A ship bearing the Hong Kong flag, headed to Port Qasim in Karachi was detained by Indian Customs on the basis of an intelligence tip-off last month for mis-declaring an autoclave — a pressure chamber which can be used in the launch process of ballistic missiles — as an industrial dryer.
The Chinese ship, Dai Cui Yun, was detained at Gujarat’s Kandla port and the autoclave was seized, following which the ship was allowed to move towards its final destination.
Experts from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) confirmed that the industrial autoclave seized from the Chinese ship can be used for the manufacture of very long-range ballistic missiles or satellite launch rockets.
The autoclave can be used for the manufacture of the motor of very long-range missiles, with range upwards of 1,500 kilometers or even in the construction of a motor for the launch of satellites. Pakistan has the Shaheen-II missile in the 1,500-2,000-kilometer range, and the platform was tested last May.
Pakistan however rejected India’s assertion as “factually incorrect” that the industrial autoclave seized from a Karachi-bound Chinese ship at the Kandla port has military applications, saying similar furnaces are being used in several industries around the world over. If Similar furnaces are being used in several industries in Pakistan and the world over, why isn’t Pakistan capable of manufacturing such a simple unit for itself.
It further said that the item under question is a heat treatment furnace casing system which has several industrial applications and it is not listed in any international export control list. Then why was it mislabeled? Why could not be transported under its original name?
All these factors raise a lot of questions to the real intent behind transporting such a basic industrial unit under a false nomenclature.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the autoclave seized from the ship is a heat treatment furnace shell system and not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control. Whereas DRDO officials have clearly stated that the seized item was an autoclave, which can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
China has always been Pakistan’s steadfast ally, staunch partner and iron brother. China has always firmly stood by Pakistan in supporting Pakistan’s core national interests (including interests in Kashmir) and played a major role in advancing Pakistan’s military goals.
History is witness to what happened in the 1965 war as well as the Kargil war. The skirmishes which were being carried out from April 1965 up till September culminated into a full-fledged war because of subtle Chinese involvement in the whole 1965 scenario. Causing thousands of casualties and human loss the war observed the most significant usage of armored vehicles and the battle tanks since World War II, all provided to Pakistan by its all-weather ally China.
The playbook has been that every time Kashmir was disappearing from the horizon, Pakistan would resort to some outrageous action in order to refocus the international community. We don’t know what they might be up to again?
Who knows how China may be planning to help its dear friend this time.
14 Mar 20/Saturday Written By: Saima Ibrahim