Chagai-II is the codename assigned to the second atomic test conducted by Pakistan, carried out on 30 May 1998 in the Kharan Desert in Balochistan Province of Pakistan.[3] Chagai-II took place two days after Pakistan's first successful test, Chagai-I, which was carried out on 28 May 1998 in the Ras Koh area in Chagai District, Balochistan, Pakistan.

The initial goals were to test the new designs of the weapon rather than studying the effects, and were different from the first tests in that they were primarily conducted by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), with the Pakistan Armed Forces engineering formations having only a supporting role.[4]

The tests detonated implosion-type boosted-fission military-grade plutonium devices, contrary to the Chagai-I tests that were weapons-grade uranium devices.[4] The performance of these tests made it a total of six tests performed by Pakistan in May 1998.[4]

Test siteKharan Desert
Period30 May 1998
Number of tests1~2
Test typeUnderground tests
Device typeFission/Fusion
Max. yield20 kilotons of TNT (84 TJ)[1][2]
Test chronology

Test preparations

Selection and planning

The Kharan Desert is a sandy and mountainous desert, with very high temperatures.[5] The region is characterised by very low rainfall, high summer temperature, high velocity winds, poor soils, very sparse vegetation and a low diversity of plant species; its average temperature are recorded 55 °C (131 °F) in summer and 2.5 °C (36.5 °F) in winter session (sources vary).[3][6][7][8]

Safety and security required an isolated, remote, and inhabitant area with extreme weather conditions to prevent any possible Radioactive Fallout.[9] For this purpose, a three-dimensional survey was commenced by nuclear physicist Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad assisted by seismologist Dr. Ahsan Mubarak; it received final approval from Munir Ahmad in 1976.[10] Unlike the granite mountains, the PAEC requirement was to find a suitable site in a desert region with almost no wildlife to prevent any kind of mutation, and to study blast effects of the weapons.[11]

The weapon-testing sites were suspected to be located at Kharan, in a desert valley between the Ras Koh region to the north and Siahan Range to the south.[12] Subsequently, the Chagai-Ras Koh-Kharan were cordoned off, becoming restricted entry zones closed to the public.[12]

Nuclear explosion craters schema 1
According to the PAEC, the weapon-testing labs were deeply crafted, L-shaped horizontal tunnels.[13] A close depiction can be seen in diagram d, e, and f. The tests left a crater as its mark, similar to the illustration above, US copyright.

After PAEC officials clearing with Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the preparations and logistics matters were given to the Pakistan Armed Forces.[10] A secretly coded telegram was sent from the Prime Minister's Secretariat to V Corps Brigadier Muhammad Sarfraz.[10] A helicopter, was arranged for the civilian scientists by Sarfraz.[10] In 1977, Sarfraz was dispatched to the Military Engineering Service to commission engineering formations of the Pakistan military by General Zia-ul-Haq, the Chief of Army Staff.[10] The PAEC officials readily agreed that the secondary tests would be scientific in nature with the armed forces playing the engineering roles.[10]

The Special Development Works (SDW), assisted by the Corps of Engineers, Pakistan Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (PEME), and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), spearheaded the engineering of the potential sites.[14] The military engineers were well aware of satellite detection, therefore the site at Kharan was constructed with extra cautions.[15] The SDW built around 24 cold test sites, 46 short tunnels, and 35 underground accommodations for troops and command, control and monitoring facilities.[16] The test site was 300 by 200 feet (91 by 61 m) and was L-shaped horizontal shafts.[17] Extensive installations of diagnostic cables, motion sensors, and monitoring stations were established inside the test site.[18] It took nearly 2–3 years for the SDW to prepare and preparations were completed in 1980, before Pakistan acquired the capability to physically develop an atomic bomb.[10]

After posting at the General Headquarters, Sarfraz transferred the work to Lieutenant-General Zahid Ali Akbar, the Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers.[19] The modernisation of the tests labs were undertaken by the FWO; the FWO uncredited work in the construction of the weapon-testings labs in Kharan Desert, and had supervised the entire construction on the sites along with the SDW.[20]

