The Pakistani government is today celebrating the 16th anniversary of the 1998 Chagai nuclear tests. As the various political parties compete to take credit for developing a weapon of mass destruction, I thought I’d present an alternate viewpoint.
The recording below is excerpted from an interview of Naela Quadri, a Baloch nationalist political activist, who in May 1998 was was teaching at the University of Balochistan’s pharmacy department. In protest against the atomic tests in Chagai, Quadri and her students organised a rally from the university campus to the Quetta Press Club. In the interview, she explains to me the reasons for the protests, and how it lead to her being forced to resign from her teaching position.
The interview took place over Skype in May 2013 for a radio piece I did about women in the Baloch separatist movement for PRI’s The World. At the time of the interview, Naela Quadri was in exile in Afghanistan.