Digital Commonwealth

Interview with Munir Khan, 1987

Item Information

Title:
Interview with Munir Khan, 1987
Description:
Dr. Munir Ahmad Khan was a nuclear engineer, who chaired the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from 1972-1991. The interview opens with his background and the early years of Pakistan’s nuclear program. He recalls the period around the Atoms for Peace speech and the 1950s generally as an “era of great expectations.” Proliferation, he notes, was not an issue then or in the early 1960s, until the Chinese test. Even more significant was India’s test in 1974, which came as a shock and which, he remarks, destroyed the trust between suppliers and recipient states. This had a major impact on the Pakistani program because suppliers began to renege on existing agreements. Further pressure came in 1976 when Kissinger and Ford prevailed on France to cut off its agreement to assist Pakistan’s program. Canada also decided to curtail its assistance. International entities such as the London Suppliers Group and the International Fuel Cycle Evaluation Group made their mark on Pakistan, as did Jimmy Carter’s non-proliferation policy. The last, in his view, was wholly counterproductive. He denies there has been any nuclear cooperation with Libya or with any other Moslem state, calling the concept of an Islamic bomb a pure fabrication. He describes the uranium enrichment project as part of an effort to gain a measure of self-sufficiency, noting that Pakistan remains dependent on outside countries for assistance in certain areas. There has been no cooperation with China, he states, commenting that China is not very advanced in the field. He insists Pakistan has no interest in acquiring a bomb.
Interviewee:
Khan, Munir Ahmad, 1926-1999
Date:
February 8, 1987
Format:
Film/Video
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
WGBH Open Vault
Series:
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Subjects:
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Nuclear energy
International Atomic Energy Agency
Nuclear-weapon-free zones
International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation
United States. Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978
Nuclear nonproliferation
Soviet Union
Nuclear Suppliers Group
Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali
Nuclear weapons
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006
Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Places:
India
Libya
China
Israel
United States
Pakistan
France
Extent:
01:20:44:16
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
Rights status not evaluated.
Contact host institution for more information.
Publisher:
WGBH Educational Foundation
Identifier:
V_1175E1745C064863991A8B1F632F2C05