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Dr. Samar Mubarakmand's Interview with Geo TV

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GEO-TV

CAPITAL TALK SPECIAL

05-03-2004

Dr. SAMAR MUBARAKMAND N.I, H.I, S.I.

Chairman NESCOM

Hamid Mir is here with Capital Talk Special. Today we will have a talk with a personality who is associated with Pakistan’s nuclear program for the last 42 years, yes 42 years. Surely you must be thinking that Pakistan’s nuclear program had begun 30 years ago during the era of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, so who is this personality who is associated for the past 42 years with Pakistan’s nuclear program. So today you will be able to meet this personality and let me tell you that this is his first formal interview, and he is the same person who has been busy with the recent successful tests of Pakistan’s Shaheen and Ghaznavi series of missiles. So let me introduce you to Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, who is the chairman of National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and he is associated with Pakistan’s nuclear program for the past 42 years.

Hamid Mir: Dr. Sahib first of all please tell us when did our nuclear program begin?

Samar: In 1962 when I was first associated with this program, the first phase of this program was underway, at that time the development of manpower and human resource required for this program was initiated. A large number of people were sent abroad by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for higher studies and to acquire PhDs, and they were sent to the world’s best universities and I also went to Oxford for my PhD during that time. So during the 1970s and 80s, manpower was further expanded and developed and trained. Along with this, in the 60s the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, also known as PINSTECH was set up where a research reactor was established. At that time Pakistan consisted of two parts, East and West Pakistan, and at that time a research reactor and an atomic accelerator was also set up at Dhaka, and many scientists were also trained there. So basically some facilities for research were set up in the country and people were sent abroad for higher studies. So when India conducted its atomic test in 1974, at that time our Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto sahib had already resolved that Pakistan would also run its own atomic program and nuclear weapons program, so when India conducted its test in 1974, this resolve transformed into practical reality.

Hamid Mir: So we can say that research had begun in the 60s….

Samar: Yes research had begun in the 60s.

Hamid Mir: And this practical work on this research began in the 1970s?

Samar: Yes in the 1970s that research transformed into an atomic program.

Hamid Mir: You joined this research in 1962?

Samar: Yes I joined the PAEC and began to be associated with this research.

Hamid Mir: Dr. Sahib please tell us that the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of Pakistan, late Munir Ahmed Khan sahib once told us that our first cold test was conducted in 1983, will you please tell us something regarding this?

Samar: Yes, when our program began in 1974, first of all we had to develop an infrastructure, which included a very big design team of nuclear physicists which by the Grace of Allah still exists and is very competent and if required can deliver a new atomic bomb design to the country every three to four months, as per our requirements. Then facilities were also created for manufacturing, because when a bomb is being designed and made, facilities for explosives are needed, ultra-high precision facilities of mechanical engineering are required, then electronics have to be fully mastered, then once a weapon has been developed, then a totally different technology has to be mastered to test that weapon because testing is such an event that once you press a button, the bomb is detonated and the entire test is over in a few micro-seconds. So you should have such a capability of testing that in those one or two microseconds, the yield of the bomb is measured accurately and the performance of the bomb is properly gauged and understood. So all this was done and by 1983 the first bomb was also developed, which was ready for a cold test. Then you need some tunnels in the mountains for conducting a test, which should be in a strong rock wherein the tunnels should be constructed so that during a test no radiation or damage is leaked outside the mountain. This infrastructure also took 5-6 years to develop, and work on it continued from 1977 to 1982-83. When we were ready for a cold test, the government gave us permission to conduct it, and it was the month of March, during which the first cold test was conducted and believe me, it was conducted very discreetly. We drove big trucks without drivers for many hundreds of kilometers ourselves and our scientists acquired heavy driving licenses for this purpose and then conducted the cold test.

Hamid Mir: Where was the cold test conducted?

Samar: I cannot tell you the site where the cold test was conducted…

Hamid Mir: So the cold test was conducted under your supervision?

Samar: Yes it was conducted under my supervision because I was the leader of the test team at that time. So when the test took place, Allah Almighty gave us success and believe me the joy that we had for the cold test at that time was so much that we realized that today we have become a nuclear power, but we could not express it because we were told to keep it secret.

Hamid Mir: You just said that our scientists are so competent that they can develop a new bomb design every three to four months but some people in the international media say that Pakistan’s nuclear program is not indigenous and is dependent on bits and pieces (components and equipment) taken from here and there.

Samar: Look, components and equipment are available throughout the world and their utility is dual use, you can also use them for peaceful applications, like electronic components that can either be used in a radio or can be used in an atomic bomb, there is steel, which can either be used in a bridge or can be used in an atomic bomb also, so this is no argument, dual use items are available of every kind and from every where, which if you need you can acquire. Now you know that the Internet is available, if you go on the Internet, you can get crude designs of a bomb also. But if designs are also available in the world and if materials are also available in the black market, then 30-40 countries in the world should have been able to develop atom bombs by now. What is the thing that is an obstacle for a country to develop this capability of a bomb? What we are able to gather from our 40-42 year experience is that we have had almost two generations who have been associated with this program. First we trained the manpower, then we began work on the bomb, then we conducted the first cold test, then there was a design in the cold test which we knew would certainly work but where and how would we use it, because it was such a large size which could not be fitted on to a missile or an aircraft. So after 1983 till 1998, we developed 5-6 more designs, conducted their cold tests and not one but more than one cold tests, and we confirmed that they were the right designs, and we developed them in large quantities and kept them with us, and when we had a chance, we tested all these designs, and all of them were successful, all six of them. Now after passing through this experience, and after working in this program for so many years, and I mentioned the Internet to you also, and I also talked about materials, after saying all this I think no one should have any doubt in his mind that after acquiring four components from the black market, and after getting a design from the internet, it is not an easy task that any one can do. So anyone cannot do it, because if anyone could do it so easily, then many countries would have done it by now.

Hamid Mir: From 14-15 years, Libya and Iran have been buying components and materials from the black market, but they could not develop anything?

Samar: This is proof of the fact that they tried very hard to acquire materials from the black market to develop a program but the bottom line is that until and unless there is a human resource available in a country which understands this work to such an extent that it is able to develop and raise this program from zero to 100% all by itself, till then this work cannot be accomplished.

Hamid Mir: There is another important thing, please tell us about it, on 28th May 1998, who carried out the nuclear tests?

Samar: I was leading that team. I was working for the Atomic Energy Commission at that time. And I have worked in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from 1962 to 2001. And because atom bombs were developed in PAEC, the entire testing capabilities were there, all the tunnels were developed by the Atomic Energy Commission, site was theirs, I was leading the team that was looking after this program in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from every angle, so it was natural for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to have given this responsibility to me. And I went to Chaghi with 140 scientists, engineers and technicians and there we conducted these tests.

Hamid Mir: But we had heard that Dr. Qadeer sahib was also present at Chaghi?

Samar: Look, we cannot carry out an atomic test at the spur of the moment, without preparation. I visited Chaghi for the first time in 1981. We installed the instruments in the tunnels, prepared the tunnels according to our requirements, we built atomic bombs during this time also, conducted their cold tests, and when we were asked to carry out these tests, we were given only six days notice. This work cannot be done in six days alone. This was successful in six days only because we were working on and were associated with this program, with the test site, with testing procedures for 20-25 years and we have developed all these processes and procedures ourselves. So technically we had complete mastery over all this work. When these tests were conducted, our team went there on 20th May, and on 28th May, in the early morning, the tunnels were plugged and the preparation for the test was complete and on 28th May, around 3.pm was the time selected for testing. So at that time, at about 2.45 pm, some of our guests arrived to witness the tests, and Dr. Qadeer Khan sahib was also one of them.

Hamid Mir: He (Qadeer) came to see the tests?

Samar: Yes he came there to see the tests and it was the first visit of his life to Chaghi. And he came there at the invitation of the chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and he arrived 15 minutes prior to the explosions. At that time we were present at a remote site 15-20 kms away from the test site from where we had to conduct the tests. So he came there and joined us in the Dua and then we conducted the test in his presence and we showed him the test and other guests also saw the test.

Hamid Mir: Now the general impression in the world is that tests were only carried out on 28th May, was there any test on 30th May as well?

Samar: We carried out five tests on 28th May, and we conducted another test on 30th May. We have another test site, which is approximately 150 kms away from Chaghi, which is in a desert, and this was an underground test. The Chaghi tests were carried out in tunnels inside a mountain. So the test on May 30 was of immense importance for us because we tested the last and latest design of the atom bomb that we had developed, and we had already carried out its cold test, so we had to test the design of this test on May 30. And this bomb is very small in size and is very efficient and powerful in yield and this bomb is fitted on to many of our delivery systems such as missiles and aircraft. So it was very important for us that this test should be successful and Allah Almighty gave us a lot of success in it.

Hamid Mir: So in May 1998, not five but six atomic tests were conducted?

Samar: Yes six tests were conducted.

Hamid Mir: Dr. Sahib we are listening to the story of Pakistan’s nuclear program and nuclear tests from you and surely a common Pakistani is very happy to know that Pakistan has now become nuclear power, but some people say that Pakistan’s nuclear program has been rolled back?

Samar: Look; if a program has to be rolled back, you should keep an eye on three to four things. First of all the manpower, the human resource and the people who are working on the program, if the government wishes to roll back the program, the first thing it will do will be to break that team. There is a perception in our country, may be it is because we live in South Asia where there is the concept of idol worship, we tend to associate one particular individual with every work, we consider him to be our hero, and people think that this program is going on only because of this one individual, and there is a major flaw in this thinking, that if for some reason you remove that hero from the scene, so common people will think that the program has ended. So the perception of roll back will automatically emerge if you associate the success of the whole program with this one individual. Today I want to tell you in very clear terms that in the nuclear program, in developing a nuclear weapon, there are 15-20 technologies involved, which include uranium exploration, mining of uranium, refining of uranium, you have to dig out uranium from the earth, then convert it into gas, then its enrichment, then it has to be converted into metal, then it has to be machined, then explosives have to be developed and machined and given the shape of an atomic bomb. Then there are many other things which are used in the making of a bomb and which are developed, and I don’t want to go into their details now, then designs have to be developed in which a team of nuclear scientists and physicists is involved, then there has to be a test team so that when a bomb has been made, it is tested, and I have told you that in a test you have to obtain the complete data in one micro-second on how the bomb has performed, then tunnels have to be constructed which is the job of geo scientists, then if you have to convert this bomb into a deliverable weapon, because otherwise it is only a device which you can put on the ground and detonate it by joining afew wires, but if you have to deliver it by an aircraft or a missile, it involves many other requirements such as radars, electronics, computers, and when all these systems and technologies are integrated, only then a deliverable weapon is developed. Now in these 15-20 technologies, in each one of these technologies we have a scientist of international repute, international eminence and international level who is leading that particular team, who has 600 to 1000 men working under him who are middle-level, lower-level and technician-level people. In the same way you can take the case of missiles. In missiles, there are more technologies involved that an atomic bomb and if I go into their details, it will take a lot of time, and there also there are 15-20 people of this level, who pertain to guidance, controls, aerodynamics, of designing and developing rocket motors.

Hamid Mir: so you are saying that all these people are working in their respective fields?

Samar: Yes, all these 30-40 people of top international level are with us and our team is intact and they are working in their respective fields.

Hamid Mir: So Dr. Sahib you were saying that all people are working in their fields and the program has not been rolled back?

Samar: Yes absolutely, and the second thing that needs to be seen is that if the government wished to roll back the program, it can cut our budget. I assure you that each year we get our budget as per our requirements and it is never cut and even now our budget is the same as it used to be in the past many years and the government is also very serious to take this program forward. So in this respect I assure you that the budget we require is provided to us, we spend it with a lot of responsibility, there are many checks and balances over us, our audit is conducted regularly, and our scientists work with a lot of honesty. Then the third thing that has to be seen is that you keep getting technical targets and the government continues to give us technical targets about what we have to do. So if you are given money and you also have the human resource but you don’t have work to do, even then the program can be rolled back. Yyou should note that first we built the Ghaznavi, then we tested it, then we developed Shaheen-I, version 1, and tested it in 1999, then we developed Shaheen-I, version 2 , which had a greater range than the previous one, and then in October 2002, we conducted its two tests, then in October 2003, we conducted two tests of Shaheen-I, version 2, before that in May 2002 we conducted tests of Ghauri and Abdali. Last year we delivered the missiles and mobile launchers of Shaheen missiles to Pakistan Army and we equipped one complete regiment/battery with these missiles. Now we have again equipped the Army with a battery of Ghaznavi missiles along with launchers, so what does this mean? it means that new missiles are being developed, their new versions are being developed, when we first fired Shaheen-I, its accuracy was different, and now its accuracy is less than 90 meters, Ghaznavi’s accuracy is 58 meters.

Hamid Mir: Will you please tell us what is 58 meters and 90 meters accuracy?

Samar: Now Shaheen’s full range is 700 kms, in the last test, we placed a flag in the ground after completing 700 kms, there neutral observers were stationed and were asked to tell us themselves where the missile falls and we fired the missile from 700 kms away and the missile hit the ground within 90 meters of the target.

