The final episode in this series uncovers the man described as the father of the
Pakistani bomb and the creator of the largest nuclear-smuggling ring ever known. It
reveals a cat-and-mouse tale of an out-of-control nuclear scientist and Western
In 1975, a young scientist copied top-secret blueprints from his Dutch Nuclear company.
The thief in question was Dr AQ Khan, a Pakistani nuclear scientist who was working in
the Netherlands. His job gave him access to the designs of the key nuclear process,
Centrifuges. He flew to Pakistan over Christmas in 1975 with his family and wrote to his
employers, stating that he had yellow fever. He never returned and went on to live a
lavish lifestyle in Pakistan.
Dr Khan's motivation was based by his fierce patriotism and his quest to ensure Pakistan
was at the centre of nuclear supremacy. The president of Pakistan placed Khan in charge
of his nuclear programme, project 706, and he used his network of contacts from Europe
to start it up.
In 1998, Khan tested his bomb design and, for the first time, Pakistan revealed itself
to the world as a nuclear power. Khan immediately became a national hero. With fame came
wealth and the CIA discovered that Khan had acquired a large property empire. The CIA
and MI6 were unclear what Khan was up to but, as time went on, the clues grew more
They set up a joint task force which eventually led to Dr Khan's "nuclear bazaar".The
world saw for the first time the terrifying scale of Khan's activities. The president
of Pakistan placed him under house arrest, where he remains today.
Program aired on BBC 2 Fri 16 Feb, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins.