London, Aug. 25 (PTI): Britain has stepped up its surveillance of Pakistani activities in the country following reports that Islamabad has been secretly buying from here equipment for making nuclear weapons.
Special high-grade metals have been smuggled out of the country and are believed to have reached an uranium enrichment plant in Kahuta, near Islamabad, a media report said today.
The discovery has infuriated the British foreign office, which had assurances from Pakistan that it was not shopping in Britain for weapons of mass destruction or related equipment.
The British security agency MI5 is said to have already stepped up its surveillance of Pakistani activities in UK, including diplomats in London involved in the procurement of military equipment, according to a report in the influential Sunday Times.
At least one consignment of 47 tons of high-strength aluminium worth £150,000 was sent to Pakistan from a British firm. The material, made to a standard known as 6061 T6, is used to make centrifuges for converting uranium ore to bomb-grade uranium 235.
“This is not the kind of aluminium you use for soft drink cans, it has a very limited number of applications,” the paper quoted a source. Two people now face prosecution for alleged evasion of export controls.
Customs and excise officers discovered the aluminium had been secretly shipped to khan research laboratories in pakistan, which manufactures nuclear weapons.
The mi5 visited the blackburn-based company that sold the material and warned that pakistan and other states may try to circumvent an export ban. Pti hsr tck 08251006 d