February 28, 2004
Dr. Nuke (A Q
Khan) got away free even after trading in internationally banned
technology and materials. His pardon is a sham. It was a set up to get the
Pakistani Army and him free. Only American Administration and more
specifically the US State Department fell for it. Even the American press
is critical of US treating the Pakistani Army strongman General Musharraf
with a kid glove. Some Asian analysts have gone to the extent of stating
that US has invaded the wrong country while looking for the Weapons for
Mass Destruction (WMD). It should have been Pakistan instead of Iraq. Had
the Americans invaded Pakistan, and then they would have found both WMDs
proliferation and Osma Bin Laaden. Alas! The poor Iraqis are suffering the
burnt of the American wrath, even though they had no WMD and no threat to
anybody after Gulf War 1.
Dr Nuke was prosecuted in Holland and Sentenced. Was he a spy?
Dr Nuke left Holland in a rush in 1976. There he had joined a research
contractor of URENCO in 1972. The job assigned to him was of a translator
of documents. It was during these translation activities that opportunity
to steal documents, which had come his way for translation, became
tempting. Dutch employers and Dutch Secret Service gave Mr. Khan and Mrs.
Khan a security clearance because she is South African Born Dutch with
British Passport. Moreover Dutch are very hospitable people. For them
Asian scientists and engineers in sixties and seventies was a curiosity.
The author of this article spent 6 months in Holland in 1967 under a
training program on behalf of DCM India to learn strat-up of a Urea
production facility in India. Dutch were very curious of our engineering
and technical skills and tested it often to make sure that they are
training the right people. Once satisfied, they would permit us to play
with their technical data, drawings and simulator. The latter was all
propriety information. The point is that Dutch could never suspect any
foul play unless told otherwise. In case of Dr. Nuke (A Q Khan) the Dutch
Security Agencies never connected the dots that a Pakistani metallurgist,
married to South African Dutch born lady with British Passport should be a
suspect. Hence Dr. Khan systematically stole whatever he wished. If the
Dutch Security Forces had looked at him from an angle that his country of
origin has a declared intent of making the Atom Bomb by hook or crook, it
would have been easy for them to put him under surveillance.
An important issue to consider is that when this stealing was going on,
was Dr. Nuke a master Pakistani spy for Pakistan. Was he sent to study in
Holland precisely for the purpose of getting hired into URENCO and
learning all about Uranium – 235-enrichment technology?
Well there are no public records to confirm it. But analysis points to a
possible Pakistani Secret Service linkage with Dr. Nuke. In 1983 the Dutch
Courts in absentia found him guilty of theft of secret and proprietary
information and sentenced him to four years in jail. Till then no
connection of spying had been made. That was one reason why the sentence
was so light. Nuclear spies, when caught, usually end up in the gas
chambers (Rosenberg’s) or are sent to at least 20 years in jail. His
sentence was further overturned on a technicality by a superior court,
that the summons to Dr. Nuke, was not served in person (by then Dr. Nuke
had escaped to Pakistan).
Can these Charges be reinstated and Dr. Nuke Prosecuted
Original charge and the sentence in Holland in 1983, although too light,
was never a serous charge. The superior court erred in letting Dr. Nuke of
the hook. Later the Dutch authorities realized their mistake but did not
wish to pursue the matter further as the terrorist threat to Europe and US
did not exist. The point is that – Can the Appeal Court’s decision be
further appealed so that this doctor of Weapons of Mass Destruction is
made to pay for his deeds. He should not only be charged for stealing
information but also for spying. Today, the West is threatened by bomb
making information passed on by Dr. Nuke to Iran, North Korea and possibly
Al Qaeda. All of them have the West in their gun sights. Libya did receive
the same information but did not know how to proceed further, hence
decided to relent.
Hence in my opinion, Dutch Courts or any other legal jurisdiction not only
re-instate the original charges but also charge him for spying and selling
the spoils of spying to the highest bidder. His extradition from his
comfortable lodging in Pakistan be immediately demanded. Should Pakistan
refuse, and then sanctions of the scale of Libya, be imposed on it?
Is he that Smart to figure out everything about Bomb Making
Now back to Dr. Nuke. He had an interesting career. A metallurgist by
training, he pretends to be a nuclear engineer. His stay at URENCO was
completely insufficient to educate him fully on U-235 centrifuge
technology. I can tell you this because I am an engineer. A few years of
work as a translator do not prepare you to design and build the most
complex hardware on the planet. As a starter, he had in his possession the
complete blue print of the equipment, prepared by a multitude of experts
in Holland, Germany and Great Briton. It would have taken all the
Pakistani Engineers put together 20 years to reach that level, had they
started without this input. The famous Pakistani scientist Nobel Prize
winner Dr. Abdus Salam did not believe that Pakistan had enough physicists
to build a centrifuge. That is What Dr. Sethna in India believed too.
