There is an interesting, but uncomfortable dichotomy in United States' relations with India and Pakistan. For India, there is untrammeled praise, soaring rhetoric about the two great democracies and our destiny as natural allies. But there is little else. Pakistan gets a lot of harsh words and complaints, but along with that comes generous dollops of aid —both military and developmental. Pakistan’s role in assisting the United States’ efforts to open diplomatic doors to China in 1971 and, later, as a facilitator of aid to the Afghan resistance fighters against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. As a result, the US effectively looked the other way when it came to Pakistan’s nuclear programme and the assistance it obtained from China for its missile and nuclear programmes. That is, until the Pressler Amendment was enacted and enforced. The chaos of the 1980s fighting against the Russians allowed the opium trade to spread from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Currently, Afghan produces about 80% of the illegal heroin in the world.
The United States acknowledged India’s fears of a nuclear-armed Pakistan and gave lip service to this threat, but did nothing about it. We continued to fund Pakistan’s military to support the goal of fighting the spectre of communism anywhere in the world at the expense of furthering our nuclear non-proliferation goals in South Asia. The Americans seem to be using the DTTI to push aside competing vendors, rather than offering something India would not be able to get elsewhere.
Operation Alsos was a U.S. top secret effort to capture German nuclear secrets, equipment and personnel to discover enemy scientific developments during World War II. Its chief focus was on the German nuclear energy project, but it also investigated both chemical and biological weapons and the means to deliver them. It was established as part of the Manhattan Project's mission to coordinate foreign intelligence related to enemy nuclear activity. It was a competition to deny German technical skills to the Soviet Union.
Pure Fission Weapons: The bombs that were dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both fission bombs. These are the simplest nuclear weapons to design and build. They form the basis for developing other types of weapons.
Boosted Fission Weapons: The efficiency of a fission weapon can be increased dramatically by introducing a small amount of material that can undergo fusion. The fusion only serves to help the fission process go faster and hence make the weapon more efficient. It contributes only about 1% of the yield. Since boosted fission weapons are more efficient than pure fission weapons, they can be made lighter for the same yield. So most of the fission weapons deployed today are boosted fission weapons.
Thermonuclear Weapons: Thermonuclear weapons, also called hydrogen bombs, get most of their yield from the fusion reaction. As in the case of boosted fission weapons, they require a fission explosion to trigger fusion, called the primary stage, to initiate the fusion reaction which is called the secondary stage. However unlike the boosted weapons, thermonuclear weapons contain a substantial amount of fusion fuel and most of their yield comes from fusion. A third fission stage can also be added to produce very high yield weapons. However it is not necessary for a thermonuclear weapon to have such high yields.
Enhanced Radiation Weapons: Enhanced radiation weapons, also called neutron bombs are small tactical thermonuclear weapons which are designed to produce intense nuclear radiation. These weapons are designed to kill soldiers protected by armour (eg. inside tanks). The radiation produced by the neutron bombs can easily penetrate the armour of the tanks and kill the humans inside them.
Salted Nuclear Weapons: Salted nuclear weapons, or cobalt bombs, are thermonuclear weapons which are designed to produce a large amount of long lasting radioactive fallout. This would result in large scale radioactive contamination of the area they are dropped in. The fallout remains radioactive for much longer. The long term effects of such weapons would therefore be much worse. These weapons are called Doomsday Devices since they could possibly kill everyone on earth. Fortunately though these weapons have been conceived of and discussed, most probably none have been tested or built.
One Incredible Visualization Reveals Just How Many People Died in WWII
33,480 US nuclear workers dying of radiation exposure over the course of the last seven decades.
World War II
In the first decades of the twentieth century, physics was revolutionised with developments in the understanding of the nature of atoms. This raised hopes among scientists and laymen that the elements around us could contain tremendous amounts of unseen energy, waiting to be harnessed. In 1938, two Germans, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, discovered that when they bombarded uranium with neutrons they could split the uranium atoms' nuclei into two parts releasing energy and more neutrons.
After the atomic bombings of Japan, many scientists at Los Alamos rebelled against the notion of creating a weapon thousands of times more powerful than the first atomic bombs. For the scientists the question was in part technical—the weapon design was still quite uncertain and unworkable—and in part moral: such a weapon, they argued, could only be used against large civilian populations, and could thus only be used as a weapon of genocide. Many scientists, such as Bethe, urged that the United States should not develop such weapons and set an example towards the Soviet Union.
The first fission weapons, also known as "Big Jims" were developed jointly by the United States, Britain and Canada during World War II in what was called the Manhattan Project to counter the assumed Nazi German atomic bomb project. German scientists did research on other chemical weapons during the war, including human experimentation with mustard gas. The first nerve gas, tabun, was invented by the German researcher Gerhard Schrader in 1937. In total, Germany produced about 78,000 tons of chemical weapons. By 1945 the nation produced about 12,000 tons of tabun and 1,000 pounds of sarin. Delivery systems for the nerve agents included 105 mm and 150 mm artillery shells, a 250 kg bomb and a 150 mm rocket. Even when the Soviets neared Berlin, Adolf Hitler was against using tabun, a decision which stemmed from his own experience with chemical weapons in World War I.
In August 1945 two were dropped on Japan ending the Pacific War. An international team was dispatched to help work on the project. The Soviet Union started development shortly thereafter with their own atomic bomb project, and not long after that both countries developed even more powerful fusion weapons called "hydrogen bombs." The United States achieved its current status of an advanced nuclear power by conducting 1,054 nuclear tests since 1945.
The Soviet Union was not invited to share in the new weapons developed by the United States and the other Allies. During the war, information had been pouring in from a number of volunteer spies involved with the Manhattan Project (known in Soviet cables under the code-name of Enormoz), and the Soviet nuclear physicist Igor Kurchatov was carefully watching the Allied weapons development. The Soviet spies in the U.S. project were all volunteers and none were Russians. One of the most valuable, Klaus Fuchs, was a German émigré theoretical physicist who had been a part in the early British nuclear efforts and had been part of the UK mission to Los Alamos during the war. Fuchs had been intimately involved in the development of the implosion weapon, and passed on detailed cross-sections of the "Trinity" device to his Soviet contacts. Other Los Alamos spies—none of whom knew each other—included Theodore Hall and David Greenglass. The Soviet program, under the suspicious watch of former NKVD chief Lavrenty Beria (a participant and victor in Stalin's Great Purge of the 1930s) used the espionage information as a way to double-check the progress of his scientists, and in his effort for duplication of the American project even rejected more efficient bomb designs in favor of ones that more closely mimicked the tried-and-true "Fat Man" bomb used by the U.S. against Nagasaki. Not to be outdone, the Soviet Union exploded its first thermonuclear device, designed by the physicist Andrei Sakharov, on August 12, 1953, labeled "Joe-4" by the West.
As payment for Israeli participation in the Suez Crisis of 1956, France provided nuclear expertise and constructed a reactor complex for Israel at Dimona capable of large-scale plutonium production and reprocessing. The United States discovered the facility by 1958 and it was a subject of continual discussions between American presidents and Israeli prime ministers. Israel used delay and deception to at first keep the United States at bay, and later used the nuclear option as a bargaining chip for a consistent American conventional arms supply. After French disengagement in the early 1960s, Israel progressed on its own, including through several covert operations, to project completion.
In October’s Physics World - having toured through India’s nuclear labs with a British High Commission team -- science writer Matthew Chalmers details India’s vision of a secure nuclear-energy future based on thorium technology. Unlike uranium, thorium-fuelled reactors do not result in a proliferation of weapons-grade plutonium.
With 40% of its population not yet connected to the electricity grid and an economy growing by about 8% each year, India’s need for a bold energy strategy is apparent. While India already has 19 operational pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs), the government is planning to increase its nuclear contribution from its current 5GW to 28GW in the next 10 years and to a huge 270GW by 2050.
India's three-stage vision was first set out in the 1950s by the father of the country’s nuclear programme, physicist Homi Bhabha. On returning from his studies at Cambridge University in the UK, Bhabha conceived a nuclear strategy that would work around India’s rather meagre resources of uranium, the fuel powering current commercial reactors. Instead, he sought to exploit the country's vast reserves of thorium, which - if bathed in an external supply of neutrons - can be used a nuclear fuel.
