As the neighbouring country China, tries to push India into a war in the Sikkim sector; we need to take a look at how Beijing helped Pakistan build nuclear bombs.
Is this war?
China’s sinister plans against India have been in and out of talks since 1962. As the country, once again is trying to push India into a war in the Sikkim sector, we need to take a look at how Beijing helped in Pakistan’s nuclear program, despite being a permanent member of the United Nations and publicly committing to non-proliferation.
November 13, 2009, the Washington Post published shocking accounts written by the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan. According to the post, Qadeer Khan wrote that China provided 50 kg of bomb-grade uranium, which is enough for two atom bombs, to Pakistan in the mid-1982.
Khan even narrated the entire story of China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation, which started right after India tested its first atomic bomb back in 1974.
Although, the terms of nuclear agreement were set in mid-1976 between the two countries. India’s test in 1974 technically provoked Khan, who was then working as a metallurgist at a Dutch centrifuge manufacturer. He thought to offer his services to Pakistan. After arriving in Pakistan, Khan worked out on all the details along with two officials who included former secretary, Agha Shahi. Later he went to Beijing to attend Mao’s funeral in 1976. There he held several talks with the three top Chinese nuclear weapons officials and shared his knowledge about the European-designed centrifuges. The centrifuges could aid China’s lagging uranium-enrichment program.
According to him, uranium hexafluoride gas helped Pakistan to start producing bombs using Uranium in 1982. Chinese scientists also helped Islamabad with other nuclear weapons problems.
Later as the years passed by, Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, the then Pakistani military ruler talked to Khan about the fears of possible Indian or Israeli strike(Islamabad had a fear of a preemptive strike on its key nuclear sites by India or Israel). Haq sent Khan and a Pakistani military general to Beijing with a request to borrow bomb-grade uranium enough for building a few weapons. The Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping okayed Pakistan’s request.
Interestingly, Pakistan kept all the Chinese material with them in storage until 1985. By that time, with the help of the equipment in store, they had developed some nuclear weapons on their own. In the very same year, Khan took an approval from Zia to ask if the Chinese wanted all their building material back. However, the Chinese responded back to Pakistan that the nuclear material shall be considered a gift, in gratitude for Pakistani help.
Throughout the period, the United States was well aware of the Chinese-Pakistani collaboration, and they also knew the fact that Beijing and Islamabad were worried about India.
Khan is believed to have passed all the nuclear weapons in many states around including Iran and Libya. And China like always has officially denied its nuclear weapon collaboration with Pakistan.