Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 49, August 2000
Pakistan Rejects New CIA ClaimsPakistan has both reacted sharply to allegations contained in new US intelligence reports of increasing support by Beijing for Islamabad's missile programme. On August 9, an unclassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on proliferation activities was released, paying prominent attention to the issue - see Documents and Sources. The same day, details of the latest, classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), were provided to reporters by unnamed intelligence officials, apparently confirming and detailing the claims in the public study.
On August 10, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, Riaz Mohammed Khan, flatly rejected the new accusations: "Pakistan and China do not have cooperation in building long-range missiles… The same situation applies with North Korea as far as we are concerned… Pakistan has not received anything from China that is inconsistent with China's international commitments or obligations, including the guidelines that they voluntarily follow relating to the …Missile Technology Control Regime…" The same day, Foreign Ministry Abdul Sattar expressed his surprise at the apparent US concerns: "For the last two years at least we have received no such complaint from the Government of the United States…" China has also repeatedly and vehemently denied any suggestion of inappropriate transfers or support.
The allegations were taken by many Republicans as proof of an ineffective US stance against China's lax non-proliferation arrangements. According to Representative Porter Goss (Florida), the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on August 9: "What the bad news [in these assessments] is for the Administration is they've rose-colour glassed this as usual and I think they've been caught out at it…"
Reports: CIA says China helped Pakistan missile program, Reuters, August 9; CIA - China expanded missile role, Associated Press, August 9; Pakistan - no missile aid from China, Associated Press, August 10; Pakistan denies CIA charge on Chinese missile help, Reuters, August 10; Report - China might increase nukes, Associated Press, August 10.
© 2000 The Acronym Institute.