September 24, 2009

Dirty Deeds

Investigation: Nuclear scandal - Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan - Times Online
On the face of it, the letter’s contents are a damning indictment of a generation of Pakistan’s political and military leadership, who used Khan’s nuclear and missile skills to enhance Pakistan’s diplomacy.

It was not rocket science to work out a plausible explanation for the Dutch seizure. Bloggers will probably err on the side of more imaginative conspiracy theories, but the truth is probably simpler. After the September 11 attacks, the West in general, and the United States in particular, had to work with Pakistan to counter Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in neighbouring Afghanistan. That meant that they had to work with President Musharraf, even though he was no democrat. As part of the bargain, Pakistan’s nuclear sins also needed to be placed to one side.

As sins go, they were big: Pakistan had been spreading nuclear technology for years. The first customer for one of its enrichment plants was China — which itself had supplied Pakistan with enough highly enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs in the summer of 1982.

There it was in the letter...

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