The architect of Pakistan’s nuclear programme died
Washington, US: Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear programme died, with his death there is again a debate has lit up about the how an individual or network can provide nuclear technology to rogue states and terrorist groups, seeking nuclear weapons.
AQ Khan, 85, died last week after his lungs collapsed.
Khan, famously known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, was lauded as a national hero for making his country the world’s first “Islamic nuclear power”. However, outside his country, he is considered responsible for nuclear proliferation as he smuggled technology to rogue states like North Korea, Iran and Libya.
In an opinion piece for The Hill, Joseph Detrani stated that there is an appropriate concern that other nation-states will try to acquire nuclear weapons capability, usually for deterrence purposes.
“Indeed, if North Korea is permitted to retain its nuclear weapons, South Korea, Japan and others in the region may decide that, despite U.S. nuclear deterrence commitments, they need their own nuclear weapons,” said Detrani, who was the former special envoy for negotiations with North Korea.
According to Detrani, it’s logical to assume that al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations continue to seek nuclear and biological weapons to attack the US, its allies. This concern is more valid due to the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, who were complicit with the 9/11 attack by permitting al Qaeda to reside in the country and plot against the US.
The writer, who is the former director of the National Counterproliferation Center, further argued that one serial proliferation, such as AQ Khan, can provide the technology and know-how necessary to a few nation-states interested in acquiring nuclear weapons.
“Ensuring that Iran doesn’t acquire a nuclear weapon and that North Korea denuclearises completely and verifiably is necessary if we want to ensure that other countries — especially in East Asia and the Middle East — do not pursue their own nuclear weapons programs.”
Raising concern about nuclear proliferation, Detrani strongly argued that the likelihood that a nuclear weapon or fissile material for a bomb is acquired by a rogue state or terrorist organisation must be of “highest concern” to the US and its allies.