Youm-e-Takbir: Sheer courage of PM Nawaz made Pakistan a nuclear state
Islamabad, Pakistan: “It was the sheer courage and bravery of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that made Pakistan a nuclear state”.
This was consensus of participants of a talk show on Sunday that was broadcast by state run Pakistan Television (PTV) to celebrate 19th anniversary of first nuclear test Pakistan conducted at Chagai Test Site on May 28, 1998.
It was revealed in talk show that Pakistan achieved nuclear capability by year 1983 but former military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq decided not to go for nuclear test to avoid expected reaction he could face from the west.
Dr Samar Mubarakmand who was part of Pakistan’s nuclear program since 1972 said that Pakistan achieved nuclear capability by year 1983 but Gen Ziaul Haq decided not to go for nuclear test to avoid expected reaction he could face from the west.
Dr Samar Mubarakmand who was the director of the test teams responsible for the performing nuclear test at Chagai Test site said that Cold Nuclear Test was performed in early 80s and Pakistani scientists had been working day and night to achieve nuclear capability since 1974 when India went for Pokhran I nuclear test.
Special talk show on 19th anniversary of first nuclear test was hosted by famous television anchor Tariq Mehmood Chaudhary while Dr Samar Mubarakmand, Dr Maria Sultan and Agha Iqrar Haroon were participants in the discussion.
Dr Samar Mubarakmand revealed that India did not test five nuclear bombs on May 11, 1998 but only one test was performed and that was of the same capacity of Pokhran I nuclear test. He stated that this fact was recorded by international centres that India went only for one test and its claim for conducting five tests including Hydrogen bomb was contrary to the fact.
Participants said that Pakistan in 1976 selected Chagai Test Site for atomic test where first atomic test was conducted on May 28, 1998. Participants maintained that nuclear program of Pakistan is a story of fruits of democracy as one elected Prime Minister (Z.A.Bhutto) started nuclear program despite of international pressures and another elected and popular Prime Minister (Nawaz) conducted the test by setting aside tremendous international pressures.
Dr Maria Sultan who is a famous defense Analyst and the Director General of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) said that Pakistani nuclear program was completely indigenous while Indian nuclear program had indirect and informal links with US nuclear networking. She stated that conducting 1998 nuclear test was a brave step of Pakistan though Pakistan knew it could face serious international sanctions.
Referring to 1978 when US persuaded France to halt construction of a plutonium extraction plant that a French company had contracted to build, Dr. Maria said that US worked against nuclear program and compelled France to suspend its contract with Pakistan for providing nuclear reactor for energy but India had never faced such treatment from United States and western countries.
Remembering old time, senior journalist and regional analyst, Agha Iqrar Haroon said that the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was firm to go for nuclear test after India went for its second test. He stated that Nawaz Sharif was asked by journalists when he visited Lahore after Pokhran II test that what would be response of Pakistan. Haroon stated that PM Nawaz said that he would not compromise on national security though he (Nawaz) was facing tremendous international pressure for not reciprocating Indian nuclear test. Haroon said that PM Nawaz was firm that Pakistan would response in befitting manners and would go for nuclear test. Dr Samar Mubarakmand stated that PM Nawaz called him to Prime Minister House just after India conducted Pokhran II and asked him the status of preparedness of Pakistan and (Dr Mubarakmand) assured PM Nawaz that scientists were ready and Pakistan could go for its first nuclear test.
Iqrar Haroon cited example of Ukraine that withdrew its nuclear arsenal under an international treaty in 1994 and then faced aggression of Russia in 2014. He added that one should remind that Russia was one of the signatories of the treaty that ensured Ukraine for protecting its security but signatory itself became aggressor against Ukraine.
Participants of the show were of the view that brave decision of the then PM Nawaz made Pakistan a nuclear state although he (Nawaz) knew international reaction would be harsh but he refused international pressure and made his country a Nuclear State.
Participants stated that nuclear arsenal is the biggest deterrence for Pakistan and May 28, 1998 test made security of Pakistan strong enough to face aggression of its neighbour India.