lollipop is a reward for his cooperation against Iran.

In the coming months, the US's main priorities in this region will be winning the so-called "war against terrorism" and neutralizing Iran's nuclear projects. For achieving these objectives, it will continue to need the cooperation of Pakistan. It will, therefore, continue to be impervious to India's concerns.

We should avoid euphoria and illusions over the reported offer of Rice to consider the sale of sophisticated equipment, including F-16s, and nuclear power stations, to India. The US will not hesitate to wriggle out of this offer if it concludes that the supply of this equipment could come in the way of its developing relations with Pakistan.

B Raman is additional secretary (retired), cabinet secretariat, government of India, New Delhi, and, presently, director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai, and distinguished fellow and convener, Observer Research Foundation, Chennai Chapter. Email

(Copyright 2005, B Raman)

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