Samar Mubarakmand

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Samar Mubarakmand
Born (1942-09-17) 17 September 1942 (age 76)
Alma materGovernment College University
University of Oxford
Known forNuclear deterrence program
Integrated missile program
Gamma ray spectrometer
AwardsNishan-e-Imtiaz (2004)[1]
Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1998)
Sitara-e-Imtiaz (1992)
Scientific career
FieldsNuclear Physics
InstitutionsPakistan Atomic Energy Commission
Government College University
Planning Commission
Doctoral advisorD. H. Wilkinson

Samar Mubarakmand (Urdu: ثمر مبارک مند; b. 17 September 1942; NI, HI, SI, FPAS), is a Pakistani nuclear physicist known for his research in gamma spectroscopy and experimental development of the linear accelerator.[2]

He came to public attention as the director of the test teams responsible for the performing the country's first and successful atomic tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) at the Chagai Test Site, located in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan.[3] Prior to that, he was the project director of the integrated missile programme and supervised the development of Shaheen and Babur missile program. Serving the founding chairman of Nescom from 2001 until 2007, he was subsequently appointed by the government to assist the Thar coalfield project.[4][5]


Early life and education[edit]

Samar Mubarakmand was born in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province, British Indian Empire, on 17 September 1942.[4] He earned his education from Lahore and matriculated from the St. Anthony's High School in 1956.[4] After passing the university entrance exams, he enrolled at the Government College University where he studied physics under Dr. Tahir Hussain.[6] In 1960, he graduated with BSc in physics with a concentration in experimental physics and a minor in mathematics.[7] During his college years, Mubarakmand was an avid swimmer and represented GCU at the national games.[7]

He conducted research on experimental physics under Tahir Hussain and built an experimental apparatus for his master's thesis.[7] His thesis contained detailed work on gamma ray spectrometer and performed an experiment that was witnessed by dr. Denys Haigh Wilkinson of Oxford University as part of his master's program.[7] Dr. D.H. Wilkinson spoke highly of his work and invited him to visit the Oxford University to resume studies in experimental physics.[7]

In 1962, he gained MSc in physics after publishing his thesis titled, "Construction of a gamma-ray spectrometer," under Dr. Tahir Hussain.[2] In 1962, he joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and gained scholarship to study at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Recommended by Dr. Denys Wilkinson, he admitted at the Oxford University and joined the group led by Denys Wilkinson.[7] At Oxford University, he took participation in preparing the 22 million volt atomic accelerator and was part of the team that commissioned it at the Oxford University.[8]

During his time in Oxford, Mubarakmand learned about the linear acceleratorss, and after returning to Pakistan he built one.[8] Apart studying, Mubarakamand played cricket and bowled for the Oxford University Cricket Club.[7] In 1966, Mubarakmand completed his doctoral thesis under dr. D.H. Wilkinson and was awarded DPhil in experimental nuclear physics.[9][10][11]

After returning to Pakistan, Mubarakmand joined the PAEC and joined the faculty of Government College University as assistant professor of physics in 1966.[8] From 1974–77, Mubarakmand taught physics at the Government College University and was an instrumental engaging research during his tenure as professor.[12]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)[edit]

Upon returning to Pakistan, Mubarakmand did fundamental work on neutron spectroscopy but later moved onto Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) to do post-doctoral research and joined the physics department led by dr. Naeem Ahmad Khan in 1966.[13] In 1967, he joined the "Nuclear Physics Group" (NPG) formed by dr. Naeem Ahmad and had consisted Bashiruddin Mahmood and Hafeez Qureshi, a mechanical engineer.[14]

At PAEC, Mubarakmand additionally worked towards applications involving in chemical engineering where he built his reputation among between his senior scientists.[7] The NPG worked towards engineering problems involving the reactor physics and the methods involving the gas centrifuges but the group did not last together when Hafeez Qureshi went to join Radiation and Isotope Applications Division (RIAD) in 1971.[15]

1971 war and atomic bomb project[edit]

In January 1972, Mubarakmand was assigned to Nuclear Physics Division (NPD) which was led by dr. Ishfaq Ahmad where he immersed himself in work on the physics calculations in the implosion method.[14] After India announced the surprise nuclear test in 1974, the PAEC accelerated the program by having established the Fast Neutron Physics Group (FNPG) on the advice of dr. Abdus Salam.[16] Munir Ahmad Khan made Mubarakmand its first director due to his expertise in chemical engineering and experimental physics.[16] The FNPG generated work calculating the neutron temperature, initiator, and helping designing the neutron reflector.[16]

