Pakistan rejects Indian claims regarding 'possible military dimension' of seized item

Pakistan rejects Indian claims regarding 'possible military dimension' of seized item

Islamabad (Web Desk): Pakistan on Saturday rejected the Indian claims regarding the possible military dimension of the held item from its commercial vessel by the Indian authorities.

In a statement, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the item under question is a heat treatment furnace casing system which has several industrial applications.

"We have noted the reports about inspection and seizure by the Indian authorities of an item from a Pakistan-bound commercial vessel. In this regard, we have also been approached by the private company in Pakistan which had imported the item under question", the statement said.

The FO spokesperson clarified that the item was a "heat treatment furnace casing system" with "several industrial applications".

"It is not listed in any international export control list. Contrary to what is being claimed, the item was correctly declared in the relevant documentation and there was no attempt to hide or conceal any information," she said.

She said that similar furnaces are being used in several industries in Pakistan and the world over.

Indian authorities had detained Chinese merchant vessel MV Da Cui Yun in the first week of February at Deendayal port, formerly known as Kandla port, alleging that it carried an autoclave which had been mis-declared in the cargo manifest. It was claimed that the autoclave could be used in the manufacture of missiles.

On Thursday, China had strongly rejected the Indian allegation that the detained vessel had carried cargo that breached non-proliferation and export control restrictions.

At a media briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao said, “The Pakistan-bound merchant vessel from China was detained by India, but the autoclave on the ship that India claimed to be material for ballistic missiles is neither military supplies nor dual-use items under non-proliferation and export control”.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman added that the operators of the ship had truthfully declared the cargo to Indian authorities and, therefore, there was no concealment or false declaration.