of Pak scientists
1986, then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi said some Arab
countries were helping Pakistan in the development of its
clandestine nuclear programme. That caused a storm in a teacup. Some
Arab countries protested and asked India to name the countries.
Soon came the book
of Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's right-hand man Maulana Kauser Niazi
which said the then Prime Minister was promised financial help for
Pakistan's nuclear programme by oil-rich Arab countries during
1976-77. In this book, " Aur Line Cut Gai" Kauser Niazi
said this help was for the reprocessing plant Pakistan was buying
from France for $300 million. The United States opposed this deal.
In the meantime, Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan came on the scene and told
Bhutto the reprocessing plant was not of much help. Bhutto dropped
the idea of the reprocessing without telling France, which was under
the US pressure to cancel the deal. Under the cover of US well-publicised
opposition to the reprocessing plant, Mr. Bhutto quietly launched
the nuclear bomb plan in Kahuta under Dr. Qadir who had brought with
him the blueprint of how to construct a nuclear bomb from Holland.
When Dr. Qadir decided to stay in Pakistan, Mr. Bhutto is quoted to
have shouted, "I will see the Hindu bastards now." Dr.
Qadir's utterances in the 1980s clearly indicated that he has the
mind of a jehadi-set against non-Muslims.
The countries who
promised Pakistan financial help in its nuclear programme were,
among others, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. There is a hint that
Iran was also among them. This has also been confirmed by Thomas
Woodrow, a senior official of the United States Defence Intelligence
Agency. In a research paper, Mr. Woodrow stated that Saudi Defence
Minister Prince Sultan had "toured the uranium- enrichment
plant and missile production facilities in Kahuta" in Pakistan
just after the May 1999 nuclear tests adding that Saudi Minister
"may also have been present in Pakistan" during the test
launch of its nuclear capable Ghauri missile."
Thus the history of
Pak nuclear bomb shows that the jehadi mind was the driving force
behind. Surely, at least Iraq, Iran and Libya would not have
promised help if Pakistan had told them that the bomb was being made
to be used against India. Bhutto must have told them that Pakistan's
nuclear power was for Muslim Ummah. On this declaration, they might
have promised funds. We do not know if Bhutto also promised transfer
of nuclear technology to some of them once Pakistan established its
nuclear capability. It could be possible that Dr. Qadir's scientists
were now fulfilling the promise the Government of Pakistan might
have made in the 1970s. Dramatic evidence from North Korea, Iran and
now Libya reveals a clandestine network stretching from North Korea,
Malaysia and China to Russia, Germany and Dubai. In the network of
illegal nuclear trade, all roads point to Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan's
Research Laboratories in Kahuta.
The nexus was first
established during the second tenure of Benazir Bhutto as Pakistan
Prime Minister when she made a clandestine visit to North Korea and
quietly nursed by her successors Nawaz Sharif and now General
Musharraf. There were also reports that Pakistan had initially paid
for the missiles and spare parts partly in kind and partly' through
supply of nuclear technology to help North Korea in the development
of its military nuclear capability. In July 2002, American
intelligence agencies tracked a Pakistani cargo aircraft (American
built C-130) as it landed at a North Korean airfield and took on a
secret pay load of ballistic missiles.
To add to
Islamabad's woes, the New York Times on January II posted on its web
site a sales brochure for nuclear components available, to qualified
buyers from Pakistan's top-secret A.Q.Khan Research Laboratories
(named for the so-called father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons
programme). The technologies offered were critical for building high
quality uranium enrichment facilities, and the glossy brochure.
present stand is that some scientists, in their individual capacity,
might be helping some countries for their greed of money. To
emphasise this point there is an inquiry into their assets to see if
they were living beyond their known means.
But commentators in
Pakistan say that these scientists could not have been acting on
their own without at least the permission of the ISI and the Army.
Kahuta is guarded by the Army which did not allow even then Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto to know anything what is going on there.
Reports in Pakistan say that Gen (retd) Aslam Beg, who was the Army
Chief during Ms.Bhutto's Prime Ministership, was also interrogated
by the ISI and FBI of America.
The current arrests
of Pak scientists have been made on the basis of Iran's admission
that Pakistan helped in its nuclear programme and a report of the
IAEA which said Pakistan was suspected of helping other countries in
nuclear proliferation. This means Pakistan's nuclear facilities
cannot be taken as safe in a country where there is proliferation of
Jehadis and terrorists. While we tend to blame Pakistan and its
nuclear scientists for clandestinely transferring nuclear technology
to other countries, we cannot blatantly absolve United States of
conniving at Pakistan's nuclear capability. It should be noted that
Pakistan's nuclear programme was developed during the time when the
Americans were fully supporting this country during the 1980s in
their war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
writer is Director, Institute for Media Studies & Information
Technology, YMCA, New Delhi & former Editor, UNI