Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A.Q. Khan Speaks

Pakistan's nuclear godfather has suddenly emerged from seclusion (involuntary) and penned a risible column for the Daily Jang. It is notable, this column, for his self-aggrandizing, self-importance, and self-service. Keeping to the tradition, he sprinkles the column with bits of Urdu poetry (though not the tired old morsels), and frames himself as a "just a worker". And then he launches into a tirade against Musharraf, as well as a glorification of the Bhutto family. I thought that the greater English-speaking world would want a peek into the mind of A. Q. Khan, so I translated it. Enjoy:

'Til The Dawn
- Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan

Why ask me the cause of my silence?
There must be some reason why I remain quiet

In 1961, I was about to embark, for higher education, to the most acclaimed technical university in Berlin. I thought that I should inform the Pakistani public, especially the students, about the conditions in Germany. In those days, the office of the Daily Jang was on Karachi Business Road. During college (D. J. Sindh Goverment Science College), I would routinely walk by the office. So I went in to meet Mir Khalil al-Rahman Sahib and seek his advice. At that time, Taki Sahib was the Editor and he immediately arranged for me to meet Mir Sahib. I had heard of him, and now I knew him in person. Mir Sahib was a handsome, tall man with a commanding personality and his intelligence was reflected in his broad forehead. He met me with great affection. He was very keen on my idea and told me to certainly keep the readers of Jang informed from Berlin. And thus, I left for Germany. Berlin, in those days, was the playing field for the political conflict between East and West. Only ten days earlier, East Berlin (i.e. the Eastern Communist Germany) had erected the Wall. Innumerable Germans were running from the Communists towards West Berlin and many were dying from the bullets of VOPOS, ie the East Berlin militia. In the skies, the Russian Mig fighters were daily breaking the sound barriers over the city. My hostel was roughly fifteen minutes away from the Brandenburg Gate, and near the Victory Column.

From there, I began to send reports to Daily Jang under the heading "Letters from Berlin" - which were regularly published. This continued for two years. In the pages of Jang I predicted that the mayor of Berlin, Willy Brandt, would one day become the Chcancellor of Germany. And indeed, in a few years, he did. In late 1963, I shifted from Berlin to the famous technical university in Holland and stopped writing "Letters from Berlin".

Due to current affairs, I though, why not indulge my disposition, and write once again on the important matters of the country. I have always held a fondness for writing, and if there is anything important, I do write. The habit is ...
I cannot break this pagan habit...

Which is not to say that the public remains unaware of my thoughts and my emotions:
I sit quietly, but it appears
as if the whole world is telling my story

No doubt, whenever someone begins to write for the newspapers, the public tries to decipher the intent or the cause:
You may or may not be suspicious, but we
Just gain comfort from telling our painful story

We all know that Good and Evil will always battle in this world. Almighty Allah has warned us of this repeatedly in the Qur'an and declared, "Allah, protect me from the evil of the evil doers and the oppressors". Some selfish and oppressive people, purely for the sake of their self-interest, trample the rights of the people under their feet. Drunk with power, they even, God forbid, deny the existence of God and his Might. The example of Musharraf is in front of you:
In every age, humans have done evil
In every age, humans have tried to become gods

But, God forbid, the haughtiness of being a god does not make one a god. Even if such people forget entirely about God:
The oppressors now think
As if there is no god left in the world

Our bureaucracy and sycophants play a large role in making these false gods into God. Musharraf is F.A. pass (high-school equivalent), a qualification which we use to employ attendants. By a mistaken promotion, he became our commander-in-chief. It nauseated us to see such a dim-wit lecture the highly educated and the experts on economics, education, foreign policy, commerce and industry. And they would bow in front of him and wag their heads and exclaim at his intelligence. The way of an intelligent ruler (or Dictator) is that he doesn't choose his companions on the basis of their flattery but on the basis of their expertise and their knowledge; he listens to their advice; and gives them all the help for the completion of important projects. There was this rumor going around about Musharraf that he complains to his Army friends, "I am saddened to see that if uneducated people cannot understand my arguments, it is ok, but even educated people cannot follow me." The reason is obvious. The ability to pull the trigger of a gun and the ability to make an intelligent statement are clearly different.

Selfish and opportunist people mix heaven and earth in false praise of such rulers, and make them into Plato. These are the people, who because of such actions, weaken the foundations of the country. These people operate like Hitler and his minister of propoganda, and say so many falsehoods that the ruler begins to believe them to be true and begins to consider himself intelligent. The results appear in the destruction of the country. Such was a lie spoken by Mujib ur-Rahman that the money derived from Jute sales, West Pakistan is paving streets with gold in Karachi. It was such a big lie, it was immediately accepted.

