Dr AQ khan,His Nuclear Affairs under Pak Military Chiefs
December 1, 2010 5 Comments
Abdul Qadeer Khan was born into a modest family in Bhopal, India, in 1935.
He migrated to Pakistan in 1952, following the country’s partition from India five years earlier.He graduated from the University of Karachi before moving to Europe for further studies in West Germany and Belgium.
His studies in Europe had later turned out to be useful when he started a nuclear smuggling ring.
A. Q. Khan had started work for an engineering company called Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory (FDO), in Netherlands. He obtained the job, evaluating high-strength metals to be used for centrifuge components, through a former university classmate and a recommendation from his old professor, Martin Brabers. FDO is a subcontractor for a company called Urenco.
Urenco owns an enrichment facility and was established in 1970 by the governments of Britain, West Germany, and the Netherlands to manufacture top-quality centrifuges that can be used to produce highly-enriched uranium for use in power plants and nuclear weapons.
It was interesting that Khan had obtained a security clearance with minimal background checks because he informed investigators that he intended to become a Dutch citizen.
His marriage to dutch woman further ensured his long-term plans to live in Holland.In the research vicinity he found that security was not as tight so he easily approached to forbidden areas.He visited the centrifuges, although he did not have clearance to see them. He obtained access to data about them and was also asked to help translate sensitive documents, as he could have spoken and read several languages. Khan was also allowed to take the documents home, even though this was a clear violation of security protocols.It was his personal interests that he had developed a wide range of contacts, including individuals who would later emerge as part of his smuggling network.
It was his social contacts that made possible to smuggle high-tech nuclear engineering devices in KRL facilities.Many European companies had defied export restrictions and aided Khan network. Few Dutch companies through his inks exported thousands of centrifuges to Pakistan as early as 1976, and a German company exported facilities for the production of tritium.
In 1975 a Dutch intelligence agency had informed to CIA that they were going to arrest A. Q. Khan over the passage of nuclear secrets to Pakistan ) but the CIA officials not let them to do so and requested them to keep him under surveillance.
Former Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Ruud Lubber said “The Americans wished to follow and watch Khan to get more information.”
It was his underground activities and illegal transfer of technology that moved LEA of Netherlands to pursue him. In view of this In 1983, Khan was sentenced in absentia to four years in prison by an Amsterdam court for attempted espionage; the sentence was later overturned on appeal on a legal technicality.
PAKISTAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Dr Abdus Salam the first Pakistani noble laureate in field of Physics was responsible for laying the groundwork for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission(PAEC), initiating research on problems of water logging and salinity, and agricultural research. He played a crucial role in setting up PAEC and SUPARCO the National Space Agency of Pakistan. He helped Pakistan’s scientists and engineers to be trained in nuclear applications and nuclear sciences.
The problem arises when Dr AQ khan approached Pakistani military scientists who were in the Netherlands on business. He offered them his services but they discouraged him.It was peak time of Bhutto’s popularity so clever Khan directly contacted Bhutto. He motivated aggressive Bhutto to make a nuclear bomb using uranium, rather than plutonium, the method Pakistan was currently trying to adopt. Bhutto was the one who actually paved way for him having full consent from miltiary who also wanted this kind of real threat to India after shameful divide of 1971 via open defeat of Pakistan army. So one can say that demoralised army of Pakistan was desperate to go for such horrible options that can harass its traditional enemies .
Dr Usmani and Abdus Salam who disagreed with work of dr Qadeer were resigned in 1974 when Bhutto wanted to take the development of nuclear technology to, in his words, “its natural conclusion” i.e. the build up of nuclear weapons.
On 20 January 1972, Bhutto appointed Munir Ahmad Khan head of the PAEC. Munir Khan had joined the IAEA in 1958, where he served in the division of nuclear power and reactors until moving to the PAEC. A.Q. Khan initially worked under Munir Khan’s Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for a short period. But both scientist fell out with each other , In July 1976, Bhutto gave A.Q. Khan autonomous control of the uranium enrichment project, reporting directly to the prime minister’s office.Not clear on papers but it was said the Munir Khan, was criticized in some circles as being against Pakistan acquiring nuclear weapons.
