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Pakistan and French Rafale Aircraft deal with IAF – Big Development

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Geostrategy : Nuclear Pakistan: Hot-Headed or Rational?  Syed Ali Zia Jaffery

Geostrategy

Nuclear Pakistan: Hot-Headed or Rational?

Kenneth Waltz”The spread of nuclear weapons: more may be better.”

The essence of the Westphalian state system lies in the concept of territorial sovereignty. Inherent in the sanctity of the mainland is the need for national security. This has become an indispensable vital national interest of all states. The colossal damage caused by the atom bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki bears testimony to the annihilation capacity of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). However, there is a lot more to the use of the “deadly” nukes.

The veritable value of going nuclear can be gauged in the hostile Indo-Pak theatre. The partition of the Indian Subcontinent saw the emergence of this intense rivalry from the very outset. The reasons are well documented and even a cursory look at them would enable students and observers to decipher the anatomy of adversarial ties. Both states grappled with their perceived and actual fears, and to withstand threats to their interests embroiled in armament, both conventional and nuclear. The need for treading on the nuclear path was different for both countries.

It is imperative to briefly differentiate between the reasons for both South Asian titans going nuclear. India’s gargantuan foreign policy goals and security thinking shaped by long-held misgivings shaped her nuclear ambitions. Pakistan, on the other hand, faced with a quantitatively superior eastern neighbor, which was instrumental in its dismemberment, had to look for “internal balancing”. Indeed, the growing conventional asymmetry necessitated Islamabad to bear its own teeth.

Pakistan was left with no choice but to induct a force equalizer to deter India from any military misadventure. Hence, Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and the development of a cohesive nuclear force are intended to ward-off threats emanating from India. In all earnestness, Pakistan’s nuclear incursions are solely India centric.

This assertion can be corroborated by the fact that Pakistan maintains the doctrine of Credible Minimum Deterrence (CMD). The idea behind CMD is that an enemy larger in size can be dissuaded with small but a credible nuclear force. The doctrine is well-suited to Pakistan’s evident limitations.

Pakistan’s persistence with CMD has been effective in averting wars and also the “nuclear bogey” among other factors, ensured that low-intensity conflicts did not escalate into a full-scale war. The Kargil conflagration is perhaps a classic case of how the knowledge of the “nuclear possession” kept the conflict limited to a series of tactical skirmishes.

Pessimists opine that deterrence theory failed when both locked horns over strategically vital peaks. However, it must be stressed that a 1965-like escalation was avoided, with the help of international intervention because both India and Pakistan had a nuclear device in their caches.

Nuclear capabilities do not rule out the occurrence of low-intensity conflicts, for they bring about a stability-instability paradox, wherein things remain stable at the higher end of the conflict spectrum. One could argue that nuclear weapons provided both states with a cushion to wrest control of Kargil through tactical engagements, but it also acted as an equalizer, which baulked nefarious designs. During the whole episode, the nuclear umbrella gave Pakistan much-needed psychological security as she felt less vulnerable to a 1971-like Indian onslaught. The events of 1971 were monumental in shaping Pakistan’s nuclear campaign.

International pressure prevailed on two other occasions. The first was in wake of Operation Parakram when after the parliament attacks, India amassed its forces on the International Border. Warmongering did not result in any physical engagement after the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

The success of “Nuclear Pakistan” in preventing a full-scale war can be evidenced by the fact that the incendiary forces which caused previous wars and battles still persist. To-date there are opportunities akin to those present in 1971 for India to capitalize upon. Moreover, if accusations are to be believed there exists a pre-1965 war situation. Indeed, the possession of an assured nuclear capability has changed the type of threat emanating from the eastern flank. The ongoing non-kinetic war must and cannot be labelled as a failure of deterrence theory, for Pakistan’s nuclear posture is intended to make the pursuance of a military option untenable for India to use against Pakistan.

Press Release

Rawalpindi- February 13 2017

Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Strategic Plans Division today. He was received by Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Mazher Jamil and was given detailed briefing regarding various facets of Pakistan’s Strategic Programme.

COAS underlined the centrality of Pakistan’s Strategic Programme against a specific threat to our security. COAS lauded the efforts of Scientists and Engineers involved in the development programmes, which made Pakistan’s defence formidable. He highly appreciated operational preparedness and training standards of the Strategic Forces. He particularly expressed satisfaction on the comprehensive security regime of SPD.