The first stage of India's grand plan is based around the country's fleet of PHWRs and state-of-the-art research facilities, which have proceeded steadily despite the country being isolated for more than 30 years from the international uranium community after it detonated a nuclear device in 1974. Thus, India displayed its nuclear capability in 1974 but India never its nuclear capability was not for military purpose, but that forced Pakistan to step up its nuclear program in order to counter the Indian threat. Pakistan worked on its nuclear program very secretly and quickly.
But following a landmark agreement with the US in October 2008 on civil nuclear cooperation, India can now, in principle, import fuel and reactors, while building more of its own, indigenous PHWRs. These reactors burn uranium while irradiating thorium oxide to produce uranium-233.
Stage two, which seeks to plug India's energy deficit by 2050, involves using reprocessed plutonium to fuel "fast reactors" that breed further uranium-233 and plutonium from thorium and uranium.
In stage three, advanced heavy-water reactors will burn uranium-233 while converting India’s thorium reserves into further uranium in a sustainable "closed" cycle. All three stages are running parallel and each has been demonstrated on a laboratory scale.
The UK is also getting on India's thorium plans, with five nuclear-research proposals worth more than £2m being jointly funded by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and by India's Department of Atomic Energy. One of the grant holders is Mike Fitzpatrick from the Open University, who has already visited India's Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai and claims to be "amazed at the ambition and resource behind India's nuclear programme, and how much UK researchers could benefit from being associated with it".
India’s energy future doesn’t however end with thorium. As Chalmers writes, “In a modern context, Bhabha’s nuclear vision is part of a wider goal for clean, affordable energy also in form of solar, wind and hydroelectricity - all of which India is investing in heavily.
“India’s nuclear programme could even one day encompass nuclear fusion, with the country already a partner in the ITER project currently being built in France, “
In 1949 Klaus Fuchs spied for the Soviets at Los Alamos and when he was released from prison in 1959, fled to East Germany where he met China's chief atomic bomb scientist to whom he explained the inner workings of the Fat Man bomb (which the United States dropped on Nagasaki in 1945).
China's efforts to develop a nuclear weapons came in response to nuclear threats by the United States. In July 1950, at the very beginning of the Korean War, President Truman ordered 10 nuclear configured B-29s to the Pacific, and "he warned China that the US would take 'whatever steps are necessary' to stop Chinese intervention and that the use of nuclear weapons 'had been under active consideration.'" In 1952 President-elect Eisenhower publicly hinted that he would authorize the use of nuclear weapons against China if the Korean War armistice talks continued to stagnate.
In 1954, the commander of the US Strategic Air Command General Curtis LeMay stated his support for the use of nuclear weapons if China resumed fighting in Korea. LeMay stated, "There are no suitable strategic air targets in Korea. However, I would drop a few bombs in proper places like China, Manchuria and Southeastern Russia. Finally, in January 1955, US Navy Admiral Radford also publicly advocated the use of nuclear weapons if China invaded South Korea."
The Ministry of Nuclear Industry was then established in 1955. With Soviet assistance, nuclear research began at the Institute of Physics and Atomic Energy in Beijing, and a gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant in Lanzhou was constructed to produce weapon-grade uranium. On 15 October 1957 the USSR agreed to provide China with a sample atomic bomb and manufacturing data. However, by 1959 the rift between the Soviet Union and China had become so great that by 1960 the Soviet Union discontinued all assistance to China. After 1960, China was forced to go it alone.
China's first nuclear test took place in 1964 and first hydrogen bomb test occurred in 1967. Just 32 months after the testing of its first atomic device, China tested its first thermonuclear device on 17 June 1967. This achievement is remarkable in that the time-span between the US's first atomic test and its first hydrogen bomb test was 86 months, for the USSR it was 75 months, for the UK 66 months and for France 105 months. Although China officially declared in 1994 that these tests were for improving safety features on existing warheads, these tests were also likely intended for the development of new, smaller warheads for China's next-generation solid-fuel ICBMs (e.g. DF-31 and DF-41) and also possibly to develop a multiple warhead (MRV or MIRV) capability. Some speculate that China wanted to delay an international test ban until it could complete its latest round of tests and only announced a testing moratorium after all the tests necessary for the next phase of nuclear modernization were completed. China signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.
China in about 1982, under Deng Xiaoping, decided to proliferate nuclear technology to communists and Muslims in the third world. They did so deliberately with the theory that if nukes ended up going off in the western world from a Muslim terrorist, well that wasn't all bad. If New York was reduced to rubble without Chinese fingerprints on the attack, that left Beijing as the last man standing. That's what the old timers thought.
China has acceded to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1984 and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1997. However, China was reported to have had an active biological weapons program in the 1980s. Kanatjan Alibekov, former director of one of the Soviet germ-warfare programs, asserted that Soviet reconnaissance satellites identified that China suffered a serious accident at one of its biological weapons plants in the late 1980s.
China is assessed to have at least six different types of nuclear weapons: a 15-40 Kt fission bomb; a 20 kt missile warhead; a 3 Mt thermonuclear missile warhead; a 3 Mt thermonuclear gravity bomb; a 4-5 Mt missile warhead; and a 200-300 Kt missile warhead. China may also posses some tactical nuclear weapons. China has made significant improvements in its miniaturization techniques since the 1980s. There have been accusations, notably by the Cox Commission, that this was done primarily by covertly acquiring the U.S.'s W88 nuclear warhead design as well as guided ballistic missile technology. Chinese scientists have stated that they have made advances in these areas.
There is not much oil left in the world, except in Russia, Alaska and some offshore locations. The wells in the Middle East will run dry from around 2030 to 2040, while natural gas may last 30 to 40 years longer. The oil-producing Middle Eastern countries are aware of this fact and, wishing to maximize their advantage, have been raising oil prices over the past three years. In the heydays of oil exports, oil-producing nations were spendthrifts. In order to maintain expensive lifestyles, they hiked oil prices. For example, Saudi Arabia needs a minimum of US$65 per barrel to pay for its expenses. Kuwait needs US$50 per barrel, Iran US$75 and Venezuela US$90 to balance their budgets. If oil prices fall below US$70 per barrel on average, these nations have to dip into their cash reserves, which will quickly be exhausted. So these nations wish to keep oil prices floating well above the US$75-$90 mark. In comparison, uranium, the raw material for nuclear power plants, is in limited supply. Well-developed mines in Canada, Australia, Russia, Central Africa and the United States supply uranium under internationally supervised safeguards. India and China have only a limited supply of uranium and therefore depend upon others for it. India was forced to seek out the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal this year, after its existing nuclear power plants began to run at 50 percent capacity due to scarcity of uranium.
A similar deal was negotiated by China a decade earlier. The Chinese are planning to construct 30 nuclear power plants with the help of Western nations in the next 20 years. Since China’s first preference is still coal over nuclear energy, they plan to continue building coal-fired power plants as well. Recent published reports confirm that China’s own nuclear tests in the last 50 years could have killed at least 190,000 people, mostly due to nuclear radiation over a period of time.
On 8 December 1987 when the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty came into force, and with the stroke of a pen China started to see the major threat to its cities along with its nuclear and conventional forces withdrawn from service. At the same time, China started to deploy the 2,150 km range DF-21, whilst selling ballistic missiles and the technology to any one with the money. Saudi Arabia received CSS-2 IRBMs and Iran received technology to produce the DF-15 and DF-SRBMs. The Chinese have upgraded the DF-21 to 2,500 km range and have developed systems that could easily hold large parts of Russia at risk with nuclear warheads from mobile launchers deep inside China. These do not include the vast numbers of DF-11 and DF-15 SRBMs aimed at Taiwan.
Such a major technological and strategic event occurred at 17:28 hrs E.S.T. on 11 January 2007, when a Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) missile hit a defunct Chinese weather satellite at an altitude of 869km as it passed over China. Timed to coincide with the United States Senate Armed Services Committee Annual Threat Assessment sitting later that day in Washington D.C.; it sent the message that China now had an ASAT capability and that U.S. satellites over China, and by implication Taiwan, were no longer safe.
