This is October 1954.
On the same day that the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Bogra met with US President Eisenhower at the White House and Pakistan joined the US Atom for Peace (Atom for Peace) project in the field of nuclear energy. Announcing the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission for Research and Development.
This was the beginning of Pakistan’s nuclear program or in fact it was a pledge by Pakistan that it would not use nuclear energy for the manufacture of weapons.
I remember that there was a lot going on in Pakistan at the time because, according to many observers, the real purpose of President Eisenhower’s atomic peace plan was to deprive all countries of the world, except the United States, of nuclear weapons capability. They were to be kept and restricted to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons.
Many in Pakistan were shocked at Pakistan’s acceptance of Eisenhower’s plan because it was the beginning of Pakistan’s surrender to the United States.
Shortly afterwards, a period of universal closeness and cooperation began in the military, political and economic fields between the United States and Pakistan.
In the same year, Pakistan joined two US military agreements, Santo and Seto, and the United States established military bases on Pakistani soil and sent its military advisers to Pakistan in exchange for heavy military and economic aid. The United States had appointed experts to the Planning Commission of Pakistan to prepare a five-year economic plan.
Thus, the United States had completely taken Pakistan under its siege.
The result of the US’s complete grip on Pakistan was that the Pakistani leadership at that time did not for a moment think about developing a nuclear weapon. At the time, US defense agreements were generally seen as a means of countering aggression.
In the 1960s, news began to circulate that India was rapidly moving towards nuclear tests, but Pakistan’s leadership flatly refused to step into the field of nuclear weapons.
I was there when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to Delhi leading a condolence delegation from Pakistan on the demise of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964.
I remember a long meeting with him on this occasion to discuss the progress in the field of nuclear energy in India.
When I asked him what Pakistan was doing to acquire a nuclear capability, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, taking a pledge from me that he would not divulge this secret, revealed that in 1963, he had It was suggested that Pakistan should launch a program to develop nuclear weapons, but President Ayub Khan and his pro-US finance minister Muhammad Shoaib and other ministers flatly rejected his proposal and made it clear that Pakistan had a nuclear weapon. Will not acquire the ability to carry weapons.
When President Ayub Khan visited France in 1968, I went to Paris to cover his visit.
On this occasion, French President Charles de Gaulle had offered to build a nuclear reprocessing plant in Pakistan, but Ayub Khan turned down the offer.
This advice was given to him by his Chief of Staff General Yahya Khan, President Ayub’s Senior Scientific Adviser Dr Abdul Salam and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission MM Ahmed.
There is no doubt that it was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who came to power in 1971 after the partition of Pakistan as a result of the Bangladesh war and who started the plan to make Pakistan a nuclear power.
Shortly after assuming the presidency, Bhutto made a whirlwind tour of Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria, and I accompanied him on this trip. The visit had two main purposes.
One goal was to renew relations with Muslim countries and the other was to get financial support from Muslim countries for Pakistan’s nuclear program.
At the end of his visit to Damascus, he told Syrian President Hafez al-Assad that his visit was the beginning of a renaissance journey and that the Islamic world could gain nuclear power with Pakistan’s expertise and the wealth of Muslim countries. ۔
Shortly after the visit, he formally launched Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability program in 1973, replacing the head of the Atomic Energy Commission and dismissing Dr. Abdul Salam, a senior scientific adviser, from the Netherlands. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was called to Pakistan.
He urged the French government to renew its old offer to build a nuclear reprocessing plant for Pakistan’s nuclear program.
The United States did not like the speed with which Bhutto was advancing in its nuclear program and the then US Secretary of State Kissinger had openly threatened not to stay if Bhutto insisted on a nuclear reprocessing plant. Will
But research on the nuclear capability program launched by Bhutto continued.
Pakistani scientists begin uranium enrichment at Kahuta laboratory
His hard work paid off in 1978, and by 1982 he was able to add ninety percent.
According to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan’s nuclear scientists had acquired the ability to make a nuclear bomb in 1984 and he had asked General Zia-ul-Haq to openly declare Pakistan’s commitment to make a nuclear bomb. His pro-US Secretary of State and other ministers strongly opposed him.
Finally, in May 1998, when India conducted nuclear tests, there was no way for Pakistan to conduct nuclear tests and thus Pakistan joined the ranks of nuclear powers.