Cousin who borrowed missile programme in 1977 now world’s 10th nuclear armed state, reveals AQ Khan

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ISLAMABAD – Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has revealed his second cousin Dr PR Khan, who borrowed a missile programme from him on Eid-ul-Azha in the year 1977 has successfully become the world’s tenth nuclear armed state.

Speaking to The Dependent on the 30th anniversary of his cousin laying the foundation of becoming a nuclear nation, Dr AQ Khan said that Dr PR Khan actually has better nuclear technology than Pakistan.

“PR is self-reliant in the nuclear field because of his highly qualified blood group that runs in the family. We are all U+,” Dr AQ Khan said.

He further revealed that he visited his nuclear-armed cousin twice in the late 1970s, by which time he had enriched Uranium (U-235) to over 85%.

“With 90% usually considered weapons grade, it is safe to say PR was a nuclear armed state by early 80s latest,” Dr AQ Khan said.

It is pertinent to mention here that while more than two dozen nations have nuclear power, prior to Dr Qadeer Khan’s cousin being confirmed as nuclear armed, only nine had possessed actual nuclear weapons.

When asked if Dr PR got any assistance from him, Dr Khan said: “It’s out of the question. His overall technology and weapons’ capability is better than Pakistan’s. Pakistan has the same old and conventional technology, unlike my cousin.

Dr AQ Khan also denied any cooperation since the initial programme was borrowed.

“We have spent all other Bakra Eids nurturing goats and cattle, and never saw any nuclear facilities or ever discussed his nuclear programme.”

However, Dr AQ Khan said his discussions with DR PR Khan for the missile programme is a family ritual.

“That is why I know so much about my cousin’s nuclear prowess. It doesn’t mean I helped him evolve the missile programme to build nuclear weapons,” he said.