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'Unjustified': Pak after India seizes nuclear cargo from ship

March 03, 2024 20:34 IST

Pakistan on Sunday protested India's "unjustified seizure" of commercial goods destined for Karachi, saying the consignment was a "simple case" of import of a commercial lathe machine by a commercial entity which supplies parts to the automobile industry in this country.

Kindly note that this image has been posted for representational purposes only. Photograph: PTI Photo

The comments by the Foreign Office came after security agencies at Mumbai's Nhava Sheva port intercepted and seized the consignment of a Karachi-bound ship from China after it was found carrying a dual-use consignment with implications for Pakistan's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Customs officials, acting on intelligence, halted the Malta-flagged merchant ship -- CMA CGM Attila -- en route to Karachi on January 23 and, during its inspection, found that the consignment had a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine, manufactured by an Italian company, known for its precision and efficiency controlled by a computer system.


CNC machines fall under the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime aimed at curbing the spread of items with dual civilian and military applications, in which India is an active participant. The CNC machine was used by North Korea in its nuclear programme.

In response to media questions regarding the seizure of commercial equipment destined for Pakistan, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said that these reports are reflective of Indian media's “misrepresentation of facts”.

"This is a simple case of import of a commercial lathe machine by a Karachi-based commercial entity which supplies parts to the automobile industry in Pakistan.

"Specifications of the equipment clearly indicate its purely commercial use. The transaction was being conducted through transparent banking channels with all the relevant documentation,” the spokesperson said.

"Pakistan condemns India's high-handedness in seizure of commercial goods. This disruption of free trade underscores the dangers inherent in arbitrary assumption of policing roles by states with dubious credentials. Such acts also highlight the growing impunity of certain states in violating international norms and taking arbitrary measures in violation of international law,” the official said.

The relevant private entities are pursuing the matter against this “unjustified seizure,” the spokesperson added.

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