Lahore: The father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme Abdul Qadeer Khan has claimed that Pakistan had the ability and had planned to conduct a nuclear test in 1984, but military dictator General Zia opposed the idea, as it would have become a major roadblock in the international aid Pakistan was receiving due to the ongoing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
“We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984 however; then President General Zia had opposed the move,” Khan said. The Dawn quoted Khan saying that General Zia was of the opinion that the world would stop military aid if Pakistan opted for the nuclear test, adding that Pakistan was able to target Dehli from Kahuta in five minutes.
Khan was addressing a gathering on the occasion of Youm-i-Takbeer. “Without my services Pakistan would never have been the first Muslim nuclear nation. We were able to achieve the capability under very tough circumstances, but we did it,” said Khan.
He asserted that nuclear scientists in the Pakistan have not been given the respect that they deserve. “We are facing the worst against our services to the country’s nuclear program,” he added.
Abdul Qadeer Khan was at the centre of a massive global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004, where he was accused by then army chief and president Pervez Musharraf of running a rogue proliferation network for nuclear material.
Shortly after Musharraf’s announcement, a recorded confession by Khan was aired in which he took sole responsibility for all the nuclear proliferation that had been revealed.