Hamid Mir: Now some of our very responsible column writers, on the basis of foreign media reports, are writing that Pakistan’s missile program has been rolled back and some American codes have been installed on those missiles which are known only to the Americans and not to us and whenever we would need to fire the missile, we will have to ask the codes from America and only then the missile would be launched?

Samar: Look, if we can develop a complicated thing like a missile or a difficult thing like a nuclear weapon, then we know full well how to safeguard them also. We don’t need to get these codes from anywhere. We have a National Command Authority, which has a Command and Control Wing, which controls all our nuclear weapons and missiles. We have adopted the world’s most advanced command and control system. And it is a very important part of that system that secret codes must be installed in all our weapons. When a weapon needs to be used, the person who is using it is given the code a few moments prior to the weapon’s use, and when he feeds that code via the computer, then that weapon is armed and the weapon can only be used in this way. So we have developed these codes ourselves and when these codes are installed at the time of the manufacture of these weapons and they cannot be installed on them later on. Our Command Authority knows what are these codes and these are very secure.

Hamid Mir: You have told us a very important point that these codes cannot be fitted into these weapons after they have been manufactured?

Samar: Yes these codes are fitted at the time of manufacture and it is not possible for anyone to take these weapons somewhere and then use them or detonate them and these weapons cannot be used by anyone who wishes to use them. Their safety is of immense significance and we take great care of this at the time of their manufacture.

Hamid Mir: You said that you also know how to protect these weapons. There is a famous journalist Seymour Hersh who has also written many books, his research articles are published in New Yorker magazine, a few days back he was in Pakistan, here he said that Pakistan’s atomic assets are very unsafe and if religious extremists rebel against the government and declare war or topple the government, they can take these atomic weapons and missiles somewhere else, can this happen?

Samar: No this is impossible, it is just like creating a popular story, it does not happen like this, it is a very serious matter, I will put a nuclear weapon on the road, you can keep it there for 10 months and I guarantee you that no one can use it or detonate it or cause any destruction from it. These weapons cannot be used like this.

Hamid Mir: How is it possible Dr. Sahib, if you put such a weapon on the road and I will give a truck to a suicide bomber who will hit the weapon on the road.

Samar: No, he will only break the nuclear weapon by hitting it but it will not detonate. If an atomic bomb which is fitted onto a missile or an aircraft and if that missile or aircraft is launched and crashes inside your own country, that weapon will not work, the weapon will fall and break but will not detonate. There is a mechanism and procedure for its detonation, first you give it a code, if you throw a weapon on the ground, it will break but a nuclear explosion will not take place, the explosive inside it will explode, but the nuclear reaction that has to take place will not be triggered. It will be just like detonating 100 kg of explosives.

Hamid Mir: So when Mr. Seymour Hersh who is a senior American journalist writes such things, he does not have information or writes only for propaganda?

Samar: I think his designs are only for propaganda and as I said his aims would be to publish a popular story, as there is no science in what he is saying. Weapons don’t work like this.

Hamid Mir: Now if we talk of missiles, you have told us something about Ghaznavi, what is Shaheen, you have now fired Shaheen-II also?

Samar: Shaheen-II is the front line missile of the entire family of missiles being made Pakistan, starting from Hatf-I to Abdali, to Ghaznavi to Shaheen-I version I and Shaheen-I version II to this Shaheen-II. Shaheen-II is a solid fuelled missile, it is a very big missile and weighs 25 tons and consists of two-stages. It has a rocket motor which activates when the missile lifts off which takes the missile to a height of 25 kms after which the rocket motor of second stage is activated and the first stage rocket motor separates at this stage. Then the second stage motor takes the missile to a height of 130 kms and after this its re-entry vehicle which includes the warhead and terminal guidance and control system, this is known as re-entry vehicle, this is then separated from the second stage motor which then takes it forward and after making very accurate corrections takes the missile to a height of 600 kms in orbit after which the missile is brought down and it enters the atmosphere and hits the target.

Hamid Mir: first it goes 600 kms up in the atmosphere, then what is its range ahead of that?

Samar: Its range is 2500 kms and we have fired it to the last boundary of Pakistan’s territorial waters, which is about 2000 kms, and we had selected a target of 1800 kms for it. Its total range is 2500 kms.

Hamid Mir: What is the basic difference between Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II?

Samar: The range of Shaheen-I is 700 kms, its diameter is 1 meter, its length is 11 meters, Shaheen-II’s range is 2500 kms, its diameter is 1.4 meters, its length is 17.5 meters and it weighs 25 tons.

Hamid Mir: A while ago you were telling us that you conducted the first test of Shaheen-I in 1999, then in 2002, then in October 2003, why did you conduct tests of Shaheen-I again and again?

Samar: When missiles are produced, and by the Grace of Allah these missiles are now in mass production, we are also giving them to the Army and there is a qualification procedure for missiles. One batch is manufactured and one missile is fired and tested from that batch. So if that missile performs accurately as per its specifications, then it is said that the whole batch has qualified.

Hamid Mir: Now Dr. Sahib lets talk something about proliferation. I have this four year old advertisement which was published in Pakistan’s English newspapers and at that time you were in the Atomic Energy Commission. The advertisement is from the Ministry of Commerce but there is also mention of the Atomic Energy Commission in it and this advertisement which contains a list and enriched uranium is also included in that list and it says that Pakistan is willing to export a lot of nuclear materials along with enriched uranium and other equipment and materials. At that time you were in the Atomic Energy Commission and on the basis of this advertisement the leader of opposition Benazir Bhutto in many western countries is claiming that during the era of General Pervez Musharraf proliferation started. So would you like to give a response to this?

Samar: I do wish to clarify this issue. This advertisement is an advertisement of an application form which was given in the newspaper by the Ministry of Commerce. If you look at this application form, all the countries in the world who manufacture nuclear materials or such dual use items which can be used in nuclear programs and have peaceful uses also, all such countries in order to prevent such materials and equipment from falling into wrong hands via export, this form is also available in all those countries.If any person wants to sell any such material or component outside his country, and if someone from a foreign country wants to purchase any such material or component from him, first such a person has to fill this application form, and take permission from the respective ministry of commerce for export. And the ministry of commerce asks the buyer where he intends to use that material or component and asks an end use certificate from that buyer. The ministry then decides on the basis of the end use certificate whether the material or component should be exported to that buyer or not. And if the ministry of commerce grants an export license, only then that material or component can be exported. Pakistan in order to bring its export control culture to the level of advanced countries of the world who are nuclear powers has adopted this application form, which is an international form, and asked the ministry of commerce to advertise it so that if someone wants to sell any dual use item or material outside this country, so first he fills this form and takes permission from the government. It is not that we are always ready to sell these materials, this form is an advertisement of a list of materials that if someone wishes to buy any items from this list of material mentioned in the advertisement, he will have to first fill this form and take permission from the government.

Hamid Mir: Can Pakistan sell enriched uranium to any country or organization or person after filling this form?

Samar: Look, it depends on how much enriched uranium someone wants to buy from you. Someone can buy one milligram from you also, it has medical applications, you know that all the treatment in cancer hospitals is through nuclear materials that emit radiations. These radiations are used in cancer treatment. Similarly, a lot of research work is done in universities by students and they use these materials in very small quantities, not even one gram, but they study the properties of materials by taking a thousandth part of a gram of such materials and also study the energy of the radiations from these materials. When we were students at Oxford, we had worked with these materials.

Hamid Mir: So they are used for research purposes?

Samar: Yes for research and if someone has to buy this material for research in such small quantities, the export control regime is applied there also and the application form will have to be filled in and permission from the government taken before any such material is exported.

Hamid Mir: Dr. Sahib, we are talking about proliferation. There are many reports in foreign newspapers that some people after making and copying some drawings and formulas have sent them abroad, these people can be a very big threat and in this way atomic technology and secrets can be transferred to someone else. So is such a thing possible?

Samar: Look, I want to say this with a lot of clarity that if you are working in the nuclear program in the country, you sign an oath of secrecy on the first day of your work, all of us have signed this oath of secrecy and we understand it and we follow it very strictly. We have worked for 42 years on this program and in our department (PAEC) this culture was very strictly enforced that we will not even tell the other Directorate about or work, which are the Directorates of the Atomic Energy Commission also. Any person who required any information, he was given restricted access to that information according to his requirement only. Even the scientists working on different projects would not discuss their work with each other or amongst themselves. So this was the act of secrecy. Therefore if any scientist has violated the act of secrecy by exporting any secret, any document or paper, or any equipment or technology to any extent, this is a violation of the act of secrecy and I believe this is a very big injustice done to the nation because it is a trust that the nation has in us from day one and we should not violate this trust. Now regarding the issue of proliferation, and I am talking in the context of the world that the world has said that Pakistan has committed proliferation, there is a very obvious thing in all this, and because we are experimentalists and we have actually worked on the bomb, if someone would give me some drawings and formulas and ask me to build an atom bomb, so can I do it? To build a bomb, I would need training, I would need those machines by which atom bomb is manufactured, I would need raw materials, components which I can use in those machines to build a bomb, and most importantly I would need test equipment to test if bomb has been properly developed and works accurately or not. Now these are five things, design, training, materials, machines, and test equipment. Now for any country that does not know anything about such a program, if it is provided with one or two of these things or steps, so even then it cannot build an atom bomb until it does not have that human resource which is capable of developing that program from beginning to the end indigenously.

Hamid Mir: So what you are saying is that even if someone has given some secrets and drawings to Iran, Libya and North Korea, unless these countries have proper trained people with them, they cannot build nuclear weapons?

Samar: Yes unless there would be proper trained people in these countries, who have been educated in these disciplines and have the mental ability to accomplish this task from beginning to the end, if they have such a capability and you give them some things, then may be their program that would normally take 9.5 years if it would otherwise take them 10 yrs to accomplish this task because of your help and if they don’t have the capability, they will never be able to do it and the proof of this is the fact that it has been 14 yrs for people to have taken drawings, but nothing has been done till now.

Hamid Mir: So then what is the black market, why is the IAEA is so scared of the black market and is saying that some scientists have links with the black market?

Samar: Yes , as I mentioned to you earlier, the black market can cut short the time for your program and if you would need 10 years to do something, then because of the black market you may be able to do it in 8 years if you can get some things from the black market. But if you are able to get some things from the market but you don’t have the capability for doing other things, then you cannot reach anywhere. So this point needs to be understood that we have developed a capability over 40 years, we have 50,000 trained people who are working and who understand their work, we have machines, infrastructure, materials, we have our own uranium, and we have everything of our own. If today I have to buy some steel from somewhere which is not available in Pakistan or if I have to buy some electronic components which are also used in a radio and which are not made in my country, so if I buy some of these components from the market instead of building everything myself, it will only save me some time, but if someone were to give me some nuts and bolts and four transistors and ask me to build an atom bomb, so I will not be able to do it.

Hamid Mir: Dr. Sahib, after listening to your talk, a question would have come up in the minds of many viewers and the question is very genuine, that question I put in front of you, if the 1983 cold test was conducted by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, if the atomic tests of 28th May 1998 were also conducted by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, so then what did Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan do?

Samar: Look I have told you very clearly……

Hamid Mir: No, what was his role then?

Samar: His role was also of importance. We had designed the atomic bomb and manufactured it, we needed fuel for that, you can take the example that you have manufactured a motorcar for which we need petrol, so the fuel is enriched uranium, and Dr. Qadeer Khan had a very competent team of scientists, and most of them had gone there from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and Dr. Qadeer was the administrator of this team in Kahuta. And this team at Kahuta developed and installed the facilities, which are necessary for the enrichment of uranium. So this is also one very important link in 15-20 equally important links needed for building an atomic bomb. So uranium itself is explored, refined and transformed into gaseous form by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and then this gaseous uranium goes to Kahuta where it is enriched which is also a difficult job and which is accomplished by the scientists of Kahuta, and there is a very big team of 10-12000 people who are working there, and after the uranium has been enriched, it is handed back to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission where it is converted into metal and then used as fuel in a bomb, which is also developed by PAEC.

Hamid Mir: Also please tell us what is difference between Ghauri and Shaheen missiles? It is commonly presumed that the Ghauri was the brainchild of Dr. A.Q.Khan?

Samar: Ghauri missile runs on liquid fuel. The entire family of Shaheen missiles, Ghaznavi, Abdali, Shaheen version I & II etc are all solid fuelled missiles. The complete system of solid fuel missiles is designed and developed in my organization, NESCOM; all these solid fuelled missiles are designed, developed and mass-produced in NESCOM. And the Ghauri missile program began in Kahuta but at present the warhead of Ghauri is also developed in NESCOM and is our responsibility because warheads of Shaheen system missiles or Ghauri or for fighter aircraft are all developed by NESCOM.

Hamid Mir: You remained associated with Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for 40 years, now NESCOM has been established, what is the reason behind its establishment and what is its role?

Samar: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission is a research institution and in research one thing is first created and tested and is then brought to such a level where it can be used and is ready to be mass-produced. But when you have to undertake mass production of a particular item, whether it is a missile of nuclear warheads, which you have to develop and produce in large numbers, and when they are produced in such a way that they can be used by the Army or the Air Force, for this purpose a dedicated and separate organization is always established, whose responsibility is to produce strategic weapons in large numbers.

