Miraculous Journey of Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme

Looking Back in History: Miraculous Journey of Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme, Laying Pakistan’s Strong Foundations with a Strong Vision Ahead of its Time

Many don’t know how it began, what were the challenges & hurdles.

Bhutto was the founder of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program. Under his guidance and leadership as Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources, President and Prime Minister, Pakistan developed into the unique Muslim State with a nuclear capability for which he paid with his life. 

In his book “If I am Assassinated” written from the Death Cell, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto revealed how Kissinger had said “We can destabilize your government and make a horrible example out of you. You will pay a heavy price if you continue your nuclear program.”

ZAB with labours & poor people
ZAB with labours & poor people

From his death cell, Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto had counselled his daughter (Benazir Bhutto) in an epic letter on the occasion of her 25th birthday: “Heaven lies at your mother’s feet. Politics lies at the feet of the people.”

In March 1979 in Jail in 6×12 feet cell, Tariq Islam while meeting Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in prison “What I saw was a ghost of a figure who was so thin and gaunt that I was reminded of the WWII prisons from the World War II films”.

A few weeks prior to my meeting, Dr Zafar Niazi attended to him at his cell as he was suffering from an acute gum infection. When Dr Niazi saw his (Z.A Bhutto) condition, he expressed his concern.

 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to doctor: “Don’t waste time, doctor, we have more important things to talk about. I know I can trust you, so here are two things I need you to do as soon as you leave this place.

First, I want you to go straight to Dr AQ Khan and convey that under no circumstances must Pakistan’s nuclear programme be derailed.

Second, I want you to go to the relevant people with my message that the Karakoram Highway, which I fast-tracked, must proceed as planned.”

Roadmap:

  1. Background
  2. Advocacy of strong relationship with China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Europe, Third world countries & Muslim countries
  3. Kashmir
  4. New Constitution
  5. Nuclear deterrence programme and power generation projects
  6. Canada & France backtracked after Uncle Sam pressure, KANUPP-I without fuel & spare parts
  7. Why Nuclear deterrence
  8. Z.A Bhutto, Setting up of (PAEC) administrative research bodies and institutes as Minister of Commerce in 1958
  9. Foreign Minister Z.A Bhutto and nuclear engineer Munir Ahmed Khan
  10. Z.A Bhutto’s warning on India’s nuclear ambitions
  11. Furious words at UNSC after fall of Dhaka (East Pakistan)
  12. Electrifying turnaround, finally patriotic President and enthusiastic Scientists & Engineers
  13. India’s Nuclear tests in 1974
  14. Militarisation of PAEC
  15. Z.A Bhutto chooses Munir Ahmad Khan as chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1972
  16. Kissenger’s displeasure over Z.A Bhutto’s push for nuclear deterrence programme
  17. Memos about the meeting released by George Washington University`s National Security Archive
  18. Meeting witnessed by Deputy chief of US mission in Islamabad, Kissinger`s warning and carrot and stick policy
  19. Birth of KRL – Kahuta Research Laboratries (1976)
  20. Indigenous Nuclear technology push after international pressure/hurdles & sanctions
  21. Parallel programmes: Plutonium and Uranium (tactical & strategic)
  22. (International pressure) VS (Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, Munir Ahmad Khan and Aziz Ahmed)
  23. Operation Sun Rise
  24. Finished the designing of the first fission weapon (1977)
  25. My Dearest Daughter: A letter from Death Cell
  26. Verdict
  27. Reaction in Muslim World
  28. Former U.S. attorney general on ZAB removal
  29. Establishment of key institutions and industry under Z.A Bhutto
    • Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra 1971, with assistance from the Chinese government.
    • Aircraft Rebuild Factory (ARF) was established in 1973.
    • Mirage Rebuild Factory (MRF) was established in 1974.
    • Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) was established in 1975.
    • Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) established in 1970’s
    • Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) established in 1970’s
    • Kahuta Research Laboratries (KRL) established in 1976.
    • Militarization of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1972 for nukes (After Z.A Bhutto’s enthusiastic & electrifying meeting with Scientists, Academicians)
    • Steel Mills, NDFC, Institute of Theoretical Physics etc.
  30. Development work and policies during Z.A Bhutto government
  31. Final word
  32. Nuclear Engineering Training Center
  33. Bibliography/Sources
  1. Background:

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto belonged to a noble Rajput family. His father Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto was the dewan of the princely state of Junagadh, and he secured the accession of his state to Pakistan but India invaded and forcibly occupied the state. He was born in Sindh to Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto and Khursheed Begum (née Lakhi Bai) near Larkana. Zulfikar was their third child.

