Timeline of Nuclear Deception
June 1953 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower invites Pakistan under then-Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra to join the Atoms for Peace program.
1955 U.S. provides $350,000 grant to Pakistan to subsidize its first nuclear reactor.
1962 U.S. supplies Pakistan with a 5-megawatt light-water research reactor.
1971 Canadian General Electric Co. completes construction of 137-megawatt power reactor for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant.
British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. completes plans for Pakistan plutonium separation process.
French/Belgium consortium designs pilot reprocessing plant for Pakistan.
Jan. 1972 Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declares Pakistan’s intention to develop a nuclear bomb to senior military officials in a secret meeting.
Jan. 1975 U.S. State Department produces paper on Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation.
1976 Netherlands sells centrifuge components to Pakistan. Swiss and German firms join the line of supply to Pakistan of various components and sub-systems for its nuclear program.
1977 Emerson Electric of Britain sells centrifuge components to Pakistan.
June 1983 State Department briefs U.S. President Ronald Reagan on Pakistani nuclear weapons progress.
1980-89 Former West Germany becomes a major supplier of nuclear components to Pakistan via a web of front companies.
1990 U.S. intelligence agencies produce evidence of the U.S. government permitting U.S. companies to supply Pakistan with nuclear-related components.
1994 Pakistan involved in exchange of nuclear technology with North Korea.
1999 Pakistani General Pervez Musharraf seizes power in a military coup.
2000 Pakistan’s National Command Authority consolidates its nuclear weapons management under the control of General Musharraf.
April 2003 U.S. imposes commercial restraints on Kahn Research Laboratories (KRL) in Pakistan, declaring that KRL arranged the transfer of nuclear-capable missiles from North Korea to Pakistan.
Aug. 2003 L.A. Times claims that Abdul Qadeer Khan, head of KRL, directly aided Iran in its nuclear program. Pakistan’s foreign ministry issues powerful denial.
Oct. 2003 U.S. secret agents seize a shipment of nuclear weapons from Pakistan in transit to Libya.
Nov. 2003 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) commences investigations into connections between Iran and Pakistan.
Dec. 2003 U.S. administration begins exerting pressure on Middle Eastern countries involved in nuclear proliferation. Libya capitulates. Iran covertly cooperates.
Jan. 2004 U.S. pressure mounts on Musharraf. Using knowledge of Abdul Khan’s nuclear trading as leverage, the U.S. seeks cooperation in the hunt for al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, suspected to be holed up in Pakistani border country.
Musharraf fires Abdul Khan, who thus becomes the fall guy for Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation and goes public to confess his nuclear sins. He names Iran, Libya and North Korea as recipients of his nuclear largesse.
Feb. 2004 February 5, Musharraf officially pardons Khan—the same day IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei declares that Khan is but the tip of the iceberg in a spreading nuclear proliferation scandal. Malaysia and China are cited as being of particular concern, and also the Russian black market.
Sources: Stratfor; Suddeutsche Zeitung; South China Morning Post; News (Pakistan); Pioneer (New Delhi); New Yorker