Final preparations were overseen by then-Lieutenant-Colonel Zulfikar Ali Khan and PAEC chairman Munir Ahmad, assisted by Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, the Member (Technical) of PAEC.[12]

Test and blast yields

The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) teams of scientists and engineers arrived at the site led by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, a nuclear physicist.[12] The tests were conducted on 30 May 1998 at 13:10 hrs (1:10 pm) (PKT).[12] The atomic bomb was small in size but very efficient and produced a very powerful shock wave and blast yield.[4][21][22]

The devices were boosted fission weapons using military-grade plutonium, yielding 60.1% of the first tests performed two days earlier.[4] The Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) calculated that the blast yield was 20 kt of TNT equivalent.[12] Although the American Physical Society estimated the yield at 8 kilotons of TNT (33 TJ) based on data received by their computer,[2][23][24][25] Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan confirmed the TPG blast calculations in an interview in 1998.[1][26]

A crater now takes the place of what used to be a small hillock in the rolling desert, marking the ground zero of the nuclear test.[10] The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (or PAEC) had tested one or more plutonium nuclear devices, and the results and data of the devices were successful as was expected by the Pakistan's mathematicians and seismologists.[10][27]

Test teams

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

  • Samar Mubarakmand, Member (Technical) at PAEC.
  • Hafeez Qureshi, Directorate of Technical Development (DTD)
  • Irfan Burney, Director of Directorate of Technical Procurement (DTP).
  • Tariq Salija, Director of the Radiation and Istope Applications Division (RIAD).
  • Muhammad Jameel, Director of Directorate of Science and Engineering Services (DSES)
  • Muhammad Arshad, the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
  • Asghar Qadir, director, Theoretical Physics Group

Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers

See also


  1. ^ a b Khan (2012, pp. 200–202)
  2. ^ a b Binnington Reed, Thomas (2009). The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation. Zenith Press. p. 258. ISBN 978-0760335024.
  3. ^ a b Govt. of Balochistan, Pakistan. "District Profile: Kharan" (PDF). Govt. of Balochistan, Pakistan studies. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Mir, Hamid. "Interview with Samar Mubarakmand". PakDef, original aired on GEO TV in 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  5. ^ FAS. "Kharan Desert". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Kharan documentary". Kharan documentary. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  7. ^ Pakistan 360. "Kharan Desert". Pakistan 360. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  8. ^ Mares (1999, pp. 301–302)
  9. ^ Rehman (1999, pp. 20–21)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Azam, Rai Muhammad Saleh (June 2000). "When Mountains Move". Rai Muhammad Saleh Azam. Karachi, Pakistan: The Nation (1999) and Defence Journal (2000). p. 1. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  11. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 280–282)
  12. ^ a b c d e f Sublette, Carey (2 January 2002). "Historical Background:§Preparing to Build the Bomb". Nuclear Weapon Archive. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ PAEC Govt. "The Weapon-Testing Laboratories: An illustration by PAEC". Government of Pakistan release. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  14. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 183–184)
  15. ^ Rehman (1999, pp. 25)
  16. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 184)
  17. ^ Rehman (1999, pp. 24–25)
  18. ^ Rehman (1999, pp. 26–27)
  19. ^ Rehman, Shahidur, Long Road to Chagai:§The nuclear development under Army: General Zahid Ali, Printwise Publications, Islamabad (1999)
  20. ^ Rehman (1999, pp. 28–30)
  21. ^ Rehman (1999, pp. 30–31)
  22. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 185–186)
  23. ^ Pike (2004, pp. 22–24)
  24. ^ Reed (2009, pp. 250–255)
  25. ^ Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science, Inc. p. 24. ISSN 0096-3402. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  26. ^ Khan, Kamran (30 May 1998). "Interview with Abdul Qadeer Khan". The News International. Islamabad. pp. 1–1. Retrieved 14 June 2015 – via
  27. ^ "Nuclear Tests:§The Plutonium Device". Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and Pakistan Atomic Scientists Foundation (PASF). 11 December 2002. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  • Khan, Feroz Hassan (2012). Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistan Atomic Bomb. Palo Alto, Calif, US: Stanford University Press. p. 521. ISBN 0804784809.
  • Shahid-ur-Rehman (1999). Long Road to Chagai. Islamabad: Printwise Publications. p. 160. ISBN 9789698500009.
  • Pike, John (2004). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science, Inc. p. 24. ISSN 0096-3402. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  • Reed, Thomas Binnington (2009). The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation. Zenith Press. p. 258. ISBN 978-0760335024.

