Convener: Kate Sullivan de Estrada
Speaker: Hassan Abbas (National Defence University)
The speaker’s new book provides a comprehensive account of the mysterious story of Pakistan’s attempt to develop nuclear weapons in the face of severe odds. Hassan Abbas profiles the politicians and scientists involved, and the role of China and Saudi Arabia in supporting Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure.
Abbas also unravels the motivations behind the Pakistani nuclear physicist Dr A. Q. Khan’s involvement in nuclear proliferation in Iran, Libya and North Korea, drawing on extensive interviews The Khan proliferation breach remains of vital importance for understanding how to stop such transfers of sensitive technology in future. Finally, the book examines the prospects for nuclear safety in Pakistan, considering both Pakistan’s nuclear control infrastructure and the threat posed by the Taliban and other extremist groups to the country’s nuclear assets.
Hassan Abbas is Professor and Chair of the Department of Regional and Analytical Studies at National Defense University, Washington, D.C. His previous books include The Taliban Revival and Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism.
Copies of the book will be available to buy on the talk.
This event is jointly organised by the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, the Department of Politics and International Relations, and the Asian Studies Centre of St Antony’s College.