ramana wrote:Abhishek we need to put into perspective the other data that shows the PRC tested a bomb for the Pakis at Lop Nor and how it was fudged by US.
The following is about the overall US support for the Pakistan-China proliferation.
Successive US Governments, especially Reagan, did not stop Pakistan's quest for a nuclear weapon and its delivery mechanism, in spite of the stranglehold they had on Pakistan due to its massive economic and military assistance since 1950s. For example, the US imposed sanctions on Pakistan in April, 1979 (under section 669 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or FAA by Pres. Carter) after it was learned that Pakistan had secretly begun construction of a uranium enrichment facility, but it was lifted by the same US Government soon after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan without Pakistan capping any of its clandestine activities. If Brzezinski is to be believed that the US set up a bear trap for the FSU in Afghanistan and the efforts started well over a year prior to the Soviet arrival in Kabul in Dec. 1979, then one should suspect that the sanction by Carter was deliberate so that the US could squeeze Pakistan to help the US efforts.
Predictably, Gen. Zia’s support for the US campaign in Afghanistan was predicated on two conditions, one, the United States should not raise any queries on Pakistan's nuclear programme and two, there should be no pressure or calls for democratization. On December 26, 1979, Brzezinski told Pres. Carter “This will require a review of our policy toward Pakistan, more guarantees to it, and, alas, a decision that our security policy toward Pakistan cannot be dictated by our nonproliferation policy.” Pakistan was determined to build a nuclear weapon since 1964 and the US in spite of deep-rooted nonproliferation concerns turned a blind eye to the ominous developments of smuggling in nuclear technology by the Pakistani state and even “protected” a proliferator like Dr. AQ Khan, possibly as a quid-pro-quo
for various help Pakistan was providing such as in U2 spy plane operations over FSU from the Peshawar base at Badaber, until 1969, improving its relationship with an isolated but commercially and politically attractive China in the 70s, in keeping a tab on the Iranian revolution and later in the Afghan campaign, Operation Cyclone
, in the 80s. The US probably colluded with Turkey in allowing export of sensitive items to Pakistan even as it continued to issue demarchés to that country and even as Turkey protested these demarchés citing its weak export laws. So was the then West Germany. Not only did sensitive parts and machinery go to Pakistan, but also German scientists went to that country to train Pakistanis. So have been Dutch companies and Dutch friends of AQ Khan. The US pressurized Holland to release the thief AQ Khan twice from any prosecution and punishment even after he was caught red handed.
By 1984, PRC had tested the Pakistani bomb in Lop Nor and the US intelligence was aware of that. In A.Q. Khan's own words, we now know that PRC supplied 50 Kg of enriched Uranium to Pakistan in 1982 and got in return a more advanced European enrichment technology. The US was swarming all over Pakistan at that time with the Afghan jihad at its peak. It is impossible that such a transaction could have taken place without the US knowledge. Apart from procuring material for its own programme, the Pakistanis also did the same for their Chinese friends. Again, by AQ Khan's own admission, Pakistan sent 135 C-130 planeloads of "of machines, inverters, valves, flow meters, pressure gauges" right under the US nose. Obviously, a Pakistan which did not even produce bicycles, could not have manufactured these slightly
more sophisticated things.
The US Congress passed the Solarz Amendment to FAA in August 1985 that demanded the US cut-off aid to any country that illegally exported or attempted to export nuclear-related materials from the US. Pakistani agents have been caught several times doing that but not only were they let go but also the Solarz Amendment was not applied. In the same month of August, 1985, the US Congress also passed the Pressler Amendment that required a mandatory certification from the US President every year that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear weapon before the US foreign aid could flow to that country. The US President farcically and falsely gave such a certification in spite of mounting evidence from its own State Department and the CIA. None other than the present Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, has stated that the Pressler Amendment itself was worded in collaboration with the Pakistani foreign office to calm that country down and assure it of escape clauses therein.
