Pakistan Modifying Its Missile, US Blamed

NEW YORK: The Obama administration has accused Pakistan of illegally changing American-made missiles to expand its ability to attack ground targets, which would constitute a threat to India, a U.S. newspaper reported in its Sunday edition.

Quoting senior management and congressional officials, the paper said the charge was in late June through a diplomatic protest without advertising Yusuf Raza Gilani prime minister and other senior Pakistani officials.

A senior Pakistani official called the accusation “false”, saying that the missile tested was developed by Pakistan as it had modified the design of North Korea to build a series of ground-based missiles that could strike India, according the document.

U.S. Officials said the disputed weapon is a conventional one based on the Harpoon anti-ship missiles that were sold to Pakistan during the Reagan administration as a defensive weapon, the newspaper reported, but the charges come as the Obama administration is seeking congressional approval a $ 7.5 billion aid for Pakistan over the next five years.

The charge stems from the detection of U.S. intelligence agencies of a suspected missile test on April 23, which was never announced by Pakistani officials and that apparently give a new offensive weapon, the report said.

U.S. military and Pakistani intelligence officials suspected of modifying the Harpoon they sell in the 1980s, which would violate the Law on Control of Arms Exports.

Pakistan denied the accusations and said the missile was developed.

“The focus of our concern is that this is an unauthorized modification of a potential maritime anti-ship defensive to an offensive capacity of land-attack missile,” another senior administration official told the newspaper, speaking on condition of anonymity on information classified.


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