The introduction of long range satellite navigation aided guided multiple launch rocket systems will allow the many of the DF-11 (CSS-7) and DF-15 (CSS-6) short range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) missiles facing Taiwan to be redeployed to South West China against India and states bordering the South China Sea. The exception being those DF-15 SRBMs targeted against deeply buried targets.
From Desert Storm through the 2003 war in Iraq, the United States has continuously demonstrated its ability to use conventional forces to destroy fixed targets with tremendous accuracy. U.S. efforts to develop a ballistic missile defense system also threaten the deterrence capability of China’s aging nuclear forces. China’s leaders may fear that their older, immobile nuclear forces are vulnerable or ineffective as a deterrent, and should be replaced by newer, road-mobile nuclear forces and ICBMs such as the DF-31 and DF-41 missiles.
In 2004, the Bush Administration supported China’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), despite congressional concerns about
China’s failure to apply the NSG’s “full-scope safeguards” to its nuclear projects in Pakistan.
The history of Indian nuclear programme dates back to 1930s and 1940s when Indian physicists were on the leading edge of developing nuclear physics. The Indian nuclear program was started in the mid-forties, around the time it gained independence from over two centuries of British rule, and soon after the United States bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The legacy of colonial rule and the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a powerful impact on Indian leaders. They saw India's technological backwardness as the main causes of colonization. Due to its vast domestic resources of thorium (a potential fuel for breeder reactors) but limited supplies of uranium, from the start of its nuclear program India has always placed strong emphasis on the development of breeder reactor fuel cycles. Breeder reactors require highly concentrated fissionable material for reactor fuel: either highly enriched uranium or plutonium. This provided a peaceful rationale for developing a plutonium separation capability, but the principal impetus for the India's first fuel reprocessing plant was to obtain a nuclear option.
The first step was taken by Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha in March 1944 when he submitted a proposal to the Sir Dorab Tata Trust (established in honor of Bhabha's own uncle, Sir Dorab Tata) to found a nuclear research institute, over three years before independence and a year before the first nuclear weapon test. This led to the creation of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) on 19 December 1945 with Bhabha as its first Director. The new government of India passed the Atomic Energy Act, on 15 April 1948, leading to the establishment of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) not quite one year after independence.
In 1955 construction began on India's first reactor, the 1 MW Apsara research reactor, with British assistance. And in September 1955, after more than a year of negotiation, Canada agreed to supply India with a powerful research reactor - the 40 MW, originally called CIR for Canada-India-Reactor. Under the Eisenhower Administration's "Atoms for Peace" program the United States supplied the 21 ton of heavy water for staring the reactor, it was renamed CIRUS. This gave India the ability to extract plutonium and thus to make nuclear weapons.
The acquisition of Cirus was a watershed event in nuclear proliferation. Although the sale was made with the understanding that the reactor would only be used for peaceful purposes (the heavy water contract at least made this explicit), it occurred before any international policies were in place to regulate such technology transfers and no provision for inspections were made. And in fact India was careful to ensure that no effective regulation would accompany the reactor. India refusing to accept fuel from Canada for the reactor and set up a program to manufacture the natural uranium fuel for Cirus indigeneously so as to keep complete control of the plutonium produced there. This program, led by metallurgist Brahm Prakash, succeeded in developing the techniques for producing the precisely manufactured, high purity material demanded by the reactor.
The reactor was a design ideal for producing weapons-grade plutonium, and was also extraordinarily large for research purposes, being capable of manufacturing enough plutonium for one to two bombs a year. The acquisition of Cirus was specifically intended by India to provide herself with a weapons option and this reactor produced the plutonium used in India's first nuclear test in 1974; provided the design prototype for India's more powerful Dhruva plutonium production "research" reactor; and is directly responsible for producing nearly half of the weapons grade plutonium currently believed to be in India's stockpile. India displayed its civilian peaceful nuclear capability in 1974 but India its nuclear capability was not for military purpose, but that forced Pakistan to step up its nuclear program in order to counter the Indian threat. Pakistan worked on its nuclear program very secretly and quickly. Soon after 1971, Both India and Pakistan became full-scale nuclear powers in 1998.
Nehru’s avowed opposition to nuclear weapons as well as India’s recent history of non-violent struggle for independence under Mahatma Gandhi, ensured that there was never any support for developing nuclear weapons. Soon after India lost the 1962 border war with China, Ramachandra Bade, a member of the Jan Sangh, the forerunner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said: "Only those who wish to see Russians or Chinese ruling India will oppose the development of nuclear weapons." New Delhi became increasingly disenchanted with the prospect for global disarmament.
China sold at least 130 tons of heavy water to a German broker who smuggled the material to India for use in unsafeguarded nuclear reactors. German firm was fined $800,000 by the U.S. for illegally re-exporting U.S.-origin beryllium to India. They also sold zircalloy pipes which are used as reactor fuel cladding and teleperm process control system to Hazira heavy water plant. Norwegian heavy water was diverted to India through Romania and Switzerland. Sweden supplied specialized steel tube plates for heavy water reactors.
The ‘shell’ developed Pressurized Water Reactors's vessel was indigenously fabricated by Indian experts of Godrej & Boyce, with specifications supplied by Russia's Afrikantov Experimental Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering (OKBM Afrikantov).
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) comprising of 46 states is meeting in Hague where India’s membership is being debated. It is to be remembered that NSG was created in response to India’s Pokharan I experiment in 1974 (code-named "Smiling Buddha") imposing global sanctions against India in every kind of nuclear trade in materials and technology. The tests used plutonium produced in the Canadian-supplied CIRUS reactor, and raised concerns that nuclear technology supplied for peaceful purposes could be diverted to weapons purposes.
In 1986, India joined the Five-Continent Six-Nation Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament and in 1988 put forward the Rajiv Gandhi Plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons in the UN. However, is believe that during Mrs Bhutto's term in office, the People's Republic of China tested Pakistan's first bomb for her in 1990.There are numerous reasons why we believe this to be true, including the design of the weapon and information gathered from discussions with Chinese nuclear experts. That's why the Pakistanis were so quick to respond to the Indian nuclear tests in 1998. It only took them two weeks and three days. When the Soviet Union took the United States by surprise with a test in 1961, it took the U.S. seventeen days to prepare and test, a device that had been on hand for years. The Pakistani response makes it clear that the gadget tested in May 1998 was a carefully engineered device in which they had great confidence.
India's smallest bomb was the size that might be fired as an artillery shell or dropped from a combat support aircraft. The mid-size blast was from a standard fission device equivalent to about 12 kilotons -- the size that might be dropped from a bomber plane. The largest of the three warheads tests was not a full hydrogen bomb. Most of its 50 to 100 kiloton explosive force came from the primary, a fission device which serves as a trigger for the H-bomb's big fusion explosion. The device contained only a token amount of the hydrogen variant tritium. It showed that India's thermonuclear technology worked, but did not produce the megaton explosion typical of a full H-bomb. "We need not go for a megaton explosion while testing an H-bomb," said Iyengar, one of the scientists involved in India's only other nuclear test, in 1974. "Such tests are required only if we are planning for a total destruction of the opposite side. They don't have relevance in our strategy." But based upon the seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over, it is clear that the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed. I think it is well documented and that is why I assert that India should not rush into signing the CTBT. The US intelligence community reportedly shares this conclusion. Govenment officials told Mark Hibbs of Nucleonics Week that analysts from Livermore’s Z Division “have now concluded that the second stage of a two-stage Indian hydrogen bomb device failed to ignite as planned.”
As the negotiations for a CTBT, which India had pioneered, entered their final phase, New Delhi stalled, making signing the CTBT conditional upon “time-bound” disarmament by the P-5. It tried to hedge the treaty in with clauses that appeared radical, but were meant to delay negotiations and prepare the ground for non-accession to a test ban agreement. Domestically, New Delhi came under growing pressure to oppose the CTBT and then “logically” proceed to conduct test explosions: why reject the CTBT as a “trap” and “conspiracy” and then behave as if it were still in place; why bear the cost of opposition without reaping the “benefits” of nuclearisation?
