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Archive for category Pakistan’s Nuclear Deterrent

Seven Big Challenges for Pakistan—and the Lessons They Could Teach  By Imran Ali , Ali Akbar & Benjawan Yanwisetpakdee

Pakistan-A Nation Given Lemons by its Enemies Makes a Lemonade

Seven Big Challenges for Pakistan—and the Lessons They Could Teach

 By

Imran Ali, Ali Akbar & Benjawan Yanwisetpakdee

Pakistan may be viewed as a case study of the fight for the survival of modern human civilization. Its complex and dangerous problems are not without possible solutions and the strategies that the nation chooses to provide a model for the rest of the world.

 Humans have made enormous advancements in technology. Unfortunately, the challenges to human civilization are also rising quickly. Our ignorance and mismanagement of resources have led us down the path of uncertainty, and we now need all of our available technology to survive. Pakistan is perhaps most known for its struggle with terrorism. Meanwhile, few associate the country with the fight for modern civilization’s survival. Dwindling natural resources, continuous natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and economic instability in the region make for a worst-case scenario for human development. Pakistan is neighbored by China and India, the most populous nations on the globe, so its failure would start a chain reaction of global. On the other hand, the country’s success in meeting current challenges could make it a model for counteracting the problems of modern civilization. This article offers an overview of the major challenges confronting Pakistan, along with possible solutions that provide lessons for the rest of the world.

 

 

 

 

 Challenge 1: Population Explosion

 An average Pakistani woman gives birth to five children, thanks to a preference for large families and a particular desire for sons. Because of high birthrates and increasing life expectancy, Pakistan has one of the highest population growth rates in the world and is expected to become the fourth-most-populous country by 2050. Rising population triggers many other crises, including food shortages, energy and resources crises, and disease outbreaks.

Possible solutions: Pakistan’s rapid population growth highlights the need for effective family planning. Although the government has shown serious interest in the issue, the effects of its efforts are limited. According to one survey, each family welfare centre is visited by an average of two couples per day. The main reasons behind the problem are the overall low education and literacy rate and the inadequate mobility of Pakistani women. Pakistani society is dominated by men; women are scarcely seen in any walks of life, making them an invisible and inactive segment of the country. To help balance society, the government must require education for all citizens. Similarly, increasing the proportion of women in the workforce would increase women’s mobility. Along with free supplies of contraceptives, government incentives to limit childbearing can also motivate couples to use birth control.

Challenge 2: Food Security

Nearly 75% of Pakistan’s population resides in rural areas, where agriculture is the way of life. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not developed its food security policy at the national level. The agricultural sector has slowed by 2.7% from 2000 to 2010, and the country now struggles to provide its people with a sufficient amount of food. Calorie availability is, on average, 26% lower than that found in developed countries. Due to an inadequate food supply, many Pakistanis face the problem of malnutrition. The unmanaged slaughtering of animals, unregulated livestock smuggling to neighbouring countries, and a shortage of livestock feed make it impossible for the poor population to access beef and other meat. Approximately 17,000 acres are deforested every year, causing the depletion of wild resources from the forest, unprecedented ecological misbalance, and loss of biodiversity. The main factors involved in decreased food production are overpopulation, water shortage, energy deficiency, poor soil, and natural disasters. Most of the soil in Pakistan is deficient in macro- and micronutrients. Salinity and waterlogging add to the problem. More than 70% of Pakistan is arid and semiarid regions, where rainfall is insufficient for irrigation of crops; most rainwater is lost due to rapid evaporation and surface runoff, while floods and droughts cause further damage. Rapid urbanization also contributes to food shortages, as fewer people are now available to work on farms in rural areas. Meanwhile, with almost no technology inputs in many parts of the country, traditional farming cannot meet the increasing demand for food. A lack of infrastructure makes it very difficult to transport food from farm to fork.

 Possible solutions: Pakistan has enormous potential to increase its food supply with agricultural reforms. Nearly 20 million acres of cultivable land is unused. Construction of major dams could provide an additional 2.5 million acres of land suitable for agricultural purposes. Pakistan has the chance to become self-sufficient if it can reach even 30% of its potential. National agriculture policy is needed to counteract the low food supply. The government has focused primarily on increasing wheat production, but in order to tackle malnutrition, it must focus on other nutritious crops, livestock, and fruits. To keep up with the increasing population, the agriculture sector must maintain an annual growth rate of more than 5%. The government, with the help of the international community, must improve rural infrastructure in order to develop Pakistan’s agricultural sector. Similarly, poor farmers need access to easy, corruption-free loans to increase their crop yields and improve agricultural practices.

