Pakistan Nuclear Program: Kahuta in the Crosshairs of India & Israel in 1980s

Recent death of Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has brought back memories of the success of Pakistan's nuclear program in the face of extreme adversity. This story came into particularly sharp focus by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz's headline "How Pakistan's A.Q. Khan, Father of the 'Muslim Bomb,' Escaped Mossad Assassination".  The opponents' efforts to stop what they called "The Muslim Bomb" exemplified "by all means necessary" madness, including assassinations of scientists. It included a joint India-Israel plan to attack and destroy Kahuta, the location of the Khan Research Lab (KRL) tasked with enriching uranium to build the bomb. Accounts of this plan have emerged from multiple sources in India, Israel and Pakistan.  

Dr. Abul Qadeer Khan

Joint India-Israel plan was developed to attack and destroy Khan Research Lab, named after Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, in1982. The plan involved Israeli F-16 fighters carrying bombs and F-15 air superiority aircraft providing air defense to the attacking aircraft. The Israeli aircraft would fly from an airbase in India.  

India-Israel Partnership

Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark:
British journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, authors of ‘Deception: Pakistan, the US, and the Global Weapons Conspiracy’, have reported that the Israeli Air Force was to launch an attack on Kahuta. The book claims that “in March 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed off (on) the Israeli-led operation bringing India, Pakistan, and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration”. Here is an excerpt of Levy's book:
"In February 1983, with the strike plan at an advanced stage, Indian military officials had travelled secretly to Israel, which had a common interest in eliminating Khan, to buy electronic warfare equipment to neutralize Kahuta’s air defenses. On 25 February 1983, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had accused Pakistan of “covertly attempting to make nuclear weapons,” and three days later, Raja Ramanna, director of India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Center, had revealed that India, too, was developing a uranium enrichment facility. Suspecting something was brewing, the ISI sent a message to their Indian intelligence counterparts in RAW that autumn, and as a result Munir Ahmed Khan of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission met Dr. Ramanna at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna. He warned Ramanna that if India were to strike at Kahuta, Pakistan would hit India’s nuclear facilities at Trombay. It lay downwind from the teeming Indian city of Mumbai and an attack would result in the release of “massive amounts of radiation to a large populated area, causing a disaster.”
Indian Defense Analyst Bharat Karnad:
Indian defense analyst Bharat Karnad has also reported about  the Israel-India plan, citing Israeli sources. Here's Karnad's account:
"....I met with the Israeli army chief Moshe Dayan’s legendary MilIntel head from the 1956 Sinai Operations, retired Major General Aharon Yaariv then in Reserve and called up for duty, at the Kiryat Shimona kibbutz just this side of the Israeli border. It was Yaariv who told me over breakfast the story of how Indira Gandhi had first approved of an Israeli strike on the Pakistani uranium enrichment centrifuge complex in Kahuta in 1982 with Indian help but called off the raid just before it got underway. The Israelis who had taken out Saddam Hussein’s Osiraq military reactor in Baghdad in June 1981 had planned the attack, according to Yaariv, thus: A sortie of six IsAF F-16s and like number of F-15s flying combat air patrol (CAP) were to come in from Haifa over the southern Arabian Sea into Jamnagar where the crews would rest up for a couple of days, and tie-up last minute, minor, changes in the flight and mission plans. The IsAF strike and CAP aircraft would then take off from Jamnagar, fly over central India and into Udhampur where previously IsAF C-17s would have landed with a cargo of deep penetration and detonation weapons for use on Kahuta targets. The Israelis had warned GOI that their aircraft would fly with Israeli roundels and entirely unmasked because, as Yaariv put it, they didn’t trust the Indians, who would be the principal beneficiaries, to not claim that it was a solely Israeli initiative in which India had no role whatsoever. “We wanted India to be fully involved and implicated and to share in the responsibility for the mission”, he told me, even though the IsAF could have carried out the entire operation all by itself using aerial refuelers as was done on the strike on the PLO HQ outside Tunis (over 1,500 miles away) in 1985. The plans were thereafter for the Israeli F-16-F-15 complement to top off their tanks, upload the special heavy ordnance on fuselage points and take off, flying in the lee of the mountains to avoid Pakistani radar detection, before coming into the open for the final bomb run over target — two F-16s at a time drooping (sic) their loads and egressing as the F-15s circled overhead to take care of any interference by PAF air defence aircraft. The attacks completed the F-16s would continue flying west, out of Pakistani airspace, before dipping southwards and returning to home base. The IsAF aircraft breaking out into the open from the mountain shadows would not have afforded PAF and Pakistani RBS-70 anti-aircraft guns (ex-Sweden) enough time to erect and fire away. (Wrote about it first in the Sunday Observer in the mid 1980s.)" 
Pakistan's Brigadier Feroz Hasan Khan:
Pakistani Brigadier Feroz Hasan Khan, the author of "Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb", described it in his book as follows: 
"... Pakistani intelligence picked up leads of Israeli and Indian intelligence collaboration and discovered that the Indian Air Force had begun planning a strike on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. India conducted a feasibility study on an Osirak-type attack against Pakistan at its Combat College, and the Indian Air Force conducted a series of exercises related to this study, some of which used top-of-the-line Jaguar aircraft. Meanwhile, Israel offered a new proposal that would accomplish New Delhi’s goals. Under this new plan, Israeli planes would take off from an Indian Air Force base in Jamnagar, refuel at a satellite airfield somewhere in northern India, and in the final stage, the planes would track the Himalayas to avoid early radar detection before penetrating Pakistani airspace.”   
