1. When China ‘gifted’ 50 kilogram of Uranium to help Pakistan make nuclear bombs against India

When China ‘gifted’ 50 kilogram of Uranium to help Pakistan make nuclear bombs against India

Sikkim standoff: As China tries to push India into a war in Sikkim sector, we take a look at how Beijing helped Pakistan's nuclear programme.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: August 10, 2017 11:04 PM
sikkim standoff, doklam standoff, china india, china pakistan, china pakistan nuclear cooperation, china pakistan nuclear bomb, pakistan nuclear bomb Flags of Pakistan and China. (Reuters file)

Sikkim standoff: China’s sinister designs against India has been talked about for decades since 1962. As the Communist country, once again tries to push India into a war in Sikkim sector, we take a look at how Beijing helped Pakistan’s nuclear programme, despite being one of the permanent members of the United Nations and publicly committed to non-proliferation. On November 13, 2009, the Washington Post published shocking accounts written by Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme.

According to the Post, Khan wrote that China provided 50 kilogram of bomb-grade uranium, which was enough for two atom bombs, to Pakistan in mid-1982. Khan narrated the entire story of sinister China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation, which started right after India tested its first nuclear bomb in 1974.

The terms of nuclear agreement between the two countries were set in mid-1976. India’s test in 1974 had “provoked” Khan, who was then working as a metallurgist at a Dutch centrifuge manufacturer, to offer his services to then Pakistan premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. After arriving in Pakistan, Khan worked out the details along with two officials – including former secretary Agha Shahi – before visiting Beijing to attend Mao’s funeral in 1976.

In China, Khan held talks with three top Chinese nuclear weapons officials and shared his knowledge about European-designed centrifuges, that could “aid China’s lagging uranium-enrichment program.” According to Khan, Pakistani officials helped China set up a centrifuge plant at Hanzhong in central China. For this Pakistan had sent “135 C-130 plane loads of machines, inverters, valves, flow meters, pressure gauges.” The Pakistan team stayed in Hanzhong for three weeks to complete their task. In return for the help, China sent to Pakistan “15 ton of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), a feedstock for Pakistan’s centrifuges that Khan’s colleagues were having difficulty producing on their own.”

According to Khan, the uranium hexafluoride gas helped Pakistan to start producing bomb-grade Uranium in 1982. Chinese scientists also helped Islamabad in solving “other nuclear weapons challenges”. However, as Pakistanis’ competence grew, Islamabad started to fear of a preemptive strike on its key nuclear sites by India or Israel.

In 1982, the then Pakistani military ruler Mohammad Zia ul-Haq talked to Khan about the fears of possible Indian or Israeli strike. Haq sent Khan and a Pakistani military general to Beijing “with a request in mid-1982 to borrow enough bomb-grade uranium for a few weapons.” The then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping okayed Pakistan’s request.

“After winning Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s approval, Khan, the general and two others flew aboard a Pakistani C-130 to Urumqi. Khan says they enjoyed barbecued lamb while waiting for the Chinese military to pack the small uranium bricks into lead-lined boxes, 10 single-kilogram ingots to a box, for the flight to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital,” the Washington Post reported in 2009.

Interestingly, Pakistan kept the Chinese material in storage until 1985. By that time, they had developed some nuclear weapons on their own. In the same year, Khan got Zia’s approval to ask if the Chinese wanted their material back. However, the Chinese responded to Pakistan that the nuclear material be considered “as a gift… in gratitude for Pakistani help”.

Throughout the period, the US was aware of the Chinese-Pakistani collaboration and also of the fact that Beijing and Islamabad were “worried about India”, according to the post.

Khan is believed to have passed of nuclear weapons know how to many states including Iran and Libya.

China has officially denied its nuclear weapon collaboration with Pakistan. (The original Washington Post article can be read on this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/12/AR2009111211060.html)

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  1. Aceline Edmond
    Aug 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm
    Sheer propaganda against nuclear weapons of Pakistan and by the way it never happened. But there is a deal regarding uranium which will hurt international proliferation norms and that deal is India Australia uranium deal. There are also reports that Australian uranium will ultimately be used in India’s nuclear weapons program. According to John Carlson, a former head of the Australian Sa uards and Non-Proliferation Office, Australian uranium “could be used to produce unsa uarded plutonium that ends up in India’s nuclear weapon program.”
    1. Rabia Javed
      Aug 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm
      Despite not signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, India has also assigned the uranium deal with Australia which has raised various important questions regarding the use of Australian uranium in India. As of 2016, India has signed civil nuclear agreements with 16 countries which include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mon a, Namibia, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. Has India succeeded enough to bury her proliferation record over decades and shove it under the carpet? It is a lethal hoax.
      1. E
        Aug 11, 2017 at 9:48 am
        My goodness!! Is there any other way out left for maligning the image of Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state and mature one also. This is quite pathetic to see that how the immature media is propagating against Pakistan. Does this make any sense? There is no doubt in claiming that pakistan and China share cordial relations with each other and China do cooperates and helps out Pakistan by donating nuclear technology to Pakistan but only for civilian purposes and not for making bombs.
        1. A
          AQ khan
          Aug 10, 2017 at 3:32 am
          Well done pakistan, you have everyright to
          1. S
            Sep 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm
            Why are you so happy sir , make sure it does not get into terrorists hand (Their amazing co-ordination with the military may help them acquire it) and they use against Pakistan itself . In shah Allah!!!
            1. S
              Sep 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm
              What makes you so happy sir?? make sure it does not get into the hands of Terrorists (They amazing co-ordination with Pak Military may help it) and they might use it against Pakistan itselg , in shah allah

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