 Challenge 3: Energy Crises

Among developing countries, demand for electricity will rise 40% by 2030. In Pakistan alone, the demand for energy is expected to increase sevenfold. Yet the oil- and gas-reliant country, which currently imports 75% of its energy, lacks the necessary infrastructure, long-term planning, and institutional frameworks to meet current needs, let alone future energy requirements. The energy crisis badly affects the country’s agriculture, economy, the way of life, and technological advancement. A continuous rise in oil prices and electricity is causing inflation and devaluing the currency. Energy is becoming increasingly inaccessible the average person. These conditions are raising agitation, anger, and riots in the frustrated people of Pakistan.

 Possible solutions: Fossil fuels comprise 80% of the world’s energy supply. Rising fossil fuel prices highlight the need for renewable energy sources in Pakistan. Hydropower, solar energy, biomass utilization and wind power are some of the best sustainable energy options for Pakistan. Pakistan’s location is blessed with unending sources of solar energy. Pakistan receives up to twice the solar radiation needed to power solar photovoltaic appliances, such as water pumps. It is estimated that Pakistan’s hydropower is operating at only 15% of its potential. Biomass utilization, especially biofuel production, can fulfil the oil requirements of energy. About 70% of Pakistan’s land is uncultivated and could be utilized to grow crops with high biofuel potential. Livestock in Pakistan is a good source of wet dung and can yield substantial biogases for fuel purposes. Additionally, Pakistan has the capacity to produce 400,000 tons of ethanol per year from its sugarcane crops.

 Challenge 4: Disease Outbreaks

 Pakistan’s rapid urbanization is creating numerous problems, the most threatening of which is disease outbreaks. Water sources in and near big cities are at risk due to wastewater mismanagement.

 In Pakistan, wastewater use in agriculture carries a wide risk of diseases. Food-borne diseases are also a concern, and natural calamities such as frequent floods add more severity to the outbreaks. One study of southern Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, found that diarrhoea and hookworm related diseases were common among farmers working in farms fed by wastewater. Other diseases run rampant: Several types of hepatitis are very common. Due to political propaganda and misinformation, the fight against polio is much tougher. HIV is on the rise. And typhoid, malaria, and tuberculosis are still uncontrolled. Currently, the most serious disease outbreaks are dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). DHF is mostly found in the eastern part of the country, while CCHF is mostly found in the west. From 2005 to 2006, more than 3,640 patients were found to have DHF symptoms.

 Possible solutions: Proper wastewater management can minimize the risks of many diseases, such as hepatitis, malaria, dengue, and typhoid. Although using wastewater in agriculture can be beneficial for Pakistan’s nutrient-deficient soil, its use must be coupled with the pretreatment of water to get rid of any chemical and microbial contamination. Diseases that are spread by human contacts, such as CCHF, must be handled with proper care when dealing with patients, as well as animals. Education and awareness by religious scholars can help to lift the fight against polio and HIV. Health must be given priority in rehabilitation after natural disasters. Along with the global community, Pakistan’s government must be built measures for fighting disease outbreaks—especially ones that may bring global catastrophes.

 Challenge 5: Socio-economic Instability

 According to the Ministry of Finance’s annual economic survey, Pakistan’s GDP growth in 2013 was 3.6%, down from 4.4% in the previous year. The economy is severely affected by the energy crisis, terrorism, and the global economy, and the country operates with a large deficit, thanks to the administration’s reluctance and inability to cut spending or raise taxes. Meanwhile, the value of the Pakistani rupee has decreased in recent years. Each time the rupee falls, both inflation and foreign debts increase. More than 60% of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line, leaving many unable to obtain or pay for food, healthcare, education, and energy. While many factors contribute to the country’s rampant poverty, the energy crisis, in particular, has a strong effect, because of its negative impact on Pakistan’s agricultural and industrial sectors. Entire factories are often outsourced, which leads to unemployment and disturbs supply and demand and the balance of imports and exports. Unemployment and poverty have led to high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide, as well as an increase in crime. Unemployed youth are frequently targeted for recruitment by terrorist organizations, who offer them the means to afford food and an opportunity to show their anger against society. Most of the country’s suicide bombers are under 20 years old.