External links


Chagai may refer to:

Chagai District, a district in Balochistan, Pakistan

Chagai, Pakistan, the capital city of Chagai District

Chagai Hills, a mountainous region in the district

Chagai-I, the codename for Pakistan's first nuclear weapon tests

Chagai-II, the country's second nuclear weapon test


Chagai-I is the code name of five simultaneous underground nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan at 15:15 hrs PST on 28 May 1998. The tests were performed at Ras Koh Hills in the Chagai District of Balochistan Province.Chagai-I was Pakistan's first public test of nuclear weapons. Its timing was a direct response to India's second nuclear tests, on 11 and 13 May 1998. These tests by Pakistan and India resulted in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172 and economic sanctions on both states by a number of major powers, particularly the United States and Japan. By testing nuclear devices, Pakistan became the seventh nation to publicly test nuclear weapons. Pakistan's second nuclear test, Chagai-II, followed on 30 May 1998.

Constituency PB-36 (Kalat-I)

PB-36 (Kalat-I) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-37 (Kalat-II)

PB-37 (Kalat-II) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-38 (Mastung)

PB-38 (Mastung) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-39 (Chagai-I)

PB-39 (Chagai-I) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-40 (Chagai-II)

PB-40 (Chagai-II) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-41 (Awaran)

PB-41 (Awaran) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-42 (Panjgur-I)

PB-42 (Panjgur-I) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-44 (Lasbela-I)

PB-44 (Lasbela-I) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-47 (Kharan-II)

PB-47 (Kharan-II) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-48 (Kech-I)

PB-48 (Kech-I) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Constituency PB-50 (Kech-III)

PB-50 (Kech-III) is a constituency of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan.

Economic Coordination Committee (Pakistan)

The Economic Coordination Committee (reporting name:ECC), is a principle federal institution and a consultative forum used by the people-elected Prime Minister of Pakistan as its chairman, for concerning matters of state's economic security, geoeconomic, political economic and financial endowment issues. Although it is often chaired by the Finance Minister and the senior economic officials as its members on multiple occasions, the key executive authorization on key economic policies are made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan who reserves the right call upon and serves as the chairman of the ECC.Established in 1965 by President Ayub Khan, its primary functions and responsibility is to finalize executive economic decisions to national economy, and to assist Prime Minister and his key staff on issues involving the economic security, threat of war, economic effects of nuclear weapons, and challenges in geoeconomic policies. The ECC served as Prime Minister's principal decision-making and consultative forum for coordinating economic security and geo-economic policies among various government institutions and ministries. The DCC is a counterpart of the national security councils of many other nations. Its national security counterpart is DCC, and counterpart of the Monetary Policy Committees of many other nations.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was formed in 1965 by the government, handing over the chairmanship of the (ECC) to Finance Minister of Pakistan as its central and designated chairman. The ECC was chair by the Finance minister with almost weekly meetings of its members, who are ministers in charge of economic ministries. However, after the 1971 war with India, its chairmanship was handed over to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and in 1993, the ECC's chairmanship was permanently handed over to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Along with its counterpart DCC, the ECC more densely emphasized its economic and financial role in country's nuclear command and control since the 1980s. On May 1998, the emergency meetings, along with the DCC, provided a great environment of its performance when Prime minister Nawaz Sharif ordered Pakistan's first public nuclear tests, Chagai-I which was followed by Chagai-II, after the DCC and ECC council conveyed various civil-military sessions with the Prime minister and the military leadership. The Economic Coordination Committee has control for all important economic decisions and finalizes, promulgated the economic policies in the country.

