Wednesday, January 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pak moves missiles near border

Washington, January 15
Pakistan is constructing missile launch sites near its border with India and recently moved a number of missiles towards the area, claims The Washington Times.

Quoting US intelligence officials, the report says 90 per cent of India’s military forces are now deployed outside of peacetime garrisons in preparation for the conflict. Despite the “easing off” orchestrated by President George Bush media reports suggest that the deployments along the borders on both sides had not de-escalated.

The military activities are one reason, US intelligence officials believe, tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian nations have reached dangerous levels, says the Times. The newspaper reports that the missile construction in Pakistan is for short-range Hatf missiles, which the newspaper dubs as Chinese M-11s. It quotes US intelligence agencies as saying that they are in the process of being taken out of storage and deployed.

The launch site construction was described as concrete areas where mobile missile launchers would be stationed, the officials were quoted as saying. They believe that five new missile launch sites are being built in eastern Pakistan and have identified the exact location of three of these places.

Additionally, says the report, a convoy of some 95 trucks was spotted at a missile storage facility at Sargodha. The trucks are believed to be for transporting missiles to areas in the northern part of the country, US officials have been quoted as saying.

The newspaper also refers to “other intelligence reports” indicating that Pakistan is preparing to move additional M-11 missiles from the south of the country to areas in the north- east. A US intelligence report made public last week said India had nuclear-tipped missiles that are intended to deter Pakistan’s use of nuclear missiles. India currently has deployed Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles with reach of about 93 miles. ANI



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