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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2038

DeNuking Pakistan

By Adnan Gill

It is not a mere coincidence that Pakistan was caught red-handed proliferating nuclear weapons technology, and now serious questions are being raised about the security of its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan isn’t the first nor will it be the last one to proliferate the nuclear technology. Arguably, the odds of involvement of Pakistani nukes in an unauthorized movement or use are not any higher than in the case of Indians’ or even Americans’. Then why the West is bent on deNuking the Pakistani arsenal? Answers are little more complicated then ‘it’s a Jew-o-Christian conspiracy’ against the Muslim World. It has more to do with the unpredictable behavior of Pakistanis.

Justly or unjustly, Pakistanis are generally considered as maverick horses that everybody likes to place bets on but is never sure when it will throw its jockey off, or worse, if it can even be trusted to run in the right direction. Their unpredictability makes them a liability for the West, who can’t even tell what will set Pakistanis off to turn their sights on the West. Would it take another book of Salman Rushdie, would it take another Danish cartoon, or would it take an Israeli airstrike on the Saudis or the Iranians for the Pakistanis to fire their nukes on the Israelis or even on the Americans in Afghanistan?

As far as the West is concerned, India with its humongous economy, its close proximity to China, and their mutual loathing for the so-called Muslim fundamentalists makes them much more attractive partners than the Pakistanis had been since the end of Cold-War. In the eyes of West, an Indian alliance makes Pakistan not only a redundant ally, rather a redundant ally with an unpredictable wild-tinge. Since they can’t be trusted with the immense responsibility that comes with the nuclear weapons, therefore Pakistan must be defanged. Their nukes must be taken into a safe custody by the big-brother.

First barrage came over the alleged Pakistani nuclear proliferation. When the proliferation hysteria failed to gain enough traction to force the Pakistanis to rollback their nuclear program, doubts are raised about Pakistan’s capacity to safely store or use the nukes with extreme responsibility.

Those who view Pakistan’s amateurish attempts at nuclear proliferation as unique, either harbor malice, or are selectively oblivious of the history of nuclear proliferation. Their attempts are as spiteful as they are deliberate. Those moralizing to Pakistan are well advised to do some honest soul searching. Nuclear proliferation was born with the first set of American nuclear weapons. Every time a radioactive atom finds its way to the core of nuclear weapon, angels of “Manhattan Project” ring a bell in Los Alamos. The bells have not rung so often and so loud since the Cold-War ended. Any nation that feels insecure or craves recognition pays homage to these angels. Emperor Hirohito dreamt of it, Hitler strived for it, but it was the American President Harry Truman who set the nuclear genie loose in the deserts of Los Alamos.

Americans trained the British, Canadian and French scientists in the art of "Atomic Bomb" making during the Manhattan project. They gifted the technology to the UK and France. French passed it to Israel and India. The rogue (socialist) elements in the UK and US exported the same to the Soviet Union, which in turn gave it away to countries like China and India. China in kind, passed it to Pakistan who is said to have kept the tradition alive by passing it on to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Israel did its part by bringing South Africa and Brazil onboard, as India lovingly took Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Iraq and especially Iran under its wings. In an effort to contain communism, under the garb of the "Atoms for Peace" program, the US passed the nuclear technology to its friends. To this day the world has not been able to recover from this massive US proliferation.

When the West failed to isolate and reverse Pakistani nuclear program through the proliferation hysteria, they began crying-wolf over the ‘insecurity’ of Pakistani nukes. The systematic ratcheting up of hysteria started when The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other American media outlets started their fear-derbies to win the race of ‘who can make Pakistan look the scariest?’ If we didn’t know any better, the fear-mongers would make us believe that the Taliban armed with the stolen Pakistani nukes are on their way to the American continent.

It's hard to argue, that Pakistani nuclear weapons can never fall into the hands of extremist groups, but couldn’t this be true for any other Nuclear Weapons State too? In case of the US, nihilists like Timothy McVeigh wouldn't think twice before using a nuclear weapon on its soil. Despite having the most sophisticated Command and Control structure, just recently in a major security breach, a US Air Force B-52 loaded with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles flew the length of US. Similarly, if given opportunity, would Jewish militant groups like Hagana Bet, Irgun and Lehi, or Stern Gang be averse of using Israeli nuclear weapons for their cause? Analogously, what would to stop the ultra-religious Hindu militant groups, like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Shiv Sena (whose stated ideology includes the extermination of Muslims) from using the nuclear weapons on Pakistan, or even on one of their own Muslim dominated city?

If a parallel could be drawn between terrorist activities and the insecurity of Pakistani nuclear weapons, then arguably, the nukes of virtually every nuclear power should also be secured by a global authority. Considering, thousands of Americans have lost their lives to the terrorists; does that mean, American nuclear weapons are about to fall into the hands of terrorists? In the 80s, when the IRA attacks on British were at their height, shouldn’t the US have secured British nukes too? Maybe the fear-mongers could also explain why the French nuclear weapons were not secured when the North African insurgency against the French was at its peak? Conversely, the US and its European allies should also secure the Indian nukes as well, as India is bleeding from at least 50 separatist movements. Over 45 percent or 2/5 of Indian territory is literally under the influence of Naxalites or other separatists. Similarly, they may also want to explain, why tens of thousands of Russian nuclear weapons are anymore secure than Pakistan’s; as Russia is mired in Chechen insurgency and thousands of its jobless nuclear scientists are in the market willing to work for anyone, for as little as $100 per month?

Last but not least, Israel experiences far more suicide bombings, separatist attacks and assassinations from ultraconservative Jewish groups than anyone else. This begs the question, who can dare to even suggest securing Israeli nuclear arsenal?

The nuclear proliferation genie set loose by President Harry Truman will continue to wreck havoc till the end of time or until every nation renounce the nuclear technology in all of its manifestations. Till then, bite your tongue.

Shush! Nobody say a word about the only nation which dropped their nukes in anger on another nation. Not a peep if their Air Force ends up flying nuclear tipped cruise missiles across the length of their country without any authorization. So what if one of its Presidential candidate promises to obliterate another nation if it even dares to look at Israel with contempt? Because it is a mature nation with natural gift of knowing obedient from the naughty. On the other hand, Pakistani Neanderthals are too dumb to even keep an eye on their nukes. Or are they?

- Asian Tribune -

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