Hamid Mir: Thank you very much Dr. Samar Mubarakmand sahib

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This is most candid interview I ever heard from any GOP official . Good work by hamid mir

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great interview!

an excellent amount of detail on a particalar subject.

The standards of journalism have been raised in Pakistan.

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mansoor ahmed thanks for posting such a great work of Hamid Mir

great interview!

an excellent amount of detail on a particalar subject.

The standards of journalism have been raised in Pakistan.

Thanks to rapid increase in E-Media They are learinng fast and geo is working much better then others in defence news atleast

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KHWARZIMIC SCIENCE SOCIETY

A SCIENCE ODYSSEY:

PAKISTAN’S NUCLEAR EMERGENCE

Speech delivered by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand

On Monday, November 30 1998

The Vice Chancellor Punjab University, President Khwarzimic Society, members of the audience, office bearers of the Interact Club.

I feel honoured to be able to come and address this audience on a topic, which has become quite popular, it seems to me, especially in Lahore. The President of the Khwarzimic Science Society has just said that he was not very happy initially with the nuclear weapons programme and the detonation of the nuclear weapon because it can hold hostage several generations of Pakistan. Let me say that this is a moral issue. Anything we do for the defence of the country is a matter of pride, it is not a matter of shame.

Weapons are developed so that they are not used. So that they will establish a fair and honourable deterrent, in the sub-continent with your neighbours. We have not forgotten the discourse from across the border. We have not forgotten the belligerence we heard in the fifteen days between the Indian and the Pakistani tests. I am very sure, had we not detonated the weapons, this belligerence, this aggression would have increased. Who knows they would have pursued some misadventures into Azad Kashmir, into our province of Sind and even across our borders of Punjab. The nuclear detonation has established a deterrent beyond all doubt. Now let me address myself to the topic of today.

Yes, it was on odyssey – the nuclear programme of Pakistan. At the time of partition of India, there were hardly any scientists or engineers in our country who would undertake this programme. There were hardly any establishments or institutions where research in sciences, such as chemistry and physics were being undertaken. Therefore these institutions had to be developed by some pioneers.

One of the pioneers of science, physics and I would say, the true father of the Pakistani nuclear programme was Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhary. He migrated to Pakistan from Aligarh University and established the Physics Department at the Government College Lahore and was also the pioneer setting up the High-Tension Laboratories. There an atomic accelerator was set up and real high level research was possible. One of his early students was Dr. Tahir Hussain who was my teacher and of course, the present Chairman of the PAEC was one of his early students. Similarly the tradition of physics was set up in the Physics Department of the Punjab University. We know the name of Dr. Majeed Mian, Dr. Baseer Pal and some others. The two departments in the GC and the Punjab University had a very healthy competition. This produced a team of physicists that is now leading Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

In 1955, the Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was established and its first chairman was Dr. Nazir Ahmed. He had a small office in Karachi Sadr at the top of the post office and the labs were in the West Wharf. The labs were mostly concentrating in fundamental research in high-energy physics and there were less than ten people working there. It was in the early years of the PAEC to train and recruit manpower to initiate Pakistan’s nuclear

programme.

In 1961, PAEC set up a Mineral Centre at Lahore on the campus close by and a similar multidisciplinary Centre was set up in Dhakka. So with these two centres the research work started.

The first thing that was to be undertaken was the search for Uranium. This continued for about 3 years from 1960 to 1963. Uranium deposits were discovered in the Dera Ghazi Khan district and the first-ever national award was given to PAEC’s Mr. K. Aslam who was a geologist who discovered Uranium. Mining of Uranium began in the same year.

The next landmark was the establishment of the PINSTECH – Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology at Nilore near Islamabad. The principal facility there was a 5 MW research reactor. Now with the establishment of the PINSTECH, The Lahore Centre and with the manpower we set abroad for their Ph.D.’s in the early 60’s started coming back and the research programme started gaining momentum.

At this time, our chairman Dr. Usmani was a man of great vision and he envisaged that the atomic programme had to split up into 2 branches: one was the peaceful usage of atomic energy. Under this area we set up the agricultural research centres in Tando Jam and nuclear medicine centres in different parts of the country. We also concentrated on the application of radioisotopes to industry and started training industrialists in the peaceful usage of radioisotopes. Of course nobody in the world would expect PAEC just to do research in agriculture and medicine and industry and therefore we had to think about the nuclear weapons programme in parallel with the peaceful programme.

1971 marked the establishment of the KANNUP, which was commissioned the same year and connected to the national grid. In 1972, the scientists of the country were collected in Multan by the then Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and a conference was called and at the Multan Conference we really swore to make nuclear weapons and Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan was made chairman of PAEC.

How would we set about this job. The first thing to do was to refine the uranium we had discovered. The discovery of uranium and its refinement is a massive, manpower-intensive job. 10,000 tons of uranium ore has to be recovered and dug up from the ground to produce enriched uranium for one bomb. So you can imagine the effort that goes into the huge refinement process.

The refinement plant was established in a series of smaller plants. The Chemical Production/Plant Complex (CPC) was established in Dera Ghazi Khan and it looks more or less like the chemical complex at Kala Shah Kaku.

From the CPC we get 2 products:

1. One is uranium dioxide which is a metallic powder and which is the input to the Karachi KANNUP reactor. We all know that after the Indian explosion in 1974, the Canadians stopped the supply of fuel for the research reactor. The Canadians said that the streets of Karachi would go dark. We took this as a challenge and we thought that we must be able to make our own reactor fuel. So from the CPC near DG Khan, came uranium dioxide to make fuel for the Karachi reactor.

2. We also started making uranium hexaflouride, which came from the same campus. So the CPC was branching down into 2 products. You are sending uranium dioxide to the Karachi reactor. This is a peaceful use of uranium, a part of the nuclear fuel cycle and we are also making uranium hexaflouride from the same chemical facility, which is the input material for the enrichment plant at Kahuta.

So in the early days of about 1976, the establishment of the infrastructure for nuclear technology had begun and this was an effort that was started in parallel at different facilities.

One facility was the establishment of the enrichment plant at Kahuta which of course was the responsibility of the PAEC and this was started by some scientist from the PAEC.

The second step was to set up by PAEC was the Uranium Metals laboratory UML, so that ultimately when we get enriched uranium hexaflouride from the plant at Kahuta, we convert it back to metal and give it the right shape to be used in a bomb.

Then the 3 rd facility that was to be set up by PAEC was the design of the bomb. The critical thrust was to set up a theoretical physics group that could work on the design of the bomb. At that time, the responsibility was entrusted to Dr. Riazzuddin, who was in the Physics Department of the Quaid-e-Azam University and then in Dharan (SA). He was a Member (Technical) of the PAEC in those days and was a theoretical physicist and he set up the group. Dr. Masud who is with us today, was a student of Dr. Riazzuddin and now Dr. Masud heads the team that is the design team. I will come to the capabilities of this group, but I must say that our design was a pure indigenous process.

Nobody in the world would come and help you to design nuclear weapons, or to fabricate them or even test them. It has to be a purely Pakistani effort and our scientists on the theoretical side were so capable, they studied the literature that was available and they worked so hard, developed computer codes, acquired powerful computers to design this system and came up with the design that was to be manufactured.

The 4th facility that was set up in those days was a manufacturing facility for the bomb.

So at the PAEC, the finest experimental physicists, engineers and electronics people, chemical engineers formed a team to manufacture these weapons.

We had to develop our own explosive plants. The explosive used in a nuclear bomb is a very special type of explosive. It is not to be purchased from anywhere in the world, nobody would sell it to you. So we had to put up our own plant for this and we had to have chemical engineers that would operate this plant and make the explosives. Then theexplosive had to be given the right shape according to the design that was delivered by our design team. The explosive had to be machined. The machining of the explosive is an awesome task. You know explosives are so difficult materials to handle. Its machining is a very dangerous process. We have a dedicated team of people, mechanical engineers who were not afraid of this and who did this job, which of course is done by remote control. These pioneers in PAEC risk their lives to machine the explosives.

So when a bomb is made, it has to be detonated and the detonation is not from one point.

It is from several points on the surface of the bomb and the trick lies in this that you should be able to detonate the bomb from several points at the same time. This is called simultaneity and the simultaneity has to be of the order of 50 ns (nanosecond). A ns is 1/1000 of a micro second us and I repeat 1 us is one-millionth of a second. So you can imagine, in 50 ns, you have to detonate the bomb at several points so that the implosion takes place in a simultaneous fashion.

This was a challenge for our electronics experts at PAEC because they had to develop the trigger mechanism. I mention this because I want to tell you the dimension of the problem and of course the whole journey to the end, and this is a part of the journey.

Then there was the question that you have made the bomb, you put the electronics in it, the bomb has got explosives, it has metallic uranium which comes from Dr. Khalil Qureshi, out top metallurgist at PAEC and he converts the enriched uranium hexaflouride gas from Kahuta into metal and then he does the coating and machining. So that is one part.

Then you have to have a holding system that holds everything, the bits and pieces in such a way that we get a very rugged device. The device has to be rugged so that if you want to have deliverable weapons, you do not have problems. You can put them on aircraft or missile.

All these things had to be started at the same time in parallel.

Suppose you had a bomb, what to do with it. You have to have a facility, a site where you can test the bomb and you would also like that when the bomb is detonated, you can do the diagnostics or the measurement on it. There can be 2 approaches; either to detonate a bomb and sit back and clap or to treat it as a scientific experiment – try to get the maximum scientific data from the nuclear detonation. We chose to do the latter and for that we had established another Directorate in the PAEC – the Diagnostics Directorate.

They are really smart people. They are trained very thoroughly in capturing the yield of the device. They measure the number of neutrons produced in the device, the efficiency of the nuclear bomb: how much uranium produces how much power – this is the efficiency. One must remember that the phenomenon is a single shot phenomenon. It is a very fast process. You press the button and everything is finished within a us. The bomb goes to maximum power, stays there for some time and comes down to zero power in less than a nano second. So in this time, one must do all the measurements and if you miss the data, it is the end of it, it is finished and would not repeat. So it is a single shot event and our Diagnostics Directorate has the capability of measuring what is the yield of the device. They cannot only measure the yield of the devices that they themselves detonate but also of the devices that are exploded across our border.

The diagnostic people are not only responsible for diagnostics of the device but also for detonating the device. The detonation of a device is not done by sitting close to it. It is a very sophisticated process. This expertise was established over the years by a dedicated team of people and when we did the experiments, the detonation at Chaghi, we were able to detonate the first 5 devices from a distance of about 15 km and the last detonation on the 30th , we were able to do from a distance of 45 km.

This was not the first time we were doing these experiments. We had performed so many cold tests before. We had practiced the remote control detonations of the cold test over the years. So we knew what we were doing. We were very professional and very well trained. We had a team of 300-400 people who were responsible for developing the detonation procedure. So this was a massive programme.

This is in short, what I want to say. There are 5-6 different disciplines that have to be dealt with. Each discipline in itself contains electrical and mechanical engineers, electronics people, experimental and theoretical physicists, chemical engineers, metallurgists and so on.

This entire infrastructure came into being by 1980. By 1976, PAEC selected the sites in Chaghi and Kharan and our geologists went to work on these sites. In Kharan there is a desert and we went for a vertical shaft. It is like a vertical well that is 300-400 feet deep and at the bottom of the well you have a horizontal tunnel which is 700 feet long. You do the detonation at the end of this tunnel. So this was an L-shaped configuration. In Chaghi, where we had the mountain range, the Ras-Koh range, we went for an underground horizontal tunnel. The overburden available was about 400 feet. That was the height of the mountain available for containment.

The designing of the tunnels is also a very intricate thing. It is not just blasting a hole into a mountain. Again there is a lot of science. I shall tell you why. If you have a straight tunnel and you put the bomb at the end of the tunnel, you plug the tunnel with concrete and explode the bomb, the concrete is really going to blow out and so all the radioactivity is going to leak out through the mouth of the tunnel. We did not want this to happen. The tunnel is not designed safe but is designed in the form a double-S shape and when we detonate the bomb, the pressures are very great. They move the mountain outward and you use the force of the bomb to seal the tunnel. When the rock expands under the explosion, the rock moves in the direction so that it seals the tunnel. So the tunnel collapses inward by the force of the tunnel. This is how you seal the tunnel through the force of the bomb. Dr. Mansoor Beg is an expert in this. Apart from the manufacturing things, he is the one who does all the calculations and gives it to the geologists who do this work. So in 1976, we selected the sites for the atomic tests. In 1980-81, both the sites were complete and the shafts were all made.

Why were doing all this so keenly in a parallel effort in 1975 and 76? The PAEC was told that whenever you were ready, you would detonate the bomb. So we were all very enthusiastic. We were running day and night concentrating on our effort. But history has proved, it did not happen at that time. The mandate was withdrawn from us when we were ready.

By the end of 1980, the Kahuta plant was completed and Dr A Q khan was made incharge of the plant. First he was working as a scientist within the plant and later on he became the incharge. The plant was commissioned in 1980 and it started to function, first at a slow pace and then gradually picked up speed. All the uranium hexaflouride gas it needed was provided by the PAEC from the CPC at DG Khan. It is still done the same way. After enrichment, the uranium hexaflouride is sent to the UML where it is converted into metal and bombs are being manufactured.

In March 1983, we crossed a milestone. The first nuclear bomb had been manufactured. In March 1983 we went for a cold test. We were very apprehensive. It was the first biggest event in our lifetime and it was conducted. A cold test is the actual detonation of a complete nuclear bomb except instead of enriched uranium, in the middle of the bomb, you put natural uranium. So it will not go into fission. It will not acquire full power, but it is a complete bomb in all respects. What does it do? It produces a high flux of neutrons when the detonation takes place and one has to have the capability of measuring these neutrons.

The Diagnostics Department of PAEC had this capability and they measured neutrons from these cold tests very successfully. When we saw these neutrons on our recorders we were very happy. We thought that we had achieved the objective of our lifetime. I remember that the people were very happy for several days. If you have a cold test and you detect neutrons you can be more than 100 % sure that if you put enriched uranium in the same bomb, it is bound to give you fission. So the test was successful and we were very happy.

Now we had a choice. What would we do next? Where do we go from here. Do we stop, should we go for a hot test, a proper hot test like we had in May this year and when we had positive results from that, we would carry out further work. That was one way of doing it. The second choice was that since our cold tests were successful, so we believe our theoretical physicists. Okay, your design is fine and we go ahead and we develop more modern designs, which are smaller and more rugged and which are being capable of delivery by aircraft and missile.

For every country in the world, which produces this bomb, the first one is very large and very unwieldy and not suitable for deliverable weapons. So the miniaturization or the quantisation of the weapon, should we do it now or wait for a hot test? We went to the Government and said we are ready and we want to do a hot test. The then President said no, it is not the right time and so we had to abide by that decision.

We decided to keep on working on better and better designs and since 1983, over the last 15 years, I must really confess and congratulate the theoretical physicists at PAEC, lead by Dr. Masud, in that they designed one sample after the other. After every 18 months or 2 years or so, we would have a new design and would perform a cold test on that. The success rate in every cold test was 100 percent. Sometimes we started thinking that our diagnostic people are giving us positive results all the time. At least we should fail some time.

Maybe our electronics are faulty and giving us detected neutrons. Probably they are spurious counts but the success was so consistent that we started disbelieving our diagnostic people. Anyway, one design after the other kept coming out, we manufactured the bombs, tested them and were successful.

We came through a series of 4 or 5 designs and then we came up with a model, which we would say, and our generation of people in the PAEC would claim that is the state-of-the-art.

The real last word in nuclear fission design and here of course, the concept was different from earlier designs. It was very small, compact, high yield and small size. So you could see the efficiency was tremendous and we were all very proud of it. When the cold test was successful on it, we were all very happy and this was the last thing we did in the earlier part of the 1990’s.

Now, I think that the rest is all history and very recent history. It is all the memory of the people. Now we had all these designs available with us. I would not tell you what we were doing beyond that. Then you also have to weaponize so that they become deliverable weapons. I would not also tell you what we did about that but you can draw your own conclusions.

We had spent our lifetimes on the project and still there was no chance of a hot test. And on the morning of the 11th of May, this year, one of our friends, in the Armed Services, phoned me and he said, "Have you heard the news today?" I said. "What?" He said, "The Indians have conducted the explosion in Pokhran." So I said, "Congratulations." I was genuinely happy. He said, "You are congratulating us on the Indian tests?" I said, "Yes, because now we would get a chance to do our own tests."

It is always happening like that. Indians are always trying to do things first and we follow suit. Although as scientists, we would have liked that the Government had allowed us to do the tests in the normal way. Anyway, these were political decisions.

When the Indians conducted the tests on the 11th May, within 2 days, they conducted another test. They claim that they conducted 5 tests in all: Three on the 11th and two on the 13 th. Several people have queried on this. We have thought about what were those tests. The claims were that they conducted 5 tests. We have our capability of detecting nuclear tests, measuring their yields and so on. They claimed that of the 3 tests on the first day, one was a fission device, one was a fusion device and the third was a low-yield device. We have detected only one explosion on that day and the yield of that explosion according to our measurement, and you know we are the ones whose measurements are the most reliable, and the yield was the same as the 1974 Pokhran test. So I think the first test was a repeat of the 1974 test and the yield was the same. We did not detect a thermonuclear or a smaller test. We can detect smaller, sub-kiloton tests, which are of the order of 0.5 – 1.0 kiloton but we could not detect that. So our estimates were such that they had conducted only one test on that day. Later on, when international data started coming in from all overthe world, it was also said that on the 11 th of May they had conducted only one test. Of course, the yield they presented had a greater error in it. They would give a wide range of yield. They said it could be between 10-25 kiloton or 10-40 kiloton. This is because the further the station is, the greater the error margin. On the 13th of May, they said they conducted 2 tests but we did not detect any tests at all and our capability, as I have said, is between 0.5 and 1.0 kiloton sensitivity levels.

After these Indian tests, as we expected very quickly, the Prime Minister was at it. He called me and said, "Are you ready for it?" I said, "Yes, definitely." He said, "OK! Get yourselves ready." I told my colleagues that we have to be ready and we started packing.

There we went on the 20th of May and we conducted the first 5 tests on the 28 th of May.

One test was a huge explosion, a large device. The others were sub-kiloton tests. On the 30th of May, we had an L-shaped shaft in the Kharan desert and it was tested on the latest of our models. In all, we conducted 6 tests and the results are that the results were successful to the hilt, to the last detail. The yield was always as predicted by our theoretical physicists.

I can assure you that if you give them the specifications, we want this much yield; this much size and they would be out with 2 months and Dr. Beg would be out with an actual bomb. This capability is now with us and it is a tribute to thousands of our scientists, engineers, geologists, metallurgists and theoretical physicists who have really spent more than 2 decades in this programme and it is also a tribute to the vital link in the chain at KRL, who are successfully doing the enrichment of uranium.

Very smoothly, this process is going on and we got so much data from the 6 tests, it gives us so much confidence in our design capability that as I have said, we can design any specification weapon we want.

Maybe we acquired this capability from some other country. Somebody came to us and gave us some knowledge or transferred us some technology. I can swear to you that nobody in the world, no matter how friendly he is to Pakistan has ever helped Pakistan.

This I can say on oath. This is an indigenous technology and this should be really hammered in because this gives you pride. You have done it. Pakistan has done it. It is not borrowed technology. You know we are a generation of scientists that has lived under embargoes. Right from the mid-70’s, since India exploded the bomb, embargoes were also levied on Pakistan. I sometimes tell my colleagues that we are an embargoed nation.

We have learned to live under embargoes. No one would give us literature, hardware, components, technology. For everything we have to struggle. We had worked under these adverse circumstances and inspite of this adversity, my colleagues took it up as a challenge. OK, you cannot do it for us, we shall show you how to do it. The Pakistani nation works best when it is handicapped. When you are facing a challenge, you show your best. I firmly believe that the young people of this nation are capable of reaching the skies.

The last thing I want to say is that the PAEC has proved that this country is an island of excellence and to substantiate my statement let me say that if you take the statistics of Pakistan and compare it would the rest of the world, they are dismal. Our life expectancy is 122nd in the world; in the literacy rate we are the 162nd and in per capita income we are the 122nd . The access to health services gives us a ranking of 148 and in clean drinking water we are 114th in the world. In the OHD, we are 139th in the world, almost the last and of course and in nuclear weapons we are the 7 th in the world. The PAEC works with a certain tradition of excellence. What is this tradition?

One is tremendous team spirit. Nobody works in our organization for money or fame. We do not believe that sensitive work can be done by publicizing it. It should be done quietly and so there is no lust for fame in this organization. There is honesty, dedication. The work is dangerous: we are working with explosives, atom bombs and we are rubbing our shoulders with nuclear weapons. Who can pay you to do this? Who can pay people to work in explosive plants and do explosive machining? Only the people who are dedicated, who put into their head that we are going to make Pakistan a nuclear state, they are able to do it. Only a purpose, motivation and a high philosophy in life could do this.

When a large number of people work together for a large period of time intelligently, they achieve an objective. If one person works hard for a long period of time, he will only achieve a small objective. In our organization, the PAEC, there are 15-20 Directorates, each dedicated to part of the nuclear weapons programme. Each Directorate has 700-800 people and their work is over 25 years, consistent, without greed, publicity and without quarreling with each other.

I can tell you this, the miracle of teamwork I saw in Chaghi. We were there for about 10 days. The PM had told me, "Dr. Sahib, please do not fail, we cannot afford to fail. IF WE FAIL WE CANNOT SURVIVE. This is an hour of crisis for Pakistan."

He was dead sure that if we failed, they would have attacked our nuclear facilities immediately and we could not afford to fail. There was a tremendous burden of responsibility when he said that to me. I came back to my team and said, "This is a responsibility. Let us all share it. You are a team and nobody let me down."

They worked as a team. There were technical difficulties during these 10 days. We took collective decisions and solved the problems. This is not a miracle. This is something you achieve after you work for a lifetime. So team spirit was very much there. There was so much responsibility on the shoulders of a few. One would expect us to become tense, abusive, quarreling with each other and bad-tempered, but you would be surprised to find us there all smiling and in good spirits, cheered up and relaxed.

We all believed that we had worked very hard and God will give us success and success He gave us.

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I saw this interview on TV. Why do I have a feeling that this is a sanitized version of his GEO interview? For example, Dr Samar clearly mentioned the word ‘Plutonium’ in his following answer and this is the reason why the 6th Nuclear Weapon that was tested on May 30th, 1998 was so compact, powerful and efficient. Also, his wording seems to have been toned down a bit when he explained that even if a terrorist gets one of these bombs, they cannot cause a fission reaction and at best they may use such a bomb as a ‘dirty bomb’ (explosives + some radioactive material).

Hamid Mir: Now the general impression in the world is that tests were only carried out on 28th May, was there any test on 30th May as well?

Samar: We carried out five tests on 28th May, and we conducted another test on 30th May. We have another test site, which is approximately 150 kms away from Chaghi, which is in a desert, and this was an underground test. The Chaghi tests were carried out in tunnels inside a mountain. So the test on May 30 was of immense importance for us because we tested the last and latest design of the atom bomb that we had developed, and we had already carried out its cold test, so we had to test the design of this test on May 30. And this bomb is very small in size and is very efficient and powerful in yield and this bomb is fitted on to many of our delivery systems such as missiles and aircraft. So it was very important for us that this test should be successful and Allah Almighty gave us a lot of success in it.

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Salam,

The interview is not sanitized. It is verbatim. He never used the word plutonium. You can watch the interview again if you can and see for yourself. They must have used tritium in the May 30 test which is used to boost fission devices and is also used in thermonuclear weapons. Both tritium and plutonium are by products of spent nuclear fuel. PAEC had set up a tritium purification and production plant in 1987 at the Khushab nuclear reactor site. The 50 MW Khushab reactor is the source of both plutonium and tritium. PAEC also had a small-scale reprocessing plant for spent fuel reprocessing to extract plutonium, which was ready by 1981 at PINSTECH, called New Laboratories. The Khushab reactor is exclusively for plutonium and tritium production whose construction began in 1986 and it was commissioned in 1998.

Please see the following:

Business Recorder

98-06-03

Dr Samar insists PAEC staff conducted N-blasts

LONDON: Dr Samar Mubarakmand, head of Pakistan's scientists team which conducted nuclear explosions and director general of National Development Complex has said that achievement of six successsful nuclear tests on May 28 and 30, 1998 in Chagai area of Balochistan province was made by scientists of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

"It is a wrong impression that these explosions in Chagai were jointly conducted by scientists belonging to various organisations. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was invited to the site of the explosions only as observer and he has no direct connection with the tests" Dr. Mubarakmand was quoted as saying by the BBC on Tuesday.

According to him Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was invited at the time of first explosions and he was very kind to come. He was accompanied by Chairman PAEC Dr Ashfaq Ahmed. Both these veteran scientists reached there ten to fifteen minutes before the tests and joined the Dua, "We performed for the success of the exlposions. They stayed for ten to fifteen minutes after the explosions and then left."

Dr. Mubarakmand, who was present at the site of the nuclear explosions along with other scientists and engineers on May 28 and 30 said, the Shaheen missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads developed by the army's missile manufacturing organisations, National Development Complex having a range of up to 700 kilometres, is now ready for test. "The missiles have been mounted on launch pads and that only government's permission is needed to fire them. The missile can hit 250 metres deep at the selected target", he added.

He further said that another missile was being prepared in the Shaheen series which will have a range of 2000 kilometres and that it will be ready for test fire within a year.

He said that sample of nuclear warhead to be mounted on Shaheen-I missile had been prepared. On being asked if the warheads had also been prepared, he replied that at the moment he would like to make only this statement.

