In response to a report today in a communist daily here, The Patriot, Pakistan denied that it exploded an underground nuclear device nearly two weeks ago near Quetta, in Baluchistan, and that Indian seismologists had recorded it.
A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy said the report is "absolutely without basis" that appeared to be part of a disinformation campaign linked to U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz's visit to Islamabad next week.
The Indian government said that a seismic monitoring station at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center, near Bangalore, had recorded a "seismic event" in Pakistan June 13. It said the epicenter was south of Quetta in the Ras Koh mountain range.
However, it said the cause of the tremor was not known and could have been an earthquake.
When pressed about whether the tremor was consistent with a nuclear explosion, an Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mani Shanker Aiyar, responded: "It could be. It may not be."
He said the ambivalence was a result of a lack of scientific data.
Western diplomatic sources said they had no indication of an underground nuclear explosion in Pakistan and noted that The Patriot previously had engaged in disinformation campaigns, including apparently forged cables asserting that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane J. Kirkpatrick had advocated a plan to "Balkanize" India.