 Possible solutions: Pakistan has to deal seriously with its energy crisis. Consistently available and affordable energy would lubricate agriculture and industry, which would, in turn, raise GDP and increase employment opportunities. Coupled with reforms to corrupt government spending and tax collection policies, increasing tax rates on certain sectors would provide the country with much-needed growth. Improved infrastructure would result in better trade opportunities with China and central Asia, while better trade between India and Pakistan could bring enormous economic benefits to both countries. The government needs to focus efforts on decreasing suicides and improving mental health. Public sports programs and technical education for unemployed youth would provide the country with young, healthy, and skilled labourers and members of society. And laws aimed at improving income inequality could help to eliminate hate throughout society.

Challenge 6: Natural Disasters

 Mother Nature seems unhappy with Pakistan, which faces severe crises with continued floods, earthquakes, drought, and global warming. Despite heavy investment in irrigation, Pakistan is vulnerable to continuous floods. Due to climate change, the intensity of floods in the Himalayan rivers has increased in the past 20 to 30 years. Human intervention in Pakistan has worsened scenarios by building unnecessary embankments and improperly using the land. The Indus flood of 2010 was one of the greatest disasters in the history of mankind, affecting more than 14 million people and killing nearly 2,000, with approximately US$9.5 million worth of losses to business, agriculture, and other parts of the economy. According to the UN, the humanitarian crisis caused by the flood was even greater than Japan’s 2011 tsunami and the disastrous earthquakes of Haiti and Kashmir. Nearly all the world’s glaciers are on the verge of disappearance, including the Himalayan glacial reserves. Billions of people in the Indian subcontinent rely on this water reservoir, which supplies the Indus, Ganges, and other rivers. Over the past century, the average global temperature has increased by 0.6°C (1°F) and continues to rise. The Himalayan glaciers have begun to melt, threatening frequent floods, loss of water reservoirs, and a rise in sea levels. Climate change has also been observed as a trigger for the increase in the outbreaks in northwest Pakistan of Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite that causes malaria. Similarly, a continuous decrease in precipitation, especially in arid and semiarid areas,  is causing a long-term drought. Pakistan is located in a region that experiences frequent earthquakes. In 2005, a devastating, 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed more than 82,000 people and injured more than 126,000. The earthquake also triggered massive landslides and caused dams to break.

 Possible solutions: Natural calamities cannot be avoided, but their intensities, frequencies, and effects can be minimized. Floods in Pakistan are caused by excessive monsoon rain and global warming. Construction of dams can help to store the excess floodwater, which can be used for agriculture and to generate hydroelectricity. Global warming must be fought at the global level by controlling greenhouse gas emissions and by using a carbon credit system. The government of Pakistan must ban the extensive deforestation in the country, as well as solve the energy problem because the trees are mostly cut for energy requirements. Improving public transport systems would minimize individual car usage. There is also a need for nationwide applicable building construction policy to control the effects of earthquakes. Earthquake-proof houses have proven effective, and nationwide quick-response emergency teams equipped with modern technologies can minimize the aftereffects of natural disasters.

Challenge 7: Nuclear War Threats

 Pakistan is of great geostrategic importance. India and Pakistan have fought three major wars and many small military conflicts. The warrior minds are visible as both sides spread the hate and push for war at all times. It may be that they simply do not fully understand the consequences of a war between two countries. The outcomes will not be regional; they will bring global suffering. India is a big country with superiority in conventional weapons and instruments of war. However, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal compensates for this disparity. Each country has more than 100 nuclear warheads at its disposal. A nuclear war between the two countries could kill more than 20 million people in the region, while a nuclear winter caused by the generation of smoke could cripple agriculture of the whole world.