He told a questioner that of the five explosions carried out last Thursday, four were very low yield experiments which had been planned for safety of the devices and one was of nearly 40 kilo tonnes of fission bomb. "We conducted only one explosion on Saturday also a fission bomb, he added._PPI

Munir Ahmed Khan, former chairman PAEC however told this to the AFP at the time of the tests. "These boosted devices are like a half way stage towards a thermonuclear bomb. They use elements of the thermonuclear process, and are effectively stronger Atom bombs." So tritium is used to boost fission warheads and build thermonuclear weapons. It is most likely that PAEC must have conducted cold tests of a plutonium device or if they did indeed use plutonium in the May 30 test, they won't admit it yet. But it was reported that US spy planes did collect traces of Plutonium in the atmosphere near the May 30 test site, so an element of doubt remains.

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Quote: "The interview is not sanitized. It is verbatim."

I apologize; I assumed that someone at GEO edited the interview. Still, I am assuming that the last test was of a Plutonium Fission Bomb since it is so compact; whether boosted or not. In the sub-continent, I assume portability of a nuclear device is more important than its yield; since we aren’t huge countries like Russia with 11 time zones. A smaller lighter bomb can be carried more easily by all our missiles and planes to far enough distances in the sub-continent.

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Dr. Samar Mubarakmand is a genius person. i personally appreciate his work very much. but it should be in your mind he has jealousy from Dr. AQ Khan.

1. he said that Dr. AQKHAN only visited chaghi once, 15 min before the test time But www.pakistanidefence.com website contaions a pictures which shows Dr. AQ Khan inside Chaghi tunnel along other Scientists. so from this it is prove that he is lying.

2. he told in the interview that Dr. AQ Khan's role is oly to enrich urinium from gaseous form which is provided by PAEC. but my dear Dr. AQ Khan is a expert in gaseous trasfusion and the technology is used by holand where Dr. AQ Khan worked. if his contribution towords Pakistan's atomic bomb is only 1/20, why much of the scientists are working under his command in kahuta. why Bhutto called him to work for Pakistan Atomic Bomb.

3. he is saying that there are many things which are available in the world and writer on Pakistan Atomic bomb writes that Dr. AQ Khan when he returened from holand contain information of such industries their exact locations and he, Dr. AQ Khan, managed his personal contacts in those firms, by using his contacts Pakistan not only saves more than 15teen to 20 years but also get equipment with secrecy.

4.Dr. Samarmand Mubarak told in the interview that designing was held at PAEC and he told hisself that designs are availabe on internet. but there are no designs are availabe for the centrifugation which is the work of Dr. AQ Khan .

5.it is also noticeable thing that gov. gave free hand to Dr. AQ Khan . why if he only performs 1/20 work

6.the security of Dr. AQ Khan was very tight those days. it was much more tight than todays Gen. Musharraf's Seurity but there is no strong security provided to Dr. Samar Mand. why if he did nothing and providing him security.

7. why every pakistani leader said Dr. AQ Khan father of Pakistani Bomb not others.

8.USA is against Nuclear Pakistan why they pressurize for Dr. AQ Khan not any other.

9.every writer who wrote on Pakistan's nuclear program, wrote that Dr. AQ Khan is the main person and Pakistan is Atomic Power because of Dr. AQ Khan .

10.Pakistan's Missile program is initiated by Dr. AQ Khan in Khuta. and at that time he delivered missiles to army when we have no shaeen and others. but he equiped army with Ghauri which produce pressure on india.

these are the points which we should kept in our minds this is the truth if any body find mistakes in my points i will appreciate it.

I love all Pakistani scientists and Engineers but the role of Dr. AQ Khan can not be neglected. He, Dr. AQ Khan , Lives on the heart of Pakistani people. no body can alter or remove by misstatements or claims.

Pakistan ZINDABAD.

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Quote: "The interview is not sanitized. It is verbatim."

I apologize; I assumed that someone at GEO edited the interview. Still, I am assuming that the last test was of a Plutonium Fission Bomb since it is so compact; whether boosted or not. In the sub-continent, I assume portability of a nuclear device is more important than its yield; since we aren’t huge countries like Russia with 11 time zones. A smaller lighter bomb can be carried more easily by all our missiles and planes to far enough distances in the sub-continent.

Well I would again say that you should listen to the interview once more to clear any doubts .Secondly, PAEC had developed a bomb design by 1987 which was compact enough to be carried by all PAF aircraft and these aircraft thereafter practiced various bomb delivery techniques. Once PAEC got the M-11 missiles from china in 1992, and once NDC had been established in 1993, it was logical for PAEC to develop an even better design that can be carried on various missiles systems as well, especially the Shaheen which was being developed at NDC. So the May 30th test, whether it was Plutonium or uranium, was not the first bomb design compact enough to be carried by missiles or planes.

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Dr. Samar Mubarakmand is a gennius person. i personally appreciate his work very much. but it should be in your mind he has jealousy from Dr. AQ Khan.

1. he said that Dr. AQKHAN only visited once chaghi 15 min before the test time. But www.pakistanidefence.com which is a semi official website contaions a pictures which shows Dr. AQ Khan inside Chaghi tunnel along other Scientists. so from this it is prove that he is lying.

2. he told in the interview that Dr. Aq Khan role is oly to enrich urinium from gaseous form which is provided bu PAEC.. but my dear Dr. AQ Khan is a expert in gaseous trasfusion and the technology is used by holand where Dr. AQ Khan worked. if his contribution towords Pakistan's atomic bomb is only 1/20, why much of the scientists are working under his command in khuta. why Bhutto caled him to work for Pakistan Atomic Bomb.

3. he is saying that their many thing which r availabe in the world . and writer on Pakistan Atomic bomb writes that Dr. AQ Khan when he returened from holand contain information of such a industries their exact locations and he Dr. AQ Khan managed his personal contacts in tose firms. by using his contacs Pakistan not only saves more than 15teen to 20 years but also get equipment with secrecy.

4.Dr. Samarmand Mubarak told in the interview that designing was held at PAEC and he told hisself that designs are availabe on internet. but there r no designs a are availabe for the centrifugation which is the work of Dr. AQ Khan .

5.it is also noticeable thing that gov. gave free hand to Dr. AQ Khan . why if he only performs 1/20 work

6.the security of Dr. AQ Khan was very tight those days. it was much more tight than todays Gen. Musharraf's Seurity. but there is no strong security provided to Dr. Samar Mand. why if he did nothing and providing security.

7. why every pakistani leader said Dr. AQ Khan father of Pakistani Bomb. not others.

8.USA is against Nuclear Pakistan why they pressurise for Dr. AQ Khan not any other.

9.every writer who wrote on Pakistan's nuclear program, wrote that Dr. AQ Khan is the main person and Pakistan is Atomic Power because of Dr. AQ Khan .

10.Pakistan's Missile program is initiated by Dr. AQ Khan in Khuta. and at that time he delivered missiles to army when we have no shaeen and others. but he equiped army with Ghauri which produse pressure on india.

these are the points which we should kept in our minds this is the truth if any body find in mistakes in my points i will appreciate it.

I love all Pakistani scientists and Engineers but the role of Dr. AQ Khan can not be neglected. He, Dr. AQ Khan , Lives on the heart of Pakistani people. no body can alter or remove by misstatements or claims.

i love Dr. AQ Khan

Pakistan ZINDABAD.

Pakistan's missile program was not initiated by AQ Khan in Kahuta. It was initiated by SUPARCO when they built the Hatf-1 and Hatf-2 missiles in 1989. During this time, PAEC had set up a solid fuel propellant plant and National Development Complex (NDC) was set up in 1990-93 to establish an indigenous solid fuelled missile development program. Shaheen, Ghaznavi, Abdali, and the recent Babar are all manifestations of this endeavour. PAEC always stood for indigenization as opposed to whole sale procurement from abroad as advocated by AQ Khan,which was used by him to build his smuggling network along with his accomplices. When AQ Khan found out that PAEC/NDC were coming up with their Shaheen missile, he rushed to North Korea, bought their No-Dongs and painted them Ghauri and then claimed them to have been the indigenous work of KRL. It was later that KRL with the help of NDC engineers began reverse engineering of the Ghauri. So he was able to "beat" PAEC by afew months by testing the ready-to-fire North Korean missile and claim it to be his own work. Shaheen-I was tested the following year in 1999. This in no way takes credit away from the R & D effort of PAEC/NDC who have established solid foundations of an indigenous missile program in Pakistan, which is independent of any foreign help. It was again the PAEC that bought M-11 missiles from China and handed them to the Army in 1992. PAEC had reached an agreement with China over these missiles in 1989.

Every writer writing on Pakistan's nuclear program has been fed with mind boggling and myth building propaganda at the behest of AQ Khan, who routinely gave fat cheques to journalists to write books and articles defaming PAEC and claiming all credit for himself. It was PAEC's policy not to indulge in cheap popularity or to use public money for personal glorification. AQ Khan needed to build the myth of being the father of the bomb, which would provide him immunity from the law, accountability and criticism at home, and at the same time which would help him get customers in the black market. While PAEC kept quiet, AQ Khan hijacked the whole credit by default. Secondly AQ was used by successive governments to issue controversial statements, which could be owned or denied, depending on the circumstances by the government and he used this as a way to build up his own image. He was master of propaganda and he built an excellent propaganda machine, which is still working. So every writer had no choice but to write for AQ Khan, who was always benevolent towards them at state expense.The writers had no access to PAEC.

The US is after AQ Khan because he has peddled centrifuge technology which was the collective fruit of the hundreds of scientists and engineers over many years to any one who was willing to pay a good price, be it Iran, Libya or North Korea. He offered the same to Saddam Hussain as well, who declined the offer, thinking it to be a trap. His network supplied centrifuge spare parts to India, along with centrifuge design and other related equipment. Some of these members have testified in court in South Africa about the list of equipment supplied to India.

Long before the proliferation scandal broke, Munir Ahmed Khan in his article " India's nuclear strenghts and weaknesses" written on May 6, 1998 in The News, wrote,

" India was a latecomer in enrichment. It started a programme in early 1970's but after the success of its Pu bomb in 1974, work on enrichment slowed down. Soon after the news leaked regarding Pakistan's activities in the enrichment field, India restarted its programme in late 1970's using strikingly similar technology which Pakistan had adopted which is a strange coincidence".

AQ Khan had taken over the enrichment project in 1976. In 1995-96 AQ ordered the production of 200 P-1 centrifuges which were shipped to Dubai, which was the distribution point for the network. This network included Indians as well, in addition to several Europeans. Ever since the network was unearthed, the Indians have vanished. Other US Non-Proliferation think tanks have also confirmed India's links with the AQ Khan network.

Which Pakistani leader said AQ Khan was father of bomb and not others? President Musharraf has categorically said several times that AQ Khan was not the father of the bomb. The only Pakistani leader who actively protected and promoted AQ Khan was Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who had a direct personal interest in developing the GIK Institute for which AQ had arranged Rs. 150 crores and was the project director for the institute. Later GIK also got to know the truth and kicked out AQ Khan from the BoGs of GIK.

Samar has more security than AQ. See for yourself if you can.

The Govt. gave a free hand to PAEC as well. The free hand given by the government is a trust, which AQ betrayed by selling KRL's know how for profit. The PAEC had a massive import procurement network as well, which was much larger and more efficient and clean than AQ's.

You can get designs for complete centrifuge technology on the internet also. If someone could get bomb designs and centrifuge designs on the net or have them stolen from somewhere, then why does every other country in the world not been successful in building nuclear weapons uptil now? why did Qaddafi give up those centrifuges even when AQ had given him a chinese gun-type bomb design? Why is Iran still struggling with enrichment and has not mastered the fuel cycle even though AQ gave them data and actual centrifuges and their spare parts?

PAEC built its own bomb design which was an implosion-type weapon and this was the design that was tested in cold tests and in the 1998 tests.

If AQ got himself photographed soon after the tests at the entrance of the tunnel, that does not mean that he conducted the tests. Samar is not lying. You just need to accept the truth.

At the time of tests, the PAEC issued the following statement:

"The five nuclear tests conducted on Thursday measured up to 5.0 on the Richter scale and were a total success and completely safe with no release of radiation. Although the reported yield figures are up to 40 KT (equivalent TNT), the Seismic centres reported a shock measured up to 5.0 on the Richter scale. Subsequently, the scientists' group monitoring radiation in the area confirmed no release of radiation in the environment and the tests were declared completely safe and a total success.

Sources in the Directorate of Technical Development, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said that the tests were performed with devices buried deep into the bellies of rocky mountains in Chagai range. "Observers present at the test site reported that the mountain structure -- originally composed of black granite rocks -- changed colour into greyish white in a split second due to the intense heat produced by the test," they said.

The immense shock wave produce was detected and monitored by Seismic centres in the US, Russia, Australia and many other countries, said the Directorate of Technical Development. A statement issued by the PAEC Directorate of Technical Development said that it had fulfilled its mission by not only successfully producing a variety of potential nuclear devices, but also by performing perfect hot tests which resulted in near expected yields and providing invaluable scientific data.

The statement said: "The mission has, on the one hand, boosted the morale of the Pakistani nation by giving it an honourable position in the nuclear world, while on the other hand it validated scientific theory, design and previous results from cold tests. This has more than justified the creation and establishment of DTD more than 20 years back.

