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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time For Bush To Give LoP Pat On The Back?

In the late 90s, when it emerged, in public, of course, that China was behind Pakistan nuclear weapons, the then American president Bill Clinton gave China a clean chit and said its non-proliferation history was impeccable much to the dismay of Bharatiya policy wonks.

Now apparently we are finding out, if it already needs confirmation, that the recently slain Benazir Bhutto, that paragon of peace - she did go to Oxford and can speak English that the west can understand - actually took the nuclear weapon design plans to North Korea personally, in her own coat pocket!

Pakistan gave uranium enrichment technology to North Korea in return for missiles, says the biography of the slain PPP leader authored by her close friend Shyam Bhatia.

The 'enrichment for missiles' barter took place in 1993, says the book Goodbye Shahzadi whose author cites the information revealed by Bhutto herself during a conversation with him.

As secret services of India, Russia and some western countries were closely monitoring every move on Pakistan's military research, Bhutto had decided to herself carry the sensitive material to Pyongyang to avoid detection, the book says.

"As she (Bhutto) was due to visit North Korea at the end of 1993, she was asked and readily agreed to carry critical nuclear data on her person and hand it over on arrival in Pyongyang," the book claims.

"...before leaving Islamabad, she shopped for an overcoat with the 'deepest possible pockets' into which she transferred CDs containing the scientific data about uranium enrichment that the North Koreans wanted," it says.

"She (Benazir) did not tell me how many CDs were given to her to carry, or who they were given to when she arrived in Pyongyang, but she implied with a glint in her eye that she had acted as a two-way courier, bringing North Korea's missile information on CDs back with her on the return journey," the author writes.

Bhutto got back not only the designs but also disassembled parts of an entire Nodong missile for Pakistani scientists to study part by part in the security of their own laboratories, the book suggests.['Benazir personally gave N-technology to N.Korea' - IE]

I suppose now is the time for Bush to stand at the White House and give the Land of Pure a pat on the back and talk about its impeccable non-proliferation record. But hush - the western press, and hence Bharatiya press, hasn't made a big deal out of it. Also we don't talk ill of the dead, especially of a newly minted person of peace.