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'Pakistan can target Delhi from Kahuta in 5 minutes'

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 29 May 2016, 13:03 IST

On 28 May, nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan - fondly known as the father of Pakistan's nuclear science programme - said that the country could have become a nuclear power as early as 1984. He said that Pakistan's nuclear aspirations were put on hold as then-president General Zia ul Haq was against the move.

"We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984. But President General Zia ul Haq had opposed the move," he said.

General Zia, who was President of Pakistan from 1979 to 1988, opposed nuclear testing because he "believed that the world would intervene militarily," Khan said.

Dawn quoted the nuclear scientist as saying that Pakistan has the ability to target New Delhi from Kahuta, a site near Rawalpindi in just five minutes.

Khan made the comments while addressing a public meeting which was called on the anniversary of first nuclear tests, carried out in 1998 under his supervision.

Khan was forced to accept responsibility for proliferation and live a life of semi-house arrest in 2004. "We are facing the worst against our services to the country's nuclear program," he said referring to the humiliation he suffered.

-with inputs from agencies

First published: 29 May 2016, 13:03 IST