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Updated November 2007

Nuclear Chronology
redline

1995-2000

March 1995
In early March 1995, head of the Saudi secret services Prince Turki ibn Faycal held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Faycal's purpose was to convince Pakistan to halt contacts with Iran on military and nuclear activities.
—Pakistan Cracks Down On Al-Ansar, 30 March 1995; Intelligence Newsletter, 30 March 1995, p. 7.

April 1995
In early April 1995, at the opening ceremony of Pakistan's National Center for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and the Pakistan Welding Institute, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Ishfaq Ahmad Khan commented that Pakistan's nuclear goals include the achievement of self-reliance in the construction of nuclear power plants. The ceremony was led by Minister for Industries and Production Mohammed Asghar. Khan said the centers would operate on a commercial basis. PAEC speaker Pervaiz Butt revealed that Pakistan plans to have a nuclear power generating capacity of 2,000 MW by the year 2003, and 8,000 MW by 2010. Butt conceded that some foreign assistance would be required before Pakistan can begin manufacturing its own nuclear reactors. Pakistan has established a zircalloy tube plant and other specialized centers and institutes to develop nuclear technology, including "an Institute for Nuclear Power Centre for Nuclear Instrumentation & Computer Control." NDT Center Director Dr. Khalid Ibrahim said the Welding Institute, which provides training for work on various nuclear plant components, has already certified 250 welders.
—"Officials Say Pakistan Developing Nuclear Manufacturing Capability," 1 June 1995, Nucleonics Week, 1 June 1995, p. 15, by Shahid-ur-Rehman Khan.

4 April 1995
On 4 April 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton called for modification of the Pressler Amendment. Without hinting at the extent of the changes he envisions, Clinton said that a revised law would make the U.S. "a stronger force for peace and reconciliation" in South Asia. The Chairman of a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, Hank Brown, said although he would not support the complete repeal of the Pressler Amendment, he would like to see some modification. In its current form, the Pressler Amendment has a negative effect on a major U.S.-Pakistan conventional arms deal. U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Director John Holum agreed with Clinton, saying that although the Pressler Amendment had served U.S. nonproliferation goals in the past, a change would allow U.S. South Asian policy "more flexibility."

Clinton's statement came one day before the arrival in Washington of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who is expected to argue that the law is unfair because it is country-specific and ineffective since it forces Pakistan to rely heavily on its nuclear deterrent. There had been some earlier indications that the Clinton Administration was leaning toward proposing a modification of the Pressler law. The first sign was on 7 March 1995 when Undersecretary of Commerce Jeffrey Garten testified before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee and said the Pressler Amendment handicaps U.S. business interests in Pakistan. On 9 March 1995, Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph Nye testified to the same subcommittee that "fine tuning" of the Pressler Amendment was needed.
—Clinton Backs Review Of Pakistan Policy, 4 April 1995; Executive News Service, 4 April 1995; Reuters, 4 April 1995, by Carol Giacomo. Marcus Brauchli, Wall Street Journal, 5 April 1995. p. A1, "US Policies Toward Pakistan..." Reuters, 7 March 1995, "US Officials See Law As Bar To Trade With Pakistan." R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 10 March 1995, p. A15, "Pakistan Arms Aid Supported."

23 May 1995
In a 23 May 1995 debate on a pending foreign aid bill, the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee voted 15 to 1 to modify the Pressler Amendment and ease restrictions on military aid to Pakistan. The amendment to the foreign aid bill, sponsored by Senator Hank Brown, retains the ban on arms transfers to Pakistan, but a spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Office hailed the move as a success for Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's personal diplomacy, and as a step toward the eventual repeal of the Pressler law. In a 8 May 1995 question hour, India's Foreign Affairs Minister R.L. Bhatia had warned that any transfer of sophisticated weapons systems to Pakistan under less restrictive U.S. legislation would force India to take counter-measures. The Pakistani media's reaction to the Foreign Relations Committee's decision was guarded, with one major daily reporting only "partial vindication" and warning that "U.S... pressure on the nuclear program is... likely to continue unabated".
—Easing Pakistan Curbs, 24 May 1995, New York Times, 24 May 1995, p. A3. Islamabad Radio Pakistan Network, 25 May 1995; in FBIS-NES-95-101, 25 May 1995, "Spokesman Welcomes Development." Delhi All India Radio Network, 8 May 1995; in JPRS-TAC-95-013-L, 8 May 1995, "Minister Speaks In Parliament On NPT, Pressler Amendment." The Nation (Islamabad), 25 March 1995, p. 6; in FBIS-NES-95-101, 25 May 1995, "Daily Views 'Partial Vindication.'"

