PMLN President and former chief minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif said that May 28 is a historic day in nation’s life which is a day of national pride and dignity when Pakistan became first Islamic country to join the nuclear club under leadership of Nawaz Sharif.
“In a show of unprecedented leadership, he rejected all threats to make our defence impregnable,” Shehbaz Sharif said.
PMLN leader also said that it is also the day when Pakistan nation celebrates the role of country’s engineers, scientists and other unsung heroes who played their part in realising the dream of a nuclear Pakistan.
“The takeaway from this historic day is that we can achieve anything if we as a nation put our mind to it,” Shehbaz reminded the nation.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismaeil said, “On 28 May 1998 Pakistan successfully established credible nuclear deterrence & restored balance of power in the region. Our atomic programme is the backbone of our national defense and our valiant nation stand beside our armed forces during peace and war.”
Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was established in 1972 by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who founded the program while he was Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources, and later became President and Prime Minister.
Shortly after the loss of East Pakistan in the 1971 war with India, Bhutto initiated the program with a meeting of physicists and engineers at Multan in January 1972.
India’s 1974 testing of a nuclear “device” gave Pakistan’s nuclear program new momentum. Through the late 1970s, Pakistan’s program acquired sensitive uranium enrichment technology and expertise.
The 1975 arrival of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan considerably advanced these efforts. Dr. Khan is a German-trained metallurgist who brought with him knowledge of gas centrifuge technologies that he had acquired through his position at the classified URENCO uranium enrichment plant in the Netherlands.
Dr. Khan was put in charge of building, equipping and operating Pakistan’s Kahuta facility, which was established in 1976. Under Khan’s direction, Pakistan employed an extensive clandestine network to obtain the necessary materials and technology for its developing uranium enrichment capabilities.
In 1985, Pakistan crossed the threshold of weapons-grade uranium production, and by 1986 it is thought to have produced enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.
Pakistan continued advancing its uranium enrichment program, and according to Pakistani sources, the nation acquired the ability to carry out a nuclear explosion in 1987.
On May 28, 1998 Pakistan announced that it had successfully conducted five nuclear tests.
The Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission reported that the five nuclear tests conducted on May 28 generated a seismic signal of 5.0 on the Richter scale, with a total yield of up to 40 KT (equivalent TNT). Dr. A.Q. Khan said that one device was a boosted fission device and that the other four were sub-kiloton nuclear devices.
On May 30, 1998 Pakistan tested one more nuclear warhead with a reported yield of 12 kilotons. The tests were conducted at Balochistan, bringing the total number of claimed tests to six.