Pakistan and Weapons of Mass Destruction - Infrastructure - Foreign Assistance

Foreign Assistance

Historically, China is alleged to have played a major role in the establishment of Pakistan's nuclear weapons development infrastructure, especially, when increasingly stringent export controls in the western countries made it difficult for Pakistan to acquire nuclear materials and technology from elsewhere. Additionally, Pakistani officials have supposedly been present to observe at least one Chinese nuclear test. In a recent revelation by a high-ranking former U.S. official, it was disclosed that China had allegedly transferred nuclear technology to Pakistan and conducting Proxy Test for it in 1980. According to a 2001 Department of Defense report, China has supplied Pakistan with nuclear materials and has provided critical technical assistance in the construction of Pakistan's nuclear weapons development facilities, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which China is a signatory.

In 1986, Pakistan and China signed a civilian nuclear technology agreement in which China would supply Pakistan a civil-purpose nuclear technology. A grand ceremony was held in Beijing where Pakistan's then Foreign Minister Sahibzada Yaqub Khan signed on behalf of Pakistan in the presence of Munir Ahmad Khan and Chinese Prime Minister. Therefore, in 1989, Pakistan reached agreement with China for the supply of a 300 MW CHASHNUPP-1 nuclear power plant.

In February, 1990, President Fran├žois Mitterrand of France visited Pakistan and announced that France had agreed to supply a 900 MWe nuclear power reactor to Pakistan. However, after the Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was dismissed in August, 1990, the French nuclear power plant deal went into cold storage and the agreement could not be implemented due to financial constraints and the Pakistani government's apathy. Also in February 1990, Soviet Ambassador to Pakistan, V.P. Yakunin, said that the USSR was considering a request from Pakistan for the supply of a nuclear power plant. The Soviet and French civilian nuclear power plant was on its way during 1990s. However, Bob Oakley, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, expressed U.S. displeasure at the recent agreement made between France and Pakistan for the sale of a nuclear power plant. After the U.S. concerns the civilian-nuclear technology agreements were cancelled by France and Soviet Union.

Declassified documents from 1982, released in 2012 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, said that U.S. intelligence detected that Pakistan was seeking suspicious procurements from Belgium, Finland, Japan, Sweden and Turkey.

Read more about this topic:  Pakistan And Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Infrastructure

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