STRATEGIC  PLANS DIVISION

Image result for pakistan strategic plans division

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan officially maintains that it does not aim to attain nuclear parity with India and will continue with the Minimum Credible Deterrence. Minimum is not a number but refers to the acquisition of no more nuclear weapons than necessary to deter the adversary from launching a nuclear attack. Thus the word “minimum” is relative at best and hence Pakistan has to monitor and evaluate the developments across the border. The question that one needs to answer is whether Pakistan’s increasing stockpile is a rational policy? Is there a need to bolster means of second-strike and inducting long-range ballistic missiles in the scheme of things?

First, the development of a second-strike capability is central to deterrence. India, with a well developed second/counter strike capability and a greater geographical depth, had the propensity to withstand a surprise or a pre-emptive strike from Pakistan. However, Pakistan bereft of the very advantages would not have been able to thwart a retaliation. Thus, the addition of an assured second-strike capability is imperative to make deterrence credible. Second, the need for modernizing delivery systems is all the more important because of deterrence hooks upon the ability to make the enemy aware of the ability and the willingness to use the device if and when the need arises.

Eyebrows have been raised regarding two aspects of Pakistan’s nuclear program. One is the growth in the number of warheads whilst the other is concerned with the design of Tactical Nuclear Weapons.

As aforementioned, deterrence is more effective when a country has adequate second-strike prowess.The number game hence becomes all the more important especially given the threats posed to CMD by India’s ever-increasing economic and technological muscle. Second-strike elicits its strength of the “residual” capacity hence Pakistan can feel relatively safer by the mere accumulation of warheads before making them more credible. The quantum has gained currency especially after India’s deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. Albeit in a rudimentary stage, the likelihood of intercepting Pakistan’s main delivery vehicles can greatly undermine the efficacy of Credible Minimum Deterrence. India’s BMD is likely to undermine Pakistan’s retaliatory capacity but a greater amount of warheads can reduce the precision of India’s Ballistic Missile Defense.

In sum, India’s grandiose aspirations and the initiatives taken to augment her military muscle, coupled with Pakistan’s limitations necessitate the latter to add to its deterrence value. This is being rightly done by not only focusing on credibility and survivability but also on the quantum of warheads. This is in-line with Pakistan’s quest to provide for her own security in an environment dictated by anarchy and self-help. Perhaps, it is pertinent to quote Waltz once more amidst doubts about the perils of a “Nuclear Pakistan”.

“If a country has nuclear weapons, it will not be attacked militarily in ways that threaten its manifestly vital interests. That is 100 percent true, without exception, over a period of more than fifty years.”

Reference

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HOW EFFECTIVE ARE ANTI-MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEMS-US THAAD & RUSSIA’S S-400

Missile defense, hitting a bullet with a bullet, is a very challenging task that is difficult to master, especially without a real combat scenario to test effectiveness.

 

Can America’s Missile Defenses Really Beat ICBMs Fired from Russia, China or North Korea?

by 

Ryan Pickrell

 

The U.S. military conducted a successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) intercept test Tuesday, but it is unclear how the U.S. missile shield would hold up in the event of an actual ICBM strike.

 

 

The U.S. military is heralding the test as a major success, one that ensures the U.S. is protected against ICBM threats from rising challengers, such as North Korea. “I was confident before the test that we had the capability to defeat any threat that they would throw at us,” Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, toldreporters at a post-test press briefing. “I’m even more confident today after seeing the intercept test yesterday that we continue to be on that course.”

“This test was similar in nature to the type of threat we would expect to defend against,” MDA Public Affairs Officer Chris Johnson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

During Tuesday’s ICBM intercept test, several sensors, including infrared satellites and radar systems, detected and tracked an incoming missile, according to Thomas Karako, the director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A sea-based X-band radar provided high-resolution images of the missile target, allowing the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to distinguish the missile from debris and decoys and move to eliminate the threat.

After exiting the atmosphere, the interceptor missile released a Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle that identified the warhead and adjusted course for a direct collision.

“This is a good day for homeland missile defense and a bad day for Kim Jong-un,” Karako said in response to the intercept test.