President Musharraf on Dr. AQ Khan's Contribution: 
In a Dawn TV interview with Naeem Bukhari, former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf explained the complexity of the development of the nuclear bomb. He recognized Dr. AQ Khan's major contribution to the development of uranium enrichment process but went on to elaborate that it takes a lot more to build a bomb. To put it perspective, Brigadier Feroz Khan, author of "Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb", cites a 1968 UN study's finding that it takes at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers with relevant training and skills to have a nuclear weapons program. Unlike most western accounts of Pakistani nuclear program which begin and end with A.Q. Khan's network, Brig Feroz H. Khan's scholarly work "Eating Grass" offers a very comprehensive story of "The Making of The Pakistani Bomb". Feroz Khan takes the reader through the interdisciplinary nature and the inherent complexity of what it takes to develop, build and operationalize a nuclear weapons arsenal.
Western Media Coverage:
A Stanford study of the western media coverage of Pakistan's nuclear program found it to be negative. Here's an excerpt from "Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs an..." by Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck:    
"In order to get a better feel for how the United States media is able to persuade the public to think about Pakistan’s nuclear technology in a negative way, it is helpful to see how the same media is able to make a different county’s nuclear technology appear unrelated to global stability and safety. In effect, the purpose of the propaganda will be to ensure that French nuclear technology appears non-threatening. In order to achieve this goal, the media had to take the focus of nuclear technology away from the military implications and focus it elsewhere. Many articles that came out in newspapers across America after France exploded their first atomic bomb on February 13, 1960 shifted the focus toward more political themes. This is a clear example of the Dune affect, which states that those who control the media control the opinions of the people. Subjectively, the media focuses on shifting the focus from something bad to something good when it serves the ideology they wish to spread. Furthermore, it is possible for this to be work because this exploits a well-known principle of human behavior which says, "people simply like to have reasons for what they do" (Cialdini 3)............Thus, the media only needs to give a reason for their message despite its validity in order for it to be accepted" The Jerusalem Post and the Washington Post articles also take another approach to the propagandistic tactic of creating an enemy as friend of enemy. Not only do both of them link Pakistan to Iran, Syria, and Libya politically--by showing ties between the countries--they further connect the countries through religion by using the coined term: Islamic bomb. The term is not a new one, originating in the 1970’s after the former President of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto referred to the desire to produce a nuclear bomb to help counter the nuclear arsenals of the Christians, Communists, and eventually Hindus (Downie A20). Largely misquoted, the term became used in much of the anti-Pakistani propaganda of labeling by generalization. 1In fact, both the articles in the Washington Post and the Jerusalem Post make references to the potential threat of an "Islamic bomb." Such references are made despite repeated statements from the Pakistani government explaining that Pakistan does not intend to share any of its nuclear technology with any country. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "No one should give religious color to the success achieved by our nuclear scientists.... It is incorrect to call it an Islamic bomb" (Moore 19). Despite the Pakistani attempts to disavow the notion of an Islamic Bomb, American media has been using the term rather liberally as a propaganda tactic of dehumanization, a tactic that involves lumping a group together in such a way that takes away any individuality. 1This is effective because we systematically blur distinctions and insist that the enemy remain faceless so that any acts are done not against men, women, and children, but a mass identity and in this case surrounded by the group with the "Islamic bomb." Such techniques can be found in even scholarly works, such as one written through the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University where the term Islamic Bomb is used to persuade the public to see nuclear proliferation into South Asia as a threat to national security. Using the faceless enemy tactic, the paper written by Rodney Jones states that Pakistan’s centrifuge program in 1979 "were accompanied by suggestions that the program was financed by Libya and dramatized the notion that the end result would be an Islamic bomb"" . 
Summary:
Sources from India, Israel and Pakistan have confirmed that India and Israel secretly planned to attack and destroy Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Research Lab in Kahuta, Pakistan in early 1980s. It was intended to stop Pakistan from enriching uranium to build a nuclear bomb. Pakistani ISI learned of the secret plan and tipped off the Pakistan Air Force which started increased patrols. PAF was also told to be ready to strike at nuclear sites in Trombay in India and Dimona in Israel. Meanwhile, the ISI let the Indians and the Israelis know that Pakistan would retaliate, bringing "India, Pakistan, and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration". In the end, better sense prevailed in New Delhi with the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi rescinding her orders.
Here's a video of President Pervez Musharraf speaking about Dr. AQ Khan's contribution to the Pakistani atomic bomb development:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/TOL2_Jw1YvI"; title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="cursor: move; background-color: #b2b2b2;" />
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Comment by Riaz Haq on October 16, 2021 at 1:10pm

