India and Pakistan are seen as the hostile neighbours since the partition. However, India had offered to share nuclear technology with Pakistan after its first nuclear test in 1974. US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks says that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had written a letter to her Pak counterpart Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in this regard. However, Bhutto had rejected the offer.
WikiLeaks revealed that Mrs Gandhi had told the Parliament about the offer after the tests on July 22, 1974. She had told her Pak counterpart that New Delhi would be ready to share the nuclear technology with Islamabad. Quoting her statement the US embassy reported, as revealed by Wikileaks, “I have explained in my letter to Prime Minister Bhutto the peaceful nature and the economic purposes of this experiment and have also stated that India is willing to share her nuclear technology with Pakistan in the same way she is willing to share it with other countries, provided proper conditions for understanding and trust are created. I once again repeat this assurance”.
However, Bhutto in his response to Mrs Gandhi said, many past assurances from India “regrettably remain unhonored”. According to him, the testing of nuclear device was no different from donation of a nuclear weapon.
The US embassy cables say that Mrs Gandhi was ambiguous about weaponisation of India’s nuclear capability. In an interview to CBC, Canada, she had said, “If our scientists have the basic know-how, without which they couldn’t have done this, then any government could have directed them to make a bomb if they had so desired.”
Pakistan had tested its nuclear weapon for the first time in May, 1998 after India conducted its second nuclear test.