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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 3, 2007
Bhutto, not A. Q. Khan, was the Father of Pak nuke bomb
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Bhutto, not A. Q. Khan, was the Father of Pak nuke bomb

A dossier on Pakistan's nuclear activity has claimed that the Father of the Pakistani bomb should be former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the political side and Munir Ahmad Khan on the technical side, and not the country's disgraced top scientist Dr A.Q. Khan.

London, May 3 : A dossier on Pakistan's nuclear activity has claimed that the "Father of the Pakistani bomb" should be former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the political side and Munir Ahmad Khan on the technical side, and not the country's disgraced top scientist Dr A.Q. Khan.

According to Mark Fitzpatrick, one of the author's of the IISS dossier, Bhutto as his country's Minister for Mineral Resources in the late 1950s and early 1960s, set up the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology (PINST) in 1960 and sent hundreds of students abroad to obtain degrees in physics and other nuclear-related science disciplines.

The dossier further goes on to say that "The first civilian research reactor PARP in Rawalpindi became operational when Bhutto was Pakistan's Foreign Minister (1963-66)

Bhutto, Fitzpatrick says was at the forefront of a lobbying drive to harness nuclear technology for weapons purposes.

After China's nuclear test in 1964, Bhutto concluded that if India would go nuclear, Pakistan would have to follow suit. He famously declared in a newspaper interview in 1965 that "Pakistan will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry in order to develop a programme of its own.

As president and chief martial law administrator in December 1971, Bhutto first priorities after Pakistan's defeat in the war of 1971, was to launch a nuclear programme.

He convened a meeting of several dozen scientists and officials in Multan in Jan 1972 and asked them to produce a bomb within five years. He also put Munir Ahmed Khan in charge of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, says Fitzpatrick.

"Dr A.Q. Khan is not the Father of the Pakistan bomb. It is Z.A. Bhutto," says Fitzpatrick, adding that Dr A.Q. Khan should only be accorded many epithets, including "founder of Pakistan uranium enrichment programme".

On technical side, Munir Ahmed Khan, a US-trained scientist and chairman of the PAEC from 1972-1991 should be given credit for directing the Pakistan bomb project between two positions at the IAEA. First between 1957 and 1972 as a staff member, then as a member of board of governors," the dossier says.

ANI

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