Father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has claimed that Pakistan has the ability to ‘target’ Indian capital New Delhi in just five minutes.
“Pakistan has the ability to target New Delhi from Kahuta near Rawalpindi in five minutes,” Khan said.
Addressing an event organised in Islamabad to celebrate the 18th anniversary of Pakistan’s first nuclear tests, carried out under his supervision in 1998, Khan said Pakistan could have become a nuclear power in 1984, if then President General Ziaul Haq hadn’t “opposed the move”.
“We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984. But President General Ziaul Haq had opposed the move,” Khan said.
According to Khan, General Zia believed that nuclear testing would not only result in world intervening militarily, but also affect international aid Pakistan was receiving due to the ongoing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Youm-e-Takbeer was celebrated across the country on Saturday with a pledge to defend the country against any aggression. On May 28, 1998, Pakistan detonated its nuclear devices at Chagai in Balochistan to become the first Muslim country to achieve the status of a nuclear power.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said it is our national responsibility to have full preparedness to protect Pakistan from external threats so that no one could dare to look towards it with bad intention.
“Pakistan’s atomic programme was developed to make country’s defence impregnable. It is a guarantee for peace in South Asia. This programme created balance of power, which was necessary to make this region safe,” the premier said in his message on the 18th anniversary of Pakistan’s historic atomic tests
This article originally appeared on NDTV.