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin writes to Margaret Thatcher in 1979, warning of the threat posed by Pakistan's Nuclear Program


https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/pm-begin-writes-to-margare...

As of the late 1970s, Pakistan knew that Israel saw its nuclear program as a clear and present threat. Fears of a possible Israeli raid were fuelled by targeted attacks conducted between 1979 and 1981 against AQ Khan’s European suppliers; attacks that the Pakistani government believed (and not without reason) that the Israeli Mossad was behind.[1] In 1979, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin launched a letter writing campaign in an attempt to convince Western leaders to clamp-down on the Pakistani program. One such letter from May 1979, addressed to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and published today in the NPIHP Digital Archive, stressed that “to the people of Israel this could, one day, become a mortal danger.”[2] Warning against the collaboration between Pakistan and Colonel Qaddafi of Libya, Begin cautioned Thatcher of “what could happen in the Middle East, and particularly to the men, women and children in Israel should the lethal weapons of mass killing and destruction fall at any time into the hands of an absolute ruler like Colonel Qaddafi.” The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office was not impressed and saw Begin’s letter as an opportunity to raise the issue of Israel’s own nuclear status with the Israeli government and “underline to the Israelis… that they also have a part to play in ensuring that nuclear weapons are not introduced into the Middle East.”

Pakistani fears of an Israeli attack only grew after Israel’s successful raid against the Iraqi Osirak nuclear site on 7 June 1981. The Pakistani government read a clear message from this event: even if Washington is willing to ignore a clandestine nuclear program such as Iraq’s, Israel was not. Former Brigadier General Feroz Hassan Khan details the Pakistani fear of a joint Israeli-Indian attack against Pakistan’s Kahuta nuclear facility in the mid-1980s in his book Eating Grass.[3]According to researchers Levy and Scott-Clark it was the Americans who tipped off the Pakistanis in 1984 about a possible Indian-Israeli attack against Kahuta; they quote Pakistan’s vice chief of army staff, General K.M Arif, acknowledging that “Our friends [the Americans] let us know what the Israelis and Indians intended to do and so we let them know how we would respond . . .”[4]

