By Muhammad Suleman
Update:- July 28, 2017
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was set up in 1956 so that it could participate in the Atoms for Peace programme launched by U.S. President Eisenhower. In 1960, the U.S. gave Pakistan a $350,000 grant to help prepare the country for its first research reactor which America agreed to supply two years later. This reactor, a 5 MW light-water research reactor known as the Pakistan Atomic Research Reactor (PARR-1), began operating in 1965 at the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) in Nilore, near Islamabad. In 1963, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became the foreign minister, carrying his interest in nuclear capabilities into office with him. He watched with growing concern as China moved closer to nuclear capability, and in response India’s domestic rhetoric on the subject grew more bellicose. In 1971, the Canadian General Electric Co. completed a 137 MW (electrical) CANDU power reactor for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) which went critical in August 1971 and began commercial operation in October 1972.