Possible solutions: Both Pakistan and India—and in fact, the entire world—are left with no option but to resolve all their issues through dialogue. War is never a solution to any problem and always a trigger for other problems. The international community must insist that both countries sit together and have a dialogue under UN mediation. There are better uses for nuclear technology than bombs. In the winter, winds are blown from Pakistan to India, and in the summer, Pakistan receives winds from India, making it impossible for these neighbours to think that they will be unaffected by nuclear war. Strategies, Prospects and Hope Pakistan is facing huge, interconnected problems in many areas. The problems begin with people, and, in Pakistan’s case, with overpopulation. The increasing population will require more energy, food, employment, and health facilities. The avail problems, including employment, food production, and underdeveloped infrastructure. The long-term strategy should focus on health care, education reforms, infrastructure development, promoting agriculture, and counteracting explosive population growth. Conditions in Pakistan are not perfect, but not all is bad. Pakistani society looks well aware of the challenges they are facing. Thousands of new PhD scientists generated by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan look committed to providing scientific solutions to the problems Pakistan is facing. For instance, researchers have introduced drought-resistance crops to counter the food shortage. High-yield seed varieties are being used to increase the production of food and fodder crops. There is a considerable amount of ongoing practical and applicable research on renewable energy, and food-safety experts are doing considerable research to ensure safe food handling. Pakistani authorities are serious about mitigating the country’s challenges. For years, Pakistan’s government has tried to control the population. The Lady Health Worker (LHW) program has succeeded by providing basic maternal health facilities in rural areas. The LHWs provide guidance in contraception processes and lead to jobs and mobility. Even given the tumultuous world economy, the Karachi Stock Exchange is showing exceptional progress. In 2013, exports increased slightly, while imports declined. The federal budget looks promising in raising tax net and revenue, controlling inflation, and improving development projects. The government is working to build new dams for controlling floods, as well as to increase hydropower In light of the recent disastrous floods and earthquakes, the role of Pakistan’s people and the government has been appreciable. Establishment of the country’s National Disaster Management Authority looks like a good initiative by the government to manage the effects of natural disasters. And the international community’s responses have shown that it is ready to stand with Pakistan. The Pakistani political regime looks promising in promoting good relations with India. As reported by The Indian Express, Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif has said that he is looking to make a new beginning with India in pursuit of disarmament and nonproliferation and that Pakistan is getting out of the arms race. Such statements are encouraging for the peace process between the two countries. We humans have been given brains more tremendous than any other creature’s. The only destruction we can inflict on ourselves is to be ignorant of what is happening around us. Most of the world’s countries will face the same scenarios that are now happening in Pakistan. Pakistan’s geographic centrality means that any crisis can quickly spread to neighbouring countries. Even though its problems are great, there are solutions that are applicable to the rest of the world. Pakistan still has the strength and opportunities to fight back. The country’s failure or survival will symbolize the defeat or success of the fight for modern humanity.

 About the Authors

Imran Ali (lead author) is a postdoctoral fellow at the Plant Biomass Utilization Research Unit at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and a lecturer at the University of Balochistan in Pakistan. Co-authors include Ali Akbar (University of Balochistan, Pakistan), Hunsa Punnapayak (Chulalongkorn University), Sehanat Prasongsuk (Chulalongkorn University), and Benjawan Yanwisetpakdee (Chulalongkorn University). The authors thank Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for providing access to literature. The Research Grant Funds have been provided by agreement on Post-Doctoral Research Grant Allocation from the Ratchadaphisek Somphot Endowment.

 

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How safe are Pakistan’s nuclear assets:Israel thwarted By Shahid R. Siddiqi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How safe are Pakistan’s nuclear assets

Israel Thwarted

 

 

By Shahid R. Siddiqi

Archive

Sunday, 14 Feb, 2010 | 01:00 AM PST |

INDIA’S explosion of its nuclear device in 1974 drew only a customary “show of concern” from the western powers. But Pakistan’s nuclear programme, initiated in response to the Indian acquisition of nuclear weapons, evoked immediate and “serious concern” from the same quarters. Ever since, Pakistan has been under immense pressure to scrap its programm while the Indians remain uncensored.

That western attitude was discriminatory can also be seen by the religious colour it gave to Pakistan’s bomb by calling it an ‘Islamic bomb’. One has never heard of the Israeli bomb being called a ‘Jewish Bomb’, or the Indian bomb a ‘Hindu Bomb’, or the American and British bomb a ‘Christian Bomb’ or the Soviet bomb a ‘Communist’ (or an ‘Atheist) Bomb’. The West simply used Pakistan’s bomb to make Islam synonymous with aggression and make its nuclear programme a legitimate target, knowing full well that it merely served a defensive purpose and was not even remotely associated with Islam.

With India going nuclear soon after playing a crucial role in dismembering Pakistan in 1971 and enjoying an overwhelming conventional military superiority over Pakistan in the ratio of 4:1, a resource strapped Pakistan was pushed to the wall. Left with no other choice but to develop a nuclear deterrent to ward off future Indian threats, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declared: “Pakistanis will eat grass but make a nuclear bomb”. And sure enough, they did it. Soon, however, both he and the nuclear programme were to become non-grata. Amid intense pressure, sanctions and vilification campaign, Henry Kissinger personally delivered to a defiant Bhutto the American threat: “give up your nuclear programme or else we will make a horrible example of you’.