"Through these critical years of nuclear device development, the leadership contribution changed hands from Mr Munir Ahmad Khan to Dr Ishfaq Ahmad and finally to Dr Samar Mubarakmand (Member Technical).

These gifted scientists and engineers along with a highly-dedicated team worked logically and economically to design, produce and test an extremely rugged device for the nation which enable the Islamic Republic of Pakistan from strength to strength. By the grace of Almighty Allah, the PAEC as an organisation has proven to be the pride of the Pakistani nation."

Regarding the technology that AQ supposedly brought from Holland. Those were drawings of first generation centrifuges whose SWU capacity and efficiency was so low that it was not good enough for enriching uranium to weapon grade. It needed a lot of indigenous R & D effort and much more to build thousands of maraging steel centrifuges that were more efficient. In this effort, the PAEC got complete process engineering designs of not just the centrifuge machine itself, but the entire enrichment process from a centrifuge program in Italy in 1975, before AQ arrived here.

The enrichment programme of PAEC started in November 1974 when a nuclear engineer Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood was recalled to Islamabad from Karachi and asked to prepare a feasibility report. Within days a feasibility report was prepared and a project approval proforma called PC-1 finalised. The project was to begin production in 1979. To maintain secrecy both the feasibility and the PC-1 were handwritten documents. The project proposal was personally hand carried by the then chairman PAEC Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan direct to Larkana for the prime minister's approval. No intermediate offices were involved. Munir Ahmad Khan was driven to the Chaklala Airbase by the project director-designate, Bashiruddin Mahmood, where a special military aircraft was waiting to take him to Larkana. Either that evening or next morning he returned to Islamabad with the approval of the prime minister. Again Munir Khan was received at the airport by Bashiruddin Mahmood.

By 1976 Bashiruddin Mahmood and Munir Khan had selected the team of scientists and engineers who would make enrichment a success, and for whose hard work AQ took all the credit. These included Dr. GD Alam, who would head the centrifuge design and development team at Kahuta, Anwar Ali, Dr. Javed Arshad Mirza, Dr. Ashraf Chaudhry , Iqbal Khokhar and many more. Work began under the code name of "Directorate of Industrial Liason" in the barracks of Chaklala Airport in 1975. It was here that the PAEC team rotated the first centrifuge to 30,000 rpm in April 1976, before AQ took over the project. Almost everything needed to build a centrifuge plant, from maraging steel sufficient for 10 years requirement, high-frequency inverters used to regulate power supply to the centrifuges, flow-forming equipment, electron beam welding machines and much more had already been procured by PAEC in 1975 through the brilliant SA Butt in Europe and on June 4, 1978, Dr. GD Alam and Anwar Ali succeeded in separated the U-235 and U-238 isotopes.

Also, PAEC scientists and engineers were putting in a lot of effort in indigenous development of centrifuges at KRL during 1975-79. They had also procured complete process engineering designs for setting up of an enrichment plant in 1975 from Italy, whereas what AQ Khan brought from Holland was the drawing od first generation centrifuge machine, which according to Dr. GD Alam were defective and incomplete. Fortunately, both the Urenco drawings, where AQ worked as a translator-cum-metallurgist, and not a scientist as is generally believed, and the Italian drawings had their origin in the Zippe type centrifuge first built in Germany.

Therefore, the shortcomings were overcome by Dr. GD Alam's team, who also revealed in an interview in 1998 that AQ Khan's technical expertise was quite low. He had only a rudimentary understanding of physics, because he was a metallurgist, and not a nuclear expert. But he was a master of politics and propaganda and this was where the PAEC proved to be a miserable failure. But propaganda does not win wars or grant success. It is hard work and honesty along with complete secrecy which was the hall mark of the PAEC scientists and engineers, that made the nuclear program a success.

AQ managed to take over the project in afew months of joining it in the spring of 1976 by accusing Bashiruddin of buying sub-standard maraging steel and by claiming that they were not carring the project forward. A high level inquiry committee acquitted Bashiruddin by 1977 of any wrong doing and said that the maraging steel was of the right quality. AQ also accused Munir Khan, Bashiruddin and Dr. Riazuddin, Member Technical, PAEC of being Qadiani, which was also patently false.

But Bhutto himself was caught up in political turmoil in 1976-77 and he did not want any controversy against him to be exploited by the religious parties. So he gave the benefit of doubt to AQ who through Bhutto's Military Secretary was trying to discredit the PAEC in Bhutto's eyes. By the time the inquiry findings came out, all PAEC scientists and engineers were cleared and nothing was proven against them,but Munir Khan and Bashiruddin Mahmood did not want the project to suffer due to a personal clash of egos, as the team that was working in the enrichment project was all from PAEC and they would continue to rely on the technical side on PAEC, so they did not press on the re-instatement of Bashiruddin as project director, which in hindsight was a big mistake. And it was already 1977 when the inquiry reports came out and in the mean time, AQ had taken over the project. Later a board was constituted to run KRL's affairs which included PAEC chairman Munir Khan. It was only after the plant had become fully operational that the Board was disbanded in 1980-81.

Also, AQ threatened Bhutto soon after he joined the project that he would leave Pakistan and go back to Holland if he was not made incharge of the enrichment project. This was unacceptable for Pakistan as AQ had become privy to a top secret project and could not be allowed to go back.

In 1981, AQ made his first attempt to sell enrichment technology to an Arab country.

Now for any country to build a nuclear program and a nuclear bomb, it has to master the nuclear fuel cycle, which ranges from uranium exploration, mining, refining, to coversion of yellow cake to uranium hexafloride gas (UF6) to enrichment of uranium to fabrication of nuclear fuel, extraction of plutonium through reprocessing of spent fuel and finally to disposal and storage of radioactive waste. This is the basis of both civil and military nuclear programs.

In addition, the process of making a nuclear weapon from the beginning to the end requires specialization in so many diverse fields. A country wishing to acquire the nuclear capability must first be able to find Uranium, be able to purify it, convert it into gas of very high purity, and should have centrifuge machines for its enrichment if it chose to go the enriched uranium route. It should also possess the complex technology of converting this enriched uranium into metal and shaping it into a weapon core of appropriate design. Also required is a thorough knowledge of fission physics, the design and development of a trigger mechanism and of literally hundreds of components, which have to be tested independently. A key element of a trigger mechanism is the development of a very high quality, safe and

powerful explosive. This in itself is an entirely different branch of knowledge requiring years to master. Apart from uranium enrichment, which was also begun as a PAEC project, all other steps are PAEC's responsibility.

The production of uranium hexafloride gas is also no child's play. How many countries in the world have succeeded in this yet? It is in this form that uranium is fed into the centrifuges and enriched. Without uranium hexafloride gas, there can be no enrichement and the centrifuges would be useless.

The technology involved in production of uranium hexafloride gas is as challenging as the centrifuge plant itself. It was at BC-1 and CPC, built in 1976-79, that PAEC’s scientists and engineers mastered the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

BC-I comprises several units such as a uranium ore storage mill, a ball grinding mill, a sulphuric acid plant, a solvent extraction plant and a tunnel drier through which the yellow cake is passed through for drying. Almost all these units of BC-I were developed within Pakistan. In addition to the uranium refining plants, following plants required for the production of the uranium hexafloride were also developed, each of them being a full fledged independent chemical plant.

a) Uranium Mill which extracts uranium in the form of yellow cake

B) A plant to refine yellow cake to produce Ammonium Diuranate (ADU)

c) Conversion of ADU to uranium dioxide

d) Plant to produce Hydrofluoric Acid

e) Plant to produce fluorine gas

f) Plant to covert uranium dioxide to uranium tetrafloride (UF4)

g) Conversion of UF4 to Uranium Hexafloride (UF6)

A by-product of UF6 was depleted UF6 which was harnessed by PAEC for making aluminum clad natural uranium metal fuel for its research reactor at PINSTECH.

You can find further details in Dr. Samar's Speech delivered in 1998 and his interview in 2004.

Bhutto never called AQ to Pakistan. AQ Khan himself wrote a letter to Bhutto in Sept. 74, offering information. He said, " IF Pakistan has a program on enrichment, I have some information". Bhutto never put him incharge of the bomb project, he joined PAEC's Project-706 which was only for enrichment. Other PAEC projects working on the bomb were out of bounds for him, nor did he have any knowledge about them.

Dr. Samar has no reason to be jealous of AQ. Samar has had the honor of developing the neutron source for the atomic bomb, for conducting over 24 cold tests from 1983 onwards and the 1998 hot tests and establishing the NDC. He is the architect of Pakistan's missile program. Go to any Chaghi replica, it prominently displays the insignia of PAEC. There is no KRL there. The PAEC built the bomb, and tested it.

The PAEC was running 20 projects on the nuclear program, every one the size of KRL.

You may want to see this for further information on those 20 projects here:

http://www.pakdef.info/ereporter/PakDef%20Mag%20Vol%201%20Issue%202.pdf

The truth will eventually come out one day.

Regards.

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Dr. Samar Mubarakmand is a gennius person. i personally appreciate his work very much. but it should be in your mind he has jealousy from Dr. AQ Khan.

1. he said that Dr. AQKHAN only visited once chaghi 15 min before the test time. But www.pakistanidefence.com which is a semi official website contaions a pictures which shows Dr. AQ Khan inside Chaghi tunnel along other Scientists. so from this it is prove that he is lying.

2. he told in the interview that Dr. Aq Khan role is oly to enrich urinium from gaseous form which is provided bu PAEC.. but my dear Dr. AQ Khan is a expert in gaseous trasfusion and the technology is used by holand where Dr. AQ Khan worked. if his contribution towords Pakistan's atomic bomb is only 1/20, why much of the scientists are working under his command in khuta. why Bhutto caled him to work for Pakistan Atomic Bomb.

3. he is saying that their many thing which r availabe in the world . and writer on Pakistan Atomic bomb writes that Dr. AQ Khan when he returened from holand contain information of such a industries their exact locations and he Dr. AQ Khan managed his personal contacts in tose firms. by using his contacs Pakistan not only saves more than 15teen to 20 years but also get equipment with secrecy.

4.Dr. Samarmand Mubarak told in the interview that designing was held at PAEC and he told hisself that designs are availabe on internet. but there r no designs a are availabe for the centrifugation which is the work of Dr. AQ Khan .

5.it is also noticeable thing that gov. gave free hand to Dr. AQ Khan . why if he only performs 1/20 work

6.the security of Dr. AQ Khan was very tight those days. it was much more tight than todays Gen. Musharraf's Seurity. but there is no strong security provided to Dr. Samar Mand. why if he did nothing and providing security.

7. why every pakistani leader said Dr. AQ Khan father of Pakistani Bomb. not others.

8.USA is against Nuclear Pakistan why they pressurise for Dr. AQ Khan not any other.

9.every writer who wrote on Pakistan's nuclear program, wrote that Dr. AQ Khan is the main person and Pakistan is Atomic Power because of Dr. AQ Khan .

10.Pakistan's Missile program is initiated by Dr. AQ Khan in Khuta. and at that time he delivered missiles to army when we have no shaeen and others. but he equiped army with Ghauri which produse pressure on india.

these are the points which we should kept in our minds this is the truth if any body find in mistakes in my points i will appreciate it.

I love all Pakistani scientists and Engineers but the role of Dr. AQ Khan can not be neglected. He, Dr. AQ Khan , Lives on the heart of Pakistani people. no body can alter or remove by misstatements or claims.

i love Dr. AQ Khan

Pakistan ZINDABAD.

Well Mr. Rana1, I am sure nobody doubts your love for Mr Khan, however with regards to your knowledge about the facts thats a different matter.

Mr Mansoor, appreciate your knowledge on the issue, however no need to waste so much time rebutting the claims of of the likes of Mr Rana1. Let the likes of him live in their fantasy world.

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Salaam

Does anyone have arecording of this available? Any link or something?

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Mr. Mansoor

you accept that there was a clash between Dr. AQ and mr. Munir and Dr. Samarmand.

and now he has a chance to get benefit which he could not get in past.

you said that Dr. AQ threatened Bhutto that he will returned to holand with the secret if he would not allowed to lead the team. if he has no knowledge why Bhutto accept him. he has the authority to stop him doing any thing wrong.

if u listen the last press conference of President Musharraf on the issue of Dr. AQ he accept in that press conference that Pakistan is Atomic power because of Dr. AQ .

in holand, a latest research was going on those days on urinium enrichment technology which was a cooperated venture between three countries of European union including UK. and you are saying that their designs are lower standered

Pres. Musharraf accepts that Pakistan benefitted from black market. and you are saying that all the things were produced and researched by PAEC.

if Dr. AQ has no technical expertise why he was given the charge of such an important seat and also alowed him to chat frankly with press.

no doubt this is a team work but we can not neglect Dr. AQ's efforts.

if we accept that he has no technical expertise , then how he able to run the black market. and benfit Pakistan from that market.

