Pakistan modifying US missile posed a danger to India, says Sureesh Mehta

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New Delhi, Aug 31 (ANI): Outgoing Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Monday alleged that Pakistan's attempt to modify Harpoon missile posed a danger to India's interest.

As per media reports, the Obama administration has protested to Pakistan for illegally modifying U.S.-made missiles to expand its ability to hit land-based targets.

Citing senior administration and Congressional officials, the reports said the charge came in late June through an unpublicized diplomatic protest to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials.

The accusation, made amid growing concerns about Pakistan's increasingly rapid conventional and nuclear weapons development, triggered a new round of U.S.-Pakistani tensions, the report added. eacting to the same, Mehta said that US authorities are constantly being told that their aid to Pakistan is not necessarily used for self-defence.

"Here are certain things which people do. Like if we made our own Brahmos (a supersonic cruise missile), it was for the sea, then it become land version, so there are certain things that can be done to it. This is a danger of proliferation which we have also been mentioning to Americans at all times that what you give them (Pakistan) will not necessarily be targeted for self defence. And this in any case has got nothing to do with self-defence; it is obviously against Indian interest," Mehta added.

A senior Pakistani official called the accusation "incorrect," saying that the missile tested was developed by Pakistan, just as it had modified North Korean designs to build a range of land-based missiles that could strike India, according to the Times.

U.S. officials said the disputed weapon is a conventional one based on the Harpoon antiship 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 for 7.5 billion dollars in aid for Pakistan over the next five years.

U.S. military and intelligence officials suspect Pakistan of modifying the Harpoon sold to them in the 1980s, which would violate the Arms Control Export Act.

Pakistan denied the charge and said it developed the missile, the media report said.

According to experts, the missiles would bolster Pakistan's ability to threaten India, stoking fears of heating up the two nations' arms race. (ANI)

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