And a horrible example was made of Bhutto for his defiance. But he had enabled Pakistan to become the 7th nuclear power in the world. This served Pakistan well. India was kept at bay despite temptations for military adventurism. Although there has never been real peace in South Asia, at least there has been no war since 1971.

Ignoring its security perspective, Pakistan’s western ‘friends’ refused to admit it to their exclusive nuclear club, though expediency made them ignore its ‘crime’ when it suited their purpose. But driven by identical geo-strategic interests in their respective regions and seeing Pakistan as an obstacle to their designs, Israel and India missed no opportunity to malign or subvert Pakistan’s programme.

Due to its defiance of Indian diktat, Pakistan is for India an obstruction in its quest for domination of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Israel’s apprehension of Pakistan’s military prowess is rooted in the strength Pakistan indirectly provides to Arab states with whom Israel has remained in a state of conflict. Conscious that several Arab states look up to Pakistan for military support in the event of threat to their security from Israel, it is unsettling for Israel to see a nuclear armed Pakistan.

Israel can also not overlook the fact that Pakistan’s military is a match to its own. The PAF pilots surprised Israeli Air Force, when flying mostly Russian aircraft they shot down several relatively superior Israeli aircraft in air combat in the 1973 Arab-Israel war, shattering the invincibility myth of Israeli pilots who believed themselves to be too superior in skill and technology. The Pakistanis happened to be assigned to Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces on training missions when the war broke out and, unknown to the Israelis then, they incognito undertook combat missions.

After successfully destroying Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, Israelis planned a similar attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities at Kahuta in collusion with India in the 1980s. Using satellite pictures and intelligence information, Israel reportedly built a full-scale mock-up of Kahuta facility in the Negev Desert where pilots of F-16 and F-15 squadrons practised mock attacks.

According to ‘The Asian Age’, journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark stated in their book ‘Deception: Pakistan, the US and the Global Weapons Conspiracy’, that Israeli Air Force was to launch an air attack on Kahuta in mid-1980s from Jamnagar airfield in Gujarat (India). The book claims that “in March 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed off (on) the Israeli-led operation bringing India, Pakistan and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration”.

Another report claims that Israel also planned an air strike directly out of Israel. After midway and midair refueling, Israeli warplanes planned to shoot down a commercial airline’s flight over Indian Ocean that flew into Islamabad early morning, fly in a tight formation to appear as one large aircraft on radar screens preventing detection, use the drowned airliner’s call sign to enter Islamabad’s air space, knock out Kahuta and fly out to Jammu to refuel and exit.

According to reliable reports in mid-1980s this mission was actually launched one night. But the Israelis were in for a big surprise. They discovered that Pakistan Air Force had already sounded an alert and had taken to the skies in anticipation of this attack. The mission had to be hurriedly aborted.

Pakistan reminded the Israelis that Pakistan was no Iraq and that PAF was no Iraqi Air Force. Pakistan is reported to have conveyed that an attack on Kahuta would force Pakistan to lay waste to Dimona, Israel’s nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert. India was also warned that Islamabad would attack Trombay if Kahuta facilities were hit.

The above quoted book claims that “Prime Minister Indira Gandhi eventually aborted the operation despite protests from military planners in New Delhi and Jerusalem.”

McNair’s paper #41 published by USAF Air University (India Thwarts Israeli Destruction of Pakistan’s “Islamic Bomb”) also confirmed this plan. It said, “Israeli interest in destroying Pakistan’s Kahuta reactor to scuttle the “Islamic bomb” was blocked by India’s refusal to grant landing and refueling rights to Israeli warplanes in 1982.” Clearly India wanted to see Kahuta gone but did not want to face retaliation at the hands of the PAF. Israel, on its part wanted this to be a joint Indo-Israeli strike to avoid being solely held responsible.

The Reagan administration also hesitated to support the plan because Pakistan’s distraction at that juncture would have hurt American interests in Afghanistan, when Pakistan was steering the Afghan resistance against the Soviets.

Although plans to hit Kahuta were shelved, the diatribe against Pakistan’s nuclear programme continued unabated. Israel used its control over the American political establishment and western media to create hysteria. India worked extensively to promote paranoia, branding Pakistan’s programme as unsafe, insecure and a threat to peace. The fact is otherwise. It is technically sounder, safer and more secure than that of India and has ensured absence of war in the region.

The US invasion of Afghanistan provided another opening for Indo-Israeli nexus to target Pakistan’s strategic assets. This time the strategy was to present Pakistan as an unstable state, incapable of defending itself against religious extremist insurgents, creating the spectre of Islamabad and its nuclear assets falling in their hands. Suggestions are being floated that Pakistan being at risk of succumbing to extremists, its nuclear assets should be disabled, seized or forcibly taken out by the US. Alternatively, an international agency should take them over for safe keeping.

