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India;s Insecure Nuclear Programme, Threatening Regional and Global Peace By Sajjad Shaukat

India’s Insecure Nuclear Programme, Threatening Regional and Global Peace

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

In its report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) disclosed on 18, this year that an estimated 110-130 Indian nuclear bombs are stored in six or so government-run sites across India. Within the next five years to one decade, as many as 60 reactors will also be functional in India with the active cooperation of the US-led western and far eastern allies.

 

In the past, several incidents of leakage and theft in addition to alarming episodes of lax security on existing nuclear sites given a history of civil tumult have occurred in India. India is notorious for highly lax security of its nuclear facilities. The episode of 8 October 2014 at Kalpakkam, when a soldier of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) responsible for protecting nuclear materials, went on a rampage to destroy the security of the facility leading to nuclear material theft by criminals. Many incidents in the past including theft and leakage incidents of 2003, 2008, 2009 and 2013 are alarming examples of what inside and outside officials depict as serious short-comings in India’s nuclear safeguards.

 

India and Japan have a terrible record of nuclear reactor leakage due to various reasons which consequently proved disastrous. But, Indian poor nuclear security has broken all the records.

 

Indian media reported on July 5, this year that the Kolkata police have arrested five men with 1 kg of uranium valued at around Rs. 3 crores ($440,000).

 

The Times of India elaborated that the men had come to Kolkata in the state of West Bengal to try to sell the substance. Police was quoted as saying that two packets of a “yellow-coloured substance” were seized.

 

It is notable that when the US former President Barack Obama hosted the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on March 31, 2016 to check the spread of nuclear weapons, showing concerns about the ambitions of terrorist groups such as the ISIS in acquiring a nuclear weapon or radioactive material, , the US President Donald Trump had taken a different stand in his interview with the CNN by stating, “More nuclear weapons could make the world safer…US can no longer afford to bankroll the defence of its allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East…Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia may need arsenals to confront threats in their region on their own.”

 

Similarly, by pursuing the double standards of America and some Western countries in its worst form, President Trump also favoured India, while opposing the nuclear weapons of Pakistan. Because, being the only nuclear country in the Islamic World, Pakistan annoys the US, Israel and some Western countries. It is Zionist agenda to ‘denculearise’ Pakistan. However, like Obama, Trump has brushed aside the ground realities that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led by the ruling fundamentalist party BJP has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda.

 

 

 

 

As part of their double game, these US-led countries have ignored poor Indian record of nuclear security, non-proliferation, lack of safety of workers, working at Indian nuclear facilities and lack of any appropriate regulatory authority.

 

Indian record proves various kinds of security and safety lapses regarding various nuclear plants and the related sensitive materials, including events of leakage, nuclear theft, smuggling and killing.

 

In this regard, in November 2009, more than 90 Indian workers suffered radiation due to contamination of drinking water at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka.

 

On July 27, 1991, a similar event occurred at the heavy water plant run by the Department of Atomic Energy at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan. Nuclear radiation had affected and injured many labourers there.

 

In July 1998, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seized eight Kg. of nuclear material from three engineers in Chennai, which was stolen from an atomic research centre.

 

On November 7, 2000, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) disclosed that Indian police had seized 57 pounds of uranium and arrested two men for illicit trafficking of radioactive material. IAEA had revealed that Indian civil nuclear facilities were vulnerable to thefts.

 

On January 26, 2003, CNN pointed out that Indian company, NEC Engineers Private Ltd. shipped ten consignments to Iraq, containing highly sensitive equipment entailing titanium vessels and centrifugal pumps.

 

In December 2006, a container packed with radioactive material had been stolen from an Indian fortified research atomic facility near Mumbai.

 

In June 2009, India’s nuclear scientist, Lokanathan Mahalingam missed from the scenario and after a couple of days; his dead body was recovered from the Kali River. Indian police concocted a story that Mahalingam had committed suicide by jumping into the river. It is a big joke to hide some real facts behind his death because wisdom proves that if an educated person decides to commit suicide, he will adopt a soft way to eliminate his life. Afterwards, Dr Haleema Saadia said that the death of the scientist was a conspiracy.