14 June 1995
On 14 June 1995, sources report that construction of the Chashma nuclear reactor that China has exported to Pakistan is underway and should be finished on schedule. Pakistan has already paid seven of 15 payments for the reactor. The plant is modeled after China's new indigenously constructed 300 MW Qinshan nuclear plant. The 300-MW Chashma is located 280km from Islamabad. The primary contractor in this project is the China Zhongyuan Foreign Engineering Corporation. The secondary contractors are Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Engineering Research and Design; two subsidiaries of the China Zhongyan Nuclear Construction Company, the Ground Construction Company and the Installation Company; the Shanghai Nuclear Equipment Company; and the Qinshan Nuclear Company. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's scientific and engineering services directorate, which is carrying out 17 percent of the project's civil works, has manufactured the main coolant piping. There are also plans for Pakistan to make nuclear power plant parts. China has agreed to train 148 Pakistani technicians at Qinshan. On 14 July 1995, the first group of 83 people completed the study program at Qinshan.
Zhongguo Hegongye Bao [China Nuclear Industry Newspaper], 14 June 1995, p. 1, FBIS-CST-95-011 "Construction of First Chinese-Exported Nuclear Reactor To Pakistan" [2] Zhongguo Hegongye Bao [China Nuclear Industry Newspaper], 21 June 1995, p4; in FBIS-CST-95-011, 21 June 1995, "Construction Site Of Chasma Plant." Nuclear Europe Worldscan, 8 July 1995, pp 69-70, "Pakistan." [ Xinhua (Beijing), 14 July 1995; in FBIS-CHI-95-135, 14 July 1995, "Pakistani Technicians Trained At Nuclear Facility."

1 July 1995
U.S. officials say China is providing assistance in the construction of Pakistan's 40 MW Khusab nuclear reactor. The former head of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission, Munir Ahmad Khan, insisted that Pakistan is building the reactor completely on its own. The Khusab reactor is not under IAEA safeguards, which means that any plutonium produced there could legally be used to build atomic weapons, although it would first have to be reprocessed. Pakistan has not "mastered" the process of plutonium extraction, although it received transfers of experimental plutonium processing technology from European companies in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Pakistan built a small plutonium extraction facility called "New Labs." The Khusab reactor could produce tritium, which Pakistan already attempted to produce by irradiating lithium. In the 1980s, German firms sold Pakistan parts for a tritium purification facility. Later, Pakistan attempted to procure from Germany 30 tons of aluminum tubing, used to "clad lithium for irradiation in a reactor."

In its 1992 Militarily Critical Technology List, the U.S. Defense Department (DOD) described Pakistan's capability to produce a nuclear reactor indigenously as "limited." The report noted that Pakistan would probably require assistance in obtaining or producing key nuclear materials, such as beryllium, boron, carbide, hafnium, zirconium, lithium, graphite, and high-purity bismuth. The report also found Pakistan's nuclear program to be deficient in critical production and testing equipment for nuclear components, including furnaces, multi-stage light gas guns, transient recorders, oscilloscopes, flash X-ray equipment, capacitors, pulse generators, high-speed computers, and sophisticated electronics.
—"Pakistan Needs Help To Make Plutonium And Tritium" Risk Report, July 1995, p. 9.

