Brigadier ® Naeem Ahmad Salik in his recently launched book “The genesis of South Asian nuclear programme: Pakistan’s perspective” describes how Dr. A.Q. Khan throughout his procurement efforts, used Dubai as a sort of warehouse. He writes that sometime during 80s Dr. Khan started “using” his technical expertise, knowledge of European sources of supplies etc. Brig Naeem was a senior strategic control officer attached with the Nuclear Programme and as is usual with such writers the book has been arranged through Oxford press.
He discloses that Dr. Khan developed a more efficient second generation centrifuge known as P-2s, the P-2s replaced P-1 centrifuge. Dr. Khan according to the book had a surplus inventory of used P-1 machines. Brig (r) describes that how a one-page hand written “Offer” (quotation allegedly from Dr. Khan) was from millions to hundreds of millions dollars.
I never buy books which “disclose” secrets only after one’s death or after one is out of seat. Yes if available free, I do read. As a layman two natural questions puzzle me. I have no idea even imaginary what is P-2 and what is P-1 machine. However seeing the photographs of some of the nuclear projects coming in press like Iran’s coming in western press, I am sure these machines must not be like a handy camera or like a sewing machine which can be put in a personal suitcase. These machines must be large. I have worked in country’s second biggest Engineering Unit and have seen hundreds of types of machines there. My puzzle is as to how Dr. Khan put those machines in his traveling suitcase and took abroad. The second puzzle is Brig ® Naeem according to his version was a member of the top supervisory/watchdog formed, though not officially but in a sort of keeping a watch on Dr. Khan. Then how in the presence of such an intelligent Brigadier, Dr. Khan kept on selling those machines. Should it be taken the supervisory/watchdog body of which Brig ® was a member, comprised of inefficient not competent persons? Brig ® however also did not contain in the book as any annexure etc any copy of his Note/Summary prepared during his service there cautioning the government about this alleged clandestine business of Dr. Khan. Dr. Khan is a subject which will remain with us for decades. The more is written about him the more respect Dr. Khan earns from the ordinary folks as we believe that if Dr. Khan ever did it, and we take he did it, then we the ordinary people, cannot even for a second imagine, it was not done under the active blessing of the rulers and higher bureaucracy civilian or military then.