 

Nevertheless, such events in connection with nuclear material continued unabated in India, putting the security of atomic weapons and their related components, including the lives of workers at high risk.

 

It is mentionable that during his first visit to New Delhi, on November 6, 2010. President Obama announced the measures, America would take regarding removal of Indian space and defence companies from a restricted “entities list”, and supported Indian demand membership of four critical global nuclear nonproliferation regimes.

 

And as part of the double standards about India and Pakistan, America set aside the poor Indian record regarding the safety of nuclear weapons and related materials. Despite, Indian violations of various international agreements and its refusal to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Additional Protocol with the IAEA, Washington signed a pact of civil nuclear technology with New Delhi in 2008. During American

President Barack Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, 2016, the US and India announced a breakthrough on the pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology.

 

Notably, America is a potential military supplier to India. The US also pressurised IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on a larger scale.

 

Evidence indicates that India has not fulfilled the conditions of the NSG waiver. At least, eight of India’s nuclear reactors are outside safeguards which are a big question mark on the credibility of its nuclear safety and security standards. Two reports from the King’s College–respectively titled ‘India’s Nuclear Exceptionalism’ and ‘India’s Strategic Nuclear and Missile Programs’ also claim that India has already accumulated nuclear material for over 2600 nuclear weapons, including all of its unsafeguarded reactor-grade plutonium, which is weapon-usable, and raised concerns over this stockpiling.

 

In fact, in the pretext of countering China, Washington has continued favouring India’s programme of advancement and modernisation of nuclear weapons. The US supports the Indian nuclear programme in the guise of anti-China and anti-Pakistan approach. Beijing is apprehensive about the emerging threat, as, during the last visit of Obama to New Delhi, the intent of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Modi was quite clear while mentioning about free sea lanes and air passages in the South China Sea. President Trump is also pursuing the policy of his predecessor in this respect, as in the recent past, during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, he showed a similar approach.

 

Nonetheless, arms deals with America, which also include nuclear submarines to New Delhi, would increase Indian hegemonic designs in the region. And NSG’s membership in India will create concerns for regional strategic stability.

 

Besides obtaining atomic weapons from the US and other Western countries, New Delhi is, clandestinely, importing nuclear arms, components and submarines from Tel Aviv. In this connection, Zionist-led Indo-Israeli secret diplomacy could be assessed from the interview of Israel’s ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, published in the Indian weekly Outlook on February 18, 2008. Regarding India’s defence arrangements with Tel Aviv, Sofer had surprisingly revealed, “We do have a defence relationship with India, and “with all due respect, the secret part will remain a secret.”

 

Although these atomic weapons seem to be mysterious, yet still could be within reach of some Hindu terrorists with the help of RAW which might have also got these destructive arms from Mossad. Such atomic weapons or radiological materials could have also been smuggled inside India by the Hindu fundamentalists with the covert assistance of RAW.

Frustrated in isolating Islamabad, RAW in connivance with Mossad might have prepared a most dangerous plan to use nuclear weapons or dirty nuclear bombs inside the US homeland or any major European country to implicate Pakistan for having allegedly used these weapons through some Taliban militants.

 

Mainly, RAW and Mossad may also employ these lethal weapons against NATO forces in Afghanistan, as India and Israel want to prolong the stay of the US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan which have become the centre of their covert activities against Pakistan, Russia, China and Iran. RAW and Mossad may use terrorists of the Islamic State outfit (Also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL) which are strategic assets of the CIA for employment of these unconventional weapons. While, India, Israel and America are also playing double game against one another, hence, by utilizing the vicious circle of terrorism, New Delhi can alone use these weapons through Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and ISIS which are also being backed by RAW, CIA and Mossad, and have claimed responsibility for several terror assaults inside Pakistan and Afghanistan, including the recent ones. So, RAW’s sole aim will be to provoke Americans and its allies against Islamabad which is challenging Indian hegemony in the region. Thus, Indian RAW could create a dangerous misunderstanding in which the US could use small nuclear weapons against Pakistan or could ask the latter of rollback its atomic programme.

 

Undoubtedly, in such an environment, considering India qualified for acquiring of nuclear technology through “global powers” led NSG and IAEA and obstructing Pakistan’s safe nuclear energy programme is discriminatory as well as an effort to hinder peace and economic progress of Pakistan. And hazardous materials in nuclear facilities patrolled by low morale CISF troops across India are also liable to be stolen by insiders having grievances against employers and typical Hindu mindset of Indian leadership. Indian sponsored ISIS elements could use these stolen materials. Washington and its other allies, instead of pressing India for quick nuclear reforms are encouraging India to expand its nuclear stockpiles. The US-led West need to take cognisance of such ventures rather than criticising Pak-China civil nuclear cooperation.

 

In light of these adverse developments, we can conclude that Indian insecure nuclear programme is threatening regional and global peace. Therefore, the world’s various forums such as EU and UNO, including Russia should also take cognisance of New Delhi in this regard.

 

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

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

Additional Readings

How vulnerable are India’s nuclear power plants to disaster

 
Last Updated: Thursday 17 September 2015

earthquack

Nuclear power plants are designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes. In France, for instance, nuclear plants are designed to withstand an earthquake twice as strong as that experienced in the past 1,000 years. In India, the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Tarapur Atomic Power Station and Narora Atomic Power Station operated safely when earthquakes of lower intensity were felt. The plants, however, could not withstand a tsunami. The campus of Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant was flooded when the tsunami hit Tamil Nadu’s coast in 2004.

Catch-22 situation

In India, every region falls in the seismic zone in some way, said Durgesh Rai of IIT Kanpur. “Most of our nuclear plants are in weak seismic zones but lie in coastal areas. Their structure is earthquake-resistant but they have not been tested against tsunami. The entire coastal region is believed to be vulnerable to tsunami,” he said. Nuclear plants are built near the sea because sea water is required to cool the reactor.

What happened during the Fukushima incident in Japan

The power plant survived the earthquake and was shut down. Limits are set on the levels of velocity, acceleration and displacement in every power plant. The plant stopped functioning when the limits exceeded. The atomic reaction thus stopped. When the plant stopped functioning, seawater used to cool the reactor stopped flowing. The diesel generators that were to feed water to the power plant also apparently shut down. Thus, the cores began to heat up.

Though the fission of radioactive elements was stopped, some reactions continued generating a great deal of heat. Without cooling, the temperature rose, boiling off the remaining water and increasing pressure leading to an explosion.

The plant that survived an earthquake earlier in Japan 

In 1995, the Kobe-Osaka earthquake did not affect the nuclear power plant just 110 km from Kobe. After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, a panel was set up to review the safety of nuclear facilities in Japan and design guidelines for their construction. The Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) approved the panel’s report. After recalculating the seismic design criteria required for a nuclear power plant to survive near the epicentre of an earthquake of high intensity, the NSC concluded that under current guidelines the plant could survive a 7.75 magnitude quake.

Location of nuclear power plants in India 

Earthquake-prone regions are categorised between Zones I and IX from least earthquake-prone to most earthquake-prone. Indian nuclear power plants are situated in Zone II and III except the Narora plant in Uttar Pradesh, which is situated in Zone IV. Japan’s nuclear plants are in Zones VII, VIII and IX.

 

 

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What Imran Khan and the March 23 rally will bring us

What Imran Khan and the March 23 rally will bring us

 

 

 

March 22, 2013

I’m predicting the rally tomorrow to be one of the largest, if not the largest ever rally in the history of the country! PHOTO: REUTERS

The importance of the coming elections cannot be overstated. Pakistan today stands on the point of implosion and the kind of leadership that is elected to take the country forward could make or break it.

My loyalties in this matter lie with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and I’m writing this to present my reasons for handing the party my vote and what I think you should expect tomorrow at Minar-e-Pakistan.

Internal democracy.

When a party is democratic then it is full of elected position holders. This means the leadership has integrity and mandate. More importantly it means they have more pressure to deliver because they would, in the future, have to fight for their position again. An elected leader has the power of command and respect which a nominated leader does not.

The leadership has declared their assets and uploaded the information to the party’s website.

Pakistan’s administration is full of corrupt, tax evaders. This gesture therefore is unique and very praiseworthy. Pakistanis are amongst the highest payers of charity and the country has one of the lowest tax to GDP ratios. This dissonance can only mean that people are not inspired to pay taxes because of a lack of trust. I don’t really blame the people either.

