HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsYoum-e-Takbir: A Turning Point in Pakistan’s History

Youm-e-Takbir: A Turning Point in Pakistan’s History


Islamabad, 28 May 2024 (TDI): This day marks the 26th anniversary of nuclear tests termed as Youm-e-Takbir. The Pakistani nation pays rich tributes to the scientists, engineers, leadership of the time, and strategic forces. They made immense and bold contributions to Pakistan’s nuclear program.

On 28 May 1998, Pakistan for the first time conducted a hot test of an atomic bomb. Pakistan became the first nuclear weapon state in the Muslim World. The nuclear tests were conducted in response to the Indian nuclear test of 11 and 13 May 1998. The code is named ‘Operation Shakti’ also known as Pokhran-II.

Historical Background

In 1974, India conducted its first nuclear test code named ‘Smiling Buddha’ justified as peaceful nuclear explosions.

Moreover, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by India accelerated Pakistan’s nuclear weapons development. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stated the famous line “We will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will have our own,” while referring to the attainment of nuclear weapons.

In 1976, Abdul Qadeer Khan, revered as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, joined Pakistan’s nuclear program. During his tenure, Pakistan developed uranium enrichment technology.

By 1978, his team had enriched uranium and by 1984 they were ready to detonate a nuclear device, and had a cold test of a nuclear device at KRL (Khan Research Laboratory).

In 1998, Pakistan conducted six successful nuclear tests in response to India’s five nuclear tests. Tests were conducted at the Chagai Hills in Balochistan province. The day marks a turning point in Pakistan’s history. Pakistan was the seventh country in the world and the first Muslim nation to possess nuclear weapons.

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Role of Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Programme

Pakistan’s nuclear program enjoys the unanimous support of all sections of Pakistani society.  On this day, political parties, the armed forces, the scientific community, academia, and the public at large celebrate Pakistan’s milestone.

Pakistan is committed to global and regional peace and stability and reaffirms its resolve to safeguard Pakistan’s territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty.

Nuclear weapons at large play a deterrent role, and have averted India from launching any aggression against Pakistan. Since the acquisition of nuclear weapons both by India and Pakistan, the two archrivals have never engaged in a full-fledged war like in 1965 or 1971.

This shows that nuclear deterrence along with an effective nuclear doctrine of Pakistan which revolves around Full Spectrum Deterrence (FSD) has played a pivotal role against the aggressive military designs by the eastern neighborhood.

Zamzam Channa
Zamzam Channa
International Relations Graduate (Gold Medal), Author at The Pakistan Today and The Geopolitical Monitor, Former Research Intern at the Center for International Strategic Studies, Sindh (CISSS)

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