U.S. Accuses Pakistan of Altering American-Made Missiles
The accusation reporteldy stems from U.S. detection of a suspicious missile test on April 23 which was never announced by Pakistan and appeared to give it a new offensive weapon.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The United States has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying American-made missiles to expand its ability to hit land-based targets in what could be a direct threat to India, the New York Times reported.
The accusation triggers a new round of U.S.-Pakistani tensions amid concern over the country's weapons development. It stems from U.S. detection of a suspicious missile test on April 23 which was never announced by Pakistan and appeared to give it a new offensive weapon.
Military and intelligence officials told the Times they suspect the Harpoon antiship missiles the U.S. sold Pakistan in the '80s had been modified, which would be a violation of the Arms Control Export Act.
"There's a concerted effort to get these guys to slow down," a senior administration official told the Times. "Their energies are misdirected."
A senior Pakistani official called the accusation by the U.S. "incorrect," saying that the missile tested was developed by Pakistan, just as it had modified North Korean designs to build weapons capable of striking India.
The move could also trigger an arms race with India that the U.S. has tried to end.
"The focus of our concern is that this is a potential unauthorized modification of a maritime antiship defensive capability to an offensive land-attack missile," another senior administration official told the Times. "When we have concerns, we act aggressively," the official added.