1 July 1995
Pakistan's Kahuta plant, which started up in the early 1980s, has produced about 170kg highly-enriched uranium (HEU), an amount sufficient to produce 8-12 weapons. The initial stage of Pakistan's nuclear weapons production cycle involves mining uranium ore at Baghalchar and Qubul Khel, and milling the uranium at Dera Ghazi Khan and the Atomic Energy Minerals Center in Lahore. The nuclear plant at Dera Ghazi Khan then purifies and transforms the material into uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) at an annual rate of 200 MT. More than 1,000 high-speed centrifuges at Kahuta enrich the UF6 to 93 percent, producing about 20kg of HEU per year. Pakistani representatives claim the Kahuta plant has already been re-designed to only produce low-enriched uranium (LEU), used to fuel the Chashma reactor. However, Pakistan also has a pilot-scale centrifuge site in operation in Sihala. Furthermore, some reports indicate another enrichment facility is under construction at Golra, but Kahuta program director A.Q. Khan denies these allegations. Finally, the Pakistani Ministry of Defense and the A.Q. Khan research center finalize the production process by molding HEU into nuclear weapon components.
—"Pakistan's A-Bomb Potential" Risk Report, July 1995, p. 5 [2] Risk Report, July 1995, p. 3, "Nuclear Profile: Pakistan."

20 July 1995
A 20 July 1995 report by the Pakistani Foreign Affairs Committee urged the state nuclear industry to recommence producing weapons-grade uranium (U-235 enriched to 90 percent). Such calls have been made in light of two factors, an imminent fissile material cut-off and the perceived need by Pakistani leaders to stockpile enough highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to "ensure sufficiency." Since a February 1992 announcement by the Pakistani Foreign Secretary that Pakistan had "permanently frozen production of highly enriched uranium and weapons cores," Pakistan has presumably continued to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU); the former Pakistani Army Staff chief has indicated that a limit of 3-5% U-235 was established. Thus, Pakistan presently possesses two uranium stockpiles, one of HEU and another of LEU (which could be enriched to produce HEU). To fully ascertain Pakistan's nuclear capability, it is necessary to approximate the quantity of LEU that the country owns. Assuming that Pakistan has produced only LEU in running the Kahuta reactor at full capacity for four years, Pakistan could have obtained an additional 5-17 MT of LEU. The following are scenarios developed to estimate time frames for the possible enrichment of Pakistan's LEU into HEU: (1) If Pakistan now possesses 130kg of HEU, then it will be possible to double the HEU stockpile in 11-30 weeks; (2) If Pakistan now possesses 200kg of HEU, then it will be possible to double the HEU stockpile in 18-54 weeks.
—"Pakistan's Uranium Stockpile" INESAP-Information Bulletin, October 1995, pp. 8-9, by Zia Mian and Abdul H. Nayyar.

6 January 1996
Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said that if India conducts a nuclear test, Pakistan could be forced to "follow suit." According to Bhutto, Pakistan hopes "the day will never arise when we have to use our knowledge to make and detonate a [nuclear] device and export our technology." However, Bhutto believes that a nuclear test by India will "trigger a proliferation race" on the subcontinent. In a related statement, Muslim League Party Spokesman Mushalid Hussain said if India conducts a nuclear test, the Muslim League will demand that Pakistan "examine its options" because of the threat to Pakistan's national security. Former Pakistani Army Chief Aslam Beg added that Pakistan should quicken its nuclear development, but urged restraint in regard to a possible Pakistani nuclear test, saying, "Pakistan should not become a party to such madness". Western diplomats said that an Indian nuclear test would threaten peace in the region by ruining "the delicate ambiguity that each country maintains about its nuclear programme."
—"Bhutto Warns India Against Testing Nuclear Device" Daily Telegraph (London), 6 January 1996, p. 12, by Ahmed Rashid. Reuters, 17 December 1995, by Alistair Lyon; in Executive News Service, 17 December 1995, "Pakistani Press Lashes India Over A-Bomb Report." AFP (Hong Kong), 19 December 1995; in FBIS-NES-95-243, 19 December 1995, "Official Urges Acceleration Of Nuclear Program."