I returned to Pakistan in the fourth week of December. This is in 1975, i.e. nearly 33 years ago. I had returned at the request of Bhutto Sahib. Along with my wife and two daughters (aged 7 and 51/2 years), I had intended to return on January 15th. At the sincere request of Bhutto, and for the benefit of the country, I did not hesitate for even a moment: I left the best career, big income, and excellent facilities and stayed behind. I did not receive first salary, 3,000 ruppees monthly, until six months later. And no other compensation from the state:
Strange is God's grant to the exalted ones
Strange are these people, who bear sorrows but keep their hearts alive

Some of the most prominent expert scientists of the country spread falsehoods in the ears of Bhutto Sahib and Ghulam Ishaq Sahib that this young ruffian is here to make a fool out of you. He will enjoy himself for a few days and them take his leave. They explained the intricacies of the technology and the difficulties and that only three developed countries of the world, ie Holland, Germany and England, have the necessary expertise - an expertise they gained after 20 years of hard work and after the expenditure of nearly 2 billion dollars. Bhutto Sahib and Ghlam Ishaq Khan Sahib possessed the power to see the hidden truths. They had no doubts over my capacity for the truth and knew that I had not said a false word to them. Even though some people told me to declare that we will have an atomic bomb in two or three years.

I refused to tell a lie. They may have used this lie as a basis of their foreign policy and been defeated, as a result. And then some famous scientists decided that they could put some two or three thousand tons of explosive materials in some cave and then explode it and Bhutto Sahib will be satisfied and his obsession will be over. Listen. If politicians tell lies, than it is their profession and they can, without any shame, practice their profession in front of the general simple-minded public. But it is incumbent on us scientists and engineers to always keep our profession and our conscious in mind, and speak only the truth. I have always operated on this principle and never told a lie:
Truthful I am, in my word, O Ghalib God is my witness
I tell the truth when I say, I don't lie

The jist is that with the help of my colleagues, I made the impossible, possible. In only eight short years, and for a minuscule cost, made this depressed nation into a nuclear power. Bhutto Sahib, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, and General Zia ul-Haq helped without fear and without regret. Any task undertaken with good intentions and with true hard work, is rewarded by Allah. With the help of Honorable Benazir Bhutto, this country became a missile power. At my request, she granted me permission to seek missile technology from China and North Korea and install it here. In this General Mirza Aslam Beg and General Abdul Wahid Kakar played key roles. It is worth thinking that even as countless selfish, bribery-prone, traitors were busy tearing the country apart like hungry wolves, there remained some honest, pious, and skilled people who sacrificed their lives to keep this country on the slow path of progress. With the help of such people, by God's Will, we will make our country into a developed, welfare-based Islamic state.

I have spend the majority of my life, nearly all of my life. When I look back at my life, it is with peace and contentment, that I did my utmost to serve my dear country. I did not do any favors for my country. Instead, it is this nation that granted me all these favors, which I tried to pay back - piece by piece. I gained higher education and technical excellence in Europe for 15 years and I wanted to use that to serve the country in important matters. In 1999, I proposed that we launch a satellite but this high-school pass dictator did not approve my request. Still, I am proud of my service to my country. In addition to providing it with nuclear, and missile, power, I founded countless educational and welfare organizations. From Khyber to Gawadar, the love that exists in people's hearts is my greatest prize. One despicable, traitorous foreign agent donned the costume of Presidency and tried to harm me, but he failed in his dirty deed. Instead he, himself, was evicted from the Presidential house in disgrace. And now this self-styled Commando cannot even set a foot in the street of this country. The public will tear him into little pieces and feed him to the eagles. My relationship is with the 170 million people, and it will always remain. No one can stop me from serving this country. We have, in our front, the golden examples of the sacrifices of Honorable Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. They gave their lives but did not sell their country and became living legends. This is the reason that in "'Til the Dawn", I will reveal my thoughts, now and then:
The flame burns in every light, 'til the dawn

x-posted at CM


Anonymous said...

Dr Khan is deperately trying to erase from our memory the huge humiliation that Musharraf orchestrated for him back in 2004 and to which he became an victim very easily and foolishly.

However, I think it is too late now.

He has shamelessly displayed, in front of all the world media, his true character of being a thief (the history of which can be traced back to the start of his career in Pakistan) and smuggler, to which we do not have even the tiniest doubt.

By saying this I am not defending Musharraf.

The cheap tactics of mud slinging, to which Dr Khan now seems determined to resort to, are hardly going to clean his past or, for that matter, are going to do further damage to Musharraf beyond what is done by the recent election in Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Dr A Q Khan and Josef Fritzel

I would like to make a comparison between Dr Khan and Josef Fritzel of Austria, who locked, raped, and fathered seven children from his daughter over a period of 24 years.

Being a father of nuclear enrichment in Pakistan, Dr Khan’s relationship to the development of this sensitive technology in underdeveloped country Pakistan was that of a father to his daughter i.e. being a protector and a guardian.

