The proverbial radioactive shit has hit the fan in Pakistan. And it has fallen on such worthies as a former President (Ghulam Ishaq Khan) , a former army chief (Gen Mirza Aslam Beg) besides the father of the Islamic bomb, Khan the Centrifugist as well. And since the Iran sale happened in 1980s andwell before Musharraf’s coup, he does not lose much personally. In fact all the attention is diverted away from the C-130 that was spotted in Pyongyang in 2002, well after his enlistment in the War on Terror.
At long last the Pakistani press is asking the right questions, as in this editorial in The Dawn.
What has surprised, even shocked, the Pakistani public, media and the intelligentsia is the extent of the laxity and incompetence shown in the matter by the government, more especially the top generals who were directly entrusted with the responsibility of controlling and guarding the nuclear research programme. What was Pakistan’s pampered and over-staffed intelligence set-up doing when “some” scientists were going about marketing their nuclear knowhow? It is the same intelligence set-up that keeps a close eye on foreign and Pakistani journalists and maintains dossiers on opposition politicians.
That such a powerful intelligence outfit – often regarded as an invisible government – did not know what Pakistan’s nuclear community was doing is indeed shocking beyond belief. The Pakistani people may attribute this lapse to incompetence but not foreign governments and agencies which might well conclude that sections of those who were in command were not above suspicion.
The “stern action” the president has spoken about will, no doubt, be taken against the erring scientists, whatever their motives. But it is disturbing that the government went public with some facts only after foreign media had blown the whistle. In other words, if these nuclear shenanigans had not been disclosed by western sources, our government would have kept the Pakistani people in the dark about it and possibly itself remained in the dark about what was going on. [Source: The Dawn]