20 January 1996
During 18 January 1996 talks in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto revealed that Pakistan has achieved "parity" with India in its "capacity" to produce nuclear weapons and their "delivery capability." Bhutto said that Pakistan "cannot afford to negate the parity we maintain with India" in the nuclear area. Bhutto's statements represent a departure from Pakistan's previous policy of "nuclear ambivalence."
—"Pakistan Claims Parity With India In Nuclear Domain" Hindu, 20 January 1996, p. 13, by P.S. Suryanarayana.

25 February 1996
Pakistan's political leadership is reportedly considering a nuclear test in reaction to India's planned test. Pakistani nuclear scientists have plans, which include a choice of site, to conduct their own test "in a short time frame." U.S. intelligence officials allegedly told the Washington Post that they have satellite photos of excavation work at a shaft in the Chagai hills that could be used to conduct a nuclear test. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry denied the allegations. Former Pakistan Army Chief Mirza Aslam Beg said that in the 1980s, the U.S. deliberately ignored a report by attache to the U.S. embassy in Pakistan, Richard Barlow, that Pakistan was gaining a nuclear capability. According to Beg, U.S. embassy officials were "regularly briefed" on the progress of the Pakistani nuclear program.

According to a 4 January 1996 report in the Pakistani newspaper The Muslim, the U.S. alleged that China was assisting Pakistan in building a uranium centrifuge plant at Wah. The Muslim report also cited Pakistani officials as confirming that Pakistan was constructing another enrichment plant in Golra Sharif.
—"Pakistan: Article Views Case For Further Nuclear Tests" Muslim (Islamabad), 25 February 1996, pp. 1,4, FBIS-TAC-96-004, 25 February 1996 by Aroosa Alam. Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 7 March 1996, "Pakistan N-Test 'Ready'." Shahid-Ur-Rehman Khan, Nucleonics Week, 29 February 1996, p. 14, "Pakistan Said Ready To Counter Indian Nuclear Test With Its Own. AP, 8 March 1996; in International Herald Tribune, 8 March 1996, p. 4, "Pakistan's Angry Retort: Officials Denounce Report Of N-Test Moves." R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post Service, 7 March 1996; in International Herald Tribune, 7 March 1996, p. 4, "Pakistani A-Test Is Deemed Possible." AP, 7 March 1996; in Daily Telegraph, 7 March 1996, "Pakistan 'Plans Underground Nuclear Blast'."

29 February 1996
On 29 February 1996, a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman stated that "Pakistan has never acquired any nuclear weapons technology from China." According to the spokesman, China exported nuclear technology for peaceful use to Pakistan, not weapons technology, and this transfer does not violate any international treaties.
—"Pakistan Denies Import Of N-Technology From Beijing" Xinhua (Beijing), 29 February 1996 FBIS-TAC-96-004.

28 March 1996
In March 1996, unnamed Pakistani nuclear officials denied allegations made by the magazine "Power in Asia" that a 50 MW power reactor has been built near Khushab. Khushab was reported to be the first indigenously built reactor in Pakistan. Pakistan also is locally manufacturing some of the components for the 300 MW Chashma reactor.
—"Pakistan: The Reactor That Never Was" NucNet News, 28 March 1996. Ashraf Mumtaz, Dawn (Karachi), 7 March 1996, p. 1; in FBIS-NES-96-048, 7 March 1996, "Pakistan: First Indigenously Developed Nuclear Reactor Completed."

4 August 1996
Mohammed Saleem, an employee at Pakistan's high commission in London, was deported in July 1996 after the UK's Security Service (MI-5) identified him as the head of Pakistan's nuclear procurement network. Saleem was deported for recruiting a network of Pakistani-born scientific students at UK universities to collect sensitive nuclear information. Saleem also sought to procure nuclear-related materials and arrange lines of credit and export licenses for Pakistan's nuclear program. The British Home Office said that "since late 1991, Mohammed Saleem has been conducting covert nuclear procurement activities in Britain." The information and materiel was provided to the A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories in Kahuta. Saleem denied the charges.
—"Pakistan Nuclear Bomb Plot Exposed" Sunday Times (www.sunday-times.co.uk), 4 August 1996, by Ciaran Byrne and Tim Kelsey.

