EXPLAINED: Why Pakistan-bound ship raises key concerns

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 17, 2020, 11.27 PM(IST)

Representative image of a cargo Photograph:( AFP )

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Here are some concerning evidence that triggers international scrutiny

In a massive development, New Delhi intercepted a Pakistan-bound vessel at Gujarat's Kandla Port on February 3. The Indian authorities successfully tracked the suspicious cargo that later could be used in an irresponsible manner. So why the Karachi-bound vessel raises concerns of Pakistan's growing nuclear assertiveness? Here are some concerning evidence that triggers international scrutiny.

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Industrial dryer?

The vessel that is being docked at the port for more than two weeks has been probed by a team of scientists from India's Defence and Research Development (DRDO). And the initial findings suggest alarming revelations. The crewmembers earlier declared the vessel as an industrial dryer.

However, it is an autoclave. So what exactly is an autoclave? It's a machine used to launch ballistic missiles and for scientific and military purposes. The DRDO team says that the autoclave in question here is used to make the composite lining for solid-fuel ballistic missiles.  In simpler language, it is a material strong enough to survive the impact of a missile's booster.

Why the route of the vessel raises suspicions?

Map

Several reports have claimed that the name of the vessel is Da Cui Yun and bears a Hong Kong flag. And it started its journey from the Port of Jiangyin in eastern China. We checked the most popular route between this port and the port of Kandla where it was detained. And it was found that the route was "out of range".

Why docking at Karachi raises eyebrows?

The vessel was seized at Port of Kandla, which is just 350 km away from Karachi, its main destination. Karachi is the home to SUPARCO, Pakistan ballistic missile programme's agency.

Pakistan and China nexus

Pakistan and China's nuclear bonhomie dates back to 1989 when Islamabad signed a deal with Beijing to purchase 34 solid-fuel M-11 ballistic missiles, which form the core of Pak's ballistic missile capability.

Today, a second high-level team from DRDO went to Kandla to examine the cargo. The Indian authorities have still not come out with the details. But there are some crucial questions not just from India but from world that seeks answers from Pakistan.