In 1995, before the CTBT “rolling text” acquired its penultimate form, the Narasimha Rao government launched preparations for a test at Pokharan. The Cabinet was divided, and US military satellites detected preparations. CIA officials say the United States did not know anything about the 1998 tests until Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announced the tests on television Monday morning, four hours after they had taken place. The announcement even preceded analysis of the seismic data on the tests. India has its own satellite-imaging capability, which gives it an understanding of what can and can't be seen from space. It's nuclear program is kept separate from its military, which like many militaries is prone to boasting and leaking. And unlike many programs, India's is not as dependent on outside help. India has a large pool of trained nuclear scientists and electrical engineers and an industrial infrastructure capable of producing key equipment. Much U.S. intelligence on other nations' nuclear programs is derived from electronic eavesdropping on sales of equipment related to weapons development. India has prevented Western intelligence from recruiting spies in India by an aggressive program of counterintelligence that includes surveillance and even attempted recruitment of diplomats and suspected agents. "They are very, very good," said one official. "Remember, this is the same country that produced the scientists who designed the Pentium chips," added an official. "They don't need a lot of outside help. They can do it on their own."
The reasons why the United States desperately wanted the nuclear deal were as clear from the start, as the traps and pitfalls in it that the Indian government chose to disregard, despite being warned about them by a few of us, including some of the most respected veterans of the nuclear establishment, writing against it. It was in the interest of the US to both prevent India’s emergence as a comprehensive nuclear military power, because that would unsettle the status quo it presided over, and to draw it into the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty net. These aims were realised by Washington cleverly using India’s dated non-proliferation rhetoric and its professions of being a ‘responsible’ nuclear power against it, and flattering a gullible Manmohan Singh into converting the ‘voluntary moratorium’ on nuclear testing, thoughtlessly announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, into a binding commitment to desist from testing again and to abide by the NPT norms. The other equally significant goal was to switch India from relying on the weaponisation-friendly plutonium (per the 3-stage plan drafted by Homi Bhabha in 1955 to achieve genuine energy and military security) to depending on the proliferation-resistant uranium fuelling imported reactors.
India’s tests were done underground and were completely contained, so the scientific methods to determine yield and quality of the detonations are not precise. It is possible that Western scientists relying purely on seismic data may be unable to accurately calculate the yield.
Cold testing is another alternative. The secretive science of cold testing is used to test all components of nuclear weapons, without using the fissionable Uranium 235. Instead an inert material, such as Uranium 238, is used. If India has cold tested its weapons, not a word has been spoken about it. Much is known about Pakistan’s cold test in the early ‘80s, because Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan chose to boast about it. The cold test is not a complete nuclear test, since it does not test the core.
It is also significant to remember that almost 34 years later in 2008 on recommendations of the US and Indian persistent lobbying the NSG waived its restrictions on India in view of the steps that India had taken voluntarily to respect its adherence to the non-proliferation ideology. This opened the flood-gates for the entry of foreign suppliers of nuclear power reactors into the country. Indeed India is a fertile market for nuclear players. However, the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology for uranium enrichment and reprocessing of spent fuel is still a far dream to realise which may be easily achieved if India is able to join the NSG.
India has sensed that during its present meeting in Hague the NSG is likely to move new guidelines to withhold transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to non-NPT signatories and India has expressed it concern to the US that any such move would just dilute the clean waiver granted to India in 2008. During the visit of the US President Barack Obama to New Delhi an official White House release on November 8, 2008, stated that the United States intends to support India’s full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes — the NSG, the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement — in a phased manner.
One of the new weapon systems on show was the Shaurya missile – a submarine-launched medium-range ballistic missile, capable of carrying one ton of a conventional, or nuclear armed warhead over a range of 750 km. The Shaurya is specially designed for the new Indian submarines, offering India ’second strike’ capability, significantly adding to the country’s strategic deterrence.
Together with the Agni III missile, that has a range of 3500 km. Shaurya was developed in parallel to the K-15 ‘Sagarika’ ballistic missile, built with significant help from Russia. To achieve high accuracy, the missile is capable performing trajectory corrections using an on-board inertial navigation system. Described as a ‘hybrid’ missile, Shaurya can shape its descent trajectory, posing a difficult target for missile interceptors.
In 1983, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) was set up. Abdul Kalam inspired by an article on the British Spitfire, he took up Aeronautical Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. After working as a leading scientist in India’s defense related research agencies, he headed the Satellite Launch Vehicle Program in India’s civilian space program, before finally leading the missile program.
He also acquired technology from the civilian space program for the military missile program. This form of integration of civilian scientific programs with national security goals was clearly a result of the 1974 test. Kalam won great acclaim for his role in successfully developing guided missiles. He was appointed to head India’s main defense research agency, and was subsequently awarded India’s highest civilian honor - the Bharat Ratna.
The Indian guided missile program started with the development of five missile systems - the short range Prithvi (Earth), the intermediate range Agni (Fire), the surface to air missiles Akash (Sky) and Trishul (Trident), and the guided anti-tank Nag (Snake). By 1988, the results of the new program were visible - the first test of Prithvi was conducted on 25 February 1988. This was followed the next year with a test of Agni. More recently, other missile systems are under development – the Pinaka, the Sagarika and the Astra.
Clinton’s visit to India in 2000 was a first by a U.S. president in 25 years. His visit obliquely confirmed that India could keep its nuclear weapons as long as it did not proliferate the technology. In addition, India was unable to buy nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel to power its industry and agriculture. China had no such restrictions.
Against this backdrop, India’s current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approached the United States for help in 2005. The United States had already concluded that China was overgrown and had to be countered by building up India as a strategic balance, which led to an agreement between Bush and Singh on a deal to remove all restrictions on exports of civilian nuclear technology to India. It was also agreed that Bush would work to get the deal approved by the U.S. Congress, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, while India would not test nuclear weapons and would allow international inspections except on a few military nuclear sites. This was a big concession. Now it is possible that the flow of economic and other military aid to India will increase. FDI in India has touched about US$20 billion already in the current year and U.S. military hardware has also started to flow in.
The three-stage Agni V ballistic missile with 5,000-km range will be tested in 2011. The solid-fuel missile will be able to carry multiple warheads and will have improved countermeasures against anti-ballistic missile systems. India is very close to completing a nuclear triad with the induction of the first Arihant class nuclear-powered submarine by 2012. India will become the fourth country in the world to possess a fully-fledged nuclear triad after the United States, Russia and China.
Allegedly in 2008 it was revealed that the CIA was responsible for the death of Indian nuclear physicist Homi Jehangir Bhabha in the crash of Air-India’s Boeing 707 in 1960s.
The founding Director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Operations Center has confirmed that Saudi Arabia have up to seven nuclear bombs ready to use and suggests that they can deliver these nuclear missiles via Saudi F-15 fighter jets and DongFeng Missiles. Arabian Peninsula countries included Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who ratified or acceded to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty in 1988, Qatar and Kuwait in 1989, UAE in 1995, and Oman in 1997.
Pakistan was built up as a spoiler state both by US (early 50s, 60s, 70s) and by China immediately after 1962 border debacle in NEFA and Ladhakh with India. Pakistan’s strategic importance was very much enhanced in early 50s when US looking for a base to fly the U-2 over USSR found the perfect base in Pehawar to sneak into the USSR from south and fly over vitally important USSR’s space station and strategic missile bases which were far away from the USSR’s European borders. This relationship ended with the shooting down of the U-2 spy plane by USSR. Peshawar, Sarghodha, Rawalpindi ceased to be important military bases to US as these were before the U-2 shooting down.
As US was loosing a bit of interest in Pakistan with the end of Eisenhower Administration, China stepped in with political and moral support to whatever the Pakistanis wished. After the 1962 victory of Chinese forces over India, China found it very useful to be friends with Pakistan. All this was done to keep India off balance and prevent it from focusing on its northern border. With the onset of Vietnam War, US had very little interest in Pakistan except supply of spares for previously supplied military hardware continued. China’s influence increased. Several high ranking visits by Chou En Lai and Liu Shao Shi took place to Pakistan. In return, Pakistani dictators and Prime Ministers paid visits to China.
