War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Ishrat Husain Usmani, 1986
Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.
Ishrat Usmani was a Pakistani atomic physicist who chaired the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from 1960-1971. In the interview, he begins by recounting his education and how he came to the Pakistani AEC by way of a temporary post in the Indian civil service. After being tapped by Ayub Khan, he represents Pakistan at various international conferences, which he describes and discusses how Pakistan benefited from international programs, particularly Atoms for Peace. He says he had no expectation of benefiting from initiatives like Project Plowshares. On the other hand, he considered the IAEA "a beautiful idea," although he objected to the uneven application of safeguards, which were limited to countries that sought IAEA assistance. He recalls his personal involvement in negotiating with Canada over the KANUPP reactor, noting that India had similar aspirations at the time. After the Chinese test in 1964, he asserts that he did not give much credence to Homi Bhabha's claim that India could conduct its own test in 18 months. When the test eventually occurred, Dr. Usmani's reaction was "sheer disgust." When asked, he offers a technical description of a small nuclear explosion, comparing the characteristics of a weapons test with a so-called peaceful explosion. He disagrees that the only way to gain international prestige is by acquiring a bomb. Further in the discussion, proliferation issues are raised, including Dr. Usmani's objections to the NPT, and his views on whether a country with a reactor is likely to develop a weapons capability. Asked about the nuclear future of South Asia, he enthusiastically describes his idea for an entity called Asiatom, structured according to the model of Euratom, with the big powers, China and India, taking the lead.
- War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- Carter's New World
- Program Number
Interview with Ishrat Husain Usmani, 1986
- Series Description
The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.
In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989
- Program Description
President Carter comes to office determined to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and to improve relations with the Soviet Union. His frustrations are as grand as his intentions.
Carter had hoped the United States and the Soviet Union would reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons. He stopped production of the B-1 bomber. He believed the SALT II negotiations would be a step toward eliminating nuclear weapons. But his intentions were frustrated by Soviet actions and by a lack of consensus among his own advisors, including Chief SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (who was dubious about arms control). Carter balanced Soviet aggression in Africa by improving American relations with China. He withdrew SALT II treaty from Senate consideration but its terms continued to serve as general limits on strategic nuclear force levels for both the United States and the Soviet Union.
- Asset Type
- Media Type
- Bhaba, Homi J.
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- United States
- Soviet Union
- Trudeau, Pierre Elliott
- Korea (South)
- Nuclear energy
- Nuclear fission
- Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
- Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
- Goldschmidt, Bertrand
- Nuclear nonproliferation
- Gray, James Lorne, 1913-1987
- Nuclear weapons
- Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali
- Thompson, E. P. (Edward Palmer), 1924-1993
- London, United Kingdom
- Global Affairs
- War and Conflict
- Usmani, Ishrat Husain, 1917- (Interviewee)
- Publication Information
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Ishrat Husain Usmani, 1986,” 12/15/1986, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 12, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_79D2F752DA9944C8AFFF4D724FE6412C.
- MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Ishrat Husain Usmani, 1986.” 12/15/1986. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 12, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_79D2F752DA9944C8AFFF4D724FE6412C>.
- APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Ishrat Husain Usmani, 1986. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_79D2F752DA9944C8AFFF4D724FE6412C