CIA papers reveal China and USA helped make the bomb for Pakistan – Indrani Bagchi
NEW DELHI: Recently declassified CIA files+
testify to the depth of the Pakistan-China military relationship
built over decades and also highlights how Beijing was willing to risk its own nuclear cooperation
with US to boost the nuclear ambitions of ‘all weather friend’ Pakistan.
In the files, the US notes that China did not ask Pakistan to open its nuclear installations to IAEA inspections, after inking a nuclear agreement with the latter. The text of the agreement is pretty anodyne, focusing on non-military nuclear technology, radio-isotopes, medical research and civilian power technology. By this, the US notes, China wanted to develop a nuclear export market in Pakistan in “nonsensitive” areas. This would “reassure” countries like US which were apprehensive about Pakistan’s nuclear designs.
“We cannot rule out the possibility that China may feel it will be easier to cooperate clandestinely with Pakistan behind the smokescreen of IAEA-safe guarded cooperation activity in non-sensitive areas.”
By 1983-84, it had become alarmingly clear to the US that the China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation went much deeper. In February 1983, a US congressional committee was informed by the CIA that the US had proof China and Pakistan were talking nuclear weapons manufacture. CIA also stated they knew China had handed over the design of a nuclear bomb tested by China in Lop Nor, which incidentally was its fourth nuclear test and during which, US believed, a “senior Pakistani official” was present.
The US suspected China had handed over enriched uranium to Pakistan as well. Basically it meant that China had not only handed over the design of the bomb to Pakistan, it had also given the necessary material.
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