The 1971 Bangladesh creation by India removed a major irritant’s in Pakistan’s internal cohesiveness and made Pakistan a West Asian country, linked to it by culture, religion and military pacts (CENTO and SEATO). The 1971 war also forced the Pakistani leadership of the time - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (father of Benazir and former Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources) and later Zia – Ul – Haq (the military dictator) to look around and find its own strategic importance in the peculiar geography it is located.
Pakistan began its pursuit of nuclear weapons in 1972 soon after the 1971 war with India, a new US Congressional report has said, challenging the conventional (and Pakistani) narrative that India's first nuclear test in 1974 was the trigger for its weapons quest. India displayed its civilian peaceful nuclear capability in 1974 but India its nuclear capability was not for military purpose, but that forced Pakistan to step up its nuclear program in order to counter the Indian threat. Pakistan worked on its nuclear program very secretly and quickly. Soon after 1971, Both India and Pakistan became full-scale nuclear powers in 1998.
In a May 15 report to US lawmakers, the Congressional Research Service says Pakistan's nuclear energy program dates back to the 1950s, "but it was the loss of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in a bloody war with India that probably triggered a political decision in January 1972 (just one month later) to begin a secret nuclear weapons program." "The origins of the Pakistani nuclear program lie in the deep national humiliation of the 1971 war with India that led to the partition of the country, the independence of Bangladesh and the destruction of the dream of a single Muslim state for all of south Asia's Muslim population. The military dictator at the time, Yahya Khan, presided over the loss of half the nation and the surrender of 90,000 Pakistani soldiers in Dacca. The Pakistani establishment determined it must develop a nuclear weapon to counter India's conventional superiority.
"The new prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, convened the country's top 50 scientists secretly in January 1972 and challenged them to build a bomb. He famously said that Pakistanis would sacrifice everything and "eat grass" to get a nuclear deterrent. The 1974 Indian nuclear explosion only intensified the quest.
"Mr. Bhutto received an unsolicited letter from a Pakistani who had studied in Louvain, Belgium, Abdul Qadeer Khan, offering to help by STEALING sensitive centrifuge technology from his new employers at a nuclear facility in the Netherlands. Over the next few years—with the assistance of the Pakistani intelligence service, the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI)—Mr. Khan would STEAL the key technology to help Pakistan produce fissionable material to make a bomb."
In 1975, Dutch prime minister Ruud Lubbers (the then minister of economy), received information that Khan was stealing nuclear secrets about the enrichment of ura¬nium. He was never indicted for his activities because the CIA had asked the Netherlands to let him go.
(In 1960s Altaf Abbasi was studying in England where he met Gaddafi who at that time was a captain in Libyan forces and was having a military training in England. The two became very close friends. In 1969 Gaddafi seized power in Libya. He continued his friendship with Altaf Abbasi and invited him couple of times to Libya.)
In 1974 after India performed nuclear test, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto asked Dr AQ Khan (who was working in Holland) to come back to Pakistan and work for Pakistan's nuclear program. Dr AQ Khan said that to make a bomb a lot of money is needed which Pakistan cannot do; if Bhutto really want to start this program then he need to arrange 100 million dollars initially. It was lot of money and it was hard to arrange for it. Bhutto send Altaf Abbasi to Col Gaddafi that we need 100 million dollars immediately to start the nuclear program; if we dont get the money India will destroy Pakistan. Col Gaddafi agreed to give this money to Pakistan. He send this money with Dr. Salim Bin Amir of the Revolutionary Command Council along with Altaf Abbasi to Dr AQ Khan (German-trained metallurgist who brought with him knowledge of gas centrifuge technologies) in Netherlands.
The recently released State Department files consist of a number of once closely-held records in the "NODIS" category. "NODIS" documents are of such high sensitivity that they can only be read by a limited number of individuals with a specific "need to know." The United States and Great Britain undertook a secret diplomatic campaign in the late 1970s to prevent a major nuclear proliferation threat – Pakistan's attempted covert purchasing of "gray area" technology for its nuclear weapons program – according to recently declassified "NODIS" State department telegrams published today by the National Security Archive. The Archive obtained the documents through a mandatory declassification review request.
The documents do not mention the name A. Q. Khan, but already in late 1978 London and Washington were discovering the footprints of secret Pakistani purchasing organizations that were seeking the technology needed to produce fissile material – plutonium and highly enriched uranium – for nuclear weapons. In November 1978, the United Kingdom and the United States sent complementary demarches to other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (also known as the "London Club," the site of its creation) in an effort to "delay" the Pakistani nuclear program by denying it access to sensitive technology and equipment.
Informing those governments of their discovery of a "potentially serious loophole" in export control law, the British acknowledged that the Nuclear Suppliers Group "trigger list" of banned nuclear exports had fallen short by not including "gray area" items that were not "specifically" nuclear but which could be used in building nuclear facilities. Indeed, according to recent accounts, the British had discovered the problem some months earlier and it took some time before the problem was taken seriously enough to take administrative action, but too late to halt a shipment.
The 1978 cases offer important insights into the delicate process of balancing competing policy priorities when it comes to nonproliferation. While the Carter administration wanted to block Pakistani nuclear weapons activities, it had other interests, such as Pakistan's internal stability and its role as a regional power, which it did not want to undermine. Moreover, efforts to deny Pakistan access to sensitive technology would prove difficult to enforce because some governments, such as the Federal Republic of Germany, believed that existing controls were adequate and were reluctant to jeopardize export business. The current controversy over Chinese exports of nuclear reactors to Pakistan illustrates the seemingly intractable nature of the conflicts that inhere in the global nonproliferation regime.
Kahuta is the site of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan's main nuclear weapons laboratory as well as an emerging center for long-range missile development. The primary Pakistani fissile-material production facility is located at Kahuta, employing gas centrifuge enrichment technology to produce Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU).
R&AW first confirmed Pakistan's nuclear programs by analyzing the hair samples snatched from the floor of barber shops near KRL; which showed that Pakistan had developed the ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade quality. R&AW agents knew of Kahuta Research Laboratories from at least early 1978, when the then Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, stopped R&AW's operations on Pakistan's covert nuclear weapons program. In an indiscreet moment in a telephone conversation one day, Morarji Desai informed the then Pakistan President, Zia-ul-Haq, that India was aware of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. According to later reports, acting on this "tip-off", Pakistani Intelligence eliminated R&AW's sources on Kahuta, leaving India in the dark about Pakistan's nuclear weapons program from then on
The USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was a God sent opportunity to Pakistani dictator – Zia Ul Haq to exploit its geographic location to aid and abet the US position of defeating Soviet Union in an Asian battlefield. There was not much of a fight as per say in Afghanistan. It was only guerrilla action and counterstrike by the occupying force resulting in civilian causalities. US inflated the figures to make it look as a great US victory. Civilian losses were great. These occurred when after the USSR withdrawal, aided by Pakistani self interest, civil war broke out and two groups fought to gain control of Kabul. Later, Pakistani aided Taliban came into the picture and defeated both the warring sides. At that time (1994-2001), Afghanistan became a client state of Pakistan.
The above brought into the focus the particular strategic importance of Pakistan in all West Asian related affairs. The Pakistanis, once they got the F-16s in the eighties immediately warned India of taking out Trombay if India in any way helps Israel or undertook a strike operation itself. Once this threat was conveyed, it completely put Indian leadership in a shell and allowed Pakistan a full decade of unimpeded time to develop the bomb culminating in the 98 tests.
With Iran under religious theocracy rule since 1989, Iraq completely unstable and at war with US since 1991, the breaking up of USSR into smaller states with three Muslim dominated states immediately bordering Afghanistan to the north made US to look around to find a country which could be brought under its influence and whose close proximity could be exploited to the US advantage. Choice again fell upon Pakistan.
In the 1990s, China designed and supplied the heavy water 40 MWt (megawatt thermal) Khusab research reactor at Joharabad, (which plays a key role in Pakistan's production of plutonium), and in April 1998, Pakistan announced that the reactor was operational. A subsidiary of the China National Nuclear Corporation also contributed to Pakistan's efforts to expand its uranium enrichment capabilities by providing 5,000 custom made ring magnets, which are a key component of the bearings that facilitate the high-speed rotation of centrifuges.