As the research supporting my book Bargaining on Nuclear Tests shows, the 1984 American tip-off to Pakistan was not an isolated incident. Reassured by Pakistan’s promise not to conduct a nuclear test, the Reagan administration made numerous gestures of leniancy towards Pakistan’s nuclear efforts during the 1980s. In Bargaining on Nuclear Tests I explore how the Reagan administration decided to turn a de-facto blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear efforts—limiting itself to diplomatic reprimands in the face of Pakistani violations of nonproliferation commitments.[5]

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 16, 2021 at 2:12pm

Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors
1
Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors

2Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck

https://nowcomment.com/documents/123145

Studying media coverage of Pakistan’s nuclear achievement, it becomes clear that a certain amount of propaganda was used to make Pakistan appear threatening. The fact that Pakistan developed the technology was not what shaped the articles, but rather how this information was presented to the reader. In a sense, the propagandists were looking to turn Pakistan into an enemy of sorts, a country to be feared, instead of embraced.

118One method used to by propagandists to create an enemy is through the technique of social proof. One way in which we process information is by observing what other people are doing that are similar to us or linking them to social norms. "When we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct" (Cialdini 106). Since it is almost impossible for the common American to be an expert in nuclear cause and effects, he looks to what others say as a means to form his opinion. This allows him to be persuade to an ideology not of his own. Furthermore, it is possible to rely on past stereotypes as form of linking one idea to another group.

119For example, articles that took such an approach attempted to use a subset of social proof, where one casts the enemy by declaring it to be a friend of an already established enemy. For instance, in order to persuade the American public to think of Pakistan in such terms, media will link Pakistan to historically defined United States enemies such Libya, Iran, Iraq and the former Soviet Union. This tactic plays on the principle of social proof in which people look for justifications to quickly form their beliefs. 1Thus, linking to a country America already has shared beliefs about quickly allows one to associate and project the existing beliefs on the new group, which in this case is Pakistan.

120An article in the Washington Post took such an approach by starting with a quote from the Iranian Foreign Minister, congratulating Pakistan. "From all over the world, Muslims are happy that Pakistan has this capability," the Minister was quoted at the start of the article (Moore and Khan A19). By beginning with this quote, the article ensured a link would be established between Iran and Pakistan, playing off the propaganda theory of similarity, in which we fundamentally like people who are similar to us and share our beliefs, values, and ideas. 1Therefore, an object deemed as bad or dissimilar will make all associated objects bad as well and allows the media to use social proof and similarity to create an enemy as friend of enemy. Arguably, the presentation of this quote may be deemed important factually for the development of the article, but the placement of the quote right at the start of the article strongly suggest propagandistic intentions.

21To strengthen the feel of Pakistan as a friend of the enemy, the article continues to use the dissimilar tactic or hatred through association by further linking Pakistan with Syria Libya:

122At the same time, the prospect that Pakistan could share its nuclear technology with other Islamic states, or serve as their protector, concerns many Western analysts, who fear that nuclear materials and technology may fall into the hands of countries the West has branded sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria and Libya (Moore and Khan A19).

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 16, 2021 at 2:12pm

Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors
1
Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors

2Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck

https://nowcomment.com/documents/123145


Thus the distinction at this point is that because the article began by subliminally suggesting connections between Pakistan and a nation connected to terrorism (Iran), the ability of the aforementioned passage to link Pakistan with Syria and Libya all the more affective. By creating the sensation that Pakistan is connected with such nations early on, the notion becomes all the more believable later, even when no direct evidence is presented.

24The Washington Post article is not merely an isolated incident. We have found many examples of this propagandistic approach in our research, from newspapers in the United States and other ally nations (Fisk 9, Goldenberg 19, Stockill 22). Interestingly, a Jewish newspaper in Jerusalem adopted this approach as well. The Jerusalem Post published a similar article on Pakistan’s atomic weapons, starting with a reference to the Iranian Foreign Minister. Using the same propagandistic method of creating an enemy through association, the article stated: "Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi’s visit to Islamabad a few days after Pakistan joined the nuclear club seemed to emphasize [the dangers of an ‘Islamic bomb’]" (Steinberg 8).

25The Jerusalem Post and the Washington Post articles also take another approach to the propagandistic tactic of creating an enemy as friend of enemy. Not only do both of them link Pakistan to Iran, Syria, and Libya politically--by showing ties between the countries--they further connect the countries through religion by using the coined term: Islamic bomb. The term is not a new one, originating in the 1970’s after the former President of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutton referred to the desire to produce a nuclear bomb to help counter the nuclear arsenals of the Christians, Communists, and eventually Hindus (Downie A20).

