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Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 15:51 GMT
Pakistan nukes put online

A satellite image of missile garages at the Sargodha facility
A US policy group has published satellite photographs said to show Pakistan's nuclear facilities on its website, just days ahead of President Clinton's visit to the region.


The high resolution images ... show details ... previously known only to the secret intelligence world

Federation of American Scientists
The Federation of American Scientists (Fas), a non-profit group which campaigns for nuclear non-proliferation, said it was making available images of Pakistan's weapons facilities "previously known only to the secret intelligence world".

Since last autumn, when the Colorado-based Space Imaging Inc. launched a satellite that can take pictures nearly as close to the ground as spy satellites do, satellite images of strategic objects have become more widely available.

Space Imaging sells images commercially for around $2,000 per photo.

Previously they were obtainable only by government employees with security clearances.

'Dozens of missiles'

Fas warns that Pakistan had put in place dozens of nuclear-tipped missiles that could hit India.


Pakistan's nuclear-tipped missiles could hit India
"Pakistan has laid the groundwork for a force of dozens of nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking Indian cities and military bases," said John Pike, director of the group's Public Eye project, which acquires and releases satellite imagery.

"But Pakistan is in danger of having most of its nuclear eggs in one basket, which would be a tempting target for a pre-emptive Indian attack in a time of crisis," he said.

Clinton's visit

Mr Pike said previous US policy focussed on preventing India and Pakistan from acquiring nuclear weapons, but the Americans now needed to help reduce the risk that the weapons would be used.


The danger of such [nuclear] attacks will grow

John Pike, Director Public Eye project
"With Pakistan and India apparently moving ahead with deploying nuclear forces, the danger of such attacks will grow," he said.

Both countries conducted nuclear tests in 1998 leading to widespread international condemnation.

US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has said India must make significant progress on controlling its nuclear weapons before the two sides can develop their relationship fully.

The Clinton administration has similar concerns about Pakistan, and Mrs Albright said that was one of the reasons that the president had decided to go there on his return from India.

The Federation of American Scientists caused a stir when it published photographs of a North Korean missile site on its website in January.
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See also:

27 Oct 99 | South Asia
Call for Indian nuclear restraint
23 Sep 99 | South Asia
Pakistan warns of renewed arms race
01 Feb 00 | South Asia
Clinton to visit India
08 Oct 99 | South Asia
India: No change on nuclear policy
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