Monday July 22, 2024

‘Espionage of the Century’ published

By Our Correspondent
February 28, 2023

Islamabad:A truthful account of the events that led to Pakistan’s nuclear journey, from scratch to the final accomplishment, 'Espionage of the Century' by Ambassador (r) Zahid Said (1938-2020) is now available at bookstalls.

The book published by Sang-e-Meel Publications consists of 281 pages and 17 chapters and keeps the readers hooked as its content fully grasps their attention, moreover, the frank style of the writer has a certain appeal for them.

Without mincing words, Ambassador Zahid Said successfully brings home the message that those at the helm of affairs through their decisions can make or break the living spirit of a nation. The book in fact is a detailed narration by a Pakhtun nationalist who hails from a noble family of Charsadda and received his education from the prestigious educational institutions such as Islamia College, Peshawar and Cambridge University.

‘Espionage of the Century’ covers many important turns and twists in the history of Pakistan yet the most riveting chapter is “The Hague, The Netherlands” in which Ambassador Zahid Said gives a vivid account of his meetings with the architect of Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme, Dr AQ Khan and the events that led to his becoming a part of his plan. Those were the early days of 1974 when both of them happened to be posted in The Netherlands. In the writer’s own words “On 18th May, 1974, Pakistan was suddenly faced with a new challenge: The Smiling Buddha as it was officially called by the Indian government. To dispel international reaction and to avoid sanctions they declared that they had carried out a peaceful nuclear explosion and would not convert their capability to making nuclear bombs.”

Soon after the Indian nuclear test, Chairman of the Pakistan Energy Commission (PAEC) Dr Munir Ahmed addressed Pakistan's ambassadors, diplomats posted abroad and senior officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the ministry’s headquarters in Islamabad. He referred to the emerging nuclear threat from India and told Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was determined to acquire nuclear technology/wea­pons to meet India’s challenge. After the meeting, Ambassador Zahid Said returned to the country of his posting (The Netherlands) where he was serving as Counselor.