126Largely misquoted, the term became used in much of the anti-Pakistani propaganda of labeling by generalization. 1In fact, both the articles in the Washington Post and the Jerusalem Post make references to the potential threat of an "Islamic bomb." Such references are made despite repeated statements from the Pakistani government explaining that Pakistan does not intend to share any of its nuclear technology with any country. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "No one should give religious color to the success achieved by our nuclear scientists.... It is incorrect to call it an Islamic bomb" (Moore 19).

127Despite the Pakistani attempts to disavow the notion of an Islamic Bomb, American media has been using the term rather liberally as a propaganda tactic of dehumanization, a tactic that involves lumping a group together in such a way that takes away any individuality. 1This is effective because we systematically blur distinctions and insist that the enemy remain faceless so that any acts are done not against men, women, and children, but a mass identity and in this case surrounded by the group with the "Islamic bomb."

28Such techniques can be found in even scholarly works, such as one written through the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University where the term Islamic Bomb is used to persuade the public to see nuclear proliferation into South Asia as a threat to national security. Using the faceless enemy tactic, the paper written by Rodney Jones states that Pakistan’s centrifuge program in 1979 "were accompanied by suggestions that the program was financed by Libya and dramatized the notion that the end result would be an Islamic bomb" (44).

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 17, 2021 at 9:50am

Two Unlikely Allies Come Together in Fight Against Muslims - The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/02/nyregion/two-unlikely-allies-com...

A Web site run by militant Hindus in Queens and Long Island was recently shut down by its service provider because of complaints that it advocated hatred and violence toward Muslims. But a few days later, the site was back on the Internet. The unlikely rescuers were some radical Jews in Brooklyn who are under investigation for possible ties to anti-Arab terrorist organizations in Israel.

The unusual alliance brings together two extreme religious philosophies from different parts of the world that, at first glance, have little in common. But living elbow-to-elbow in the ethnic mix of New York, the small groups of Hindus and Jews have discovered that sharing a distant enemy is sufficient basis for friendship.

So tight is their anti-Muslim bond that some of the Hindus marched alongside the Jews in the annual Salute to Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue last month. Yesterday, several of the Jews joined a protest outside the United Nations against the treatment of Hindus in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime.

''We are fighting the same war,'' said Rohit Vyasmaan, who helps run the Hindu Web site, HinduUnity.org, from his home in Flushing, Queens. ''Whether you call them Palestinians, Afghans or Pakistanis, the root of the problem for Hindus and Jews is Islam.''

-------------

Mr. Guzofsky said his group had not officially endorsed the views on the Hindu Web site, but they support the right of the Hindus to express them. For that reason, there is a link to HinduUnity.org on the Kahane Web site and, Mr. Guzofsky posted an announcement this week about the Hindu protest outside the United Nations.

''It is a core issue of free speech,'' Mr. Guzofsky said. ''We have made it clear to the folks at HinduUnity.org that if their site ever comes down again, we will offer them a mirror site with ours so people can be updated concerning their events. I would hope they would do the same for us.''

Mr. Vyasmaan said there is no doubt that the favor would be returned. Already, he said, Hindus associated with the Web site have written to Congress urging that the two Kahane political parties be removed from the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. It is a cause very dear to Mr. Guzofsky, who said he was recently asked by the authorities to submit fingerprints and handwriting samples for use in their investigation into his Brooklyn operations.

Mr. Vyasmaan said doubters of the Hindu-Jewish commitment need to look no further than his home in Flushing, where he displays a large picture of Rabbi Kahane.

''He was a great man,'' Mr. Vyasmaan said. ''It almost appeared as if he was speaking for the Hindus.''

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 17, 2021 at 10:00am

“A DEEP AND ONGOING DIVE INTO THE BRUTAL HUMANISM THAT UNDERGIRDS LIBERALISM”: AN INTERVIEW WITH JASBIR K. PUAR

http://humanityjournal.org/issue11-3/a-deep-and-ongoing-dive-into-t...