ZAB’s mother was from humble background, and whenever she would take them somewhere they would pass through the houses of poor people and lower class people. Young Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started to develop some sort of connection with these people and started to resent elites where rich was becoming richer and poor was becoming poorer.

As a young boy, Bhutto moved to Worli Seaface in Bombay to study at the Cathedral and John Connon School. He then also became an activist in the Pakistan Movement. In 1947, Bhutto was admitted to the University of Southern California to study political science.

In 1949, as a sophomore, Bhutto transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. (honours) degree in political science in 1950.[4]  In June 1950, Bhutto travelled to the United Kingdom to study law at Christ Church, Oxford and received an LLB, followed by an LLM degree in Law and an M.Sc. (honours) degree in political science.[4]  Upon finishing his studies, he was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1953.[4]  Bhutto married his second wife, the Nusrat Ispahani,[16] in Karachi on 8 September 1951. Their first child, Benazir, was born in 1953. She was followed by Murtaza in 1954, Sanam in 1957 and Shahnawaz in 1958.

He accepted the post of lecturer at the S. M. Law College, from where he was also awarded an honorary doctorate in law by college president Hassanally A. Rahma.

There are three important personalities who were born in Sindh and played important role in Pakistan’s foundation and emergence as power. 1. Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam), 2. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Quaid-e-Awaam), 3. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada (Father of the Constitution 1973)

  1. Advocacy of strong relationship with China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Europe, third world countries & Muslim countries.

Bhutto’s strong advocacy of developing ties with China came under severe criticism from the United States. President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote to Gen Ayub Khan demanding him to dismiss Bhutto and maintain ties only with the “free world”.

Bhutto and his staff visited Beijing and were warmly received by the Chinese, and Bhutto greeted Mao Zedong with great respect.(1) There, Bhutto helped Ayub negotiate trade and military agreements with the Chinese regime, which agreed to help Pakistan in several military and industrial projects. (1)

Bhutto addressed a farewell speech at the University of Munich, where he cited the importance of Pakistan and German relations. Bhutto then visited Poland and established diplomatic relations in 1962(2).

His first major achievement was to conclude the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement on March 2, 1963. In mid 1964, Bhutto helped convince Ayub of the wisdom of establishing closer economic and diplomatic links with Turkey and Iran. The trio later on formed the R. C. D.

  1. Kashmir

In 1962, as territorial differences increased between India and China, Premier Zhou Enlai and Mao invited Pakistan to join the raid and extricate the rest of Indian occupied Kashmir from Indian control. Bhutto advocated for the plan, but Ayub opposed the plan: he was afraid of retaliation by Indian troops. (3) Instead Ayub proposed a “joint defence union” with India. Bhutto was shocked by such statements and felt Ayub Khan was unlettered in international affairs.

  1. New Constitution

The National Assembly approved the new 1973 Constitution, which Bhutto signed into effect on 12 April. The constitution proclaimed an “Islamic Republic” in Pakistan with a parliamentary form of government. (6)

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada played an integral role in the drafting, and ultimate passing of the Constitution of 1973.

  1. Nuclear deterrence programme and power generation projects

In his 1969 book The Myth of Independence Bhutto argued that it was the necessity for Pakistan to acquire the fission weapon, and start a deterrence programme to be able to stand up to the industrialised states, and against a nuclear armed India. Bhutto obtained a manifesto and made a future policy on how the programme would be developed and which individual scientists would start the program. Bhutto selected Munir Ahmad Khan as the first and main basis of the programme.(4)

Bhutto established an atomic power development programme and inaugurated the first Pakistani atomic reactor KANUPP-I electricity power generation, built in collaboration with Canada in Karachi on 28 November 1972.

  1. Canada & France backtracked after Uncle Sam pressure, KANUPP-I without fuel & spare parts

In 1976, Canada had stopped the supply of fuel and spare parts for the electricity power generation plant KANUPP-I, as French on pressure from Uncle Sam also cancelled reprocessing plant.

As Canadian technicians departed from Pakistan. Pakistan media then speculated that in absence of Canadian officials, the city would suffer a major power blackout. Canadian officials later issued the statement that the reactor will be shut down in a matter of six months.