“The test was a success by its own standards,” Melissa Hanham, an arms expert and senior research associate in the East Asia Nonproliferation Program in the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told TheDCNF. “But there were probably a lot of differences from what a real nuclear strike might look like.”

The ICBM was fired from a known location, the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. The defending interceptor team had advanced knowledge of when the mock ICBM was coming, as well as the trajectory, the MDA revealed. However the system relied solely on data provided by real-time surveillance equipment, so it was reportedly responding much as it would during an actual combat situation.

“The scenarios aren’t realistic enough,” Hanham explained.

“If North Korea was actually going to attack the U.S., not just launch a single test ICBM, they would launch everything they had. It wouldn’t resemble this test,” Hanham said. “If we are talking about war with Russia or China, this is not at all a good test. Russia and China would have many ICBMs with confusers and multiple independent re-entry vehicles launching from many different locations at very hard to determine times and targeting all over the country.”

Missile defense, hitting a bullet with a bullet, is a very challenging task that is difficult to master, especially without a real combat scenario to test effectiveness. “People think missile defenses are a magic wand. They aren’t,” Jeffrey Lewis, a renowned arms expert, told The DCNF. The U.S. missile shield has a test success rate of 55 percent, with eight failures out of 18 interceptor tests.

The GMD system “has not demonstrated through flight testing that it can defend the U.S. homeland against the current missile defense threat,” the Government Accountability Office reported in 2016. The Fiscal Year 2016 report on ballistic missile defenses from the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation declared that the GMD system “demonstrates a limited capability to defend the U.S. Homeland from small numbers of simple intermediate-range or intercontinental ballistic missile threats launched from North Korea or Iran.” The report adds that the GMD system has low reliability.

The Pentagon is boosting missile defense development, but certain challenges persist.

“Let us say that there is someone on the other side of a large room shooting at you and you are shooting back. Maybe you could ricochet one of the bullets if you are an excellent marksman, but you are still going to get hit with other bullets,” Hanham said. “In the best case scenario, [missile defenses] could protect some places some of the time. They could reduce casualties, but it’s not a force field.”

“I don’t think that Americans should take this test as the reason that they sleep soundly at night,” she told TheDCNF. Hanham explained that Tuesday’s ICBM intercept test is a “stepping stone” to improved defenses.

The U.S. military will conduct another experiment next year, firing two interceptors at a single ICBM in a “real world” test next year, a defense official revealed Wednesday. Boeing has been awarded a $58.6 million contract for the development of interceptors that can destroy multiple warheads simultaneously. This type of technology is expected to be demonstrated by 2025, but until then, the U.S. is protected by GMD system tested Tuesday.

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“Pakistan: Elections or Revulsion against Hall of Shame” By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

Uncommon Thought

“Pakistan: Elections or Revulsion against Hall of Shame”

By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

15 July 2018
Narwaz Sharif, Pakistan

 

 

[Photo: Nawaz Sharif (right end of row) at the kickoff of a USAID rural water project(WAPDA) in Pakistan.]

Editor’s Note

Will Pakistan ever recover from imperialism? Will the entire region do so? Will the world? The wounds of imperialism reverberate down through the generations of nations and peoples. The corruption of spirit that imperialism engenders tears apart both culture and social structure that leaves a system that no longer functions holistically. Under “normal” social development, a culture (a shared system of values, beliefs, and norms), continually reinforces and reproduces social structures (organized social institutions like family, economy, and polity) that in turn reinforces and reproduces the shared culture.With imperialism, the culture and social structure of the imperialists prevail or are insinuated into another society. Only those areas considered as “important” by the empire are truly transformed. Often, the imperialists will select (or leverage) one group within the society to be their proxies or henchmen within the host society. This disrupts normal patterns but also places internal groups into conflict. Often, the group selected is not the dominant group within the society, but one that will need the ongoing support of the empire in order to maintain power, but also survival. For without the backing of the empire, the people might rise up and not just overthrow, but obliterate the “collaborators”.

I believe that imperialism – first the British and the American (as reflected by one arm of that power, USAID above) – are at the root of the corruption that seems all too typical of Pakistani politics. How Pakistan or other nations might reclaim their integrity and build societies that work for the people is a question I cannot answer. Problematically, the societal system has been permanently damaged, and whatever replaces it must be something different than the pre-imperialist form because by now no one remembers that state. However, to even start that process a nation must remove the boot of the imperialists from its neck.

Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

Are the Pakistanis Living In A Fantasy World?

The logic of the July 25th parliamentary elections in Pakistan is questionable for being a ceremonial stunt to undermine the reality of a highly corrupted and disoriented political culture.  For decades, Pakistan has lacked the systematic working capacity to organize fair and honest election campaigns representing the interest of the masses. At the forefront of this charade is the intent to hold elections on a short time span. Why was the interim government was not formed a year or at least six months ahead of the planned elections?  Given the extremely hot climate and the month of Ramadhan in between, it should have been a rational discourse. These facts should have helped to organize the necessary systematic mechanics of an election body to plan and organize all facets of complex elections. Because of the missing political accountability, and fearful of the on-going legal actions against Sharif brothers, the whole scenario of hurriedly arranged interim government tells a lot.  The Sharif regime had no interest and no priority to hold fair elections or to transfer power to another legitimate political party. They were all sadistic maniacs full of greed and deliberate mismanagement to dehumanize the Pakistani masses. Leaders are supposed to enjoin a vision of the future, creative thinking and selflessness, ethical character, a sense of positive thinking and commitment to serve the interests of the people. None of these is reflected in the profiles of any politicians in the recent history of Pakistan.Pakistan needs a major change in its constitutional framework, political system and the role and responsibilities of the political establishments. None of this is available in any rational context. If Pakistan is to spearhead a sustainable democracy, it needs major planned changes – a new constitution, a Presidential system of governance (elected directly by the people), new political institutions enriched with young, educated and people having a clear vision articulating a sustainable socio-economic and political future for the country. This rebuilding of the nation cannot be done by just one group or one party already operating in a highly corrupt and dysfunctional manner, and lacking political legitimacy. Have you ever read “Pakistan- Enigma of Change” (1999);  “Pakistan: Leaders or Political Monsters” (2015), and “Pakistan in Search of Political Change”, (2015) by this author?  Our nation has been robbed by its own so-called political leaders- Bhutto, and a few Military Generals, Zardari, Sharifs and Musharraf.  Truthfully, none were leaders except being military-backed opportunists and thumb lickers who could be used for all purposes in all seasons – legitimate or illegitimate – this is Pakistan’s junk history for the last 50 or more years. How could you imagine regaining that precious time and opportunities for change and development for socio-economic, political, moral and intellectual infrastructures to sustain the present and reconstruct nationhood?  Could this forthcoming July 25 elections take any remedial steps for what is required to be undertaken by hundreds and thousands of thinking people, strategic planners and political experts? Those who imagine miracles out of nothing must be living in a self-engineered fantasy world – a world that does not correspond to the prevalent realities of the 21st century.

Could Pakistanis Learn from Others and the Challenges of Time?

South Korea sentenced President Park to 20 years or more on corruption charges. It was done in a visible systematic legal framework. Why could Pakistanis not hold Zardari, Ms. Bhutto, Sharif and Musharaf to the same legal criterion action?  Is Pakistan a legally dysfunctional State? See how the Brazilian legal system dealt with the past two presidents. Now, see how Malaysia handled Najib Razik’s corruption scandal as he is being held for trial.  If the Pakistani political elite and judiciary were honest and effective, should they have not taken tangible measures to exercise the legal accountability in a public court of law against so many political gangsters?

Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years on corruption charges, but he will not serve the sentence because he has already fled the country. Why did the higher court allow him to leave the country? Were the Supreme Court judges ignorant of the fact that he could leave the country and avoid all measures of legal accountability?  Likely not as this was nothing new in Pakistani political culture.

Rationality and truth have their own language. Everywhere the blame game is used by corrupt politicians to cover up their cruel impulses. Their insane egoism does not recognize its own incompetence, criminality and failure. Across the nation, agonizing situations warrant urgent attention to deal with insecurity, conflict prevention and conflict management, Pakistani Taliban’s terrorism, problems in responsible governance, disdain trade and commerce and to revitalize sustainable national unity. The dismissed PM Sharif and his colleagues amassed wealth, stole the nation’s time and opportunities for political change and killed peaceful civilian demonstrators. They react like paranoid maniacs as if the masses are the problem. If conscientious Pakistanis living abroad are concerned about the decadent political culture and rebuilding of the moral, intellectual and economic-political infrastructures, the ruling elite will ensure to deprive them the opportunity to be heard at a national level. When people are forced to live in political darkness, they lose the sense of rational direction.