 

 

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May 28: Pakistan Became Nuclear Power By Sajjad Shaukat

      May 28: Pakistan Became Nuclear Power

          By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

 

 

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With national zeal and fervour in different parts of the country, Youm-e-Takbeer (The day of greatness) is celebrated every year on May 28 as a national day to mark the conduction of nuclear tests when on the very day in 1998; Pakistan became the first Muslim and the 7th nuclear power in the world.

While showing aggressive designs, on May 11, 1998, the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee surprised the international community by announcing that India has conducted 3 nuclear tests earlier that day. On May 13, 1998, India conducted two more nuclear tests.

However, both the neighboring countries have waged three wars, especially on the issue of the Indian occupied Kashmir, so Pakistan’s arch rival compelled Islamabad to follow the suit. In this regard, it took only 17 days for Pakistan to successfully carry out its five nuclear tests which were done on May 28 and the sixth one on May 1998, at Chaghi in Balochistan in response to five nuclear explosions detonated by India, threatening the security of Pakistan. For the purpose, about five thousands scientists including Dr Samarmand Mubarik and especially Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan had worked day and night and made the defence of the country impregnable.

As regards Pakistan’s atomic experiments, renowned journalist, Majid Nizami said, “Pakistan faced tremendous pressure from India after it detonated five nuclear devices and America in this scenario also did not want Pakistan to become a nuclear power. US President Clinton telephoned the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif five times besides offering him billions of dollars to refrain him from nuclear tests. In this perspective, he further stated, Nawaz was receiving opinion from different sections of society, and in the same connection, he also convened a meeting of the editors wherein he (Majid Nizami) also gave the input.”

New Delhi’s war-mongering strategy against Pakistan could be judged from the fact that in 1974 India conducted first nuclear test at Pokhran Range in Rajhistan so as to pressurise Islamabad.

It is mentionable that when ZulfikarAli Bhutto, (The late) came to power, he paid much attention to the nuclear programme of Pakistan, as he knew that India would apply its coercive diplomacy on Islamabad or could attack our country. In this context, while talking on a TV channel on May 28, 2012, Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan appreciated the efforts of former Prime Minister Shaheed ZulfikarAli Bhutto for providing the opportunity to make the nuclear programme of Pakistan successful.

He also made it clear that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was totally indigenous, but acquired materials from some Western countries.

During many crises such as Kargil issue of 1999 and attack on the Indian parliament by the militants in 2001, New Delhi concentrated its troops across the Pakistan’s border, with the intention to attack Pakistan, while raising a series of false allegations against Islamabad. Pakistan was also compelled to deploy its Army along the Pak-India border. But, India did not dare to initiate a war because of Pakistan’s ‘Nukes.’ Similarly, in the past, Indian rulers had intended to implement their doctrine of limited war in Kashmir, but they could not do so owing to our nuclear weapons.

Particularly, in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks of 2008, India accused Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of supporting the militants. Although Pak diplomats denied Indian self-fabricated story regarding Mumbai catastrophe, but New Delhi adopted a threatening posture against Islamabad. It one again deployed its troops across the Pakistani border. Again, Islamabad also concentrated its military in order to give a matching response to India.

Notably, when US special forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011 in violation of Pak sovereignty—though Islamabad had repeatedly made it clear that its government and intelligence agencies did not know anything about Bin Laden’s whereabouts including any official involvement regarding the 26/11 Mumbai catastrophe, but, New Delhi continued its aggressive style which could be judged from the statement of Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh who claimed on May 4, 2011 that if situation arose, the Indian defence forces were competent to undertake a US-like operation inside Pakistan, which killed Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Indian army’s Northern Command chief also expressed similar thought.

In this respect, Indian top civil and defence officials clearly said that their country could conduct a US-type military operation or surgical strikes inside Pakistan.

Nevertheless, in the aftermath of Mumbai attack, India left no stone unturned in frightening Pakistan through a prospective invasion. Violation of Pakistan’s air space by New Delhi had created an alarming situation, as Islamabad had also taken defensive steps in response to meet any aggression or surgical strikes by India. Situation was so critical that Pakistan started moving thousands of military troops from the Afghan border and the tribal areas to its border with India. But, India failed in implementing its plans of any military action or aerial strikes on Pakistan due to the fact that the latter also possesses nuclear arsenal which could destroy whole of India.