Puar’s formulations, insights, arguments, and provocations have featured prominently in queer activist circles against racism, Islamophobia, and Zionism in North America, Western Europe, and Israel/ Palestine. The book’s political valence has also been a part of ongoing conversations on the emerging alliances between queer politics, neoliberalism, and Hindu nationalism (Hindutva) in India—the locational context of my engagement.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 17, 2021 at 10:01am

Speaking at #dismantlingglobalhindutva conf, Leena Manimekalai, producer of underproduction film "Rape Nation", said: “Hindutva has redefined nationalism as a genocidal impulse to rape and murder non-Hindu women. It is a celebration of toxic masculinity.”

https://frontline.thehindu.com/the-nation/unmasking-hindutva-lookin...

The transgender studies scholar Aniruddha Dutta showed in his presentation how the BJP’s rise had even affected the Hijra tradition where there has been a transformation from a “syncretic Indo-Islamic tradition to a more orthodox version of Hinduism”. The Dalit feminist P. Sivakami critiqued Hindutva as having “no vision for Hindu women except that it intends to prepare and reorient them against their imaginary enemy, i.e., the Muslim man, thus diverting her from her real struggles”. The feminist scholar Akanksha Mehta segued from this presentation, stating that “notions of gender and sexuality rooted in caste and race are crucial to the Hindutva project” even as she compared the analogous role of women among savarna (caste) Hindus and Zionists.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 19, 2021 at 12:27pm

Please read the following:

INDIA CHEATED

By Victor Gilinsky; Paul Leventhal June 15, 1998

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1998/06/15/india-ch...

You wouldn't know it from news reports, but most of the military plutonium stocks India dipped into for its recent nuclear tests came from a research project provided years ago by the United States and Canada. India had promised both countries it would not use this plutonium for bombs.

If Washington and Ottawa were now to keep India to its promise, and verify this, India would lose more than half the weapons-grade plutonium for its nuclear bombs and missiles. The United States and Canada should make this an essential condition for the lifting of economic sanctions.

The plutonium in question is the approximately 600 pounds -- enough for about 50 bombs -- produced in India's CIRUS research reactor since it began operating in 1960. This was an "Atoms for Peace" reactor built by Canada and made operable by an essential 21 tons of heavy water supplied by the United States. In return for this assistance, India promised both suppliers in writing that the reactor would be reserved for "peaceful purposes."

India used plutonium from this reactor for its 1974 nuclear explosion. When the facts emerged, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi insisted there had been no violation of the peaceful-use commitments because India had set off a "peaceful nuclear explosion." The Indian scientist then in charge, Raja Ramanna, now has admitted it was a bomb all along. And India now has declared itself a nuclear-weapons state on the basis of its current tests. With the decades-old "peaceful" pretense stripped away, the United States and Canada should make unambiguously clear that India may not use CIRUS plutonium for warheads or related research.

The fact that neither capital has uttered a peep about this matter is symptomatic of Western complicity in the South Asian nuclear crisis and of the present paralysis in dealing with it. There is also the matter of a 1963 agreement covering two U.S.-supplied nuclear power reactors at Tarapur and their fuel. The radioactive used fuel from these reactors is in storage and contains most of India's "reactor-grade" plutonium. India has said it will reprocess the used fuel to extract the plutonium for use as civilian power-reactor fuel. But reactor-grade plutonium also is explosive and, once separated, it could be used by India's scientists for rapid deployment in warheads. There is enough Tarapur plutonium for hundreds of them.

Under the 1963 agreement, India must get U.S. approval to reprocess. India disputes this and insists it is free to reprocess the used fuel at any time. The State Department, historically reluctant to tangle with India, rationalized Tarapur as an unnecessary irritant in U.S.-India relations and put this disagreement in the sleeping-dogs category.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 29, 2021 at 11:00am

Abdul Qadeer Khan obituary | Pakistan | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/28/abdul-qadeer-khan-obi...

When India conducted its first nuclear test in May 1974, Khan was working for the FDO laboratory in Amsterdam, an institute involved in research into centrifuges, connected to the Urenco plant that provided uranium enrichment technology for the British, Dutch and German governments.

