A Hong Kong flagged ship which was bound to Karachi was intercepted by the officials of Indian Customs early February has been found to be carrying equipment which can also be used to build parts of Nuclear capable Ballistic Missiles.
A person familiar with the development of the case said that the Chinese ship – Da Cui Yun – was carrying an Autoclave which can be used in the launch of Ballistic Missiles. The ship began its journey from Jiangsu province in China and was bound to Port Qasim in Karachi.
An Autoclave is a pressure chamber which is used to carry out many scientific and industrial processes. It has been certified as a “dual-use” item that means that it can be used for both military and civilian purposes.
One of its use is to manufacture of the motor of long-range missiles which have a range of over 1,500 kilometres. Pakistan’s Shaheen II missile has a range in between 1,500 to 2,000 kilometres.
Initially, Hindustan Times reported the story of the ship’s interception.
As per the same source, the ship was intercepted on the 3rd February and underwent detailed inspection at Gujarat’s Kandla Port. Scientists from DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) were called in to check the autoclave which was described as an Industrial Dryer by the crew of the ship.
China, North Korea, and Pakistan, all three of them have had a history of nuclear proliferation which has been recognised and documented in the past. According to reports, in the 1980s and 1990s, it was China and North Korea who helped Pakistan in developing a nuclear missile Delivery Platform by secretly transferring the M-9 and M-11 series of missiles.
The ship has a dead weight of 28,341 tonnes and measured 166.5 metres by 27.4 metres and was built 9 years ago, in 2011 in the home port of Hong Kong. Port Qasim which is situated in Karachi, Sindh is the same place where Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is present which was responsible for Pakistan Ballistic Missile programme, said the Hindustan Times report.