20 March 1997
In an interview conducted by an unnamed Urdu-language newspaper in Lahore, Pakistan, former Pakistani Army chief Mirza Aslam Beg said Islamabad successfully tested its "atomic bomb capability" using computer simulation. He said Pakistan's next task is to focus on delivery systems for its "nuclear capability." Beg said he has no knowledge that Pakistan has missiles which could carry nuclear warheads. He added that F-16 aircraft could be used for such a task.
—"Ex-Army Head Says Pakistan Bomb Passed Computer Simulation Tests" Nulceonics Week, 20 March 1997, p. 18, by A. Rauf Siddiqi.

27 July 1997
Pakistani foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan said in an interview to the BBC World Service that Pakistan was ready to sign a treaty with India on non-use of nuclear weapons, "even though it would put Pakistan at a disadvantage." Asked if Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons, Ayub Khan said, "No, we are against nuclear weapons."
—"Pakistan Ready To Sign Treaty Of Non-use OF N-arms With India" The Times of India, 27 July 1997, by S.K. Dhar.

13 August 1997
Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Qadeer Khan, stated on 12 August 1997 that the nuclear program in his country would continue despite criticism from the West. "It is so central to out security, and national security is so dear to us, that we don't care who is saying what about our peaceful program," Khan said. He added that efforts of scientists had placed Pakistan into the "club of six or seven countries capable of enriching uranium up to 95 percent for use in weapons of mass destruction." The fact that there has been no war between India and Pakistan since 1971 indicates the importance of this deterrent, said Khan. Also Khan rejected the notion of a nuclear and missile arms race between India and Pakistan. "Call it an arms race or defense preparedness. We take pride in our endeavors in the nuclear field, which originally came as a response to the Indian nuclear test in 1974." Head of the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL), Khan described the suburban Islamabad facility as the pride of every Pakistani and the best achievement in the past 50 years in a country where "the state of science and education is otherwise pathetic." He refused to respond when asked if Pakistan actually possessed a nuclear device.
—"Pakistan Defiant On Nuclear Program" Washington Times, 13 August 1997, by Imtiaz Gul.

8 September 1997
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif acknowledged his country's nuclear capability on 7 September 1997 in Lahore. "The issue of nuclear capability is an established fact. Hence the debate on this issue should come to an end," said Sharif while urging the media not to discuss it further. Referring to Pakistan's nuclear program, he said the country had progressed significantly, and said, "we have left that stage (developmental) far behind." Sharif is to meet with US President Bill Clinton in late September 1997 to discuss, among other issues, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
—"Nawaz Sharif Acknowledges Pakistan's Nuclear Capability" The Times of India, 8 September 1997, by Shahid Ahmed Khan [www.timesofindia.com].

23 September 1997
In a speech to the United Nations on 22 September 1997, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered to begin discussion with India on a non-aggression pact between the two countries, and on mutual restraint on nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Sharif's proposal included a deal to demonstrate "mutual and equal restraint in the nuclear and ballistic [missile] fields. All this and much more can be achieved if India joins us in pursuing our current dialogue to its successful culmination." Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral met at the United Nations on 23 September 1997, but did not discuss the Pakistani proposal.
—"Pakistan Suggests Peace Deal With India" Asia News, 23 September 1997 [www.asianews.net]. Nando net, 23 September 1997 [www.nando.net], "India, Pakistan Don't Discuss Monday's Proposal."

