Islamabad: Pakistan`s intelligence agencies were "caught unawares" by a series of India`s nuclear
tests in May 1998 despite claims of having informants in
"almost every house" near the test site at Pokhran, nuclear
scientist AQ Khan has said.
In a column written in The News daily, Khan said he
had "voiced my criticism of the performance of our
intelligence agencies" when then premier Nawaz Sharif held a
meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet on May 13,
1998 to discuss Pakistan`s options in the wake of India`s
first three nuclear tests two days earlier.
"Despite their claims of having informants in almost
every house in Pokhran, and their promises that they would
inform us if India made any preparations for tests, we were
caught unawares," Khan wrote in the piece titled "Intelligence
agencies and law."
"If we had had as little as 10 days` notice, we
could have prepared a matching response and could have
detonated our devices in as little as an hour," he wrote.
During the meeting on May 13, 1998, Khan said he,
then Foreign Minister Gauhar Ayub Khan and then Foreign
Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan were "quite vocal" about
conducting nuclear tests.