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PCG Celebrates Pakistan Independence Day & Saudi National Day
Coverage by Pervaiz Imam

Riyadh, Sept. 23, 2000 – The Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has said that the Kingdom’s aid to development projects in his country was indirectly instrumental in its emergence as the first nuclear power in the Muslim world.
"Thanks to the Kingdom’s assistance for various development projects, we were able to divert our own resources to the nuclear program," Dr. Khan recalled. He was speaking as the keynote speaker at a function held in Hyatt Regency to celebrate the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Independence Day of Pakistan. The event, organized by the Pakistan Cultural Group (PCG) of Riyadh, Saudi arabia, attracted a large number of Pakistanis and Saudis, leading to a shortage of invitation cards.
It may be mentioned here for the information of all that the PCG patron is Prince Faisal Ibn Turki.
The other office bearers are Abdul Hameed Abu Farooq – secretary general, Khursheed Ahmed - convener welfare committee, Dr. Tahir Paul – chairman social events committee and Shamshad Ali Siddiqui – incharge media and communication committee.
The father of Pakistan’s nuclear program received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the audience. Among those on the dais were Prince Sultan Bin Nasser Ibn Abdul Aziz, Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani, the director of Pakistan’s Gallup Poll, Dr. Younus Butt, a noted Urdu writer, Pakistan’s ambassador Lt. Gen. (retd.) Muhammed Asad Durrani and Abdul Hameed Abu Farooq, the secretary general of PCG.
In reply to a question from the audience on whether Pakistan would sign the Comprehensive Test Bank Treaty (CTBT), Dr. Khan declared that the USA would have to sign first instead of coercing other countries into signing the treaty.
As for the charges of "irresponsible attitude of Third World countries," he asserted that "not a single gram of uranium was taken out from our laboratories, while such acts have been common in countries like Russia and the United States."
Dr. Khan rebutted the charge that he had stolen the nuclear secrets from various organizations during his stay in Europe. "We imported only the machinery through different channels, while the technology was purely indigenous," he observed.
Pakistan, according to him, achieved weapons grade uranium enrichment capability within three years of the launch of the nuclear program in 1976. "By 1984, we were quite capable of exploding the device at one week’s notice."
He attributed the delay to the lack of political will and immaturity of the political system in the country.
Dr. Khan thanked India for paving the way for Pakistan’s nuclear explosion. "Had there been no nuclear blast by India, we would not have been able to trigger our own device," he said, adding that the Kahuta laboratory was comparable to a similar facility in Europe or the United States.
Earlier, Prince Sultan Ibn Nasser paid tributes to the Pakistani scientist and said, "this monumental achievement (of nuclear explosion) would not have been possible without the efforts of Dr. Khan." He also welcomed the joint celebration of the Saudi National Day and the Pakistan’s Independence Day.
The twin event indicated that both countries were committed to the welfare of the humanity in general and that of the Ummah in particular.
Ijaz Shafi Gilani of the Pakistan Gallup Poll referred to the public disenchantment with the politicians and said that only 14 percent of the people polled in a survey had any trust in politicians.
Similarly, the police were trusted by 11 percent of the respondents, while the armed forces commanded the trust of 80 percent, he said amid applause from the audience. Gilani attributed the political instability to the infighting among political groups.
Dr. Younus Butt regaled the audience with his satirical prose.
Pakistan’s ambassador Asad Durrani said that the explosion has not made the country an invincible fortress.
"Only internal security and stability could achieve that goal. And that also requires a new structure based on a new vision and a strong will."
During his visit to the Pakistan International School earlier in the day, Dr. Khan called upon the students to excel in science and technology.
He regretted that the entire Muslim world had 45,000 scientists while Israel alone had 35,000 scientists.


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