With reference to the above controversy ranging in your columns I would like to offer my comments on the events to which I happened to be an eye witness. Refused to start a nuclear programme: I endorse the fact confirmed by Mr. Gohar Ayb Khan that the base for a nuclear programme was established during the Ayub Khan era. As explained in my letter (The Nation July 6, 1998), on return from a foreign staff course in 1967 I was posted to the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) Islamabad and entrusted with this subject in addition to other duties. It was almost around this period that Pakistans nuclear programme was launched under the specific instructions of President Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission headed by Dr. I.H. Usmani was asked to prepare the feasibility leading to the making of a nuclear device. The Pakistan Institute of Science and Technology (PINSTECH) was the platform available to launch the project. Dr. Usmani was joined by another group of young scientists led by one Dr. Bukhari from the GHQ Science Labs Chaklala. They produced a list of around 200 Pakistani nuclear scientists who were either working or undergoing advanced studies abroad. It was decided to call the suitable ones from the lot to form nucleus of the project. Presentations of the nuclear plan were held on ministerial level some of which I had a chance to attend. The programme was well on its way when late Z.A. Bhutto made the important contribution of inducting Dr. A.Q. Khan who later became 'kingpin of the project. Mian Nawaz Sharif, however, emerged as the real 'king by conducting the explosion and making Pakistan as the 7th Nuclear Power of the world. Alienated the East Pakistanis: The alienation of the Bengalis by President Ayub Khan is a misconception. I served for two years in East Pakistan (1964-66) during Ayub Khans regime and found it to be the golden era of the regions development. A grand project like Karnafuli Paper Mills was established while the setting up of a steel mill was in process. Dacca airport was expanded, the Assembly building constructed, a 5-Star hotel established and a train like Tezgam introduced. Riverine transport was modernized and the roads improved. The people being quite happy about the working of Ayub Khans government, there was no element of frustration or antagonism among the Bengalis. All the hatred that caused separation developed when the Yahya-Bhutto clique denied the Bengalis their legal, political and constitutional rights and share in the Pakistan government. Decade of development: The celebrations of Ayub Khans decade of development might have been over-played but let us not forget that Ayub Khans period was the most progressive in the history of Pakistan as far as development is concerned. There was unprecedented growth of industries, construction of roads bridges and dams and expansion-cum- modernization of communication and transportation systems. He brought discipline in all walks of life with the result that neither the government departments were in the red as they are today nor were the countrys treasures shifted abroad by the unscrupulous political leaders. Above all he gave us the beautiful city of Islamabad which is a symbol of Pakistans identity. RAFI NASIM, Lahore, April 29.