Many of my friends who live in Islambad work for Dr Khan’s laboratories and tell me that while leaving the premises of these labs at 4 pm daily they are thoroughly checked at security points for possibly hiding some floppy drive, a little magnet etc, in some side pocket.

As it emerged a few years later, while minor employees of his labs were being kept engaged in thorough checking for little things like floppies, magnets, ball pens etc, his majesty the Head of labs himself was illegally selling sensitive nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran, and Libya and was transferring millions of dollars to his personal bank accounts.

Can someone explain to me why my respect for Dr Khan should be any greater than it is for Josef Fritzel of Austria. Both have done the same job of rape and plunder while being in the role of a father, guardian and a protector. It is interesting that the period of this plunder also matches for both of these characters i.e. 24 years.

If someone has any doubt about Dr Khan’s plunders, please come and visit his villa near Banni Gala, Islambad; please visit the Best Western Hotel in which he has shares, and please find with little effort the innumerable other assets he owns that are scattered around the city of Islamabad.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ahmed, it seems to me to be folly to ridicule the man who did indeed make the impossible possible. Pakistan's development of atomic weaponry under constant budgetary limitations and on a short timetable was an achievement of a very unfortunate sort.

He may be gilding the lily on Musharraf, he may be a megalomaniac, but it is unwise to laugh at those who have made the incineration of millions possible. It is better to analyze, learn, and perhaps prevent the next instance.

--Charles of MercuryRising

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Anonymous said...


Out of the other ethnicities, the Baloch people have suffered the most under an administration dominated by Punjabis.

The region of Balochistan is mostly waste land covered by deserts and uncultivable land. However this area is also rich in mineral reserves such as natural gas and petroleum.

In fact, 90% of Pakistan’s energy requirements are met by the natural reserves of the province of Balochistan.

But the irony is that this province does not even get 5% of the electricity produced from the land in this region. So much for Islamic/Pakistani brotherhood!

The per capita income of Balochistan is next to zilch when compared to Punjab.

Balochistan has hardly any schools or colleges except in the capital city of Quetta. The Baloch people have to travel great distances even to get basic necessities such as water and food supplies.
There are hardly any roads or major railway links in Balochistan. Most Baloch people have to work as migrant labourers in the more developed cities of Karachi and Islamabad.

The Pakistani Army rape women and young girls, kill non-combatants; in general terms, they spread misery amongst the Baloch population.

It is not as if the Civil or Military Administration is unaware of these facts. On the other hand, the Administration fully supports these cruel techniques used by the Pakistani Army to subdue the Baloch.

This is actually a return gift from the Pakistani Administration for the audacity of asking for the basic human rights by the Baloch.

There are no technical institutions where people from Balochistan can pursue education, which would enable them to achieve a respectable status. All the work in the various military or civilians are assigned to non-local labour.

This is not done because the Baloch people are lazy or unable to do work. Rather this is being done to add to the depravity of the already suffering people of Balochistan.

The Baloch people who are not so religious, but are however fiercely independent in spirit were ultimately fed up with the Punjabi-led administration decided to rebel against it.

Even though there is a long history of rebellion of the Baloch people against the evil Pakistani Administration, I will confine myself to a recent event that has become epoch in the history of Balochistan.

I will tell you the short story of Nawab Akbar Bughti. He was a man who once believed in the nation of Pakistan and even occupied several important positions in the Pakistani administration unlike most of his Baloch brothers who were not so lucky.

When he came back to his native place, he was really appalled to see the barbarity with which the Pakistani army treated the Baloch people. He could no longer tolerate the injustice and decided to fight the oppression.

He fought, to secure basic Human rights for his people. The Pakistani Administration decided that this impudent Baloch, who had the guts to ask for equal rights, should also be given a return gift. He was bombed in his house, which was actually a cave, in the middle of night.

This was a warning for the rest of the Baloch people to shut up or suffer similar consequences.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Now the Pakistani administration has found a new way of subduing the Baloch. They have started colonising the Baloch land in bits and pieces to establish colonies of Punjabi ex-army men in order to destabilize the ethnic balance of the area.

To add to the woes of the Baloch, Afghan refugees have also been provided habitations in the Baloch land. This was hardly done out of compassion for the refugees, why not house them in Punjab?

The real reason was to turn the native population of Balochistan into minorities. This way, they are being gradually subdued with ease.

While the Western Media chooses to cherry pick the events in Pakistan, we seldom get to hear the moans and cries of these unfortunate people, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

As I write this article, there might be a Baloch woman being molested by the Army of Pakistan, a child being beaten up for being who he is.

Nobody will ever be able to assess the exact extent of the atrocities the Pakistani Administration has committed upon the Baloch people.

I really don’t understand why the media of the free world chooses to ignore a Human tragedy which occurs everyday in a country as well known as Pakistan.

I also wonder why the Western leaders don’t ask the Pakistani administration as to why these people are suffering so much even after the billions of dollars in Aid.

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