It is noteworthy that America dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Tokyo had no such devices to retaliate. After the World War 11, nuclear weapons were never used. These were only employed as a strategic threat. During the heightened days of the Cold War, many crises arose in Suez Canal, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam when the US and the former Soviet Union were willing to use atomic weapons, but they stopped because of the fear of nuclear war which could culminate in the elimination of both the super powers. It was due to the concept of ‘mutually assured destruction’ that the two rivals preferred to resolve their differences through diplomacy.

Political strategists agree that deterrence is a psychological concept that aims to affect an opponent’s perceptions. In nuclear deterrence weapons are less usable as their threat is enough in deterring an enemy that intends to use its armed might.

While both the neighbouring adversaries are nuclear powers, Indians should not ignore the principles of deterrence, popularly known as balance of terror.

In these terms, India is badly mistaken, if it overestimates its own power and underestimates Pakistan’s power. As our country lacks conventional weapons vis-à-vis India, so it will have to use atomic devices during a prolonged conflict which would result into national suicide of the two countries. So India may apply its blackmailing diplomacy on the non-atomic states of South Asia in exerting psychological pressure, but it is useless in case of Pakistan whose deterrence is credible, making its defence invincible, as it possesses a variety of nuclear weapons and missiles which could be used against India as the last option, if the latter attacked our country.

Moreover, it is due to atomic bombs that Islamabad can talk to New Delhi with honour and dignity, discouraging India from casting an evil eye on our motherland.

Furthermore, as Pakistan is the only declared nuclear country in the Islamic World, hence, it has become special target of some western top officials and media persons who continue their propaganda against Pakistan’s nuclear programme. They have especially hired the services of media anchors and writers who work on their payroll and have been creating doubts about the safety and security of Pakistan’s atomic weapons and nuclear plants. Particularly, in 2009 when the heavily-armed Taliban entered Swat, Dir and Buner, US high officials and their media had exaggerated the ‘Talibinisation’ of whole Pakistan, while showing concerns about Pakistan’s atomic arms. In that regard, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had warned that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. But, when Pakistan’s armed forces ejected the Taliban insurgents out of these areas by breaking their backbone, She started appreciating the capabilities of Pakistan Armed Forces.

 

Similarly, when terrorists had attacked on Pakistan’s Naval Airbase in Karachi on May 23, 2011, US-led some western countries including India and Israel exploited the situation through disinformation about the security of Pak nukes. And, terrorists’ assault on Kamra Base was successfully foiled by the personnel of Pakistan Air Force, but, a baseless report, published in the New York Times had indicated that suspected militants attacked a major Pakistani Air Force base where some of the country’s nuclear weapons were considered to be stored in the early hours of the militants’ attack. The ex-US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also stated day, “There is a danger of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, falling into hands of terrorists.”

Undoubtedly, Pakistan’s nuclear assets are in safe hands-well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having the best command and control system.

Nonetheless, May 28 is celebrated as Youm-e-Takbeer by various political parties and social organizations including general masses with a pledge to make Pakistan a stronger country, militarily and economically, among the comity of nations. No doubt, on this very day of 1998, Pakistan became nuclear power.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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ZARB-E-AZB

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RAWALPINDI: At least 20 militants were killed in on going military operation in North Waziristan, ISPR said on Tuesday. According to a statement, Pakistan warplanes targeted hideouts in different areas, killing 20 militants …
Updated 3 weeks ago
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army Aviation Combat helicopters conducted precise strikes in the Tabai area as Operation Zarb-e-Azb continues in North Waziristan Agency. According to an ISPR press release, fifteen terrorists were …
Updated 3 weeks ago
RAWALPINDI: Air Chief Marshal, Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of Air Staff visited GHQ on Wednesday and called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif. According to an ISPR press release, both Chiefs reviewed the …
Updated 3 weeks ago
MIRANSHAH: Operation Zarb-e-Azb is progressing successfully in North Waziristan as 65 more terrorists have been killed in two separate actions on Wednesday, Geo News reported. According to Inter-Services Public Relations …
Updated 4 weeks ago
MIRANSHAH: Ten more terrorists were killed in aerial blitz carried out by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) gunship helicopters in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) as part of the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb. According to Inter Services …

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Why should a nation love its Army? by Ali Raza Mudassar