According to public statements made by US officials, this unsafeguarded heavy water reactor generates an estimated 8-10 kilotons of weapons grade plutonium per year, which is enough for one to two nuclear weapons. The reactor could also produce tritium if it were loaded with lithium-6. According to J. Cirincione of Carnegie, Khusab's plutonium production capacity could allow Pakistan to develop lighter nuclear warheads that would be easier to deliver with a ballistic missile. Plutonium separation reportedly takes place at the New Labs reprocessing plant next to Pakistan's Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (Pinstech) in Rawalpindi and at the larger Chasma nuclear power plant, neither of which are subject to IAEA inspection.
China also provided technical and material support in the completion of the Chasma nuclear power reactor and plutonium reprocessing facility, which was built in the mid 1990s. The project had been initiated as a cooperative program with France, but Pakistan's failure to sign the NPT and unwillingness to accept IAEA safeguards on its entire nuclear program caused France to terminate assistance.
In response the State Department said that U.S. officials had instructions not to share U.S. "concerns" with the Indians while Ambassador to India Goheen observed that the Indian government "has known for some time that we believe Pakistan to be bent on achieving a nuclear weapons capability." While he believed that the embassy had offered "no factual information," he said that Indian diplomat V. Shankar had claimed that Pakistan was "two or three years" away from an nuclear capability. Apparently Goheen had asked the CIA station to investigate where Shankar might have gotten his information, but it had "drawn a blank."
Pakistan's nuclear warheads are based on an implosion design that uses a solid core of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and requires an estimated 15-20 kg of material per warhead. According to Carnegie, Pakistan has also produced a small but unknown quantity of weapons grade plutonium, which is sufficient for an estimated 3-5 nuclear weapons.
Although Pakistan’s relationship with US was sour during nineties with Clinton Administration not taking kindly to the moral, material and political support which Pakistani Army was extending to the terror network of Osma Bin Laaden yet military to military relationship between US & Pakistan was always good.
India in 1997 tested its atom bomb, and so did Pakistan. An overconfident Pakistani military overthrew the civilian government and began a fresh military offensive with India in the Kargil Mountains of Indian-administered Kashmir. This was a bad move by Pakistan. While the United States opposed the overthrow of Pakistan’s civilian government, it also disliked Pakistan detonating the atom bomb despite advice against it. Further, it hated the Kargil misadventure. From 1997 till 2001, Pakistan was in the U.S. bad books. Concurrently China accelerated its low-key approach to draw Pakistan into its orbit.
The 9/11 in New York and Washington and famous President Bush line that – You are with us or against us, brought Pakistan again under the US fold. Taliban ran to Pakistan’s border region to seek protection. It was the Pakistanis who created the Taliban, so their protection from the big, ugly and ruthless Americans was essential.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in September, 2001, gave Pakistan three days to decide whether it was “with us or against us.” Pakistan reluctantly joined the United States to punish the perpetrators of 9/11, but privately supported the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Ever since 9/11, the ISI has been seeking to keep the jihad inside Afghanistan and Pakistan warm, nurturing allies it gave birth to in the years after that meeting, while also joining the West's war against terror – the source of billions of dollars in aid and military patronage. For years, US intelligence officials have complained that Pakistan has been playing a "double game": co-operating with some elements of Western counter-terrorism efforts, while stopping short of decisive action against the jihadist movement.
First, Gen Kayani sought to project influence in Afghanistan, hoping that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban calls itself, would act as an ally against jihadists operating against Pakistan. Figures like the Afghan jihadist leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, the ISI hoped, would temper the Pakistani jihadist coalition, called the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, in return for power. However, the Haqqani network was the most trenchant of the West's adversaries in Afghanistan, and the Tehreek-i-Taliban leader Muhammad Illyas Kashmiri, whom Pakistan fears confronting, is linked to al-Qaeda. Last year, the former Canadian diplomat Chris Alexander asserted that "without Pakistani military support, all signs are the Islamic Emirate's combat units would collapse". Second, Gen Kayani took a hardline posture on Pakistan's traditional rival, India – a concession to domestic jihadists, who he hoped would again turn their attentions outwards. History helps understand just why that game was played. After Gen Zia-ul-Haq's mysterious death in 1988, Pakistan developed what Hussain Haqqani, now his country's ambassador to the United States, has called "military rule by other means". The scholar Hasan Askari Rizvi has shown that the new system revolved around the army's collegium of commanders, who emerged as the pre-eminent institution of state.
In 2000, news reports said that some former U.S. nonproliferation and intelligence officials suspected that China provided equipment for Pakistan’s secret heavy water production plant at Khushab. Playing a double game, Pakistan asked the United States for quick military and economic aid in 2001; at the same time it sought Chinese aid to build the Gwadar port to offset India’s naval advantages. Also, in 2007 new medium-quality fighters from China appeared in Pakistani skies.
China played a good game, but it miscalculated. It realized the Pakistanis could shift over to the U.S. orbit in a jiffy if a suitable offer was made. That offer came in early 2009, when U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration turned sympathetic toward Pakistan’s plight and offered long-term aid to the tune of US$1.5 billion. China could have matched the offer, but refusing the U.S. offer would have had grave consequences for Pakistan.
The new Obama administration has understood Pakistan’s double play between the Taliban and the United States, and has again asked them to choose. To ensure continued economic and military support, Pakistan chose to go with the United States, and began its war on the Pakistani Taliban. Now with Pakistan firmly in the U.S. orbit, China-Pakistan relations have come under strain.
"(Pakistan's) failure to forthrightly confront ugly, painful and erroneous choices has had profound consequences for the fate of the Pakistani state. The obsession with the Kashmir dispute has made the military primus inter pares within Pakistan and has grossly distorted the country’s developmental priorities. the willingness to use terror as an instrument of state policy has come to haunt the country’s domestic politics."
Now the US focus is to exploit Pakistan’s peculiar geography to keep control over the Muslim world of Pakistan itself, Afghanistan, Iran, Gulf region (with huge Pakistani émigré workers), Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan etc. Pakistan’s importance is vital to US. Pakistan is a fundamentalist Muslim state (thanks to the Zia Ul Haq). Even today’s much changed Russia or democratic India cannot match what Pakistan could do with these states.
If China had been sanctioned, it would have used its position on the Security Council to veto, and the United States would have had to move on to another nation. That is why the United States and other nations decided to turn a blind eye to China’s proliferation moves.
NLOS-BSMs of Chinese origin, Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co Ltd (ALIT)'s latest product is the M-20, which has been exported to Pakistan, where it known as the Hatf-9/Nasr. Capable of striking targets between 70km and 270km, the all-weather capable M-20, with a Mach 3 cruise speed, comes armed with both a 200kg unitary high-explosive (HE) blast-fragmentation warhead for engaging high-value and time-sensitive targets, as well as a sub-kiloton yield tactical nuclear warhead. For navigation purposes, use is made of a RLG-INS coupled to a GPS receiver (secure PY-code from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS satellites), and an infra-red sensor for terminal homing that gives the missile a CEP of less than 10 metres.
China and Pakistan reached a formal agreement to construct a third nuclear reactor at Chashma that the Obama administration says will violate Beijing’s promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord.
The CNNC is China’s main nuclear weapons producer and has been linked in the past to Pakistan’s nuclear arms program by U.S. intelligence agencies. CNNC sold thousands of ring magnets to Pakistan during the 1990s that were used in centrifuges that produced highly enriched uranium for weapons.
Additionally, recent U.S. intelligence reports indicate that China, which supplied Pakistan with nuclear weapons design data and technology, is in the process of modernizing Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal, which is estimated to contain as many as 110 warheads.
