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U.N. Inspectors Will Visit Pakistan This Month

U.N. chemical inspectors will visit Pakistan later this month to inspect a fertilizer plant in the southern city of Karachi to certify Pakistan is not producing chemical or biological weapons, senior government officials said Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry confirmed the visit, but said it was "not a chemical weapon inspection as Pakistan is not a chemical weapon state."

It said the visits are routine for the 150 signatories of the Chemical Weapons Convention, but marked the first time the inspectors have been to Pakistan. Under the treaty, all member countries must open facilities to periodic inspections by the U.N. team.

According to Pakistani officials, the U.N. inspectors will start their work on April 30, the day after they arrive in the country. After completing their inspection they are expected to travel to India.

The U.N. team is to inspect the Fauji Jordan Fertilizer plant in the Southern port city of Karachi, according to a report in The News, Pakistan's largest circulation daily newspaper.

The Chemical Weapons Convention, signed by Pakistan in 1993, gives countries until 2007 to destroy all such weapons, with the opportunity to seek a five-year extension.

The announcement came a day after Foreign Ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmad Khan accused nuclear-rival India of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, saying it possesses weapons stocks.

He provided no proof.

India is also a signatory of the convention. The two South Asian rivals have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and both possess nuclear weapons.