Why should a nation love its Army? by Ali Raza Mudassar Unknown-21 An army consists of disciplined unique individuals overwhelmed with devotions and ultimate sense of patriotism. The army is the most important living organ of the state that should not only be strong but also active, brave and vigilant. Armies are pride of nations because of their savior role in testing times of nations. They are uniquely motivated people and rich with spirit of utter sense of sacrifice for their fellow citizens and motherland. Madam Noor Jahan (late) has sung a melodious Punjabi song to narrate an unique character of soldiering (Ay putar hattaan tay nahi wikday, ki lab-ni aey wich bazaar kuray? – these great sons are not saleable commodity, what are you looking for in the market?). Nations that do not respect and honour their armies are perished by their enemies because the men can fight only with the strong support of their nations. The famous quote of George Patton – “The wars may be fought with weapons but they are won by men”. There are five fundamental logics that Army must be respected and honoured by nations for their own survival. Firstly, Political Reason. Army is a tangible living organ of the state which provides defense against the internal and external physical threat to the nation. Without strong and motivated soldiers this physical threat cannot be averted and this physical threat has potentials to devastate the existence of the state. A nation state needs a strong and potent force for its survival in this realist world, otherwise continued existence as a nation state is in danger. In 1991, Iraq ruined the Kuwait in matter of few hours because Kuwait was not maintaining strong Army for response. Secondly, Psychological Reason. Motivation is critical factor in psychological mechanism of fighting. It is only motivation which arouses the individual’s feelings and convinces him to fight against the enemies of the country and fellows. Un-motivated individuals are destined to loose or prepared to die dejectedly. Armies only win when they fight with spirit and motivation which comes with love of their countries men. Loves and affection inspire the soldiers to take ultimate step (scarification of life) for the honour and wellbeing of their nation fellows. This motivation is evaporated, if their countrymen are not standing behind them. Motivation is the sole reason of taking bullets on chest with smiling face. If nations don’t love their fellow soldiers then the strongest Army can’t guarantee the survival of state. Soldiers of Islamic state fights because they believe that it is legitimate cause and thousands mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers are praying for them – that gives him inner satisfaction. Thirdly, Islamic Reason.  Soldiering is sacred and Islamic profession. Loving and  respecting own Army is an Islamic tradition. In the state of Medina, when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) along with his companions left for Badr to fight with the enemies of state and Allah, they were seen off by men, women and children with love, affection and lots of prayers to fight well and demonstrate perseverance against the enemy. That exuberance of the people gave unflinching loyalties and strength to remain steadfast against their superior enemy. Finally victory kissed their feet at Badr and again they were received back with love and affection at the gate of Medina. There can’t be any better reason for honouring and respecting the Army of Islamic country. Fourthly, Social Reason. Soldiers are above the controversaries of religion, sectarian, linguistic and ethnicity. Army should be kept aloof from the divisive tendencies which can adversely affect the social fiber of the Army. They have to be kept mentally and physically united to take on the enemy of the nation. Army must not be dragged into internal politics or any other petty conflicts which can cause polarization and fragmentation on any pretext because polarization can generate conflict. Army is symbol of unity for nation and it is only possible if united nation stands behind them after shunning their differences for unity of army. Fifthly, material reason.  Contrarily, Soldiers experience rough life – away from families and loved ones for months and years. They breathe in inhospitable environment, drink dirty water and eat unhygienic food for one reason only – live for nation. Soldiers often sitting alone in their bunkers and are dreaming about the love, affections and honour of their companions and fellow countrymen. They know that the army is responsible for his fellow countrymen, so they sleep peacefully at nights while he stands guard of the country’s frontiers. Solider also knows, if he loses his heart, he will loose honour of his countrymen. And if he loses his life, it will add life to his motherland. In war, there is no substitute for victory and the army strives with all its might to sacrifice their lives for the country. Every citizen of the country should proudly and with gratitude salute each and every man of the army because the patriotism is at peak with army men. The nation ought to reciprocate with lots of love, affection and honour in their larger interest. Let me conclude with outstanding words of Sir Winston Churchill which emphasized on the maintaining robust and live army, ” Armed forces are not like a limited liability company, to be reconstructed from time to time as the money fluctuates. They are not inanimate things, like a house to be pulled down or enlarged or structurally altered at the caprices of the tenant or owner. They are living things, if they are bullied, they sulk, if they are happy, they pine, it they are harried, sufficiently they get feverish, if they are sufficiently disturbed, they will wither and dwindle and almost die, and when it comes to this last serious condition, it is only revived with lots of time, effort and money.” (The writer is a Ph.D Scholar on Peace and Conflict Studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad).

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