The muted response from powerful countries like US and UK on detaining the suspicious Chinese ship by India, unmasks the duplicity of international diplomacy and world order. Would they have treated the case with same apathy if the ship was heading to Iran?
- Dr Gulrez Sheikh
The Department of Revenue Intelligence and Kandla Customs detained a Chinese ship on February 3 for carrying a falsely declared “dual use” industrial autoclave as an industrial dryer, which can be used in the manufacture of ballistic missiles. Now the scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are examining the suspected cargo of the Chinese ship Dai Cui Yun, bound for the Port of Karachi to ascertain whether the 2005 Indian law against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the international laws on the same can be invoked against both the consignee & consignor.
The Chinese ship Da Cui Yun was allowed to leave for final destination i.e., Port Qasim, Karachi after signing guarantees with the Kandla Customs but the autoclave has been seized for examination.
January 17: Vessel Da Cui Yun leaves Chinese port of Jiangyn for Port Qasim, Karachi, Pakistan, via Kamdla port, Gujarat, India.
February 03: Vessel reaches Kandla port. NOC after verifying no dues was granted.
February 05: Authorities were about to issue the final clearance but red flag was raised by the intelligence agencies. Ship detained for wrongly declaring autoclave (which has a double use), as an industrial dryer.
Once the physical verification is done, the government can invoke the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems Act 2005 as well as the UN Convention on WMD. (In year 1999, the same authorities had booked a North Korean ship Ku Wol San carrying missile parts for Pakistan under the same Act). This once again prove the Indian stand that Pakistan’s nuclear programme and its missile delivery systems are based on technology from China and North Korea. (Pakistan has borrowed its missile technology from North Korea and gave its nuclear technology to North Korea which was actually borrowed by Pakistan from China).
Here an import and export of the internationally banned WMDs & nuclear technology can be established between the Axis of China-Pakistan-North Korea and China is the kingpin).
Commercial parties involved i.e., Islamabad-based United Construction Company, which was importing the equipment, and Hong Kong based General Technology Ltd which booked the consignment will also be brought to accounts as per the laws.
The captain of the ship and others could also be charged for violating the Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies (SCOMET) export rules. (Category 4 and 5 of the SCOMET regulations deal with the transport of dual-use technology, especially those that can be used for the production of nuclear warheads). The regulations were introduced after the UN confirmed that Iraq had used chemical weapons on Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. The regulations are designed to control the export & prevent the proliferation of technologies and equipments which can be used in the manufacture or disposal of chemical and biological weapons. Dual use items are also considered contributors to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Duplicity of World Order
India can raise the issue on the international platforms including the UNSC (let China take the veto, but it will definitely hurt the Chinese image internationally). Hypocrisy of the world order: Need not to say much about it, but just imagine if the same ship was heading to Iran, what would have been the global response? This unmasks the duplicity of international diplomacy and world order.
Most importantly, this seizure shows that India is progressing in tracking ships with the use of technologies like the Automatic Identification Systems and this is being done in partnership with 29 countries, involving exchange of information on the safety & movement of commercial shipping.
We along with our partners are also working on setting up of coastal radars in Sri Lanka, Maldives and Seychelles and this is why increase of Indo-US alliance in the Indo-Pacific region is important. This is one of the many strategic reasons, why we i.e., India are even economically supporting countries like Maldives, Sri Lanka etc.