During the same time, he collaborated with Hafeez Qureshi to assist in designing the tamper and further helped conclude the calculation of neutron energy's distributive ranges and power produced by the neutrons, after the detonation process.[18] In 1973, Mubarakmand commenced the work on calculations involving the relative simultaneity– a key concept involving to investigate detonation of the weapon from several points at the same time.[18] However, the work was passed to the Theoretical Physics Group led by Abdus Salam and Riazuddin as it felt that the calculations would be better off, as it involved complex ideas of theoretical physics and Einstein's Special and General relativity.[18]

In 1978, Mubarakmand built a linear particle accelerator at the PINSTECH to conclude solutions in the neutron generator.[18] Mubarakmand later witnessed the establishment of domestically developed supercomputer facilities at the PINSTECH to help conducting the subcritical testings.[18] Due to his foremost experience in experimental physics, Mubarakmand was appointed director of Diagnostic Group– a secretive division at PAEC that was charged teams with conducting experimental testings of atomic weapons and responsible for countdown for the detonation process.[19] A comprehensive work on civil engineering took place for potential tests sites completed in span of five to six years. A milestone was reached on 11 March 1983 when Mubarakmand led the testing teams to supervised the secretive first cold test.[20] Although the countdown and experiment was supervised by Mubarakmand, the blast effect was eventually determined by the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG).[21]

In 1987, Mubarakmand was posted at the secretive Directorate for Technical Development(DTD)— a secret directorate that developed the explosive lenses and triggering mechanism for the fission weapon.[19] He collaborated with Hafeez Qureshi and Dr. Zaman Sheikh and once regarded them as: "These (Engineering) people at DTD were really smart. They were trained very thoroughly in the development of a weapon's necessary materials at very low cost."[18] After a 3-dimensional geological survey was completed in 1978, Mubarakmand first visited the Chagai Hills in 1981 with Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad and other scientists from divisions.[22] In 1998, he was appointed as Member (Technical) at the PAEC and guided the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on experimental physics and test preparations.[22] Mubarakmand assisted the government on evaluating the nuclear tests conducted by India in 1998 and personally supervised the test preparations at the Chagai. At the NSC's cabinet meeting, Mubarakmand backed dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan's strong advocacy for conducting the tests, immediately calling for the decision to tests.[23] On 19–20 May 1998, Mubarakmand led some 140 experimental physicists of his team to oversee the preparations in Chagai, Balochistan, Pakistan where he personally supervised the complete assembly of all five nuclear devices.[23] Mubarakmand himself walked a total of 5 km back and forth in the hot tunnels checking and re-checking the devices and the cables which would be forever buried under the concrete.[23] On 28 May 1998, Mubarakmand led the countdown of the tests, codename Chagai-I, in Balochistan, Pakistan .[22] Dr Samar Mubarakmand was called by PM Nawaz to Prime Minister House just after India conducted Pokhran II and PM Nawaz asked him the status of preparedness of Pakistan and (Dr Mubarakmand) assured PM Nawaz that scientists were ready and Pakistan could go for its first nuclear test.

On 30 May 1998, dr. Ishfaq Ahmad cleared with the Prime minister, and Mubarakmand led the a very small team of academic scientists that supervised the country's plutonium fission weapon – codename Chagai-II.[20][24]

In 2005, Mubarakmand eulogised his memories in an interview with Hamid Mir's Capital Talk and said:

I visited the first weapon-testing laboratories (WTL) at (Chagai District) for the first time in 1981.... When the science experiments were to be conducted, our science teams went there on 20th May, and again on 28th May, in the early morning, the WTL iron-steel tunnels were (electronically) plugged in and the preparation for the tests' experiments were complete, and on 28th May, around 15:15hrs, was the time selected for testings. So, at that time, at around 14:45hrs, some of our high profiled guests arrived to witness the (science) experiments that were soon to be tests, and Qadeer Khan was also one of them.... It was the first visit of his life to any of Chagai's Weapon-testing laboratories. (Abdul Qadeer) came at the invitation of the Chairman of the PAEC, Ishfaq Ahmad, and (Abdul Qadeer) arrived 15 minutes prior to the (science) experiments that were to be conducted...