However, the PAEC, under Munir Ahmad Khan, took up this challenge and using indigenous resources produced the feed for KANUPP. In 1978, the PAEC developed its own nuclear fuel and began loading the feedstock to KANUPP-I. From its establishment to Dec 31 2013, KANUPP-I has generated 14.7 billion KWhrs of electricity and has been fuelled by thousands of Pakistani-made fuel bundles without any failure. (Pakistan Zindabad)

On 30 March 59 military officers were arrested by Army troops for allegedly plotting a coup against Bhutto. (5)

  1. Why Nuclear deterrence

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the founder of Pakistan’s atomic bomb programme, and due to his administrative and aggressive leadership to lead this nuclear deterrence programme, Bhutto is often known as Father of Nuclear deterrence programme. (7)(8)(9)

Bhutto’s interest in nuclear technology was said to have begun during his college years in the United States when Bhutto attended a course in political science, discussing political impact of U.S.’s first nuclear test, Trinity, on Global politics. (10)

While at Berkeley, Bhutto witnessed the public panic when the Soviet Union first exploded the bomb, codename First Lightning in 1949, prompting the U.S. government to famously launch the research on Hydrogen bombs.

  1. ZAB, Setting up of (PAEC) administrative research bodies and institutes as Minister of Commerce in 1958

However, in 1958 as Minister of Minister of Commerce long before as Minister for Fuel, Power, and National Resources, Bhutto played a key role in setting up the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) administrative research bodies and institutes. Soon, Bhutto offered a technical post to Munir Ahmad Khan in PAEC in 1958.(11)

Before being elevated as Foreign minister, Bhutto directed the funds for key research in nuclear weapons and related science.(12)

  1. Foreign Minister ZAB and Munir Ahmed Khan

In October 1965, as Foreign Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited Vienna, where nuclear engineer Munir Ahmad Khan working at a senior technical post at the IAEA, informed him of the status of Indian nuclear programme and the options Pakistan had to develop its own nuclear capability. Both agreed on the need for Pakistan to develop a nuclear deterrent to meet India’s nuclear capacity.

While, Munir Ahmad Khan had failed to convince Gen Ayub Khan, Bhutto had said to Munir Ahmad Khan: Don’t worry, our turn will come. Shortly, after the 1965 war, Bhutto in a press conference, famously declared that “even if we have to eat grass, we will make nuclear bomb. We have no other choice.” as he saw India was making its way to develop the bomb. (13)

  1. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s warning on India’s nuclear ambitions

Bhutto, in his book The Myth of Independence in 1969 wrote that:

If Pakistan restricts or suspends her nuclear deterrence, it would not only enable India to blackmail Pakistan with her nuclear advantage, but would impose a crippling limitation on the development of Pakistan’s science and technology…. Our problem in its essence, is how to obtain such a weapon in time before the crisis begin…

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, on science in Pakistan, thesis written in The Myth of Independence. (15)

After India’s nuclear test – codename Smiling Buddha—in May 1974, Bhutto sensed and saw this test as final anticipation for Pakistan’s death.[34] In a press conference, held shortly after India’s nuclear test, Bhutto said, “India’s nuclear program is designed to intimidate Pakistan and establish “hegemony in the subcontinent”.(14)

Furthermore, in a thesis written in The Myth of Independence, Bhutto argued that nuclear weapons would allow India to use its Air Force warplanes that with the use of nuclear devices against the Pakistan Army cantonments, armoured and infantry columns and PAF bases and nuclear and military industrial facilities.(16) The Indian Air Force would not meet with an adverse reaction from the world community as long as civilian casualties could be kept to a minimum.(16) This way, India would occupy and annexe the Northern Areas of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. India would then carve up Pakistan into tiny states based on ethnic divisions.(16)

  1. Furious words at UNSC after fall of Dhaka (East Pakistan):

“We will fight; we will go back and fight. My country beckons for me. Why should I waste my time here in the Security Council.”- Foreign Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Shaheed), Dec. 1971 UN Security Council after fall of Dhaka (East Pakistan)

  1. Electrifying turnaround, finally patriotic President and enthusiastic Scientists & Engineers

Shortly, roughly two weeks past after experiencing the 1971 winter war, on 20 January 1972, Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto rallied a conference of nuclear scientists and engineers at Multan. While at the Multan meeting, arranged by Bhutto’s Science Advisor, scientists were wondering why the President who had so much on his hands in those trying days was paying so much attention to the scientists and engineers in the nuclear field. At the meeting Bhutto slowly talked about the recent war and country’s future, pointing out the existence of the country was in great moral danger.

