Pak not mending its ways: Rajnath
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 17
With intelligence reports suggesting that Pakistan-based terrorists were planning strikes in India, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday attacked the neighbouring country for “not mending its ways” despite being given a befitting reply many times.
“Pakistan is not mending its ways. Despite getting a befitting reply many times, it is not mending its ways. But India is not scared of Pakistan’s threat,” he told PTI here.He was replying to a question on intelligence inputs which said strikes could be carried out by militant groups on “soft targets” in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit here this month.
Singh, however, said no effort will be left to foil any such attempts by terrorists to disturb peace.
“For security, whatever necessary steps are required, we will take,” he said.
Obama will arrive here on January 25 for a three-day visit during which he will attend the Republic Day parade as chief guest.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen KH Singh had said that 200 heavily-armed militants were waiting in 36 launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on the other side of Pir Panjal range and there is every possibility that Pakistan might try to divert the fringe elements of the home-grown terrorist groups on this side of the border.
“There are general inputs that terrorists might try to attack soft targets, including schools, religions places, Army convoys and other civilian areas,” he said.
Asked about reports that Pakistan plans to ban 10 terror outfits, including JuD and the dreaded Afghan-based Haqqani Network, the Home Minister said even though Pakistan has banned a number of organisations in the past, they have come up with new names.
“They have banned many organisations. But these organisations have come up with different names. Pakistan must ensure that no terrorist organisation comes up with a new name and again start terror activities,” he said.
There have been reports that Pakistan plans to ban 10 terror outfits, including 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the dreaded Afghanistan-based Haqqani Network.
Pakistan’s fourth reactor at Khushab now operational
Pakistan’s fourth heavy water reactor at Khushab nuclear site which allows it to build a larger number of miniaturised plutonium-based nuclear weapons now appears to be operational, a US think-tank has said.
The reactor is part of Pakistan’s programme to increase the production of weapons-grade plutonium.
“A recently purchased Digital Globe high resolution satellite image dated January 15, 2015 shows that Khushab’s fourth reactor’s external construction is complete and has become operational,” David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said yesterday.
“This assessment is based on the presence of a very specific signature: steam is venting from the reactor’s cooling system,” he said.
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is increasing at a pace faster than any other country and now is reported to have more nuclear weapons than that of India.
Albright and his co-author said Pakistan’s Khushab nuclear site, located 200 kilometres south of Islamabad, is dedicated to the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.
“Its expansion appears to be part of an effort to increase the production of weapons-grade plutonium, allowing Pakistan to build a larger number of miniaturized plutonium-based nuclear weapons that can complement its existing highly enriched uranium nuclear weapons,” they wrote.
“Originally, the site consisted of a heavy water production plant and an estimated 50 megawatt-thermal (MWth) heavy water reactor, both of which became operational in the 1990s. However, Pakistan initiated the construction of a second heavy water reactor between the year 2000 and 2002, a third one in 2006, and a fourth one in 2011,” they said.
Noting that Pakistan has never provided public information regarding any of the Khushab reactors, Albright and Kelleher-Vergantini said terefore, the power output can only be estimated.
ISIS estimates the power of the original heavy water reactor to be about 50 MWth while reactors 2, 3, and 4 are believed to generate double or more the power of the first one, and are thus capable of producing more than double the amount of weapon-grade plutonium per year.
A technical consultant to ISIS with years of experience in heavy water reactors assessed for ISIS that the power of these newer heavy water reactors is likely to be larger than the first one and that over time their power could be further increased.
The increase in power can be accomplished by using more advanced fuel or adding heat removal capacity, they wrote.