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India, Pak centrifuge design same, claims Pervez
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf claims India’s uranium enrichment programme could have its roots in disgraced metallurgist Abdul Qadeer Khan's nuclear

In his autobiography, “In the Line of Fire,” General Musharraf says, “Ironically (Dr Khan’s) network based in Dubai had employed several Indians, some of whom have since vanished.”

“There is a strong probability that the Indian uranium enrichment programme may also have its roots in the Dubai-based network and could be a copy of the Pakistani centrifuge design,” he adds.

The Pakistani President provides no other evidence of the alleged Indian involvement in the rogue scientist’s nuclear blackmarket.

In his memoir he notes that one of his most embarrassing moments came in 2003 when the Director of the CIA approached him with evidence of proliferation of nuclear secrets from Pakistan.

General Musharraf says when he met US President George W. Bush at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September of 2003, Mr Bush drew him aside and asked him to meet George Tenet, then Director of the CIA, the next morning.

“It is extremely serious and very important from your point of view,” Mr Bush told General Musharraf.

Mr Tenet placed some papers in front of General Musharraf. “I immediately recognised them as detailed drawings of Pakistan’s P-1 centrifuge, a version that we were no longer using but had been developed in the early stages of our program under A.Q. Khan,” General Musharraf writes. “The papers amounted to a blueprint, with part numbers, dates, signatures, etc. I did not know what to say. I have seldom found myself at a loss for words, but this time I was.”

Noting his anger towards Dr Khan, General Musharraf says, “There could be no doubt that it was he (A.Q. Khan) who had been peddling our technologies, even though Tenet did not say so and the papers did not include his name.”

General Musharraf took the documents from Mr Tenet and promised to look into the matter.

A Pakistani investigation revealed that Dr Khan had started his activities as far back as 1987, primarily with Iran. In 1999, General Musharraf received a report suggesting that some North Korean nuclear experts, under the guise of missile engineers, had arrived at Dr Khan’s lab and were being given secret briefings on centrifuges, including some visits to the plant. He called in the metallurgist for questioning. Dr Khan immediately denied the charge.

Dr Khan was “such a self-centered and a brasive man that he could not be a team player,” General Musharraf says. “A.Q. Khan was not, in fact, the sole scientist in charge of the entire effort, yet he had a great talent for self-promotion and publicity and led the public to believe that he was building the bomb almost single-handedly.”

After he was fired, General Khan started working more vigorously through the Dubai branch of his network. Meanwhile, General Musharraf says he denied Western allegations about proliferation “again and again in good faith.”

He also denied the Pakistan army or any of the past governments of Pakistan was ever involved or had any knowledge of Dr Khan's proliferation activities.

According to General Musharraf, besides proliferating to Iran, Dr Khan transferred nearly two dozen P-1 and P-II centrifuges to North Korea. He also provided North Korea with a flow meter, some special oils for centrifuges, and coaching on centrifuge technology, including visits to top-secret centrifuge plants.

General Musharraf notes, “A majority of Pakistanis do oppose our cooperation with the West in the war on terror. They opposed punishments aimed at Dr A.Q. Khan. I believe my positions on all these issues are in our interest, and morally strong. But there are times when the behaviour of our westerns allies undercuts our alliances.”


Army rubbishes Pervez’s claims
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25
The Army today said the claims made by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that only five battalions (more than 5,000) of regular Pakistani troops were deployed in Kargil incursions in 1999 were false and that facts actually belied this.

Documents like identity cards, pay books and other identification papers revealed that as many as seven Northern Light Infantry battalions (more than 7,000 troops) of Pakistan had been involved in Kargil operations”, Army officials here said while adding that they were also supported by Pakistani auxiliary troops.“These included 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 11th and 12th battalions of the Northern Light infantry”, they said.

Arms recovered by Indian troops during the battle included four anti-aircraft guns, a stinger missile unit, 46 heavy machine guns, 12 high calibre mortars 19 rocket launchers, 3 light howitzers and 19 rocket launchers, which was an arsenal normally deployed by division-plus (more than 15,000) strength of troops, the officials said.

“The Indian Army had recovered 249 bodies of which only five were accepted by Pakistan and the total Pakistani casualties of 725 killed included 45 officers and 68 Special Service Group personnel”, the officials said.

They said only two mountain divisions and two independent brigade strength troops had been used to dislodge Pakistani forces from the Kargil heights.



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