(AFP) – 42 minutes ago
WASHINGTON — The father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb has vigorously
defended the program as sparing his country the fate of Iraq or Libya,
amid signs that Islamabad is ramping up its weapons capacities.
Writing in Newsweek magazine, Abdul Qadeer Khan said that Pakistan's
nuclear weapons had prevented war ....
"Don't overlook the fact that no nuclear-capable country has been
subjected to aggression or occupied, or had its borders redrawn. Had
Iraq and Libya been nuclear powers, they wouldn't have been destroyed
in the way we have seen recently," Khan said.
Many Pakistanis regard Khan as a hero for building the Islamic world's
first nuclear bomb. India and Pakistan carried out nuclear tests in
He admitted in 2004 that he ran a nuclear black-market selling secrets
to Iran, Libya and North Korea. But Khan later retracted his remarks
and in 2009 was freed from house arrest, although he was asked to keep
a low profile.
While Khan said he was not familiar with the latest developments in
Pakistan's nuclear program, Newsweek published a commercial satellite
image that appeared to show expedited construction at the country's
Khushab nuclear site.
The Institute for Science and International Security, which assessed
the image, said it showed "significant progress" on a fourth reactor.
A frame of a building was now visible, which did not appear in a
picture taken in January.
The Washington-based think-tank said that plutonium from the new
reactors would allow a "dramatic increase" in production, potentially
allowing Pakistan to double its annual production of nuclear weapons.