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November 6, 2012 / khawjaimtiazalam

Benazir had capped uranium enrichment at 5pc: Dr AQ Khan Ahmad Noorani Tuesday, November 06, 2012 From Print Edition

ISLAMABAD: Top nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has disclosed that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was capped in 1989 on the orders of the then chief executive, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.


Dr Qadeer told The News that orders were passed by Benazir Bhutto in the presence of the then COAS in a meeting held in the Presidency.“She had ordered me to stop the enrichment of uranium at 5% as she wanted to please the United States and get aid,” Dr Qadeer said adding: “The enrichment was stopped at 5% as per the orders of the Prime Minister. Even then not only the then US president Bush Senior cut Pakistan’s aid but in Pakistan the bosses of the army and ISI got annoyed and suspicious of the orders of the Prime Minister.”


When Dr Khan was asked what was meant by stopping the enrichment of uranium at 5% and what were its implications, he replied that by enriching uranium up to 3% percent you could use it as fuel in reactors and produce electricity. “You have to enrich uranium up to 90% to make atomic bomb/weapons. By stopping enrichment at 5% means you will be unable to make atomic bomb as was demanded by the US. But Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Zia-ul-Haq had been resisting this US pressure,” Dr Qadeer explained.


When Dr Qadeer was asked whether Benazir ordered to rollback Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Dr Qadeer said, “I have told you the facts that she had ordered to stop enrichment of uranium at 5% and what do we mean by stopping it at 5%.”


He added: “Her orders were implemented. Now, it up to your understanding whether she had ordered to rollback the nuclear programme or not.” Dr Qadeer said that enrichment of uranium was restored later.Dr Qadeer also said that because of the same reasons, when Benazir Bhutto again came to power, the nuclear programme was taken under direct control of the army with no influence or authority of the civilian government.



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