These corrupt leaders demonstrated a dehumanized gutted culture of naïve politics, be it inside the Higher Courts, National Assembly or the political powerhouses. It makes no sense in the 21st century knowledge-based age of reason and political accountability.  People’s pain, political agony and continuing sufferings cannot be transformed into a single portrait to show to the global audience. All of the political monsters have stolen time and looted the wealth and positive energies of the people. At a glance, Pakistan appears to be reaching a dead-ended political discourse. The political misfortune needs a high power jolt of intervention to pave a smooth way out of the stagnated political culture of the few. People are the legitimate force for change if there is any hope of democracy still operational in Pakistan.

 

Leaders or Monsters of History – Pakistanis Should Look in the Mirror

The military dictator – Bhuttos, Zardari and Sharifs – could never have come into power unless the nation had lost its sense of rationality, purpose and meaning of its existence. These sadistic monsters have institutionalized chaos and fear, demoralization of a moral society and dehumanization of an intelligent nation, and have transferred these naïve traits and values to the psychological-social-economic and political spheres of the mainstream thinking hub of the nation.

Pakistani politics is operated by those who have absolutely no qualifications to be at the helm of political power – yet they are continuously engaged in systematic degradation of the educated and intelligent young generations of Pakistanis who are deprived of opportunities to participate in the national politics. The contemporary history of political degeneration includes generals, neo-colonial feudal lords, members of the assemblies, and a few family-vested houses of political power, ministers or prime ministers; they have the distinction of all acting in unison against the interest of the people of Pakistan.  Political power is an aphrodisiac. Do the people belong to this mad scrum overwhelmingly witnessed across the peoples’ movement against the oligarchy? To an impartial observer, the scene is clear that the wrong people are conducting the political governance where reason and legal justice are outlawed. This contradicts the essence of the Freedom Movement of Pakistan. It appears logical to think that at some point soon, those who are fit to lead must take over from those who are unfit to govern with credibility. It could be a bloodless coup – or it could be a bloody insurrection. One way or another, the process of phasing out the obsolete and phasing-in the fair and much desired and deserving must happen.  Are Pakistan’s freedom and futuristic integrity being sacrificed for the few dumb and dull criminals who wish to extend their power beyond the domains of reason and honesty?  It will be extremely harmful and deeply flawed and dangerous ethos to the interests of the people if Sharif brethren –Bhutto’s family including Zardari reemerge in the outcome of the July 25, 2018 elections and are allowed to continue the crime-riddled political governance while their legitimacy is under sharp questioning. The path to peaceful change and political success requires the wise and informed to establish an organized council of responsible oversight to move-in to the void once the despots are ousted. That is an essential component of any public uprising determined to manifest genuine and sustainable political change and legal justice.

In “Pakistan:  Reflections on the 70th Independence Day:  Imperatives of Optimism and Future-Making,” (Uncommon Thought Journal, USA: 8/15/2017), this author made the following observations:

The political elite and the people live in a conflicting time zone being unable to understand the meaning and essence of the Pakistan Freedom Movement. This purpose needs unwavering public commitment and continuous struggle for political change. It needs not to be invented, it is living in the mind and spirit of the people, it just needs to be revitalized and better organized as the momentum is waiting for the grieving people. Pakistan urgently needs a saviour, not Sharif, Bhuttos or the few Generals. The solution must come from the thinking people of the new educated generation – the intelligent Pakistanis to facilitate hope and optimism for a sustainable future of the beleaguered nation. This should be the framework of the message and active agenda for change and reformation as the core of the celebration of Pakistan’s 70thIndependence Day.

 

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and The Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution

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Pakistan Air Force ordered to shoot down US drones by RT

Pakistan Air Force ordered to shoot down US drones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistani Air Force ordered to shoot down US drones
Pakistan’s Air Force (PAF) commander has reportedly ordered to take down drones violating the country’s sovereignty, including that of the US.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman also recalled a historic breach of trust incident over a batch of US-made F-16’s which Pakistan paid for, but never received. The jabs against America, a key ally, came Thursday in a speech Aman delivered at a ceremony of aviation students gathered in Islamabad. The top military official praised Pakistan’s air prowess, saying their forces are prepared to defend the sovereignty of the country.

