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The Leader who made Pakistan Invincible

Owing to three earlier wars with India and the imbalance of power between the two countries, it was vital for Pakistan to develop its own nuclear technology to be able to ensure safety of the people and its territorial integrity.

"If India builds a nuclear bomb, we will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own. We have no other choice."

Shaheed Zulfiqar Bhutto

Specifically, the Fall of Dhaka and India's role in the separation of East Pakistan made the acquisition of nuclear weapons all the more Pertinent in the prevailing geopolitical environment. In 1974, India conducted nuclear tests gravely disturbing the regional power dynamic. In these circumstances, it was the Quaid-e-Awam who rose up to the challenge and envisioned that without nuclear deterrence, Pakistan would continue to face threats to its sovereignty in the face of Indian hostility.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his last book, "Agar Mujay Qatal Kya Gya" wrote about the Nuclear programme of the country. From October 1958 to July 1977, Bhutto remained fully engaged in the development of the nuclear programme; a period of 19 years. As a foreign minister, Power and Energy Minister and Minister of the Atomic Energy Commission, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto remained directly linked to Pakistan's nuclear programme. In his book, he relates that when he took charge of the portfolio, Atomic Energy Commission was merely an office. He soon focused all his energies on its development so that the country could ultimately become a nuclear power. He had sent scores of national scientists to Europe and North America for education in nuclear physics. After laying the foundation of a research centre, he inked the historic accord for 5 Research Reactor against the wishes of the then Finance Minister, Shoaib, and the then Planning Commission Deputy Chief, MM Ahmed, and acquired a 137 MW nuclear plant from Canada to be set up in Karachi. In 1976, he also founded the Chashma Nuclear Plant and Atomic Reprocessing Plant with the help of France.

In his book, he states that he built the nuclear capability and infrastructure which was not an easy task for a country like Pakistan. At the time when he took charge of Atomic Energy Commission, Pakistan was 20 years behind India in this field. By the time he was deposed, Pakistan was almost at par.

As founder of nuclear programme, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto made Pakistan invincible.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015