Satellite images show that Pakistan is building a new nuclear reactor that can produce weapons-grade plutonium, an American watchdog group said Thursday, warning that it could contribute to an atomic arms race with archrival India.
A picture taken June 3 shows work progressing rapidly on the reactor at the Khushab nuclear site, 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, the Institute of Science for International Security said. The development of the reactor and other nuclear-related activities “imply” that Pakistan has decided to “increase significantly its production of plutonium for nuclear weapons,” the Washington-based institute said in a report analyzing the images.
A senior official at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Authority said the country was “extending our infrastructure,” but declined to address the details of the report. “We are a declared nuclear state and we are pursuing our nuclear program for peaceful purposes,” said the official, who asked that he not be named because of the sensitivity of the subject. “We are doing it for our national interests.”
Pakistan has stated repeatedly that it will develop its secretive nuclear program and maintain an atomic arsenal to deter India, its more powerful neighbor, despite past leaks of sensitive technology to countries including Iran.
“Muslims should confer the ‘Sir’ title and all other awards on bin Laden and [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar in reply to Britain’s shameful decision to knight Rushdie,” Sami ul Haq, (pictured) leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, said in a statement.
Such a move would not only go against the political grain of Britain, who joined in the international effort to drive the Taliban from power and al-Qaeda from their Afghan safe haven in 2001, but it would also break knighthood rules, under which foreigners may not be addressed as sir.
“Europe and Western nations are intentionally pushing Muslims towards extremism by awarding a nefarious person,” Haq said. [oh, yeah… don’t make laugh. And I am even not going to do any comments about his face…].
The hard-line leader, who is also a parliament member, called upon the Pakistani government to withdraw its support for the US-led war on terrorism.
Regarding Rushdie’s knighthood (read Dr. Sanity about the subject AND see the cartoon 😆 . Also read SC&A and Red Alerts on the subject) , a Pakistani paper has called it a “part of a Western plot to defame Islam”.
A cartoon about the Rushdie’s affair:
It comes in a moment when the political future of Musharraf is in doubt after the firing of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.
Read also The Strata Sphere about the last operation in Pakistan against Talibans/Al-Qaeda base:
The terrorists who have been killed in blast in Datakhel area near the Afghan border in abandoned area of Miramshah have been identified.
Military sources while talking to Online confirmed that explosion in the suspected religious seminary in Datakhel area near the Afghan border on Wednesday claimed 33 lives out of which 27 persons including four injured have been identified as foreigners.
Military sources further confirmed that out of 23 deceased, 19 have been identified as Arab, while four belonged to Turkmenistan.
A very difficult moment, indeed.