Digital Commonwealth

Interview with Agha Shahi, 1987

Item Information

Title:
Interview with Agha Shahi, 1987
Description:
Agha Shahi was Pakistani Ambassador to the United Nations from 1967-1972, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1973-1982 (with a short break in between). In the interview he talks about Pakistan, the IAEA and the nonproliferation debates of the 1950s. While he was concerned about India, Israel, and South Africa on the latter score, he recalls a feeling of admiration at China’s nuclear successes. This naturally contrasts sharply with his reactions to India’s 1974 test, which followed the signing of the troubling Indo-Soviet treaty of 1971. He briefly discusses Project 706, the Arab oil embargo and a number of other questions. Turning to the possibility of a Pakistani bomb, he questions the basis for CIA reports about Pakistan’s likely plans for such a device and denies that Prime Minister Bhutto ever sought an Islamic bomb. Discussing nonproliferation, he expresses his negative reactions to President Carter’s anti-proliferation efforts, and also explains that Pakistan declined to put all its nuclear facilities under safeguard because it was considered discriminatory not to make India, Israel or South Africa do the same. He notes that the effect of other countries pulling back on aid as a result made Islamabad decide that it had to become as self-reliant as possible in the area of nuclear technology. He goes on to describe the country’s process for enriching uranium, but denies there are grounds for Western concerns about developments in the country. The discussion then deals with the status of nuclear weapons and whether Pakistan has a deliberate policy of ambiguity about the field. Finally, he is ambivalent about the effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, saying it can only be proven in the future.
Interviewee:
Shahi, Agha
Date:
February 7, 1987
Format:
Film/Video
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
WGBH Open Vault
Series:
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Subjects:
Nuclear disarmament
International Atomic Energy Agency
International relations
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Nuclear energy
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
United Nations
United States. Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978
Goldschmidt, Bertrand
Nuclear weapons
Great Britain
Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali
Nuclear nonproliferation
Nuclear-weapon-free zones
Qaddafi, Muammar
Soviet Union
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970
Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002
Khan, Munir Ahmad, 1926-1999
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Giscard d'Estaing, Valery, 1926-
Kosygin, Aleksey Nikolayevich, 1904-1980
Places:
Israel
Pakistan
Canada
Saudi Arabia
United States
South Africa
France
China
Iraq
India
TexasHopkins (county)Palestine
Libya
Extent:
01:39:38:14
Link to Item:
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Publisher:
WGBH Educational Foundation
Identifier:
V_439E2C6F584C4532B7F9B2A5DCBF5442