Who would pay their taxes when 70% of our parliamentarians do not themselves pay, and when no sign of efficient and productive use of tax payer’s money has been shown?

Detailed policy papers prior to election.

This again is, and was unprecedented in Pakistan. Calling an education emergency and trebling the budget for education were refreshing announcements. It was also heart-warming to hear policies on neglected issues such as the environment and disabled people.

Commitment to harmony and equality.

When the Ahmadi place of worship was attacked three years ago, Imran Khan visited the injured in the hospital and vowed to stand by the Ahmadis, protect them and end the power of the state to decide if certain sects could be counted as Muslim or not.

When the genocide against the Shia community began, the PTI leadership visited scholars and leaders of the Shia community to show solidarity. Imran Khan has also travelled to Quetta twice; once for a rally and more recently a month ago to openly condemn Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and show solidarity with the Hazara community.

A few days ago Khan visited Joseph Colony in Badami Bagh where hundreds of homes of Christians had been burnt by an angry mob. The PTI is the only party to stand by the defenceless minorities in Pakistan. Be their philosophy religious or ethnic.

Impressive personalities that are a part of the team.

Asad Umar resigned as chairman of Engro in April 2012 to join the PTI. Umar worked for Engro for 30 years and transformed the firm from a mere chemical company to a giant conglomerate. He left his position at Engro where he was the highest paid CEO in the country at a salary of almost Rs6 million a month – to work for the betterment of Pakistan with the PTI. In 2010 he received the Sitara-i-Imtiaz for his business achievements.

Another example is the appointment in May 2012 of Azeem Ibrahimas the strategic policy advisor. Ibrahim holds a PhD from Cambridge and has served as a scholar at Harvard and Yale. He was named as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009 by the LSDP European Social Think Tank and has advised over half a dozen world leaders.

The counter-terrorism policy.

The PTI is the only party to comprehensively address the situation of terrorism in Pakistan and provide a solution. Eight years of military action have only succeeded in creating more militants because the root causes of the issue have never been looked at.

Disengaging from the US war on terror, hence ending the Jihad narrative used by the terrorists to recruit displaced and homeless tribal locals looking for revenge, will help isolate retaliating Pashtuns from hard core terrorists who would be eliminated by force. The PTI addresses the issue, identifies the complexities and elements involved and presents a solution. Its competition in this matter is non-existent.

Imran Khan and what’s to come tomorrow.

The best part of Khan’s life has been nothing short of selfless service to Pakistan. He chose this life of struggle over a life of luxury. His philanthropic works in addition to his sporting achievements makes very few Pakistani’s doubt his intentions, integrity and ability. In comparison we have criminals, corrupt officials and fundamentalists.

With the Tehreek-e-Insaf’s intra party elections taken care of and the organisation complete, it is time for a show of power.

PTI rally at Minar-e-Pakistan on March 23

I’m predicting the rally tomorrow to be one of the largest, if not the largest ever rally in the history of the country!

There will be people from every walk of life, every segment of society, every religion and every ethnicity Pakistan has to offer. The rally is going to be one of the rare moments that a true representation of Pakistan’s society will stand in unity and with purpose. Tomorrow is going to be the beginning of a short movement that will be remembered for ages as the tipping point of Pakistan’s politics. Tomorrow is going to be a day of pride, patriotism, optimism and most importantly hope. Tomorrow will give every Pakistani hope and maybe if nothing, that’s what the Tehreek-e-Insaf can offer you. The hope that it’s not too late, that you have the power to change everything and that Pakistan not only has a future, but a bright one.

The fourth week of March is a historic and spiritual time. The Persian New Year and the spring equinox both fall in this period. This is known as a time of new beginnings, where the cold dark sadness of winter ends and is replaced by the emergence of blossoming flowers and the sunlight of spring.

God-willing March 23, will be the beginning of the road towards a new Pakistan.

A Pakistan where we all feel safe, a Pakistan where we all feel proud and a Pakistan in which there will always be ‘insaf’. Let’s be optimistic and let’s have hope.

Let’s take Pakistan and go, as Shakespeare said,

“To unpathed waters, undreamed shores”.

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