While the academicians listened to Bhutto carefully, Bhutto said: “Look, we’re going to have the bomb”. Bhutto asked them: “Can you give it to me? And how long will it take it to make a bomb?”. Many of senior scientists had witnessed the war, and were emotionally and psychologically disturbed, therefore, the response was positive when the senior academic scientists replied: “Oh…Yes.. Yes… You can have it.”

There was a lively debate on the time needed to make the bomb, and finally one scientist dared to say that maybe it could be done in five years. Prime Minister Bhutto smiled, lifted his hand, and dramatically thrust forward three fingers and said: “Three years, I want it in three years”.

The atmosphere suddenly became electric. It was then that one of the junior scientist Dr. S.A. Butt (a theoretical physicist), who under Munir Ahmad Khan’s guiding hand would come to play a major role in making the fission weapon possible – jumped to his feet and clamoured for his leader’s attention. Dr. S.A Butt replied: “It can be done in three years”.

When Bhutto heard Butt’s reply, Bhutto was very much amused and said: “Well…. Much as I appreciate your enthusiasm, this is a very serious political decision, which Pakistan must make, and perhaps all Third World countries must make one day, because it is coming. So can you boys do it?”. Nearly all senior scientists replied in one tone: Yes… We can do it, given the resources and given the facilities”. Bhutto ended the meeting by simply saying: “I shall find you the resources and I shall find you the facilities”.

  1. India’s Nuclear tests in 1974

After India’s nuclear test – codename Smiling Buddha—in May 1974, Bhutto sensed and saw this test as final anticipation for Pakistan’s death.(17) In a press conference, held shortly after India’s nuclear test, Bhutto said, “India’s nuclear program is designed to intimidate Pakistan and establish “hegemony in the subcontinent”.(18) Despite Pakistan’s limited financial resources, Bhutto was so enthusiastic about Pakistan nuclear programme, that he is reported to have said “Pakistanis will eat grass but make a nuclear bomb.”

  1. Militarisation of PAEC in 1972

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s militarisation was initiated on 20 January 1972 and, in its initial years, was implemented by Pakistan Army’s Chief of Army Staff General Tikka Khan. The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP-I) was also inaugurated by Bhutto during his role as President of Pakistan at the end of 1972.(19)

The nuclear weapons programme was set up loosely based on Manhattan Project of the 1940s under the administrative control of Bhutto.(20) And, senior academic scientists had a direct access to Bhutto, who kept him informed about every inch of the development. Bhutto’s Science Advisor’s office was also sat up in Bhutto’s Prime Minister Secretariat.(20)

On Bhutto’s request, Salam had established and led the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) that marked the beginning of the nuclear deterrent programme. The TPG designed and developed the nuclear weapons as well as the entire programme.(20) Later, Munir Ahmad Khan had him personally approved the budget for the development of the programme.(20)

Wanting a capable administrator, Bhutto sought Lieutenant-General Rahimuddin Khan to chair the commission, which Rahimuddin declined, in 1971.(21)

  1. A Bhutto chooses Munir Ahmad Khan as chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1972

Instead, in January 1972, Bhutto chose a trained nuclear engineer Munir Ahmad Khan as chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as Bhutto realised that he would wanted an administrator who understood the scientific and economical needs of this such technologically giant and ambitious programme. Since 1965, Khan had developed extremely close and trusted relationship with Bhutto, and even after his death, Benazir and Murtaza Bhutto were instructed by their father to keep in touch with Munir Ahmed Khan.

  1. Kissenger’s displeasure over Bhutto’s push for Nuclear deterrence programe

By the first week of July 1976, the oposition parties began to feel the heat of the PPP government`s election activity; the United Democratic Front (UDF) was still in a state of disorder, with every party trying to turn the situation into its own favour. The one-time eight-party alliance, the UDF, now only existed in the air, which suited PPP and its leaders. By the end of July, some movement was seen in the opposition parties` camps but with little coordination.

On July 24, 1976, the train service Samjhota Express was launched between Lahore and Amritsar, which was lauded by all segments of the population as it fulfilled a demand from people on both sides of the border.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto began persuading the French president Georges Giscard d`Estaing to implement the deal he had signed with France on March 18, 1976 for the purchase of a nuclear reprocessing plant against stiff opposition from the US.

Failing to convince Pakistan to give up the nuclear plant purchase, the US president Gerald Ford pushed France to cancel the fuel agreement. The world press was abuzz with strange reports which created anxiety not only in Pakistan but the whole world.