Sir to run a program, for nuclear bomb, requires not millions but billions of dollars. can Pakistan afford that cost. No but Dr. AQ generates funds from black market with the aproval of government.

you are correct that pakistan's missile program was initiated by PAEC and Dr. Samarmand . but when pakistan needed a nuclear missile at that time PAEC fail to deliver it to army. this was the Ghuri which is pakistan's first nuclear capable missile which can hit deep inside the india. Dr. AQ made it himself or got it from N.Korea, it dose not matter. it matters at what time he deliver it to army.

shaeen series r latest series which came after Ghuri.

you are saying that Dr. AQ give mony to writers to write for him. it is an amazing thing! all the writers are corrupt, the foreigner, the writers of usa also?

sir Dr. AQ was give a complete free hand why? if has nothing to do.

again sir i am not neglecting the work of Dr. Samarmand and PAEC. PAEC and other institution are backbone of pakistan's defence we have to appreciate their work.

Dr. Samar is a genius person. but he has no right to degrade the work of Dr. AQ .

Thanks

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Mr. Mansoor

I used to think the same when I joined this forum that A.Q. Khan was EVERYTHING. :)

To be honest, Just read the interview again. You will get pretty much all the answers. A.Q Khan was responsible for Uranium erichment which was a parallel program that government persued as a backup for the Plutonium.

Now as he said in the interview, putting different things together with either the Enriched Uranium or Plutonium is totally a different matter.

A.Q. Khan was a metallargist and not a nuclear scientist. The knowledge he brought along from Holland helped Pakistan jump start producing enriched uranium and not the bomb.

No one here is degrading A.Q.Khan. He was and still is a hero. But remember my friend that this is a team work. Not one person alone should be given a credit.

I strongly reccommend that you read the interview again with an open mind. or just stick around and read on the topics which there are plenty of on this forum.

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Salam,

Karim was the code name used by PAEC during correspondence with regard to AQ Khan, before he arrived in Pakistan.

Rana sahib,

Dr. Samar first came out in the press at the time of the 1998 tests. He said, "We invited Dr. AQ Khan to the Chaghi test site to show him what a nuclear test explosion looked like". He said much the same in his interview as well. He had a chance to speak out only when Pakistan became a declared nuclear power when PAEC carried out six nuclear tests in 1998.

AQ wrote a letter dated 25-07-1976 to Bhutto threatening to quit if the project was not handed over to him. Bhutto could not allow him to quit because his going back to Holland would certainly expose the top-secret enrichment project. That was not acceptable to the government at that time. Therefore, AQ had to be retained in the project and his demand accepted.

The team that made the enrichment project a success, who were nuclear experts, had been selected in 1975-76, by PAEC, before AQ Khan joined and later took over the project. He did not 'jump-start' the project. The project was already on course. The site for Kahuta had been selected in January 1976 by PAEC, the first centrifuge had been rotated by the team headed by Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, in April 1976, when AQ first started complaining. Everything needed to build centrifuges, like maraging steel, frequency inverters, electron beam welding and flow forming machines, etc had been imported in 1975, before AQ even joined the project.

The most critical factor for the success of failure of any project is the human resource working on the project. This team had been selected, trained and organized by PAEC, they had all been transfered from other PAEC establishments, like PINSTECH to Project-706. They had begun work in 1975, before AQ joined in and they continued to work in the same pilot site of Chaklala and Sihala till 1979 where all the breakthrough work on centrifuges was done, and AQ was entirely dependent on this team to prove his success, even though AQ had taken over as an administrator. That is why the same PAEC team continued to work in the project even after he took over in the summer of 1976.

Dr. Samar has clearly said in his 1998 speech that AQ Khan was made incharge of the enrichment plant at Kahuta only after it had become fully operational and had started functioning.

The views on AQ's technical expertise have not been invented by me. These are the views of Dr. G.D. Alam, who was Chief Scientific Officer, KRL, and who was heading the centrifuge design and development team in the enrichment project. AQ Khan was a middle level translator-cum-metallurgist in a company called FDO, which was a sub contractor to the Urenco consortium. He did not have any access to the centrifuges that were being developed. His job was only to translate documents handed over to him by his company. His PhD is in copper metallurgy. He did not even have any scientific/ research experience in the field of uranium or its enrichment in his entire stay in Europe. He got his Phd in 1972, and during the time he worked with FDO till 1975-76, he remained a translator. Urenco in Holland was not developing centrifuge technology for nuclear weapons, but for commerical uses in nuclear power plants which means that they were not working on enriching uranium to weapon grade, i.e. Highly Enriched Uranium.

It would have made little difference if AQ had not joined the project. PAEC chairman Munir Khan had already obtained detailed engineering designs and drawings for setting up of an enrichment plant from Italy in 1975. AQ Khan's Urenco drawings were incomplete, and a lot of indigenous Research and Development that had already begun in 1975 on centrifuges enabled the scientists and engineers working on the project to build their own centrifuges. They determined the requirements for procurement, which AQ had to arrange from the foreign suppliers. Without this, he could not have shown results.

But AQ did not establish the import network for Pakistan's nuclear program, which was set up by PAEC. He set up the export oriented network which later became the black market.

There were companies who entered into commerical deals with PAEC for dual use technologies. These were shipped to Pakistan through front companies and third parties, for use in Pakistan's nuclear program, and other PAEC projects, not for re-export to other countries for profit.

The PAEC conintued to buy items and equipment independent for many other projects from abroad, but these were strictly for import and use for Pakistan's program, not for export to other countries, as happened in the case of AQ Khan. Read the book "Shopping for Bombs: Rise and Fall of the AQ Khan Network" for further details.

When AQ came here, he realized the opportunity that his high profile defection from Urenco had offered him, and he exploited it to the maximum. He got hold of the enrichment project, with its massive procurement chain that had originally been established very efficiently by PAEC's procurement agent in Europe, SA Butt, and later turned the same procurement chain into his export oriented network for selling Pakistan's enrichment knowhow for personal profit, which was his prime motivation to get control of the project. He took over the project administratively in 1976, and was given full autonomy and control by 1980-81. In 1981, he made his first offer to an Arab country to sell Kahuta's technology, which was the result of years of hard work of hundreds of scientists and engineers, and which he always claims to be his own personal accomplishment.

There is no denying that he headed KRL from 1976-2001 during which KRL did successfully enrich uranium. But this success owes to the much needed spade work and R & D done by Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, Anwar Ali, Dr. GD Alam, Dr. Javed Arshad Mirza, and many more, all of whom were trained, selected, guided and organized by PAEC in the formative years of the project. Dr. Javed Arshad Mirza succeeded AQ Khan as chairman KRL in 2001. Anwar Ali today is chairman PAEC. He and GD Alam left KRL in 1981 over disagreements with AQ Khan over his nuclear proliferation activities.

Regarding writers in USA, if you read the book "The Islamic Bomb", by Weismann and Krosney, published in 1981, it will clearly reveal the following things:

1. The nuclear program was headed by chairman PAEC Munir Ahmed Khan.

2. The Kahuta enrichment project was initiated and developed by PAEC under the superision of Munir Ahmed Khan.

3. All the essential items and equipment needed for the Kahuta project's establishment were procured by PAEC's main procurement agent in Europe, SA Butt. He continued to help the enrichment project till the project had become operational and AQ brought in his own men to take over the procurement.

After PAEC conducted the 1983 cold tests, thousands of pirated copies of this book were circulated throughout Pakistan in which all positive references to Munir Khan and PAEC were deleted and replaced with negative and derogatory sentences. For eg. On page 47 of the orginial version of this book, the authors wrote," Munir Khan is a patriot, he will do anything and everything to bring atomic weapons to his homeland". The pirated edition of this book said, " Munir Khan is not a patriot, he will do anything and everything to keep atomic weapons away from his homeland". There were about 20 such pirated changes made in this book. Who was responsible for this, you can guess yourself. The authors of the original version disowned the pirated version completely and demanded an inquiry.

What President Musharraf said in his press conference was political rhetoric. He has dedicated 12 pages of his Memoir, "In the Line of Fire" to Dr. A.Q. Khan.

He writes on Page 292 of his book, " The West in general, and United States in particular wanted his scalp, but to the people of Pakistan he was a hero, a householed name, and father of Pakistan's pride, its atom bomb. The truth is that he was just a metallurgist, responsible for only one link in the complex chain of nuclear development. But he had managed to build himself up into Albert Einstein and Robert J. Oppenheimer rolled into one!".

On page 298, President Musharraf writes, " When A.Q. departed, our scientific organizations started functioning smoothly, with mutual and intergrated cooperation that had never been possible while he was around. He was such a self-centered and abrasive man that he could not be a team player. He did not want anyone to excel beyond him or steal the limelight on any occasion or on any subject related to our strategic program. He had a huge ego, and he knew the art of playing to the gallery and manipulating the media. All this made him a difficult person to deal with".

Then on page 285 President Musharraf writes, " Everyone in Pakistan wanted us to have the bomb. A.Q. Khan was not, in fact, the sole scientist incharge of the entire effort, yet he had a great talent for for self-promotion and publicity and led the public to believe that he was building the bomb almost single-handedly. Futhermore, our political leaders were intentionally ambigous in public about our capabilities, for strategic reasons. I did not know the facts (at what stage of development we were); and as we would all discover, they didn't either".

Ghauri is a liquid fuelled missile with little deterrence value. It takes hours to prepare it for launch. It was first tested in April 1998. Shaheen was close by, in 1999, and Shaheen was an indigenous effort. What matters is the sustainability and indigenization of missile technology. Work on Shaheen began in 1995 in NDC and it was produced in a record time period. Shaheen is solid fuelled and cannot be intercepted. Today, the durability and the strategic importance of solid fuel technology is proof that all our missiles, including, Ghaznavi, Abdali, Shaheen-I and II and Babar Cruise Missile are all solid fuelled. Only Ghauri is liquid fuelled, which like the Indian Prithvi is very clumsy on the battlefield.

It is very easy to get a ready-made, ready to fire missile from a foreign country and then fire it and claim it to be your own work, as was done in the case of Ghauri, and in the process, AQ Khan without government authority, sold centrifuges and related items to North Korea, for personal profit. What price to pay for a liquid fuelled missile!

It is preposterous to say that Pakistan's Govt. authorized any illegal export to the black market to generate funds. Even the Americans don't say this against us. The profits went only to AQ Khan and his partners in the black market, not to the Pakistani government.

Plus, as is made abundantly clear by Dr. Samar, it takes much more than a few drawings and indeed much more than a centrifuge to build a bomb. It also takes much more to complete the nuclear fuel cycle, and to enrich uranium itself. Centrifuge is a mechanical device and is only a small part of an equally critical, but long and complicated process that leads to enrichment, i.e. mastering the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle and producing UF6 of very high purity.

In the final analysis, no single man can claim sole credit for the program. The credit must be shared among the thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians who did not make illegal money, or indulge in cheap popularity campaigns through paid propaganda writers or who put Pakistan's national interest in great danger through illegal export of Pakistan's know-how.

Regards.

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Mansoor sahib,

Since years the same things is being repeated , are you trying to make a way for AQ khan to be handed over to US for questioning?

Why this interview is telecasted now a days?

Why should we believe what Dr sahib is saying is true?

At least no body heard AQ khan trying to do blame game?

to elevate oneself it is not a must to pull the others leg

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Noman Sahib,

Where has anyone said that AQ should be handed over for questioning? That is unthinkable and must never be done, no matter what happens. Doing so will be a disaster for Pakistan.

These are facts, not blame game. You don't want to believe Samar, that is your choice. Sometimes perceptions are stronger than facts. And the blame game was started by AQ decades ago, you can find it in all the books that have been written on his behalf.

And besides, I am responding to Rana sahib's points.

The interview was taken in 2004. There is no connection between handing over AQ for questioning with this interview. Why should the interview not be known to the members here? Why hide the facts?

About evelating one and pulling the other's leg, please read this http://www.pakdef.info/ereporter/PakDef%20Mag%20Vol%201%20Issue%202.pdf and you will find that it does not even mention AQ Khan, yet Pakistan's nuclear development can be clearly understood.

Regards.

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Salaam

Mansoor Sahib, I really appriciate your informative posts.

I would also appriciate it if you could please clarify the following:

AQ wrote a letter dated 25-07-1976 to Bhutto threatening to quit if the project was not handed over to him. Bhutto could not allow him to quit because his going back to Holland would certainly expose the top-secret enrichment project. That was not acceptable to the government at that time. Therefore, AQ had to be retained in the project and his demand accepted.

Your signature says, "What is life? Life is the nation. The individual must die anyway. Beyond the life of the individual is the nation."

If indeed Dr. A.Q. Khan was only retained only he was threatening to quit, which would certainly expose the top-secret enrichment project, so why didn’t the GoP choose another way of dealing with him? Surely, he wasn’t made in charge of a section of our nuclear program, keeping in mind that we are a poor nation; it was costing us a lot of money and resources. If he was truly going to be a threat to our national security and his intentions weren’t sufficiently pure, instead of dealing with him as a national security the GoP decided to make him the head of one of its most important clandestine projects of utmost importance and provided him with much needed resources?

So why didn’t the GoP act in the best interest of Pakistan and assassinate him instead of giving him lots of money and resources and making him in charge of (a section of) one of the most important project in our history? So why didn’t the individual get sacrificed for the life of the nation?

