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|September 16, 1998||
India, Pak exaggerated claims about N-tests, says seismologist
Both India and Pakistan exaggerated the size and number of nuclear weapons they detonated in separate tests earlier this year, The Los Angeles Times reported today.
Quoting the findings of an independent study, the newspaper reported that the two South Asian countries overstated the power of their atomic bombs by a factor of four.
In late May, Pakistan claimed it detonated six devices in response to India's detonation of five nuclear devices two weeks earlier.
But two of the nuclear tests India claimed may not have taken place at all, and only two of the explosions Pakistan announced actually involved atomic bombs, the Times reported.
"This is quite clearly a case where governments tested for a political reason rather than scientific reasons, so we have to be suspicious of what they say,'' said Terry Wallace of the University of Arizona, an expert on the use of seismology to analyse nuclear explosions.
Wallace's study was published today in seismological research letters. His work, believed to be the first independent scientific accounting of the tests, was based on seismic shock waves released by the explosions.
Wallace concluded that India and Pakistan misled each other and the world about the tests conducted last spring.
"Seismology provided a microscope into what happened and we were able to learn a lot about these explosions,'' he said.
"It has given us a reality check on government pronouncements.''
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