The US tried to persuade the Pakistani leadership through all means. Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of state, visited Pakistan in August 1976 when the PPP government was treading towards holding elections. On Aug 10, when Bhutto was in Lahore, Kissinger called on him at the Governor House and tried to dissuade him from acquiring the plant. During the meeting Kissinger expressed displeasure over Pakistan`s dealings with France.

  1. Memos about the meeting released by George Washington University`s National Security Archive

Thirty years later, the memos about the meeting released by George Washington University`s National Security Archive, in May 2006, referred to Kissinger telling Bhutto that it was offensive to US intelligence when Bhutto insisted that Pakistan needed the reprocessing plant for its energy needs; Bhutto responded by demanding that the US should also not insist that Pakistan give up the reprocessing plant.

Kissinger made it clear: `What concerns us is how the reprocessing facilities were used at a certain point.` At that stage Bhutto reiterated the assurances and safeguards for nuclear facilities, to which Kissinger said that he was concerned about `realities not words; safeguards deals were not enough because one side could break an agreement`. Bhutto reassured him that Pakistan would not explode a bomb but the memos with the archive show that Pakistan expressed the intention to continue its nuclear development programme.

  1. Meeting witnessed by Deputy chief of US mission in Islamabad, Kissinger`s warning and carrot and stick policy

The much talked about warning said to be given by Kissinger to Bhutto that the US would make a `horrible example` of`him over his refusal to give up the nuclear programme has not been confirmed by any independent source. However, in April 2010, Gerald Feuerstein, deputy chief of US mission in Islamabad, admitted that Bhutto had rejected Kissinger`s warning to disband Pakistan`s nuclear programme. Feuerstein was a witness to the Bhutto-Kissinger meeting in August 1976.

In an interview with a Pakistani TV channel, he said that the US had been concerned over Bhutto`s nuclear plan to match India`s capabilities and sent Kissinger to warn the Pakistani leader. He said: `I was the protocol officer when Kissinger came to Pakistan and met Bhutto in Lahore.

Kissinger came with a carrot and stick policy. The carrots were A-7 bombers, while the stick was not a direct threat, but since the US elections were near and the Democrats were set to win they wanted a tougher non-proliferation approach and might have made Pakistan an example. Pakistan did face sanctions, ` Gerald said.

  1. Birth of KRL – Kahuta Research Laboratries (1976)

On July 31 1976,  the Khan Research Laboratories at Kahuta was founded, sending shockwaves not only across South Asia but the United States as well, which used all resources to bring Pakistan`s nuclear programme to a halt.

Kahuta Research Facility, then known as Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL), as part of codename Project-706, was also established by Bhutto, and brought under nuclear scientist dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers’ Lieutenant-General Zahid Ali Akbar.(22)

 

  1. Indigenous Nuclear technology push after international pressure/hurdles & sanctions

As Pakistan, under Bhutto, was not a signatory or party of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA), and British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) had immediately cancelled fuel reprocessing plant projects with PAEC.

It was on the advice of A.Q. Khan that no fuel existed to reprocess and urged Bhutto to follow his pursuit of uranium enrichment.(23) Bhutto tried to show he was still interested in that expensive route and was relieved when Kissinger persuaded the French to cancel the deal. (23)

Bhutto had trusted Munir Ahmad Khan’s plans to develop the programme indigenously, and the mainstream goal of showing such interest in French reprocessing plant was to give time to PAEC scientists to gain expertise in building its own reprocessing plants. By the time France’s CEA cancelled the project, the PAEC had acquired 95% of the detailed plans of the plant and materials.(24)

It was a masterstroke from Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, PAEC and a Pakistani special.

  1. Parallel programmes: Plutonium and Uranium (tactical & strategic)

Munir Ahmad Khan and Ishfaq Ahmad believed that since PAEC had acquired most of the detailed plans, work, plans, and materials; the PAEC, based on that 95% work, could build the plutonium reprocessing reactors on its own, Pakistan should stick to its original plan, the plutonium route.(24) Bhutto saw an advantage in establishing another parallel programme, the uranium enrichment programme under Abdul Qadeer Khan.(24)

  1. (International pressure) VS (Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, Munir Ahmad Khan and Aziz Ahmed)

International pressure was difficult to counter at that time, and Bhutto, with the help of Munir Ahmad Khan and Aziz Ahmed, tackled the intense heated criticism and diplomatic war with the United States at numerous fronts—while the progress on nuclear weapons remained highly classified.(25)(26)

 