The White House even tipped off the Pakistani agent, a retired Brigadier from the Pakistani Army, procuring material clandestinely in the US so that he could escape a CIA sting operation. Richard Barlow, who as a CIA analyst was tasked with tracking the Pakistani nuclear programme, was confronted by a White House representative in the US Congressional hearing in July 1987 as he started spilling the beans and was eased out of the organization immediately thereafter. It is thus very obvious that the White House followed an agenda of supporting Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme by muzzling its own official agencies. At least until February, 1988 (when Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Peck, testified before a House subcommittee) the US maintained that there was no reason to doubt the Pakistani assurance given to Pres. Reagan (and later confirmed several times by Pakistani President, Foreign Minister etc.) in circa
1984 that Uranium would not be enriched beyond the 5% level ! When ultimately one of the Pakistani agents, caught redhanded in a sting operation, was convicted by a US Court, Reagan had to invoke the Solarz Amendment in 1988 and sanction Pakistan but within a few weeks used his Presidential waiver to waive it off.
As the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan on February 15, 1989, the US was suddenly seized of nuclear proliferation concerns. A former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr, had accepted that Pakistan had the bomb by 1987. One US Official would later say, "Our relationship with Pakistan was to counter the Soviet-Indian relationship. The Pakistanis knew that time was limited. And that’s why they went balls out on the nuclear program.
" Even as late as circa
2003, the US President George W Bush thought it fit not to apply sanctions on Pakistani entities exporting nuclear technology to North Korea even after Pakistan was implicated. The US Government simply said that ". . . cooperation between the two was a thing of the past". The US Government exhibited a similar attitude to bail out its ally Pakistan in its more dangerous liaisons of nuclear proliferation to other states, especially rogue states, when the State Department of the US briefed other friendly governments with information contrary to what its own intelligence agencies were reporting about the Pakistani-Libyan deal which in fact went back to Z.A.Bhutto’s days. The US said that North Korea sent Uranium Hexafluoride to Libya while it was Pakistan that re-exported this gas to Libya. Again, the charade that was played out by Musharraf, pretending to be shocked by the revelations of proliferation by AQ Khan when it was the entire State of Pakistan that was involved in it, was scripted between George Bush and Musharraf. The US government wilfully allowed Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons as it needed that State’s help in dealing with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, it condoned
Such deliberate and benign neglect and help of the Pakistani nuclear weapon programme did not stop with the weapons per se
. It even extended to the delivery mechanism. Even as the CIA confirmed the supply of M-9 & M-11 missiles to Pakistan by PRC, the White House refused to take note. The F-16s that were sold to Pakistan came with a rider that they would not be modified to deliver nuclear weapons. But, Pakistan did indeed modify them and the US has since then given three more tranches of F-16s with the same farcical condition. The DoD even lied to the Congress (or played with words to be more charitable) when queried about such Pakistani modifications, as the US President himself did by claiming Pakistan did not 'possess' a nuclear weapon.
Compare all this extraordinary lengths to which the US went to develop the Pakistani nuclear and delivery arsenal, in contrast, with how the US treated India. We would then understand what the US could have done and what it didn't do in Pakistan's case. Tough sanctions imposed on India after the 1974 PNE (Peaceful Nuclear Explosion), the long-term effects of which on India's civilian power generation programmes linger even today. The NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group or the "London Club" as it is popularly known) which is an outgrowth of the Zangger Committee agreement of August 1974 and the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) which have all been made even more comprehensive through "Energy" and "Wassenaar" protocols (which in circa
1992 banned dual-use technologies even when these were not meant for non-nuclear applications), were specifically meant for India and have affected India's civilian nuclear and space programmes significantly. Pres. Reagan, who portrayed himself a non-proliferation zealot, even suspended LEU fuel supply for the Tarapur Atomic Power Station in India by retro activating his new policy (though it had to arrange an alternate supply through France). Such measures have affected the genuine programmes such as power generation and other research activities of India, a country that scrupulously follows its international responsibilities, while leaving Pakistan with the ability to recklessly follow its clandestine acquisition and proliferation of dangerous technologies in collusion with PRC and the US and its Western allies.