Army takes full control of Pakistan's nuclear facilities

Wed Dec 24 2003 04:01:11 ET

Drudge Report

Islamabad (dpa) - Pakistan's army has taken ``full control'' of the nuclear programme of the country which is being investigated for proliferating nuclear technology, a news report said on Wednesday.

Islamabad's daily The News quoting unnamed official sources said that in an overhaul of its command and control structure started two years ago, ``the army has taken full control of the programme mainly by infusing new blood and strict controls at all levels of hierarchy in all nuclear facilities of the country''.

Between 1974 when the covert nuclear programme began and 1998 when it culminated in open nuclear tests, the top priority of the managers was ``to achieve, enhance and consolidate the very hard earned nuclear potential'', according to the newspaper's sources.

``We were forced to write blank cheques and not to ask for receipts. Administrative checks were difficult to place and devoted and educated human resource was difficult to find,'' the managerial sources said.

They acknowledged that ``maybe a few of the thousands of international complaints and reports circulated to malign Pakistan's nuclear programme had some merit'', the newspaper said.

Dr. Abdul Qaeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, has been questioned about two important officials of the Khan Research Laboratories after the International Atomic Energy Agency informed Islamabad about possible Pakistani links with Iran's nuclear programme.