  1. Operation Sun Rise

Bhutto slowly reversed and thwarted United States’ any attempt to infiltrate the programme as he had expelled many of the American diplomatic officials in the country, under Operation Sun Rise, authorised by Bhutto under ISI.(25)

On the other hand, Bhutto intensified his staunch support and eye-blindly backed Abdul Qadeer Khan to quietly develop weapon-grade technology in Pakistan, keeping the Kahuta Laboratories hidden from the outside world.(25)

Regional rivals such as India and Soviet Union, had no basic intelligence on Pakistan’s nuclear energy project during the 1970s, and Bhutto’s intensified clandestine efforts seemed to be paid off in 1978 when the programme was fully matured.(25)

By the time Bhutto was ousted, this crash programme had fully matured in terms of technical development as well as scientific efforts.(25)

  1. Finished the designing of the first fission weapon (1977)

By the 1977, PAEC and KRL had built their uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing plants (Plutonium is useful for tactical nukes as well), and selection for test sites, at Chagai Hills, was done by the PAEC. The feasibility reports were submitted by both organisations on their works. (27)

In 1977, the PAEC’s Theoretical Physics Group (TGP) had finished the designing of the first fission weapon, and KRL scientists succeeded in electromagnetic isotope separation of Uranium fissile isotopes. (27)

In all, Z.A Bhutto knew that Pakistan had become a nuclear weapon state in 1978 when his friend Munir Ahmad Khan paid a visit to him in his jail cell. There, Munir Ahmad Khan told Bhutto that the process of weapon designing is finished and a milestone in the complex and difficult enrichment of weapon-grade fuel has been achieved by the PAEC and Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan of KRL. Bhutto called for an immediate nuclear test to be conducted, no response was issued by General Zia or any member of his government.

 

26. My Dearest Daughter: A letter from Death Cell

ZAB with his children, Mir (L) and Benazir (R). Image courtesy: Dawn
ZAB with his children, Murtaza (L) and Benazir (R)

“ I did not kill that man. My God is aware of it. I am big enough to admit if I had done it, that admission would have been less of an ordeal and humiliation than this barbarous trial which no self respecting man can endure. I am a Muslim. A Muslim’s fate is in the hands of God Almighty. I can face Him with a clear conscience and tell Him that I rebuilt His Islamic State of Pakistan from ashes into a respectable Nation. I am entirely at peace with my conscience in this black hole of Kot Lakhpat. I am not afraid of death. You have seen what fires I have passed through.          ”

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, My Dearest Daughter: A letter from Death Cell., (31)

27. Verdict

The appeal was completed on 23 December 1978. On 6 February 1979, the Supreme Court issued a guilty verdict,(32) a decision reached by a bare 4-to-3 majority.

On 24 March 1979 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. General Zia upheld the death sentence. Bhutto was hanged at Central Jail Rawalpindi, on 4 April 1979, and is buried in Village Cemetery at Garhi Khuda Baksh.(33)

28. Reaction in Muslim World

In all, the entire Muslim world was silenced on Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s execution, and Gaddafi was in shock after his request was denied and publicly sympathised Bhutto’s family over the loss.(34) Before being hanged, Bhutto made a final speech and his last words were: “Oh Lord, help me for… I am innocent”.(35)

On 4 April 1979, the day Bhutto was executed, The New York Times published its report after following the entire chronological events surrounding Bhutto’s trial which stated in part ” The way they did it, (Bhutto).. is going to grow into a legend that will some day backfire.”(36)

Yasser Arafat had asked to convey to “my brother Ali Bhutto that he was an asset for the Islamic world and regarded as a hero by the Palestinian people. PLO was ready an operation to spring him from jail and out of Pakistan.”

For the second message, he responded “Tell my brother Yasser Arafat that I thank him from the bottom of my heart, but come what may, I will not leave Pakistan. This is my country. This is where I will die.”

