LONDON (Aug. 12)
A NBC television program which 14 months ago predicted that Israel would bomb Iraq’s nuclear installation has now forecast that before the end of 1981, Pakistan will have enough plutonium to make its own nuclear bomb.
In a program entitled “The Islamic Bomb,” BBC-I’s “Panorama” detailed the efforts being made by Pakistan to produce its own bomb and the huge financial backing which it is receiving from Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi. Several companies in Western Europe including Britain, Holland, Italy and West Germany, are helping, either knowingly or unknowingly.
According to the Panorama team, Pakistan has “almost total access to Western technology and Western companies are happy to accept Pakistani money without asking too many question.” Many of the companies involved refused to answer BBC questions. Others said that they could not be certain that the parts which they were supplying would be used for a nuclear weapon.
HAS INGREDIENTS IN ABUNDANCE
Panorama said that any ruthless and determined government, given the money and the will, can produce a bomb. It then showed how Pakistan possesses both those ingredients in abundance. With evidence from a former aide of the late President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, it recalled how in 1972 Bhutto gathered together a group of the country’s top scientists and told them that he wanted to produce a bomb. Shortly after, he visited Tripoli. Since then money has been no object.
Qaddaffi was anxious to get his hands on a bomb and was happy for it to be produced by a fellow Islamic country. And since Israel’s raid on the Iraqi installation, the Pakistani project has become “even more important” to Qaddafi, the BBC program pointed out.