Unknown to them was the fact that Dr. Nuke had stolen the blue print of
the centrifuge. He even stole the procurement list of the vendors hence
had a head start when finally equipment assembly began. Vendors were
offered exorbitant sums of money up-front to deliver equipment to a Dubai
address, with only one condition that a complete secrecy of the
transaction be maintained. Middlemen were used for any reluctant
Even if the U-235 Centrifuge was ready in 1983-84, the U-235 had still to
be assembled into a bomb. Pakistani engineers ran into a roadblock there
too. They did not know, how to compress fissile material and electronics
into 1000 Kg device. Again China came to the rescue. They gave them the
old American design, which they had stolen and which they had abandoned
after 1960s & 1970s tests. Still the Pakistani Engineers could not build
the bomb. Then China obliged Pakistani friends with additional technical
help. And, when all this was going on, the US State Department and CIA was
watching it happen and applying pressure on India to abandon its nuclear
energy program (Thanks to the very active Nuclear Proliferation Lobby in
the US State Department).
His Fundamentalist Tendencies
DR. Nuke is a fundamentalist, anti Indian hero of Pakistan. His family
immigrated to Pakistan and carried with it the savage desire to nuke India
for ejecting the 800 years of Muslim rule from India. Dr. Nuke personally
traces his ancestry to the infamous Shahab-ud-Deen Ghauri, who invaded
India in 1192. He is reported to have spent vast sums of money repairing
the tomb of this Ghauri, who is buried in Jhelem, Pakistan (Ghauri was
assassinated by his opponents in Jhelem during his many trips in and out
of India). Reader may be intrigued to know that one of the Pakistani,
North Korean missiles is named after Ghauri and Dr. Nuke personally gave
it that name. He is known to have participated in military discussions on
how to Nuke India, possibly Delhi, during, several India-Pakistan
confrontations dating back to 1986.
Use the Same Laws as Used to Prosecute Noriega or Serbian Leaders
United States, only 10 years back, prosecuted Manuel Noriega, the Panamian
dictator and sent him to jail for 40 years on charges much less than what
Dr. Nuke could face. Noriega was not prosecuted in Panama, but in US. Can
US not find some laws to grab and send Dr. Nuke to jail? If the West or
US does not prosecute him now, then the door is open for other aspiring
scientists and engineers in Pakistan and elsewhere to trade nuclear
technologies and other WMD technologies for personal enrichment, as well
as for religious convictions.
Another recent example of prosecution outside of their home country is the
arrest and trial of the Bosnian & Serbian leaders in Hague. Dr. Nuke
deserves similar treatment. What makes his prosecution more important is
that Pakistan has pardoned Dr. Nuke with full honors. This pardon has
potential of grave consequences.
As a starter, grab all his assets and then prosecute him to the fullest
extent of the international law. Then turn him over to the Dutch
authorities for prosecution on theft and nuclear spying charges. He
should be at Guantanamo Bay not in Pakistan.
Pakistani Government’s Involvement in this Whole Episode.
It is being
speculated that Dr. Nuke very cleverly managed to smuggle incriminating
documents out of Pakistan, which could shed light on official complicity
of the Pakistani Government. These documents are said to have prevented
his prosecution in Pakistan itself (if you trust them). Availability of
all this evidence is essential to the West’s future prosecution case. Once
Dr. Nuke winds up in the American or Dutch hands, he may not wish to go
down alone to jail. He may like to take all the previous military and
civilian rulers of Pakistan with him.
Unless the truth
comes out and exemplary punishment meted out to the guilty, future safety
of the West is not guaranteed. The scare of nuclear bomb in a suitcase may
after all become a reality. Hence it is important to grab Dr. Nuke first,
even if Pakistan does not like it, and then go about exposing and
prosecuting him and all those involved in this nefarious trade.
The West and the US
in particular has taken a very lighthearted view of the WMD proliferation
by Dr. Nuke, ostensibly with Pakistani government’s clearance. The pardon
business erected between General Musharraf and Dr. Nuke has been intended
to hide the truth. This man and the official Pakistani establishment is
getting away with a crime, whose dimension will only be known when an
unfriendly state or Al Qaeda shows up on the European or North American
shores with a Nuclear Bomb in their baggage. It will be too late then.
The author is a retired
Vice President from C-I-L Inc. and has lived in Canada for the past 34
years. A graduate of Punjab University and University of Missouri; Rolla,
USA, the author is a former investment strategies analyst and
international relations manager. The Views expressed are his own. email-
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