29. Former U.S. attorney general on ZAB removal:

A former U.S. attorney general and human rights activist, Ramsey Clark, is quoted in the New York Times (36) as saying:

“I do not believe in conspiracy theories in general, but the similarities in the staging of riots in Chile (where the CIA allegedly helped overthrow President Salvadore Allande) and in Pakistan are just too close. Bhutto was removed from power in Pakistan by force on 5 July, after the usual party on the 4th at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, with U.S. approval, if not more, by General Zia-ul-Haq. Bhutto was falsely accused and brutalized for months during proceedings that corrupted the Judiciary of Pakistan before being murdered, then hanged. As Americans, we must ask ourselves this: Is it possible that a rational military leader under the circumstances in Pakistan could have overthrown a constitutional government, without at least the tacit approval of the United States?”.(36)

30. Establishment of key institutions and industry:

  • Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra 1971, with assistance from the Chinese government.
  • Aircraft Rebuild Factory (ARF) was established in 1973.
  • Mirage Rebuild Factory (MRF) was established in 1974.
  • Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) was established in 1975.
  • Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) established in 1970’s
  • Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) established in 1970’s
  • Kahuta Research Laboratries (KRL) established in 1976.
  • Militarisation of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commision (PAEC) in 1972 (After Z.A Bhutto’s enthusiastic & electrifying meeting with Scientists, Academicians)
  • Bhutto is credited for establishing the world class Quaid-e-Azam University and Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad in 1974. As well as establishing Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan in 1973. In his capacity as foreign minister, and in 1967 established the Institute of Theoretical Physics. National Development Finance Corportion ( NDFC) in 1973, currently NDFC is the Pakistan’s largest development finance institution.

31. Development work and policies during Z.A Bhutto government

  • Education Sector:

The Bhutto government established a large number of rural and urban schools, including around 6,500 elementary schools, 900 middle schools, 407 high schools, 51 Intermediate Colleges and 21 junior colleges.(37) Bhutto also abandoned the Western education system and most of the literature was sent back to Western world; instead his government encouraged the local academicians to publish books on their respected fields. Though the local books were made cheaper to the public, these reforms came with controversy. His government made Islamic and Pakistan studies compulsory in schools. Book Banks were created in most institutions and over 400,000 copies of text-books were supplied to students.[37]

Bhutto is credited for establishing the world class Quaid-e-Azam University and Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad in 1974. As well as establishing Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan in 1973.

In his role as Foreign Minister, and in 1967 established the Institute of Theoretical Physics. As Prime Minister, Bhutto made revolutionary efforts to expand the web of education. Bhutto established the Allama Iqbal Medical College in 1975.[38]

In 1974, Bhutto gave authorisation of the International Nathiagali Summer College on Contemporary Physics (INSC) at the Nathiagali and as even as of today, INSC conference is still held on Pakistan, where thousands of scientists from all over the world are delegated to Pakistan to interact with Pakistan’s academic scientists. In 1976, Bhutto established the Engineering Council, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Pakistan Academy of Letters and Cadet College Razmak in North Waziristan.

A further four new Universities which have been established at Multan, Bahawalpur, and Khairpur. The People’s Open University is another innovative venture which has started functioning from Islamabad. The Government’s Education Policy provides for the remission of fees and the grant of a number of scholarships for higher education to the children of low-paid employees [37]

Seven thousand new hostel seats were planned to be added to the existing accommodation after the 1977 election. Bhutto said in 1975 he was aware “of the difficulties and deficiencies faced by college students in many of the existing hostels. Directions have, therefore, been issued that fans, water-coolers and pay-telephones must be provided in each and every hostel in as short a time as physically possible.”[37]

  • Economic policy:

As part of his investment policies, Bhutto founded the National Development Finance Corporation (NDFC). In July 1973, this financial institute began operation with an initial government investment of 100 million PRs. It aim was finance public sector industrial enterprises but, later on, its charter was modified to provide finance to the private sector as well.

The NDFC is currently the largest development finance institution of Pakistan performing diversified activities in the field of industrial financing and investment banking. 42 projects financed by NDFC have contributed Rs. 10,761 million to Pakistan’s GDP and generated Rs. 690 million after-tax profits and 40,465 jobs. By the mid-1990s NDFC had a pool of resources amounting to US $878 million The Bhutto government increased the level of investment, private and public. (40)

Bhutto also established the Port Qasim, Pakistan Steel Mills, the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) and several cement factories.(39)(40)

  • Land, flood and agriculture reforms

During his period as prime minister, a number of land reforms were also introduced.(39) The important land reforms included the reduction of land ceilings and introducing the security of tenancy to tenant farmers.[39] The land ceiling was fixed to 150 acres (0.61 km2) of irrigated land and 300 acres (1.2 km2) of non-irrigated land. Another step that Bhutto took was to democratise Pakistan’s Civil Service.(39)

  • Banking and Export expansion

Banking reforms were introduced to provide more opportunities to small farmers and business such as forcing banks to ensure 70% of institutional lending should be for small land holders of 12.5 acres or less, which was a revolutionary idea at a time when banks only clients where the privileged classes.(41)

