The Turkish "TRT" website published a report trying to answer New Delhi's failure to thwart Islamabad's quest to acquire a nuclear weapon, attributing this to what it described as India's disregard, especially its ruling elite, for the capabilities of Pakistan's scientists and politicians.
The author of
, Saad Hassan, explained that what made this question attractive now is the movie that was broadcast by “Netflix” last month and was titled “Mission Majnu”, which means “the crazy or desperate mission.”
And evidence of India's "underestimation" of Pakistan's capabilities, the report stated that New Delhi moved strongly only in January 1987, when it was almost too late, and mobilized nearly half a million soldiers in Rajasthan province bordering Pakistan ostensibly for a military exercise codenamed Brasstacks.
This was the largest armed mobilization in South Asia, in which hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, backed by the Air Force, participated.
The exercise took place a few kilometers from the Pakistani province of Sindh, which borders Rajasthan.
The strongest thing India did
The report stated that behind this military position was the commander of the Indian army, Lieutenant General Krishnaswamy Sundarji, a well-known military hawk, who has been warning for years about Islamabad's secret nuclear weapons program.
The writer described this rally as the strongest thing India has done to undermine Pakistan's nuclear ambition.
Feroz Khan, a professor of nuclear proliferation at the US Naval Postgraduate School and author of the book "Eating Grass: Making the Pakistani Bomb," was quoted as saying that Sundarji wanted to start a war and planned to strike Kahuta, the nuclear facility where weapons-grade uranium is being enriched in Pakistan.
But the counter-mobilization by Islamabad alarmed the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had not been properly briefed by Sundarji.
In the end, both sides de-escalated the situation.
"We'll eat leaves even if we have to."
The report stated that a British journalist asked Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was Pakistan's foreign minister in 1965, about how his country would respond if India decided to build a nuclear weapon.
He replied, "If India makes an atomic bomb, we will also produce an atomic bomb. Even if we have to eat grass and leaves, we have no other alternative."
According to the professor of nuclear proliferation - who was affiliated with the Pakistani army with the rank of brigadier general and worked for some time in the strategic plans department responsible for guarding the nuclear arsenal - saying that India became a nuclear power when it successfully tested its first bomb in 1974. However, Bhutto waited years before Pakistan came close to that. produce its bomb.
In June 1978, Pakistani scientists figured out how to operate centrifuges successfully.
From then on, it was a matter of enriching uranium so that it could be weaponised.
Nobody felt the need to stop Pakistan except Israel
However, most governments - including India - with the exception of Israel, did not feel the urgency to act to stop Pakistan in the late 1970s from producing its bomb because they considered that a low-income country that had just lost its eastern flank (today's Bangladesh) lacked the capacity and skill to handle such a sophisticated technology. .
Curiously, the report said, India did not take the enrichment attempt in the neighboring country seriously until it was too late.
He attributed this to the "underestimation" of the ruling Indian elite (Brahmin) of the capabilities of Muslims in Pakistan to build a nuclear bomb.
The Brahmin disdain for the capabilities of the Pakistanis was intensified by the difficulties India, a well-educated one, faced in trying to master uranium enrichment on a large scale, writes George Berkowitz in his book India's Nuclear Bomb.
Perhaps in 1981 Indian intelligence began picking up evidence that Pakistan was building the bomb, Sumit Ganguly, a political science professor at Indiana University Bloomington - who has written extensively on nuclear issues in South Asia - said, adding, "I have independently heard from Indian analysts that the institution "Indian science thinks that Pakistanis may have theoretical knowledge, but they don't have industrial capacity. This was arrogance on their part."
When it was finally clear in New Delhi (in 1987) that Pakistan was about to build a bomb, some military leaders, including Sundarji, pushed the government to take action.
Reports that the Indian Air Force was preparing to strike the Kahuta nuclear site matched a leaked US message showing satellite images of a group of Indian Jaguars that were missing from their designated air base.
But the Pakistanis took the information seriously and sent their private planes on regular flights over Kahuta in constant readiness.
But years later, an Indian Air Force officer laughed at the whole missing Jaguar incident.
Returning to his book Berkowitz reported that in fact "the planes were hidden in the nearby forests as part of a passive air defense exercise", and an Indian officer was quoted as saying "It's good for us that they burn their engines".
America and France too
The report indicates that India and Israel were not the only ones interested in trying to find out the extent that Pakistan had made in making the bomb.
Robert Gallucci, a senior State Department official, tried to visit the Kahuta research facility to find out what was happening there, but was stopped by Pakistani intelligence officials despite claiming he was going to Kahuta for a walk, and French Ambassador Paul Le Guerrec and his first secretary were beaten by security officials when they tried Getting too close to Kahuta.
The incident caused strained diplomatic relations between Paris and Islamabad.
The report mentioned another incident involving foreign surveillance, and it was rather bizarre.
Workers near the centrifuge station found a rock that split open and revealed wires and circuits protruding from the inside, which were apparently planted by the CIA.
Tensions in Brastak subsided in the mid-1980s after diplomatic negotiations.
In the mid-nineties, Islamabad and New Delhi signed an agreement in which each pledged not to attack the other's nuclear facilities.
In 1998, the two sides conducted nuclear tests, making a nuclear strike against each other a foregone conclusion.