1 December 1997
Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed told the newspaper "Jang" in November 1997 that the day India signs the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Pakistan "will immediately do so." Until that time, Ahmed said Pakistan will not be made a "hostage to India by signing the CTBT before India." Pakistan perceives India's nuclear program as a threat to the regional security of South Asia and is, therefore, insisting on a regional solution.
—"Pakistan To Sign Test Ban Pact Only After India" Asian Defence Journal, December 1997, p. 147.

28 May 1998
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reported on 28 May 1998 that Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests and had "settled the score with India." Sharif also reported that Pakistan would weaponize its intermediate-range ballistic missile Ghauri with nuclear warheads. In addition, Sharif criticized the international community's response to India's nuclear tests and said, "Pakistan was left with no choice but to detonate its own nuclear devices." Finally, while Pakistanis cheered in the streets of Islamabad, India's parliament erupted into shouting as opposition leaders blamed the government for starting a nuclear arms race.
—"Pakistan Conducts Five Nuclear Tests" New York Times, 28 May 1998, [www.nytimes.com].

11 June 1998
In June 1998, Israel's ambassadors to the United States and the United Nations received assurances from their Pakistani counterparts that Pakistan will not transfer nuclear technology or materials to Iran or to other Middle Eastern countries. Israeli officials had feared that Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Harrazi's visit to Pakistan shortly after its May 1998 nuclear weapons tests was a sign that Pakistan was preparing to sell nuclear technology to Iran.
—"Pakistan Promises Not To Provide Nuclear Aid To Iran" Israel Wire, 11 June 1998, [www.israelwire.com].

19 August 1998
According to Pakistani industry officials, centrifuges are being produced at the Pakistan Steel Mills, which have been used in uranium enrichment for the past several months. The Pakistan Steel Mills operate under the Kahuta Laboratories. The Mills have been closed since 1989 but are currently in the last stages of modernization. The Mills are producing 40,000 tons of "different type of chemical and special steel," including low carbon maraging steel which has applications for Pakistan's defense industries and nuclear program. Dr. Qadeer Khan, head of the Kahuta Research Laboratories, expressed the importance of the Mills, stating that Pakistan cannot import such materials due to international sanctions.
—"Pak Produces Component For Uranium Enrichment: VOG" Pakistan Link, 19 August 1998, [www.pakistanlink.com].

24 September 1998
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on 23 September 1998 that he would sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Sharif said he would sign the CTBT only if the United States lifted sanctions. The sanctions were imposed on Pakistan in May 1998 after it conducted its nuclear tests. Sharif said that "Pakistan's adherence to the treaty will take place only in conditions free from coercion or pressure." In addition he said that "we expect that the arbitrary restrictions imposed on Pakistan by multilateral institutions will be speedily removed and that discriminatory sanctions against Pakistan will be lifted." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan applauded Pakistan's decision. He said that "the government of Pakistan is to be commended for heeding the concern of the international community."
—"Pakistan Will Sign Nuclear Test Ban, Even If India Doesn't" Washington Times, 24 September 1998, by Betsy Pisik, p.A-17.

12 November 1998
Top Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan said that although Pakistan "is capable of developing the hydrogen bomb," it does not need to since it responded to India's nuclear detonations in May 1998 with nuclear tests of its own. He said that even if Pakistan were to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), it would not affect Pakistan's ability to develop a hydrogen bomb. Khan said "the nuclear arms and missile capabilities of Pakistan are enough to respond to any aggressive design of the enemy."
—"Khan: Pakistan Could Build but Does 'Not Need' H-Bomb" The News (Islamabad), 12 November 1998.

17 November 1998
According to "reliable sources of the [Pakistani] Federal Government," Pakistan has started producing plutonium for use in hydrogen, plutonium, and neutron weapons. According to this report, Pakistan is capable of producing thermo-nuclear and neutron bombs. Pakistani experts claim that the Khushab nuclear reactor is producing Plutonium 239 (Pu-239), an artificial radioactive element used in some nuclear weapons.
—"Pakistan Starts Producing Plutonium" The Nation, 17 November 1998, [www.nation.com.pk] (17 November 1998).