— Samar Mubarakmand, commenting on Abdul Qadeer Khan's role in atomic bomb project, [20][24]

Recalling Munir Ahmad Khan and PAEC's role and its relation to the famous atomic bomb project priority dispute, Mubarakmand later said that:

As many as nineteen steps were involved in the making of a nuclear weapon ranging from exploration of uranium to the finished device and its trigger mechanism.The technological and manpower infrastructure for eighteen out of these nineteen steps were provided by the PAEC under the leadership of Munir Ahmad Khan who led it for nearly two decades from 1972 to 1991. Today all the major key scientific organizations linked to the country's security like the PAEC, the Kahuta Research Labs and the strategic production complex were run and operated by Pakistani professionals produced by the policies of the PAEC both under him and Usmani of producing indigenous trained manpower. Pakistan's nuclear capability was confirmed the day in 1983 when the PAEC carried out cold nuclear tests under the guidance and stewardship of late Munir Ahmad Khan. The tests however, were not publicly announced because of the international environment of stiff sanctions against countries, which sought to acquire nuclear capability....

— Samar Mubarakmand, Eulogizing Munir Khan's and PAEC's role on the development of the atomic bomb project, [25]

Government work and political advocacy[edit]

Space programme[edit]

In 1990s, Mubarakmand took special initiatives in the advancement of the space program and led a team of engineers to successfully developed the Shaheen program.[26] He was the founding director of the NDC bureau that initiated the work on Shaheen program who gathered the support for the program.[27] Necessary funding was secured by the military for this program and Samar Mubarakmand oversaw the development of the solid booster.[27] Initiated in 1987 by Pakistan's MoD in a response to India's missile program, Pakistan's spin-off program was aggressively pursued by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1993.[27] The Shaheen program was successfully test fired in 1999 in a team of engineers led by Samar Mubarakmand.[27] Key strategic weapon systems, such as Babur and Ghaznavi, was also built by Mubarakmand's team in successive period.[28]

In 2008, Mubarakmand joined the Planning Commission where he strongly advocated for a peaceful usage of the space program. In 2009, he revealed the work on the PakSat-1R, the nation's first geostationary satellite that was launched in 2011.[29]

The satellite was described as being able to monitor agricultural programs, minerals programs and weather conditions and quoted that there were sufficient funds for the defence, nuclear and space programs.[30][30] The satellite was eventually launched in 2011 by China from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.[31] His relations with dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan remains often tense over several scientific issues who sees Dr. Samar as "no authority over materials as he is an expert on electromagnetism."[32]

Thar Coal project[edit]

In 2013, Mubarakmand assisted provincial government of Balochistan on extracting minerals.[33] Mubarakmand heavily lobbied for the implementation of the Thar coal project initiated by the provincial government of Sindh despite strong public criticism by dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, which described as "intellectual dishonesty".[32] In 2015, a breakthrough in the Thar coal project was reported by the media reports regarding this project.[5]

State honours[edit]

Mubarakmand has been conferred with state honors recognized for his services to the country by the Pakistan Government. He is the recipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz (1993); Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1998); and Nishan-e-Imtiaz (2003) that is the highest civil honor of the country.[4][34] In addition, he is a fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) and was inducted by Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad in 2000.[4]

Scientific journals and papers[edit]

Conference papers[edit]

  • "A Science Oddyssey: Pakistans Nuclear Emergence", Samar Mubarakmand, Khalil Qureshi, Masoor Beg, Masud Ahmad.

Research publications[edit]

