Ummid Assistant

Jamia Millia launches courses on China, Afghanistan

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home International

Was India A.Q. Khan's mysterious fourth customer?

Thursday December 22, 2011 09:03:47 PM, Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington: A US arms control expert has made the astonishing claim that India may have been the mysterious fourth customer of Pakistan's notorious nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, dubbed father of Islamabad's nuclear bomb.

Journalist Joshua Pollack, a US policy wonk who has done work on nuclear proliferation, makes the assertion of all places in Playboy that Khan "provided the shortcut to a nuclear weapon" to India besides Iran, Libya and North Korea.

The evidence he provides is pretty thin: "Only three countries are known to operate centrifuge technology similar to Pakistan's. Two of them, Iran and North Korea, are already accounted for among Khan's customers".

"The third and last country on the list: India, Pakistan's foe," concludes Pollack, suggesting that it was "an overlooked possibility, previously ignored because it seemed too absurd to consider, but it might be the most compelling answer to the fourth-customer mystery".

Although India, which conducted its first nuclear test May 18, 1974, "had beaten Pakistan to the bomb, they had done so through mastery of plutonium production - a different route to creating a nuclear weapon," he said.

"India's ability to enrich uranium remained limited. New Delhi started a centrifuge programme in the 1970s, but the Indians weren't ready to break ground on their main enrichment facility until 1986."

"By that point, Pakistan had been churning out weapons-grade uranium for at least three years," Pollack claimed.

India's enrichment programme progressed slowly, but at some point before 1992 the Indians began experimenting with supercritical centrifuges, devices that can withstand very high rotational speeds, he said.

Documents the Indians gave potential suppliers for centrifuge parts "provide strong clues about where New Delhi's supercritical centrifuge technology came from," Pollack said.

"Despite some changes, the design is recognisable to the trained eye: It almost mirrors the G-2 centrifuge, a design that Khan stole from URENCO in the 1970s and later reproduced as Pakistan's P-2 centrifuge," he said.

Centrifuge specs are not the only apparent link between India's enrichment programme and Khan's operation, Pollack claimed.

The cast of characters also overlaps, starting with Gerhard Wisser, a German living in South Africa, who also supplied India's centrifuge programme with specialised equipment, starting in the late 1980s, he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at






Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS






Top Stories

Lokpal bill tabled with minority quota, BJP fumes

Amid stiff opposition, the government Thursday finally introduced in the Lok Sabha the much-debated Lokpal bill that envisages creation of anti-graft institutions at the central as well as state levels with a provision  

Salient features of Lokpal bill

Congress core group discusses minority quota in Lokpal


  Most Read

Pakistan PM fears his ouster

Conspiracies are being hatched to oust the elected Pakistani government from power, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Thursday, insisting that "nobody is above the law" and all institutions in the country are  

There is only one Mahatma for India, says CPI

"I appeal to the Congress party and to the government that under no circumstances the sovereignty of parliament should be surrendered. It should not do anything under duress," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said after the government introduced the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha.  


  News Pick

Hundreds brave chilling cold to attend AIMPLB stir launch

Hundreds raised their hands in agreement as the local All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Action Committee leaders demanded  

Indonesian MPs seek lessons from India's anti-graft movement

A four-member delegation from the Indonesian House of Representatives got curious about Anna Hazare's call for a strong anti-graft mechanism at an interaction with former Indian diplomats at the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA)  

Court asks Facebook, Orkut to remove objectionable pictures

A Delhi court has ordered several social networking companies like Facebook, Google and Orkut to remove some pictures from their websites. The court of administrative civil judge Mukesh Kumar was hearing  


Picture of the Day

Jamia Vice- Chancellor Najeeb Jung confer the degree of "Doctor of Letters"( Honoris Causa) on Prof. Amartya Sen at a special convocation, in New Delhi on Friday.

(Photo: IANS)



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.