‘Youm-e-Takbeer’: A Day of Reckoning

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The nation is proudly celebrating the 23rd Anniversary of the Nuclear test today. On May 28 every year Pakistan proudly celebrates “ The Day of Greatness” which is “ Youm-e-Takbeer”. On that day in 1998, Pakistan conducted a series of Nuclear Tests at the site of Chagai, Balochistan which is the eastern part of the country. The testing of that particular single Nuclear device followed on 30 May 1998. Pakistan began building nuclear weapons in the early 1970s when India became the sole nuclear power in South Asia. Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in power in Pakistan at the time in particular said”Ham ghaas kahe ge, mager bomb banahe ge”, “We will eat grass later, but we will make a bomb.”

The Pakistani scientists triggered the nukes which transformed the black graphite mountain into a milky white mountain and showed the world an indestructible power of nuclear technology. On this day Pakistan became the first nuclear Islamic country not only this but also became the Proud of the whole Islamic World. Pakistan gave a strong reaction to India on its five nuclear explosions.

Pakistan,s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later acknowledge that the tests had been carried out in reaction to the Indian Nuclear Tests earlier that month. ‘If India had not exploded the bomb, Pakistan would not have done so. Once New Delhi did so, we had no choice because of public pressure. Yet these tests further accelerated the stress between the two countries and stimulated a nuclear arms race in the region.

This day conveys the message of the immense power of defense for Pakistan’s defense posture. Almost 24 years after the first detonation of the Indian nuclear device, as a continuation and expected consequence of India’s 1998 nuclear tests, despite immense international pressure especially from the USA, Pakistan was compelled to conduct at least six nuclear tests in response to the Indian grand scheme. That was not really easy for Pakistan to undergo with the pressure of a superpower. But the country continued the aim that ultimately achieved by the strong efforts of the scientists, government, and institutions.

Pakistans’ nuclear program started in the 1970s as this was the follow up of the suffering of the 1971 war with India and the Indian nuclear explosion in 1974. Under the supervision of Abdul Qadeer Khan along with his team of Pakistani scientists succeeded in producing highly enriched uranium (HEU)  using centrifuge technology which was abstracted from the Netherlands by AQK. But both the Indian and Pakistani tests broke the de facto moratorium on nuclear testing that had been in place since the Comprehensive Nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT)opened for signature on 24 September 1996. The United Nations Security Council resolutely condemned both states by adopting Resolution 1172, on 6 June 1998. This resolution recognized a threat to international security and peace repeating the importance of CTBT and called on both countries to refrain from further confrontational moves.

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