Ghauri is a liquid fuelled missile with little deterrence value. It takes hours to prepare it for launch. It was first tested in April 1998. Shaheen was close by, in 1999, and Shaheen was an indigenous effort. What matters is the sustainability and indigenization of missile technology. Work on Shaheen began in 1995 in NDC and it was produced in a record time period. Shaheen is solid fuelled and cannot be intercepted. Today, the durability and the strategic importance of solid fuel technology is proof that all our missiles, including, Ghaznavi, Abdali, Shaheen-I and II and Babar Cruise Missile are all solid fuelled. Only Ghauri is liquid fuelled, which like the Indian Prithvi is very clumsy on the battlefield.

It is very easy to get a ready-made, ready to fire missile from a foreign country and then fire it and claim it to be your own work, as was done in the case of Ghauri, and in the process, AQ Khan without government authority, sold centrifuges and related items to North Korea, for personal profit. What price to pay for a liquid fuelled missile!

So is Ghauri another name of 'Taepodong'? Did Dr. A.Q. Khan do nothing in the development of the missile?

You have said that the centrifuges and related items were sold off to North Korea by Dr. A.Q. Khan, without government authority, for personal profit. However, you also said that it was a bad price to pay for a liquid fuelled missile, if I have not misunderstood you. So was it for Ghauri that the centrifuges and related items were traded with North Korea or was it for Dr. A.Q. Khan’s personal profit?

It is very easy to get a ready-made, ready to fire missile from a foreign country and then fire it and claim it to be your own work, as was done in the case of Ghauri, and in the process, AQ Khan without government authority, sold centrifuges and related items to North Korea, for personal profit. What price to pay for a liquid fuelled missile!

Please do correct me if I am wrong. When this whole thing about Dr A.Q. Khan’s issue of selling and buying nuclear related items was in the news, one would often come across columns and interviews of people about how this was unlikely. They would argue that since Dr A.Q. Khan always had an army officer with him and the security at Kahuta was also very tight, it was very unlikely, if not impossible, that Dr. A.Q. Khan could take the centrifuges and related items from there and sell them off to another country, without being detected.

The explanation that comes into my mind is that since he was regularly dealing in the black market, buying and selling items required for the project, he could have also sold off some of the items not that shouldn’t have been sold off, without getting caught.

However, what I do not understand is that if that was the case, then did the GoP not know that Dr A.Q. Khan had bought a complete missile from another country? If they did know that he had bought a missile from another country but did not know what was given in return for the missiles? Or did they think it was for free, the missile?

Surely they knew something was being given in return, if it wasn’t the centrifuges and related items then was it money? If it was money then did Dr A.Q. Khan keep that money as well? Or was it a part of our consideration to the other country i.e. money + centrifuges and related items? If that was the case, then how could Dr A.Q. Khan have received money in return? Did he keep the money the GoP gave him, or a portion of it that he wasn’t meant to keep without GoP knowing it?

Regardless, was it not an important enough transaction i.e. buying of a ballistic missile, that the GoP did not even keep a close eye on what was happening; what was being given and was being taken in return?

Please do forgive me for anything offensive I might have said.

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Mr. Mansoor

I am not degrading or under estimating the work of PAEC and other Institutions. These are important and necessary for the defence of Pakistan. I told in my first reply that i personally appreciate the work of Dr. Samar . It is a team work, no doubt.

If Dr. AQ failed to enrich urinium, could Pakistan able to construct Atomic Bomb? Because he is leading the KRL, so he worked hard to enrich urinium .there should be no doubt that he is a patriot. You are saying that Dr. AQ sells all for his personal benefit, for money. if he really wants money why he came to Pakistan on such a low salary. when the living standard and salaries are very high in europe. if he only wants money he could sell our state secret to USA on very high price and can exit Pakistan without any damage. why he continues to work for Pakistan.

Ghauri missile is a liquid fueled missile and it takes more time than shaeen to get ready to fire. but keep in mind the situation of 1998 when Pakistan and India both are nearly at war. Pakistan urgently needed a nuclear capable missile which can hit inside india. at that time Ghauri was handed over to Army.you are saying that he bought it from N. Korea with out the approval and notice of gov. and Army. and they are not aware of this fact and they did not know about the activities of Dr. AQ. can it possibe to bring such a big missile from hundred of miles away wihtout the knowledge of gov. and army and without the help of ISI . help of navy is necessary for transportation.

in Pakistan anti Dr. AQ KHAN program exists since long. and i think, sorry , you are also the part of it. I think it because of your comments. you are insisting only that Dr. AQ Khan is a Corruptive person of Pakistan, remember a Army Brigadier alwasy remain with Dr. AQ Khan.

appreciate his contributions like others if in your sense he only made little. if he only made little contributions, at least he plays a role, and should be appreciated.

I personaly appreciate the role of all scientists and all the institutions set up for this Program.

Thanks

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rana 1,

You need to write in proper and structured sentence, check your spelling before you post. Last warning, please pay heed to this matter.

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rana 1,

You need to write in proper and structured sentence, check your spelling before you post. Last warning, please pay heed to this matter.

H Khan sorry for this i try to fix that.

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Aoa!

I do not understand why Mr. Mansoor keep on repeating the same story again and again.... I request him to let AQ Khan live for few more days.... peacefully.

I think anti-AQ Khan articles always get Mr. Mansoor earned annual bonus: p

NA

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Hamid Mir: Now the general impression in the world is that tests were only carried out on 28th May, was there any test on 30th May as well?

Samar: We carried out five tests on 28th May, and we conducted another test on 30th May. We have another test site, which is approximately 150 kms away from Chaghi, which is in a desert, and this was an underground test. The Chaghi tests were carried out in tunnels inside a mountain. So the test on May 30 was of immense importance for us because we tested the last and latest design of the atom bomb that we had developed, and we had already carried out its cold test, so we had to test the design of this test on May 30. And this bomb is very small in size and is very efficient and powerful in yield and this bomb is fitted on to many of our delivery systems such as missiles and aircraft. So it was very important for us that this test should be successful and Allah Almighty gave us a lot of success in it.

I always thought that tests carried out on 28th May included boosted device (as sid by AQ Khan)thus latest and most powerfull but this interview says something different

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Salam Ibn Abdullah,

The Ghauri deal was sanctioned by the Army. It was entirely a cash-for-missile deal. It did not at any stage allow for the supply of two dozen centrifuges to North Korea in exchange for the missiles. Secondly, this deal naturally involved the transport of the missiles, for which C-130s were used. Now this again does not mean that these aircraft were supposed to be used to transport centrifuges. AQ had asked for permission to get these missiles from North Korea for reasons of prestige primarily to beat PAEC/NDC who were developing their own solid fuelled missile. He was given permission and the Govt of Pakistan paid for the missiles. But AQ used this as a cover to make trips to North Korea and strike a deal with them for selling centrifuges, and he sold two dozen P-I and P-II centrifuge machines to North Korea, and the money went into his pocket, not in the Govt's kitty. The Ghauri deal was never intended to be a centrifuge for missile barter deal. But again the trust reposed in AQ was violated by him. North Korean nuclear scientists were regularly visiting KRL in the cover of the Ghauri deal, posing as missile scientists. President General Pervez Musharraf in his book "In the Line of Fire" has explained this in detail.

There were a chain of events that occured in the months before AQ wrote his letter to Bhutto in which he said he would go back if the project is not handed over to him. Ever since his joining the project in the spring of 1976, AQ was planning to create the conditions which would help him take over the project. The first step in this direction was that he accused the Project Director of the enrichment project, nuclear engineer, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood of buying sub standard maraging steel for Rs. 50 million. This was a huge procurement made by Bashir in 1975. If it was proven that Bashir had indeed bought sub-standard steel, it would mean that he was trying to sabotage the project, and had wasted precious money. Therefore, a high level inquiry committee was set up, which included DG (ISI), Foreign Minister Aziz Ahmad, Agha Shahi and others. Bashir suggested that samples of the steel be sent to any three foreign labs, on the recommendation of AQ, for testing, and if it is established that he has indeed bought wrong steel, then he may be punished accordingly. This was agreed to by the inquiry committee and the samples were sent abroad for testing and verification. In the meantime, Bashir was suspended, pending the final report of the inquiry committee. During this time, AQ took over the project in place of Bashir, and when the inquiry committee's report came out in Jan. 1977, AQ had consolidated his position, and it was not wise to send Bashir back to the project as he and AQ had developed acrimony, which would harm the project. The inquiry committee's report cleared Bashiruddin Mahmood of any wrong doing and it was confirmed that the steel was of the right quality. AQ was a metallurgist, he should have known whether the steel was of the right quality or not.

AQ also had another advantage. He had had a very high profile defection from Holland. Everyone knew he had stolen drawings in his possession. Only a handful of individuals inside PAEC knew of the presence of any Italian drawings which were obtained by PAEC in 1975, before AQ joined the project, and no one outside PAEC was aware of any Italian drawings. It was very closely guarded secret and their procurement was a very low operation, which is why no one inside or outside knew anything about them. So the decision makers thought only he had the drawings and had to conform to his demands.

In addition, AQ also accused Bashiruddin Mahmood, Dr. Riazuddin , Member (Technical PAEC) and chairman PAEC Munir Khan of being Qadianis. As the Parliament in 1974 had declared Qadianis as non-muslims, it was logical that no such person could hold any position in the program, and ofcourse Bhutto did not want to take any political risks that could potentially be exploited by the religious parties who along with others had begun political disturbances in 1976. Bashir had already been suspended in the maraging steel controversy, and Bhutto did not want any controversial issue to be associated with the nuclear program, so this was used as another issue against Bashiruddin. When the inquiry committee's report came out, the ISI also cleared him chairman PAEC and Member Technical of this charge as well. But because of the reason explained above, Bashir did not choose to go back as Project Director.

And because Prof. Salam was a Qadiani, and he had known Munir Khan from their college days in GC, Lahore in 1942, because Dr. Riazuddin was at the ICTP in Italy with Salam, before he joined PAEC, it was very convenient to accuse all these individuals to be non-muslims. Eventually all of them were cleared of this charge as well. In fact, Bhutto had personally known Munir Khan from 1965, and he knew very well that he had nothing to do with being a Qadiani.

But, this was a very effective in an attempt to discredit the PAEC leadership in the eyes of Bhutto, and to create doubts in his mind. But Bhutto retained Munir as PAEC chairman and Riazuddin as Member Tech. Bhutto continued to write to Munir Khan from jail, after his overthrow in 1977. General Zia too, retained Munir Khan as PAEC chairman, and Bashiruddin Mahmood would go on to become project-director of the Khushab plutonium production reactor when the project was begun under Munir Khan during Zia's time, in 1986. Munir Khan also remained on the Board governing KRL's affairs after AQ took over in 1976. He left the board only once the plant had become fully operational in 1980-81. (see Samar's speech).

The decision makers in the government were motivated by good faith and took decisions at the time which seemed to be in the national interest. It was assumed by everyone that AQ was acting in good faith. That is why Bashiruddin Mahmood went to Brussels to interview AQ in 1974. The PAEC sincerely believed that his motives were genuine when he offered information in the beginning. It was only after he took over the project that he began to establish his export oriented network and his motives became clearer.

And because the scientists and engineers of KRL were delivering, he took all the credit, and despite regular intelligence reports about his suspicious activities, no action was taken. He also had some powerful people out there who supported him. GIK when President was told by a top intelligence general that AQ was doing something fishy with Iran. Instead of reprimanding him, he told him to be careful as the ISI was watching him.

But in later years, when a suspicious C-130 flight with some unknown cargo was bound to go out of the country, General Pervez Musharraf asked AQ what was in the cargo and why it was going there. AQ replied, "I cannot tell you, it is secret", to which Musharraf replied, "What the hell do mean? You are going to hide information from me?"

The two Army Brigadiers who were incharge of KRL's security were answerable to and reported only to AQ, not to the Army. They did not know what was coming in or going out.

Both PAEC and KRL were given blank cheques to get the job done. No questions were asked. It was purely a question of supreme trust reposed in them by the government and the nation. No questions were asked about money, or logistics. Only the chairman in case of PAEC and AQ in case of KRL had the over all control over these facilities. They reported directly to the President, Prime Minister, and Army Chief. No other individual had the over all picture of what was going on. But what needs to be pointed out is that nothing went wrong in the 15-20 projects being run in PAEC. Only KRL was leaking. Even inside KRL, there were hundreds of people working, only 5-6 indivuals led by AQ were involved in proliferation. Had there been state policy, PAEC would have been leaking and proliferating also.

Naveed sahib, I sincerely wish AQ Khan a long and healthy life, and he must never be handed over to any one outside Pakistan. But that does not mean that his proliferation activities which have endangered Pakistan's security should not be debated. This thread was opened to discuss Dr. Samar's interview, not AQ Khan. If I am discussing him, it is because I am responding to the points raised by the members.

Jawad, you are right, all devices tested on May 28 were boosted fission devices. They were boosted by using tritium. The test on May 30th was also a boosted device, but the design of the bomb was the latest, and most advanced. It was much more compact and efficient than the older one's and it is still not known with certainty if it was uranium or plutonium, or a mix of both, which is gives the most powerful yield.

Regards.

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