DRDO reported, Pak-bound ship’s cargo used for nuclear purposes

DRDO reported, Pak-bound ship's cargo used for nuclear purposes

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday submitted its official report to the competent authority in connection with the seizure of suspicious items being shipped from China for possible use in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme at Navi Mumbai’s Nhava Seva port, government sources said.

According to the report by DRDO experts, the seized large-size Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are dual-use equipment and can be used for military applications, they added.

Security agencies intercepted a Karachi-bound ship from China at Navi Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port on January 23, suspecting it of containing a consignment that could be used for Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme, officials told news agency PTI on March 2.

Acting on intelligence input, customs officials halted the Malta-flagged merchant ship, CMA CGM Attila, en route to Karachi on January 23.

According to PTI, officials said that a DRDO team examined the consignment, which included a CNC machine, and confirmed its potential use in Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

The transportation of CNC machines, which was found by the Indian authorities, is governed by the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international agreement aiming to control the spread of items for both civilian and military uses, with India actively involved. North Korea also used a CNC machine in its nuclear programme.

Further investigations revealed discrepancies in shipping details, suggesting attempts to hide the true recipients, PTI reported.

The incident is part of a pattern of seizures of dual-use military-grade items being shipped from China to Pakistan, sparking concerns about illicit procurement activities.

In response, Pakistan claimed that the Karachi-bound ship was carrying “commercial goods” and stated that reports of the seizure were marked by “misrepresentation of facts”.

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