Pakistan marks anniversary of nuclear bomb


ISLAMABAD: The nation is fervently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first nuclear weapons test which marked a significant milestone, granting Pakistan invincible defense capabilities and contributing to regional stability through power equilibrium.

Pakistan detonated five nuclear devices underground in remote hills in Balochistan on May 28, 1998, and an additional test on May 30, two weeks after India conducted similar tests.

The tests sparked widespread celebrations among the people proud that their nuclear scientists had matched the arch-rival neighbours.

The day brought about a resurgence of national pride for the entire Pakistani nation and became a source of honour for the Muslim world. Now commemorated as Youm-i-Takbeer, May 28 is celebrated as a symbol of national pride and gratitude.

These tests positioned Pakistan as the seventh nuclear power globally and the first Islamic state to possess a nuclear arsenal, ensuring maximum deterrence for peaceful purposes within its defense stockpile.

The tests not only showcased the unwavering determination of the Pakistani nation to safeguard the country’s territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty, but also demonstrated its commitment to maintaining a strategic balance in South Asia.

In a message marking the occasion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasized on Sunday that the defense, sovereignty, dignity, and freedom of the country hold paramount importance for the nation, declaring that no one possesses the audacity to strip away its freedom.

He reiterated their unwavering commitment to not waver from any sacrifices for the defense, unity, and national interests.

Sharif underscored that the historic day served as a resolute declaration of “no compromise” regarding the country’s sovereignty and defense.

“25 years ago today, the people of Pakistan proclaimed the invincibility of their defense by conducting five nuclear explosions in response to India’s nuclear explosions,” he added.

The prime minister emphasized the need to carry forward the same spirit demonstrated on Youm-i-Takbir in order to achieve economic sovereignty and self-reliance.

He emphasised that this day calls for unity in solidarity for the country, as it serves as the nation’s core strength, and expressed his determination to transform Pakistan into an economic powerhouse through such unity, hard work, and unwavering faith.

The prime minister paid tribute to the patriotism of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who he declared elevated the stature of Pakistan among nations with immense pride.

He highlighted that the former prime minister resisted “all pressures and temptations of billions of dollars [sic],” enabling Pakistan to become the seventh nuclear power and the first Islamic country possessing nuclear deterrence.

He also praised the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and paid rich tributes to Benazir Bhutto, who, as an opposition leader, supported then prime minister Sharif’s decision to conduct nuclear tests in 1998.

“I want to tell the youth that there were deep political differences between the government and Benazir Bhutto, but she supported the government by setting aside all differences for the sake of the country,” he added.

The prime minister acknowledged the valuable services rendered by the armed forces of the country to its nuclear program, deeming it a golden chapter in the nation’s history. He also expressed his appreciation for Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, all scientists, engineers, and other individuals who contributed to Pakistan’s atomic program.

Furthermore, the prime minister expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries for their assistance to Pakistan during economic sanctions.

Highlighting the unwavering resolve of the mountains of Chagai and the significant role of Balochistan province in defending the country, Sharif mentioned that on May 28, 1998, the entire world exerted pressure, threats, and temptations against Pakistan.

However, with the support of the nation and the opposition, the country’s leadership accomplished the seemingly impossible.

“We also faced economic difficulties. The unity of the nation is the real nuclear power of Pakistan,” he added.__Pakistan Today