The number of bank branches rose by 75% from December 1971 to November 1976, from 3,295 to 5, 727. (40) It was one of the most radical move made by Bhutto, and the Bank infrastructure was expanded covering all towns and villages with a population of 5,000 in accordance with targets set after the nationalisation of banks.(40)

By end of the Bhutto government concentration of wealth had declined compared to height of the Ayub Khan era when 22 families owned 66% of industrial capital, and also controlled banking and 97% of insurance.(41)

Measures taken in the first few months of 1972 set a new framework for the revival of the economy. The diversion of trade from East Pakistan to international markets was completed within a short period. By 1974, exports exceeded one billion dollars, showing a 60% increase over the combined exports of East and West Pakistan before separation, it was achieved and benefited with world was in the midst of the major 1973 oil crisis and in the middle of global recession the national income of Pakistan increased by 15% and industrial production by as much as 20% in four years. (37)

  • Labour policy and social security

The labour policy was among one of the most important cornerstone of Bhutto’s government and a comprehensive labour reforms initiated by the Bhutto government.(37) Shortly after assuming control, Bhutto’s government imposed some conditions on the dismissal of workers. In 1973, the government instituted Labour Courts for the speedy redress of workers’ grievances and the government also introduced a scheme for workers’ participation in management, through the nationalisation policy.(37)

This scheme provided for 20% participation by workers in management committees set up at factory level. The Government abolished the workers’ contribution to the Social Security Fund; instead, the employers were made to increase their contribution from 4 to 6%. The government enhanced compensation rates under the Worker’s Compensation Act. (37)

In 1972 the Bhutto government initially provided for some old age benefits for workers through group insurance, increased rates of compensation and higher rates of gratuity. (37)

However, the policy did not benefited immediately, therefore, the government introduced a pension scheme of old age benefits which would provide a payment of Rs.75 a month to workers after retirement at the age of 55 for men and 50 for women, on condition that the worker had completed a minimum of 15 years insurable employment. (37)

This applied to all factories, industries, and establishments employing ten or more workers drawing monthly wages up to Rs. 1,000. (37) Skilled workers who become invalid after five years of insurable employment were also made entitled to benefits under this scheme. (37)

32. Final word

His family remained active and influential in politics, with first his wife and then his daughter becoming leader of the PPP political party.(42) His eldest daughter, Benazir Bhutto, was twice Prime minister of Pakistan, and was assassinated on 27 December 2007, while campaigning for 2008 elections.(42) While his son, Murtaza Bhutto, served as the Member Parliament of Pakistan, and was also assassinated in a controversial police encounter.(42)

Roedad Khan, former statesman who served under Bhutto, further wrote in his book, “Pakistan—A dream gone sour”, that “after 1971, Bhutto started extremely well, bringing the isolated, angered, apprehended, and dismembered nation back into her feet and gave the respectable place in the world, in a shortest period… With a gift of giving the nation a parliamentary system and furthermore the ambitious successful development of atomic bomb programme in a record time, are his greatest achievements in his life, for Pakistan and her people”.(43) Bhutto remains highly influential in country’s public, scientific, and political circles; his name yet continues to resonate in Pakistan’s collective memory. (44)

The Atlantic described Bhutto as extremely populist, but still Pakistan’s greatest civilian leader.(23)

Even though Henry Kissinger developed differences with Bhutto, in his 1979 memoir White House Years he conceded that Bhutto was “brilliant, charming, of global stature in his perception, a man of extraordinary abilities, capable of drawing close to any country that served Pakistan`s national interests”.(45)

 

33. Nuclear Engineering Training Center

The KANPC also consists of a nuclear engineering college. KANUPP’s Institute of Nuclear Power Engineering (KINPOE) is controlled by PAEC. KINPOE offers 2-year Master program in nuclear engineering and is accredited by PIEAS.

34. Bibliography/Sources

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3. Suraiya, Jug (14 May 2011). “Dealing with a Superpower by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto”. Bombay Times.
4. Sublettle, Carey (15 October 1965). “Historical Background: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto”. Nuclear weapons archives. Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
5. Story of Pakistan. “Ouster of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto”
6. Story of Pakistan. “Ouster of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto”
7. Langewiesche, William “The Wrath of Khan”. The Atlantic. November 2005.
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12.(IISS), The International Institute for Strategic Studies; Fitzpatrick, Mark (3 May 2007). “Bhutto, not A. Q. Khan, was the Father of Pak nuke programme”. 2007 Final Dossier of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
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