Economic liberalisation in Pakistan

The Economic liberalisation in Pakistan refers to a policy measure programme in order to promote and accelerate the economic independence and development in the economic context of history of Pakistan. Started in different times in the history of the country, the programme was intended and had mainstream goal to promote GDP growth for the national economy and economical and social values in the country.

This programme was first conceived in early 1980s and thoroughly studied by the ministry of finance led by finance ministers Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Mahbub-ul-Haq and was implemented first by Pakistan Muslim League and the Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as part of the privatisation programme in 1990. The programme of economic liberalisation, as one of the counter-policy measure programme, came in a direct response to nationalization programme of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the 1970s. After the 1993 general elections, the programme was halted and reversed by Prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the Peoples Party after the Pressler amendment went into complete effect and force, that led the economic and financial crises in Pakistan. A much powerful socialist capitalism version was adopted in order to secure the revenue and financial capital of existing state-owned enterprises, with enforcement of nationalisation and privatisation at once. Second attempt was again attempted by the Pakistan Muslim League and Prime minister Nawaz Sharif after securing exclusive mandate during the 1997 general elections, however abruptly terminated the programme after weapon-test performances in Chagai weapons-testing laboratories in 1998 (See Chagai-I and Chagai-II) and the Karilg debacle in 1999.

Once again, the comprehensive and much more effective studies were conducted by then-Finance minister and Prime minister Shaukat Aziz in 2000 after assuming the charge of national economy as an aftermath of 1999 coup d'état. The fruits of liberalisation reached their peak in 2003–04 when Pakistan recorded its highest national GDP growth to 8.96%~9.9%. In 2008-10, Pakistan is ranked 47th largest in the world in nominal terms and 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).

Kharan Desert

The Kharan Desert (Urdu: صحرائے خاران‎) is a sandy and mountainous desert situated in Balochistan province in south-western Pakistan.

This desert was the site of Pakistan's second nuclear test, Chagai-II, which was carried out on 30 May 1998.

The land is not fit for agriculture due to low irrigation. The occupation is mainly creating cotton hand-stitched carpets for selling. The terrain is mainly dry, gray-brown sand that stretches out a lot.

List of nuclear weapons tests of Pakistan

The Nuclear testing series programme refers to an active military programme directed towards the development of techniques of experimenting nuclear forces and further investigations of the blast effects. The programme was suggested and idealized by Munir Ahmad Khan– chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)– as early as 1977.First subcritical tests were carried out in 1983 by the PAEC, codename as Kirana-I, continued until the 1990s under Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Further claims of conducting subcritical tests at Kahuta were made in 1984 by KRL but were dismissed by the government. Due to amid tensions arisen with BJP-led government under Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee's decision of Pokhran-II– codename of India's nuclear tests in 1998.The Pakistan Muslim League N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif authorized the programme jointly under PAEC and KRL, assisted by Corps of Engineers in 1998. There were six nuclear tests performed under this programme: codename: Chagai-I and Chagai-II. After the Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee paying a state visit to Pakistan to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, both countries signed a nuclear testing control treaty, the Lahore Declaration in 1999.

Samar Mubarakmand

Samar Mubarakmand (Urdu: ثمر مبارک مند‬; b. 17 September 1942; NI, HI, SI, FPAS), is a Pakistani nuclear physicist known for his research in gamma spectroscopy and experimental development of the linear accelerator.He came to public attention as the director of the test teams responsible for the performing the country's first and successful atomic tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) at the Chagai Test Site, located in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Prior to that, he was the project director of the integrated missile programme and supervised the development of Shaheen and Babur missile program. Serving the founding chairman of Nescom from 2001 until 2007, he was subsequently appointed by the government to assist the Thar coalfield project.


Youm-e-Takbir (Urdu: یوم تکبیر‬‎; lit. The day of greatness) is celebrated as a national day in Pakistan on May 28 in commemoration of Chagai-I and Chagai-II. The tests made Pakistan the seventh nation to possess nuclear weapons, and the first in the Muslim world. Dr.AQ khan become national hero after this day

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