  • Aspects of a-emission from the bombardment of 58Ni with 14.7 MeV neutrons, by Naeem Ahmad Khan, Samar Mubarakmand and Masud Ahmed, journal of Nuclear physics, PINSTECH.
  • Cross-section measurements with a neutron generator by Samar Mubarakmand, Masud Ahmad, M. Anwar and M. S. Chaudhry.
  • Some characteristic differences between the etch pits due to 86Rn and 232 Th α particles in CA80–15 and LR–115 cellulose nitrate track detectors, by Hameed Ahmad Khan, M. Afzal, P. Chaudhary, Samar Mubarakmand, F. I. Nagi and A.Waheed, journal of Isotopic Radiation, PINSTECH (1977).
  • Application of glass solid state nuclear track detectors in the measurement of the + particle fission cross–section of uranium, by Samar Mubarakmand, K. Rashid, P. Chaudhry and Hameed Ahmad Khan, Methods of Nuclear Instrumentation. (1977)
  • Etching of glass solid state nuclear track detectors in aqueous solutions of (4NH)2HF, NaOH and KOH, by Hameed Ahmad Khan, R. A. Akbar, A. Waheed, P. Chaudhry and Samar Mubarakmand, journal of Isotopic Radiation, PINSTECH (1978).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b, Samar Mubarakmand's Nishan-e-Imtiaz Award announced on 14 Aug 2003 but actually received on 23 March 2004 on Dawn newspaper, Published 14 Aug 2003, Retrieved 23 Dec 2016
  2. ^ a b Butt, N.M. (25 August 2002). "Nuclear Radiation & Nuclear Science & Technology in Pakistan". Debrecen, Hungary: N.M. Butt international Congress on Radiation Education. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ Sheikh, F.D. "The galaxy of Pakistani scientists:Eminent scientists in the field of Physics; Dr Samar Mubarakmand". F.D. Sheikh. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e (PAS), Pakistan Academy of Sciences. "Fellows of the Academy: Mubarakmand, Samar". Pakistan Academy of Sciences. Pakistan Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 3 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Kiani, Khaliq (4 June 2015). "Breakthrough in coal power". Dawn News, Kiani. Dawn News,. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  6. ^ Asim, Khalid Mahmood. "Famous Scientists". Nazaria-e-Pakistan Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Hassan, Osama. "An Interview with Dr. Samar Mubarakmand". Nust Science Society. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Planning Commission (26 December 2008). "Dr. Samar Mubarakmand (N.I, H.I, S.I)". Islamabad Pakistan: Computer Center of Planning Commission of Pakistan. Planning Commission. pp. 1–1. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  9. ^ Shaikh, F.D. "The galaxy of Pakistani scientists". Special report, Jang. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Dr. Samar Mubarakmand". Pakistan Herald.
  11. ^ Nust Science Society, 2012. "Dr. Samar Mubarakmand". Nust Science Society, 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  12. ^ GCU Press. "Center For Advance Studies In Physics". GCU Press. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  13. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 179–180)
  14. ^ a b Khan (2012, pp. 81–82)
  15. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 85–86)
  16. ^ a b c Khan (2012, p. 180)
  17. ^ (NPT), Nazari-a-Pakistan. "Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand". Khalid Mahmood Asim. Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust and Prominent Scientists of Pakistan (Urdu). Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Mubarakmand, Samar (30 November 1998). "A Science Odyssey". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  19. ^ a b Khan (2012, pp. 185–186)
  20. ^ a b c Hamid Mir (3 May 2004). "Geo TV Capital Talk Special: Interview with Dr. Samar Mubarakmand". PakDef, Hamid Mir. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  21. ^ Khan (2012, pp. 191–192)
  22. ^ a b c "pakistan became a nuclear state in 1983-dr. samar", the nation,(islamabad) may 2, 2003 accessed on august 6, 2009". Arms control. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  23. ^ a b c Azam, Rai Muhammad Saleh (3 June 2000). "When Mountains Move – The Story of Chagai". RMS Azam, Defence Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  24. ^ a b Hamid Mir (3 May 2005). Capital Talk: Interview with Dr. Samar Mubarakmand (Television production). Islamabad, Pakistan: Geo News.
  25. ^ Mubarakmand, Samar (6 August 2009). "Pakistan Became a Nuclear State in 1983". The Nation.
  26. ^ NTI, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Lexis-Nexis. "See: 17 December 2003 (Pakistan to Test Latest Engine for Ghauri IV Missile)". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  27. ^ a b c d Khalid, Hanif (19 April 1999). "How Shaheen Was Developed". Khalid Hanif, special report on Jang, published by FAS. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  28. ^ Samar Mubarak Mand (2006). Samar Mubarakmand- Babur Cruise Missile (TV-Series). Islamabad: Geo TV.
  29. ^ The Staff Reporter (18 August 2009). "Pakistan's first satellite to be launch on April 2011: Dr. Samar". The News International. Islamabad: The news international. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  30. ^ a b "Launch Vehicles: Space;Pakistan's "Shaheen-III":Space Booster Development". Global Security. Retrieved 19 May 2010. |first= missing |last= (help)
  31. ^ Staff writer (11 August 2011). "Pakistan's First Communications Satellite PakSat-1R Launched". Dawn, 2011. Dawn. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  32. ^ a b staff (14 May 2012). "Dr. Samar's intellectual dishonesty ruins Thar Coal Project: Dr. Qadir". News Tribe, 2012. News Tribe, 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  33. ^ Our Staff Reporter (31 January 2013). "Balochistan set to undertake Reko Diq project". The Nation, 2013. The Nation. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  34. ^ Asim, Khalid Mahmood. "Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand". Prominent Scientists of Pakistan (Urdu). K.M. Asim. Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2016.

Biographical annotations[edit]

*Khan, Feroz Hassan (2012). Eating grass the making of the Pakistani bomb. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. p. 552. ISBN 978-0804784801. Retrieved 2 June 2015.

External links[edit]