15 December 1998
Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad, chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), said on 14 December 1998 that Pakistan was one of the few countries that has been able to master the nuclear fuel cycle. He said that the 29 May 1998 nuclear tests enabled Pakistanis to "hold our heads high in the international community." He said that the PAEC would try to focus in the future less on foreign trading to ensure long-term self-reliance in the area of nuclear technology.

Ahmad pointed out that Pakistan mines and refines its own uranium, is the only Muslim country with an operational nuclear power plant [at Karachi], and is constructing a second nuclear plant at Chashma. He also noted that Pakistan had to produce its own fuel and heavy water after Canada stopped its nuclear assistance in 1976. Thereafter, Pakistan modernized the instrumentation and control system of the nuclear plant at Karachi, which contributed to extending its design life by ten years. He also gave much of the credit for Pakistan's success in the nuclear field to the Pakistan Institute for Science and Technology (PINSTECH).
—"Pakistan Self Sufficient in N-Disciplines: PAC" Dawn, 15 December 1998, [http://dawn.com]

22 January 1999
Officials at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) announced on 21 January 1999 that the 330 MW Chashma nuclear power plant, currently being built with Chinese assistance, would start commercial production by the end of 1999. Officials said that the final tests for the plant should be completed by August 1999.
—"Chashma Plant to Start Working by Year End" Pakistan Link, 22 January 1999, [www.pakistanlink.com].

25 May 1999
In late May 1999, Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan said in an interview that the 28 May 1998 nuclear tests had not depleted Pakistan's stockpile of nuclear material. Khan said, "We [Pakistan] have been making the nuclear material for a long period...We have enough stock for our security and for deterrence, more than enough." Khan was asked if A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories had produced any bombs since the 28 May 1998 nuclear tests. Khan replied, "Sure, because as long as you don't sign the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) the process will be carried on." He said A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories was trying to improve the efficiency of Pakistan's nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles. He said, "the process would not be slowed even if Pakistan signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). "Khan said the CTBT would not prevent Pakistan from conducting, "cold tests" and perfecting its designs. Khan also said the 28 May 1998 nuclear tests had, "more or less finished" the Pakistan-India arms race.
—"Pakistan is still making nuclear bombs: Qadeer" Dawn (Karachi), 25 May 1999, www.dawn.com.

27 May 1999
In late May 1999, Pakistani Director General of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Mirza Mansoor Beg said Pakistan made nuclear devices that could be detonated at short time intervals and could be moved far distances without inconvenience. Beg said the major challenge on Pakistan's nuclear path was acquiring a nuclear reactor denied by sanctions on Pakistan. He said the nuclear plant was designed and manufactured independently by Pakistan. He said that telemetry technology was also developed independently by Pakistani scientists.
—"Pakistan Develops A Number Of Nuclear Devices: DG PAEC" The Nation (Islamabad), 27 May 1999, [www.nation.com.pk].

1 July 1999
On 30 June 1999, during a debate in the Pakistani Senate, Religious Affairs Minister Raja Mohammad Zafarul Haq said, "Pakistan has the right to react with all military might at its disposal in case its security was threatened." He said that the purpose of developing weapons becomes "meaningless if they are not used when they are needed to be used." He said that the use of nuclear weapons is "the right of the country if its security is in jeopardy." He said, "Nuclear weapons are not meant to be kept on the shelf if security of the motherland is threatened." He said, "We have nuclear deterrent and would like to reiterate it is for our national security not for formal exhibition." He said Pakistan would use all available resources, "including the nuclear option," for its national security.
—"Nuclear Pakistan vows use of 'all military might'" Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 1 July 1999, [www.lexis-nexis.com/universe].;"Pakistan minister says use of nuclear weapons justifiable if national security jeopardized," PTI news agency (New Delhi), 30 June 1999; in BBC, 1 July 1999; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 2 July 1999, [http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe]. "Raja Zafarul Haq tells Senate," Frontier Post, 1 July 1999.