Determined to help his country match its rival he volunteered his services. Within months, the prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, asked the Pakistani embassy in the Netherlands to contact him and by the end of the year Khan had started copying designs for centrifuges and putting together a list of companies that could provide the technology Pakistan would need to produce highly enriched uranium.

Numerous opportunities to prevent Khan’s activities were missed. In 1975 Dutch police officers monitored a meeting between Khan and a Pakistani diplomat. While they felt they had evidence to arrest him, they decided to keep him under surveillance.

By October suspicions about Khan were growing and he was transferred away from work enriching uranium. But Pakistan had already begun buying components for its own uranium-enrichment programme from various European companies that supplied Urenco.

He left the Netherlands for Pakistan in December, taking with him copied blueprints for centrifuges and other parts. A Dutch court later sentenced him in absentia to four years’ imprisonment for nuclear espionage, though the conviction was later overturned on a technicality.

He reappeared the following year working at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), run by Munir Ahmad Khan, who was focusing on the plutonium route. Following disagreements within PAEC, Bhutto gave Khan control over Pakistan’s uranium enrichment programme and he established the Engineering Research Laboratory (ERL). Pakistan successfully enriched uranium at Khan’s laboratory in 1978.

Pakistan’s efforts were a source of widespread concern. In April 1979 the US president Jimmy Carter imposed economic sanctions on Pakistan to try to halt its progress. Whether this pressure could have made a difference is unknown.

On Christmas Day that year the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The US saw the opportunity to weaken its adversary by increasing support for its opponents, the mujahideen. But to do so required Pakistan’s support, which gave the country a new-found strategic significance. Its quid pro quo was for the US to turn a blind eye to its nuclear programme. The US agreed, the sanctions were lifted and instead Pakistan received a generous package of assistance. Khan was later to claim that the leeway Pakistan received served to expedite the nuclear programme.

By the mid-1980s, with ERL now renamed the AQ Khan Research Laboratory (KRL), Pakistan had produced enough HEU to make a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile Khan had a surplus of centrifuges, which he started selling to Iran. He continued over-ordering the components and passing them on. He is also believed to have offered technology to Iraq, an offer which was not taken up.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 24, 2021 at 10:29am

#US announced new restrictions on #exports of #American #technology to 27 foreign entities and individuals in #China, #Japan, #Pakistan and #Singapore for activities contrary to the interests of the #UnitedStates. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/24/business/news-business-stoc...

Gina M. Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, said the actions would help prevent the diversion of American technology to the military advancement of China and Russia, as well as the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in Pakistan.

“Global trade and commerce should support peace, prosperity and good-paying jobs, not national security risks,” she said.

The Commerce Department said it was adding eight organizations based in China to its “entity list” to prevent American technology from being used for quantum computing efforts that support military applications. The companies and institutes include Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Company, Hunan Goke Microelectronics, New H3C Semiconductor Technologies Company, Xi’an Aerospace Huaxun Technology and QuantumCTek Company.

Sixteen entities and individuals in China and Pakistan were added to the list for contributing to Pakistan’s “unsafeguarded nuclear activities or ballistic missile program,” the agency said, including Poly Asia Pacific, Peaktek Company, Broad Engineering and Al-Qertas.

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    India's Economy Grew Only 0.2% Annually in the Last Two Years

    The Indian government has reported an 8.4% jump in economic growth in the July-to-September period compared with a contraction of 7.4% for the same period a year earlier. The average GDP growth in India over the last two years has averaged just 0.2% per year. The news appears to indicate strong recovery after a big economic hit suffered from the COVID pandemic since early 2020.  Pakistan's economy fared relatively better during the pandemic. Pakistan's GDP rose 0.5% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2021.…

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2021 at 12:30pm — 8 Comments

    India's Economy Grew Only 0.2% Annually in the Last Two Years

    The Indian government has reported an 8.4% jump in economic growth in the July-to-September period compared with a contraction of 7.4% for the same period a year earlier. The news appears to indicate strong recovery after a big economic hit suffered from the COVID pandemic since early 2020.  Pakistan's economy fared relatively better during the pandemic. Pakistan's GDP rose 0.5% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2021. As a result, Pakistan now fares better than India on multiple indices including…

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2021 at 12:30pm

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