“We committed a mistake in Osama bin Laden’s case but now the country’s sovereignty will be protected at all costs,” he told an audience at the AirTech 17 expo at the Air University. Aman was referring to the CIA-led US commando raid in May 2011, which involved a cross-border flight of Black Hawk helicopters from Jalalabad, Afghanistan to Abbottabad, Pakistan. The Pakistanis were not informed about the planned assassination beforehand, which sparked outrage in the country.

“We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace,” Aman said as cited by The Times of India, adding, that he has ordered the PAF “to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The US flies drone missions over Pakistan and conducts airstrikes on suspected militants in the turbulent tribal area on the border with Afghanistan. The practice has prompted outrage amongst Pakistanis because of the high death toll it effects on civilians.

“In the past, the drones have been attacking targets in Pakistan. Earlier it was perhaps with the detested approval of the government of Pakistan. But in the last couple of years, the government of Pakistan has not provided any such approval,” Talat Masood, a retired three-star general in the Pakistani army told RT.

Masood explained that Pakistan is forced to protect its sovereignty in order to avert an Arab Spring scenario witnessed throughout the years across the wider Middle East.

“In fact, at the moment there are some scribes in the New York press or in the Washington press who are predicting that if Pakistan does not draw the line of the United States of America, a Syria-like situation maybe created over here. This has raised the hackles in Pakistan, because Pakistan cannot allow its territory to be used by others to engineer in the name of democracy, any farcical moves which can destabilize the country,” he said.

Aman praised Pakistan’s aviation engineers and scientists, saying their expertise and brilliance means the country need not depend on foreign suppliers for military aircraft. He recalled the issue of the cancelled delivery of US-made F-16 fighter jets, for which Pakistan already paid a multi-million dollar down payment.

The episode illustrates the bumpy history of relations between Islamabad and Washington. In the ‘80s, the US needed Pakistani assistance to undermine Soviet troops in Afghanistan, pouring billions of dollars in cash and military aid into an “anti-Soviet jihad.”

 

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This, however, conflicted with US non-proliferation goals, since Pakistan was actively working on producing a nuclear weapon to counter arch-rival India’s newly acquired nuclear capability. US law prohibits providing any aid to a potential nuclear proliferator, so in order to keep Pakistan on its good side, a stop-gap solution was introduced – the 1985 Pressler Amendment.

Named after US Senator Larry Pressler, the legislation enabled a US president to certify to Congress that Pakistan was not developing nuclear weapons, and thus qualified for aid. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did so for five years, despite intelligence to the contrary.

But in 1990, USSR troops were no longer in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s value diminished in Washington. The non-proliferation sanctions then kicked into force, putting a stop to the ongoing deal to deliver 28 F-16’s to the PAF. Pakistan was not only denied the planes, for which it paid Lockheed Martin over $650 million, but also audaciously slapped with a $50,000 per month storage fee. Ironically, the annual payments to the US defense contractor for the withheld jets continued until 1993, as Pentagon officials were telling the Pakistanis that the warplanes would eventually be delivered.

The F-16’s eventually went to New Zealand while Pakistan and the US settled the dispute under Bill Clinton’s presidency, albeit via a partial compensation. In Pakistan, the story is perceived by many as a national humiliation, and an example as to why the Americans cannot be trusted. Denied the American fighter jets, Islamabad relied on China to develop a replacement, the CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder, which has been produced in both countries since the mid-2000s.

Chief Marshal Aman praised the JF-17 corroboration as testament to Pakistan’s technological capabilities, saying the aircraft is superior to the F-16 “in all regards”. He added that the PAF will soon produce a 5th generation warplane under Project Azm, and announced developments in a national space program and potential joint space exploration with China.

The anti-American tinted speech by Pakistan’s senior military commander comes amid a period of tense relations between Islamabad and Washington. President Donald Trump harshly criticized Pakistan in August as he was announcing his administration’s new strategy for Afghanistan. The accusations fueled Pakistani sentiment that Washington cannot be relied upon.

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