Tallying the costs

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Eating Grass is the latest addition to a long list of literature on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme. It is a semi-official history of the programme, written by a former military officer who was closely connected with the nuclear policymaking component of the military, specially its Strategic Plans Division (SPD).

Based on interviews with key scientists and engineers of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and the A Q Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Eating Grass also includes the author’s recollections of his association with the SPD.

Much of the content of the book is already in the public domain through various previous writings, both foreign and local, but its merit lies in being an insider’s account. Although Shahid-ur-Rahman’s Long Road to Chagai, a similar first-hand account, appeared as early as 1999, Eating Grass is more detailed and comprehensive. It, infact, weaves the entire history of Pakistan’s nuclear programme around extensive interviews with those associated with it.

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