Islamabad, May 18: The father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb Dr A Q Khan says " If we had had nuclear capability before 1971, we would not have lost half of our country-present-day Bangladesh-after a disgraceful defeat."
Writing in Newsweek, Khan said: "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. If we had had nuclear capability before 1971, we would not have lost half of our country-present-day Bangladesh-after disgraceful defeat."
Khan also argued that Pakistan's nuclear programme is the main cause why the country was spared the fate of Iraq and Libya.Khan writes: "India is engaged in a massive program to cope with the nonexistent threat posed by China and in order to become a superpower. India doesn't need more than five weapons to hurt us badly, and we wouldn't need more than 10 to return the favour, ...That is why there has been no war between us for the past 40 years."
The disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist writes that Pakistan's nuclear program was created to save it from what he called "Indian nuclear blackmail". Khan writes that his country is "forced to maintain this deterrence until its differences with India are resolved". Khan complained that Pakistan's nuclear program has always been a target for Western propaganda and 'false accusations'.
"I would like to make it clear that it was an Indian nuclear explosion in May 1974 that prompted our nuclear program, motivating me to return to Pakistan to help create a credible nuclear deterrent and save my country from Indian nuclear blackmail," he added.He also said that the question of how many weapons are required for credible deterrence against India is purely academic.
The disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist further said that there is "a total misconception" about the money spent on Pakistan's nuclear program.
"When we started, our budget was just $10 million per year, increasing to $20 million per year when at full capacity, including all salaries, transport, medical care, housing, utilities, and purchases of technical equipment and materials. This is but half the cost of a modern fighter aircraft. The propaganda about spending exorbitant sums on the nuclear program circulated by ignorant, often foreign-paid, Pakistanis has no substance,' he added.
Khan also said that both India and Pakistan understand the 'mutually assured destruction' principle that ensured peace in the Cold War, adding that they "cannot afford a nuclear war, and despite our sabre rattling, there is no chance of a nuclear war that would send us both back to the Stone Age. "
"Our nuclear-weapons program has given us an impregnable defence, and we are forced to maintain this deterrence until our differences with India are resolved. That would lead to a new era of peace for both countries. I hope I live to see Pakistan and India living harmoniously in the same way as the once bitter enemies Germany and France live today," he concluded.