Dr A Q Khan’s Confession about Pakistan’s WMD Proliferation
I was in Belgium in December 1971 and had just submitted by Ph.D. thesis when I saw the most painful and humiliating scenes of the surrender of the Pakistan Army in Dacca. To see our officers and jawans with crosses on their backs and their heads shaven being herded like cattle by Indian soldiers being kicked and hit with sticks was such a traumatic scene that I would never forget it my whole life long. In May 1974 I was working as a Senior Scientist at FDO in Amsterdam and had specialized in uranium enrichment technology, the most advanced and the most complicated technology that the Dutch, the Germans and the British had perfected after spending billions of dollars over a 20 year period. Even today it is the best technology for enriching uranium. On 18th May, 1974 the Indians exploded their first nuclear weapon. Appreciating the immediate dangers posed to Pakistan’s security and very existence, I offered my services to the Prime Minister, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. On 20th December 1974 I paid a short visit and explained the whole process to the Prime Minister and told him that I could give Pakistan nuclear capability. After explaining the process to Munir Ahmed Khan, Chairman PAEC, we went back to Holland. On 21st December 1975 we again came on holiday. I went to see the progress of the work done in one year, which turned out to be almost nil. I explained this to the Prime Minister, who asked me to stay back and send my resignation to FDO. It was a tough decision for me and my family but we decided to stay so I could serve my beloved Pakistan. I was appointed Advisor to PAEC in June 1976. For six months I had worked without being paid and under miserable and disgusting conditions. I was later paid Rs. 3,000 per month. Working under PAEC proved to be impossible, hence the Prime Minister detached the Project from PAEC and made it independent under a Board of Coordination with Mr. A.G.M. Kazi (Chairman), Mr. Agha Shahi (Secretary General Foreign Affairs) and Mr. Ghulam Ishaq Khan (Secretary General Defence ) as members. We were to work directly under the Prime Minister. One should not forget that I had brought with me technology, experience and personal notes worth billions of dollars. Without my knowledge and experience, Pakistan could never - repeat never - have become a nuclear power. It was only because of my initiative, knowledge and achievements that our nation can walk straight and tall today! How I organized the work, set up the facilities and organized a most efficient network of companies to import materials and equipment is part of our history. I personally supervised each and every aspect of the Project and prepared the drawings and specifications to give to the suppliers. I trained hundreds of scientists and engineers who were initially totally ignorant of this high technology. The speed of the work and our achievements surprised our worst enemies and adversaries and the West stood helplessly by to see a Third World nation, unable even to produce bicycle chains or sewing needles, mastering the most advanced nuclear technology in the shortest possible span of time. Our mastery of this most advanced and invaluable technology enabled us to sign a historic contract for a giant plant in China. Because of my assistance to the Chinese, they in turn helped Munir Ahmed Khan in various projects that had been stagnating for years (i.e. UF6, Reprocessing, Conversion, Production Reactor etc.). By 1984 we had conducted successful cold tests and had manufactured all components for 30 nuclear devices. Upon my personal request, the Chinese Minister for Nuclear Technology had gifted us 50kg of weapon-grade enriched uranium, enough for 2 weapons. This gift clearly illustrates the importance the Chinese attached to the enrichment technology they received from me.
In 1985 the revolution in Iran took place and there were many in Pakistan who sympathized with the revolution and change of dress code. Kahuta had a large number of Shias working there. One senior officer, Hanif Khalil, was even reported to have contacted the Iranian Ambassador, Mr. Mousavi, but, apprehensive of overzealousness and leakage to favour Iran, I warned him to be more cautious and careful. In 1989 or 1990 COAS, Gen. Aslam Beg, promised to give the Iranians a few weapons and technology in lieu of 10 years of our defence budget. The Iranian Army Chief, Shamkani, flew to Islamabad in his own plane to pick up the weapons and papers. Admiral Sirohey as Chairman JCSC had a hard time trying to get out of this commitment, in which he succeeded. Later there was a lot of pressure by the COAS on Gen. Imtiaz and P.M. Benazir Bhutto to honour his commitment. Under pressure, Gen. Imtiaz asked Dr. Hashmi (I was out of station) to give some centrifuge parts and drawings etc. to the Iranians. He (Hashmi) asked him to wait until my return. When I got back, Gen. Imtiaz advised me to get components of two old (P-1) discarded machines and pack them into boxes together with 2 sets of drawings prepared by the late Mr. Khokhar. These drawings on their own were not sufficiently detailed to enable mastery of this difficult technology. The components and drawings were handed over to the late Dr. M.Z. Niazi for further disposal. As you know, Dr. Niazi was a confidante of Benazir Bhutto and Gen. Imtiaz. It was some time in 1994 or 1995 that Dr. Niazi requested me to see a few Iranian scientists passing through Karachi from China on their way to Dubai and then on to Tehran. I met them in our guesthouse in Karachi for about half an hour. I did not know any of them and they didn't give any names. They said that they could not make any progress with their programme and asked whether it would be possible for me to visit them or to send a team for a few weeks. I flatly told them that it was not possible to have that kind of contact. They then asked a few simple questions and I advised them to study the available scientific literature, which contained all the information they were asking for. They seemed to be ignorant of the basic knowledge available in publications. During Gen. Zia’s rule, Benazir, her family, Gen. Imtiaz and Dr. Niazi were financially supported by Col. Gaddafi. It was reliably reported that Col. Gaddafi had given $ 200 million to the late Mr. Z.A. Bhutto to launch our nuclear programme. This was confirmed by Mr. Khalid Hassan, Press Secretary to Mr. Bhutto, in the mischievous BBC film “Project 706 - The Islamic Bomb”. I believe that one set of the drawings and components given by me was given to the Iranians and the other to the Libyans.
China’s ties to the network was a concern, particularly because China was an early recipient of the uranium enrichment technology using centrifuges that Khan had acquired in Europe. In return, in 1982, China gave Pakistan 15 tons of uranium hexafluoride gas for production of bombgrade uranium, 50 kilograms of weapons-grade enriched uranium enough for 2 bombs
Jinnah’s secular vision and his western democratic orientations were a strange implant in a land feudal since antiquity, where the social structure was based on landlord-tenant relationships knit into close patronage networks, and where indigenous laws and justice were of the rough and ready kind. The concept of a modern democratic state founded on western franchise and electoral principles was completely cross-grained to the prevailing weft of the land. If one added a fundamentalist monotheistic faith, even in a watered down Sufi version, the resultant infertility of the soil precluded the laying down of any lasting roots.
Inevitably even in the sporadic intervals of electoral experiments there was no real state attempt at either public welfare or the building of secular social structures. Instead, the political parties were nothing more than the old patronage networks under a different nomenclature, whose priorities began and ended with the distribution of favours and government largesse to their clients and constituents, to say nothing of filling their own pockets. Public welfare measures like compulsory education and health care were nowhere on the parties’ or the government’s agenda.
The army on the other hand was the only professional institution in the country, free of corruption and civilian feudal compulsions, and it wasn’t long before Ayub Khan established its ascendancy under his dictatorship, helped not a little by the first two military misadventures against India in Kashmir in 1947 and 1965. However, while the Kashmir issue never reached a satisfactory conclusion, the latter operations somewhat soured Pakistan’s relations with her oldest ally the United States, inasmuch as Ayub Khan’s hardware was rendered useless when the US stopped the supply of spares. American diplomatic and logistics support during the Bangladesh operations in 1971 was considered too little too late since the aftermath of that war was dismemberment of the country. The country reverted briefly to civilian rule under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, only to be taken over by another general Zia ul-Haq, the former’s one-time protégé who lost little time in getting rid of Bhutto through a judicial assassination. If the US was unhappy with Zia to begin with, the Bhutto murder effectively deep-froze the strategic relationship between the two countries.
In many ways Zia’s reign marked the beginning of Islamic extremism in Pakistan. Coming as he did from strict Deobandi (the rigidly uncompromising sharia-based form of Islam propounded by the seminary in Deoband in UP in India) origins (unlike his more liberal predecessors), he set the country on a course of rapid Islamisation: he set up the first Sharia Court, enforced strict blasphemy and personal laws with their concomitant medieval punishments, and encouraged the opening of radical mosques and madrassahs. To be sure, these were initially the feeders of sectarian violence against the non-Sunni communities (Shias, Ahmadiyas and others) before transmogrifying into jihadist nurseries.
