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Pak shared nuclear secrets with Iran, Libya: ISI

The ISI said whatever assistance was given to Iran and Libya was done in order to maintain friendly relations with these countries.



Washington: Pakistan, which used every
"legal and illegal" means to go nuclear, shared its secret
atomic technology and equipment with countries like Iran and
Libya, says an ISI report, based on disgraced scientist AQ
Khan`s questioning, which was circulated among western
intelligence agencies.

"It is most unfortunate that these things (transfer of
nuclear technology) happened due to the peculiar nature of the
circumstances and loose arrangements in those early days and
because of the personal obligations of previous governments to
these countries," says the undated ISI report obtained and
released by the Fox News today.

The ISI report, Fox News said, was based on the
questioning of A Q Khan and others by the Pakistani spy
agency.

The report was circulated to western intelligence
agencies after Pakistan refused to produce Khan for
questioning, the news channel said.

However, the report has no reference to North Korea,
which the western countries say was also a recipient of the
clandestine nuclear technology from Pakistan.

In the report, the ISI also conceded that Pakistan
used every legal and illegal means to obtain nuclear
technology and establish the plant to make atomic weapons in
the country.

"When the (atomic research) organisation was set up in
mid 1976, a free hand was given to the Project Director to
acquire each and everything through any means," it said.

"There was a direct and imminent threat to Pakistan`s
security and existence in the wake of the dismemberment of the
country in 1971 and after the Indian nuclear test in 1974," it
said.

Gen Ziaul Haq, the then Pakistan President, had openly
proclaimed that "beg, borrow or steal" was the policy of
the day in the light of the imposition of stringent embargoes
and restrictions on any nuclear-related materials and
equipment to Pakistan, the ISI said.

Pakistan, being an under-developed country with no
industrial infrastructure, had to buy each and every bit of
material and piece of equipment surreptitiously from abroad in
the open market and had to establish a network of cover
companies within the country and outside to by-pass embargoes
and import all the necessary items, it said.

Such companies were operating in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE,
Singapore, UK, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland etc, the ISI
report said.

Since no industrial infrastructure was available within
the country, production drawing of all the components of the
centrifuge machines were sent to England, France, Germany,
Switzerland, Holland etc for the placing of orders for
thousands of components and equipment required in order to
expedite the work, which was a race against time, it said.

"Dubai, having no customs formalities or restrictions and
no financial impediments, was made the main operating centre.
All the foreign suppliers (Dutch, British, French, Turkish,
Belgian, Swiss, German etc) were regularly coming to Dubai to
discuss offers and orders.

"A company named Ben Belilah Enterprises (BBE), owned
by an Arab police officer, was introduced by A Salam, a
British national," it said.

"BBE had a Sri Lankan Manager named Farooq. Salam and
Farooq, both being Tamils, were good friends. Due to the
frequent meetings between our experts and the foreign
suppliers, sets of almost all the drawings were kept in Dubai
in a flat that had been rented especially for this purpose so
they wouldn`t have to be carried to and fro all the time," the
report said.

The ISI said whatever assistance was given to Iran and
Libya was done in order to maintain friendly relations with
these countries.

It was never seriously believed this would lead to
anything as they were scientifically and technologically
backward countries, unable even to establish a pilot plant of
this nature or produce nuclear weapons, ISI argued.

Noting that due to religious and ideological
affinity, Pakistanis had great affection for Iran, the ISI
said former Pakistani army Chief Gen Aslam Beg was in favour
of very close cooperation in the nuclear field in lieu of
financial assistance promised to him towards Pakistan`s
defence budget.

"Benazir Bhutto`s government came under a lot of
pressure for cooperation and under this pressure and the
decision/approval/directive of Gen Imtiaz Ali, Adviser on
Defence (including nuclear matters) to the Prime Minister, KRL
(Khan Research Laboratories) gave some drawings and components
to Iran for R & D work," ISI said.

"The information given was by no means sufficient to
enable Iran to establish even a small pilot plant, not to talk
of a fully fledged centrifuge plant or produce nuclear
weapons. The Iranians already had excellent contacts with
European suppliers and they also started importing components
and equipment through Dubai (Farooq)," the ISI report said.

"For some time there was close cooperation through
Farooq, it said. "The Iranians wanted drawings etc of valves,
inverters, control panels, cascades etc from Farooq and they
gave him USD 5 million to help them in their efforts to
acquire this information.

"Farooq gave some money to Dr Niazi who had arranged the
initial contact between him (Farooq) and the Iranians and some
he transferred to his own accounts," it said.

Part of the money was put in an account in the
fictitious name of Haider Zaman, which first Farooq and later
on Tahir, Farooq`s nephew, and A Q Khan could operate, the
report said.

"This account was opened personally by Farooq. Some of
the money from this account was used by Tahir for payments etc
and some was donated for various social, educational
and welfare projects undertaken by Dr A Q Khan in Pakistan,"
the report said.

"The Iranians needed some P-1 (early discarded
model) components. They approached Tahir to request Farooq, an
engineer in KRL, to send them these components. These were old
components that were no longer being used by KRL and were not
sufficient or adequate for the establishment of a small pilot
plant or to produce nuclear weapons," the ISI report said.

"If it is true, but this is highly unlikely, that
there were some traces of uranium in the Iranian facilities,
there is just the remotest of chance that one or more KRL
components inadvertently had traces of UF6 gas on them that
had not been properly decontaminated before shipment," it
said.

PTI

From Zee News

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