Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 17, July - August 1997
India Criticises US on Pakistan Arms Policy, Voices Fears over Missile Factory ReportOn 30 June, Time magazine reported that the CIA had identified a factory in Pakistan for the production of Chinese M-11 missiles. The site of the alleged facility was said to be Rawalpindi. The magazine further alleged that China had not only supplied missiles to Pakistan but had assisted it in the construction of the factory.
Pakistan vehemently denied the report. According to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, speaking in Islamabad on 3 July:
"These reports are totally baseless... Rawalpindi is within walking distance of you all, and you are welcome to go and locate this particular factory."
India was clearly dissatisfied with such a denial. According to a Defence Ministry statement (3 July):
"We are aware of outside assistance to Pakistan in this field... India will draw appropriate conclusions from these developments and remains prepared to safeguard the country's security against all eventualities."
On 18 July, India criticised a US decision to ease restrictions on military aid to Pakistan. According to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson:
"The government has been informed of an amendment to the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 which has been passed by the Senate... This amendment comes in the wake of reports of Pakistan having tested a medium-range missile and establishing a missile facility with Chinese assistance. These reports have serious implications for India..."
The missile test referred to is alleged to have been of the Haft-III, which possesses a range of 500 miles (800 kilometres). The missile is being developed by Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). Pakistan maintains that SUPARCO is engaged solely in civil development and production.
Report: Pakistan says missile accusations 'baseless', Reuters World Service, 3 July; India concerned by US move on Pakistan arms aid, Reuters World Service, 18 July.
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