These latter would be the instrument of US/Pakistan policy during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the decade 1979-89. From the Cold War perspective the Soviet march in 1979 was alarming to say the least: the US badly needed an ally, and an active one at that. The old relationship was exhumed from cold storage, and in return for the staggering amount of $3.2 billion in aid (matched by Saudi Arabia with a like amount), Pakistan agreed to recruit and train cadres to fight a jihad against the Russians in Afghanistan. The mosques, madrassahs and training camps proliferated in the Pak/Afghan borderlands (with complete US approval), and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) came into its own. While the fomented Afghan insurgency had native Afghan, Pashtun and Pakistani elements, the jihadi nature of the fighting attracted religious zealots from all over, notably from Saudi Arabia and the Sudan – with these latter coalescing into Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, whose goal was nothing less than the destruction of everything to do with the west and the western way of life. America’s 9/11 nemesis was slowly being forged.
The real problem began after the Soviets left Afghanistan. What was originally meant as a proxy army against the Russians was turned by the Pakistan army and the ISI into an instrument of foreign policy in the furtherance of Pakistan’s objectives in Kashmir. The period of the ’90s saw considerable native insurgency in the Valley, and the now unemployed jihadists were funnelled there with obvious motives. However, what the Pakistani government hadn’t quite bargained for was the second edge of its own weapon: most of these jihadist groups (all of them formidably armed now) turned against the state itself in pursuance of their radical Islamic agendas. Internal violence against rival groups, state organs and foreign targets escalated rapidly, with terrorist spectaculars every other day being the norm. Insurgencies in the frontier areas like South Waziristan and Baluchistan drained the army of nearly two thirds of its strength in bleeding wars of attrition. Further, the Afghan Taliban now had two young cousins, the Pakistani Taliban and the Punjabi Taliban, both actively inimical to the state of Pakistan. The latter’s reluctant but forced alliance with the US in a joint war on terror in the aftermath of 9/11 further sharpened the conflict of interests between the jihadists and their co-religionist state.
After the Iran-Iraq war, Pakistan provided designs and technology, including 4,000 used centrifuges for enriching uranium along with documents on shaping enriched uranium for use in a bomb. Iran had offered $10 billion for three atomic bombs. This happened following the breakdown of German technical cooperation with Iran’s nuclear programme. China helped by drilling very deep wells to reached uranium in Saghand and partially built the Isfahan UCF (uranium conversion facility).
“Iran’s nuclear capability will neutralise Israel’s power” Dr A Q Khan. Pakistan insists that all nuclear transfers to Iran were the work of Khan’s clandestine network. Three Iranian officials are thought to have met members of Khan’s network in 1987, including Sri Lankan businessmen Mohamed Farouq and Buhary Syed Ali Tahir, and German engineer Heinz Mebus. General Mirza Aslam Beg, who succeeded General Zia as army chief, appears to have pushed Prime Minister Bhutto and threatened US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Henry Rowen, that “if Pakistan was cut off [from military assistance] it might be forced to share nuclear technology with Iran”.
The history of North Korea's nuclear program can be traced back to the Cold War, when the Korean War convinced leader Kim Il Sung — who ruled the nation from 1948 to 1994 — that the country needed to protect itself from the U.S. In 1963, North Korea was one of the only countries that had announced that they would not sign the nuclear test-ban treaty that was President John F. Kennedy's attempt to "get the genie back in the bottle".
After approval from the (Pakistan) Prime Minister and the COAS, a contract was signed with the North Koreans for a Km 1500 surface-to-surface guided missile.
The Korean team was officially allowed to stay at Kahuta once the products started coming. This was some time in 1993-4. They had to work in the shops and instruct our engineers and technicians in the making of the components. Most of their work was in the two machine shops that were also producing and assembling centrifuges and centrifuge sub-assemblies. They became interested in the technology and some engineers spent a lot of time with Khokhar in his shop where rotor tubes, bellows, etc. were being made and there was a test-bed of P-2. Khokhar was making the liquid fuel rocket engine and needed the Koreans the whole day on a daily basis. During the course of their stay it is quite possible that he explained some details of centrifuge machines to them.
I talked to Gen. Kang and he gave me the $ 0.5 million in cash, which I personally delivered to Gen. J. Karamat. In the meantime Gen. Karamat became COAS and said to me that he needed more money for the same secret funds and that I should talk to Gen. Kang. Gen. Kang came back to me after a few days and said that his boss was willing to give a further $ 2.5 million, provided we helped them with the enrichment technology. They already had a production reactor and were producing plutonium. They had also manufactured a few weapons as, according to Gen. Kang’s boss, they had received Kg 200 plutonium and weapon designs from the Russians in the mid-fifties after the Korean War. They had shown Dr. Mirza and me the perfect nuclear weapon, technologically more advanced than ours. They wanted this technology only for fuel for the power reactors as it cost only 1/10 of that of the diffusion process and required only low capital investment. They were not interested in weapon-grade production of material and did not ask any questions or for drawings for specially designed cascades for weapon-grade material. I informed Gen. J. Karamat; he agreed and gave me a go-ahead. I asked my people to prepare 20 outdated P-1 machines and gave them. Since they were working in the plant and were familiar with the P-2 machines, they asked for 4 of these too. I discussed the matter with the COAS and obtained his approval. After that I personally gave the remaining $ 2.5 million to Gen. Karamat in cash at the Army House to make up the whole amount. The senior engineers at Kahuta were responsible for the Korean’s movements and work.
I used to go to Kahuta for 3 or 4 hours to do administrative work and mostly spent the time in my office or with Brig. Behram who was making a launcher, which was our priority at the time. The Koreans took the machines in their own plane with which they were bringing missile parts for us. Security Staff was always present to check incoming and outgoing cargo. Even Dr. Mirza and Nasim Khan made some control panels and software packages and gave them. The Koreans had brought some UF6 gas for analysis, which we tested and found that it was not pure enough. They requested a few Kg of depleted gas for comparison purposes, which we gave them. Technically and monetarily it had no value. One could buy such a sample from abroad. One flowmeter was given to them as a sample. A flowmeter is an ordinary instrument in a UF6 plant. It is banned for Pakistan but available in the open market in Europe. They, in return, taught us how to make Krytrons (fast switches), which were banned items and are needed in nuclear weapons detonation. This was very valuable to us. After having been here for years, the COAS (Gen. Pervez Musharraf) desired that we should send the Koreans back immediately. They left within 3 days.
In early 1989 Gen. Aslam Beg asked me if I could help the Iranians in enrichment technology so that they could also achieve nuclear capability. He was convinced that, if Iran had this capability, it would work as a shield between Pakistan on the one side and the U.S.A. and other Western countries on the other side and that these countries would then not be able to undertake any mischievous or adventurous action against Pakistan. I agreed in principle, but told him I could only do so with a go-ahead from the Government. When Gen. Imtiaz told me to do the needful, I did so as I knew he must have obtained clearance from the Prime Minister. So also was the case with Libya. Dr. Zafar Niazi told me that it had been cleared by the Prime Minister, upon which I took the necessary action.
If the government plays any mischief with me take (to his wife) a tough stand:
- You know we had cooperation with China for 15 years. We put up a centrifuge plant at Hanzhong (250km south-west of Xian). We sent 135 C-130 plane loads of machines, inverters, valves, flow meters, pressure gauges.
- The Chinese gave us drawings of the nuclear weapon, gave us kg50 enriched uranium, gave us 10 tons of UF6 (natural) and
China had covertly provided missile assistance in the past to North Korea with the KN-08 long-range missile, specifically the transfer of Chinese-made transporter-erector launchers. Russian officials, in talks with U.S. officials, denying any SS-N-6 missiles were sold to North Korea, claiming all were destroyed as part of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. On October 15, 1992, the Russian, Security Ministry's officers stopped 64 Russian missile specialists from Miass with their family members at Moscow's Sheremetyevo-2 airport where they were preparing to leave on a flight to North Korea. Again on November 5, 1992 the Russian, Security Ministry personnel stopped 60 Russian missile specialists 40 of which were missile specialist from Miass while the remaining 10-20 were nuclear specialists at Moscow's Sheremetyevo-2 airport where they were preparing to leave on a flight to North Korea. Yet again on December 8, 1992, 36 nuclear specialists were stopped by the Russian Security Ministry personnel. Ultimately at least 17-20 missile specialist and 9 nuclear specialists made it to North Korea via China and are believed to have remained there. It turned out that these technical personnel were from the Miass, V.P. Makayev OKB, the submarine-launched ballistic missile design bureau.