ISLAMABAD: On October 6, 1984 — two years after President General Ziaul Haq assured US President Ronald Reagan that Islamabad will not build a nuclear bomb — Pakistan carried out a cold test of its nuclear bomb with 100% success.
A confidential letter dated 10 Dec 1984, addressed to President Ziaul Haq and written by Director Project Dr A Q Khan of Khan Research Laboratories Kahuta, shared the good news of confirmation of the successful test of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
“My team and I are thus ready to carry out any task in this field at a very short notice which the President may wish to order,” read the latter, which speaks volumes about how intelligently late President Ziaul Haq helped built Pakistan nuclear programme despite the strong opposition of United States, India, Israel and others.
The letter, informed the then president:
“1. A cold test was performed on 6.10.84 with utmost secrecy and discreetness to check all the important parameters (time of initiation and total number of neutrons etc) of a nuclear weapon. Each and every component was manufactured by KRL engineers & scientists. Extensive instrumentation was done to record all the important signals/parameters.
“2. A 22-page report containing the minutest details, graphs, charts, oscillograph signal tracings, experimental set-up etc was given to 4 nuclear weapons experts on 26.11.84. After a thorough examination of it for 2 days, and then 4 hours of face to face discussions and cross-examination, they were pleased to confirm that ours was a 100% successful test, and has we put U235 as target instead of the high density tungsten alloy it would have been a highly successful nuclear explosion. My team and I are thus ready to carry out any task in this field at a very short notice which the President may wish to order…..”
Thursday newspapers while referring to the declassified documents of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) revealed that late General Ziaul Haq had promised United States that he will not build a nuclear bomb.
Former US President Ronald Reagan, in his letter addressed to late Ziaul Haq, had expressed
his concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear programme. CIA documents stated that Zia, in his letter to Reagan, in 1982 had assured him that Pakistan had no intention of making nuclear weapons.
Zia wrote that he was saddened when the US ambassador told him that they had certified information of Pakistan making efforts for acquiring nuclear weapons. “The capabilities of Pakistan’s nuclear programme are limited and the objective of this propaganda is to divert the attention of the prevalent regional situation,” President Zia wrote to Reagan.
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the man who decided to make Pakistan a nuclear state and had initiated the work to achieve the goal. When he was removed through a military coup by General Ziaul Haq, there were apprehensions that the military regime will reverse the programme.
However, history proved that despite the strong opposition of US, India, Israel and other international players, late Ziaul Haq without being vocal on this particular issue was secretly pursuing country’s nuclear programme.