4 August 1999
On 4 August 1999, Pakistani officials said that foreign investment in Pakistan dropped by 51 percent in 1998 due to the US-led international economic sanctions. Officials said foreign investment declined from $822 million to $403 million during fiscal year 1997-1998. Total direct foreign investment also fell 37 percent to $376 million and portfolio investment fell 87 percent to $27 million. Economic sanctions were imposed on Pakistan after it conducted nuclear tests on 28 May 1998. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and Asian Development Bank also suspended all aid packages to Pakistan after the nuclear tests.
—"Pakistani nuclear tests see halving of foreign investment" Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 4 August 1999, http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe.

3 February 2000
On 3 February 2000, Pakistan announced that it has created a National Command Authority (NCA) to facilitate the command and control of its nuclear weapons. The NCA will compromise the Employment Control Committee (ECC), the Development Control Committee (DCC), and a Strategic Plans Division (SPD). The head of government, General Pervez Musharraf, will head the committees. The other members of the ECC will be the ministers of foreign affairs (deputy chairman of ECC), defense, and interior, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, the chiefs of the armed forces, and the director-general of the SPD. The DCC will include the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee (deputy chairman of DCC), the chiefs of the armed forces, the director general of the SPD, and a "representative of the strategic organization and scientific community".
—"Pakistan Sets Up Weapons Control Authority" Times of India (New Delhi), 4 February 2000, www.timesofindia.com.

12 June 2000
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has started reprocessing operations at New Labs in Rawalpindi, which is located next to the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (Pinstech). New Labs separates the plutonium from spent fuel from the PAEC's unsafeguarded Khushab reactor. This could enable Pakistan to build plutonium-based nuclear weapons. The weapons that Pakistan tested in May 1998 were all uranium-based. According to unnamed senior US government officials, the Khushab reactor and the reprocessing plant are capable of producing 8-10kg of unsafeguarded weapons-grade plutonium per year. Access to plutonium could allow Pakistan to design more compact nuclear warheads for ballistic missiles. According to US officials, the Pakistani government is under pressure from its scientists to test a plutonium weapon. However, one unnamed analyst said that PAEC had taken the steps to conduct another nuclear weapons test, in case India was to carry out another test of its thermonuclear weapon.
—"Pakistani Separation Plant Now Producing 8-10kg Plutonium/Yr" Mark Hibbs, NuclearFuel, 12 June 2000, www.mhenergy.com.

25 July 2000
Pakistan announced yesterday measures to formally organize its commercial exports of nuclear material. The trade ministry reported that the possible exporters will require a certificate from the Pakistani Atomic Energy Agency allowing them to export specific nuclear equipment and material. The report categorized certifiable nuclear material as follows: natural uranium, depleted uranium, enriched uranium, thorium, plutonium, zirconium, heavy water, tritium, beryllium, natural and industrial radioactive materials on the condition that their radiation level be less than 200 micro-curies per gram, and enriched nuclear graphite provided it has no less than five parts boron per million and that its density exceed 1.5g/cm3. The items listed are regulated whether they are found as metal, a chemical derivative, or within another material that contains one or more of said elements.

The report defines the specific nuclear equipment as any equipment utilized to produce and use the applications of nuclear energy, or for generating energy for nuclear reactors. The listed equipment includes: pressure vessels for reactors, machines to load or unload reactor fuel, primary cooling tubes, reactor monitoring systems, internal equipment for reactors, and any equipment directly related to the reactor containers that control the level of energy in the reactor core or it cooling.
—"Pakistan Organizes Its Nuclear material Exports" Al-Ittihad, 25 July 2000, www.alittihad.co.ae.

26 September 2000
The Chashma nuclear power plant, built under a turnkey contract with the China National Nuclear Corporation, was handed over to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on 26 September 2000.
—"China Hands Over Chashma Nuclear power Plant to Pakistan" Radio Pakistan (Islamabad), 27 September 2000 FBIS Document SAP20000927000020.

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CNS This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, agents. Copyright © 2010 by MIIS.

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