Foundation of Kahuta Research Laboratories
India’s 1974 nuclear test had jolted the military circles to expedite their nuclear programs just on the patterns of Indian nuclear program.Here it was reported that Dr khan started his paper smuggling from his European research and working institute.
Pakistan’s motive for pursuing a nuclear weapons program is to counter the threat posed by its principal rival, India, which has superior conventional forces and nuclear weapons.
In July 1976, Bhutto gave A.Q. Khan autonomous control of the uranium enrichment project, reporting directly to the prime minister’s office, which arrangement has continued since. A.Q. Khan founded the Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL) . On 01 May 1981 ERL was renamed as Dr. A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories (KRL). It was enrichment of Uranium in KRL that ultimately led to the successful detonation of Pakistan’s first nuclear device on 28 May 1998.
KRL all projects were/ are for defense and military purpose that is why it was indirectly controlled by military chief via defense ministry but for financing separately or in view of international politics it is shown under civilian setup .This is fake picture and military Heads all time control its policies by taking shield of goof Politicians.
KRL under dr khan claimed to have the potential to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for as many as 3 to 6 weapons each year.in 1984 there were reportedly approximately 1,000 centrifuges operating at the facility. About 1991, Pakistan installed additional centrifuges, raising its high grade uranium production capacity roughly three times.
Khan’s Khauta plant is Pakistan’s main nuclear weapons laboratory
Downfall of Dr Khan and His Work:
In 1988 the US and Pakistan reached an informal understanding, which according to US officials went into effect in 1993, under which Pakistan agreed to freeze production of bomb-grade HEU indefinitely, and to refrain from enriching uranium to a level above 20% U-235.
However, following the tests A.Q. Khan claimed that Pakistan had never stopped making bomb-grade HEU during the 1980s and 1990s.
After this different intentional agencies come into actions and sorted out traces of Khan network in different countries like Malaysia, Vietnam. Srilanka and Dubai too.
Different arrests were made and all accused were trialed and penalized in their respective countries.US strongly demanded Dr khan in her custody for further investigation but here come the actions of Musharraf to save him extradition and he was accused by long list of charges, convicted and then pardoned , done by Musharraf self-made system of Justice.That was moment when he was portrayed as Big smuggler of Nuclear technology to Iran,Korea and Libya which is under control of Military power since 1970s.
In a televised address, Dr Khan offered his “deepest regrets and unqualified apologies”.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and seek your pardon,” he said.
In February 2005, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine as the “Merchant of Menace”, labeled “the world’s most dangerous nuclear trafficker,
RETURN OF DR KHAN:
In Feb 2007 a Pakistani court had ordered the release of the scientist after five years of house arrest done by the orders of Musharraf.
On 4 July 2008, in an interview, Khan blamed President Musharraf and the Army for the transfer of nuclear technology, claiming that Musharraf was aware of all the deals and he was the “Big Boss” for those deals.
The Aslam Beig was also accused by dr Khan, who told investigators during a debriefing that nuclear cooperation with Iran had been authorized by General Aslam Beg, former chief of Army staff of Pakistan who allegedly tried to sell nuclear technology to Iran for 12 billion dollars, the Times claimed.
So in first phase of his release he fully blamed Musharraf and his team who actually facilitated this nuclear proliferation as per last history of Pak army’s under cover activities.It was Break even point of Pak army when investigation exploded on peak time of Dr khan and it took no time to let him down from hero scale to zero level for covering scared and sacred characters of top brass of Pak army.
Professionally one can say it is too late for Dr khan to give such comments on runaway people as he fully aided Pak army Generals for all kind of illegal deals and got his share in the form of money and top position as all in all for almost 30 years in Pakistan nuclear program.
One can also say that Dr khan was our” Nuclear Taliban” who first encouraged to work under military needs and on coming out of control position he was immediately discarded as we are disregarding Taliban and jihadi organizations in our soil.