ISLAMABAD — Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, widely acclaimed as father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, has alleged that he transferred nuclear technology to two countries on instructions from the slain premier Benazir Bhutto.
“Ms Bhutto had summoned me to the PM House and directed me to transfer nuclear technology to two countries,” Dr A.Q. Khan said in an interview with Urdu daily Jang, adding that he acted accordingly as she was chief executive of the country.
He did not name the countries believed to be North Korea and Libya.
He said technology transfer was no easy task like one could put it into pocket and hand over to somebody. “At least 800 people are used to supervise the process,” he added.
He said military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf beseeched him to publicly admit having transferred the technology saying it would save Pakistan’s nuclear programme from being eliminated by the US.
Dr Khan alleged that Nawaz Sharif was reluctant to conduct nuclear tests in May 1998 in response to Indian tests for fear of US sanctions but he and some other people compelled him to do so. His delayed action, however, allowed a build-up of extreme pressure by the US and its allies.
“Had he immediately decided to respond to India, there would have been no time to pressurise Pakistan whereas we had made it clear that we can conduct nuclear tests on a notice of half an hour,” he said.
Dispelling impression he harboured political ambitions, Dr Khan said he had launched an outfit to preserve national unity.