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Creating controversy over Pak nuclear weapons


April 29, 2015

A columnist has recently claimed that in the present tense situation in the Middle East, “Pakistan is the only country that can, at short notice, potentially provide the kingdom with nuclear weapons, or with a nuclear umbrella.”
To say the least, the columnist has a totally skewed view of Pakistan’s commitment to non-proliferation and its international obligations. His false assertion and claims lack dignity. Pakistani security establishment, government and policymakers are well versed with the criticality of nuclear weapons for the country’s defence and also about the international sensitivities.
The propaganda about the Pak-Saudi nuclear nexus was first unleashed by the Israelis in 2013 with the apparent aim to undermine the US-Iran nuclear negotiations. The same year, a Western TV channel had made a ludicrous claim that “Saudi Arabia could obtain nukes at will from Pakistan.” It had also announced that Pakistani nuclear weapons “made on behalf of Saudi Arabia were now sittingready for delivery”. Not surprisingly, it was later revealed that the claims based on fake intelligence had originated in Israel.
Furthermore, it was reported that a former head of Israeli military intelligence had told an international conference in Sweden that in case Iran got the bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”
The Foreign Ministry in Islamabad had rightly termed the story as “speculative, mischievous and baseless. “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapon state with robust command and control structures and comprehensive export controls,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry had said at that time, a statement which should put minds at rest.
The political opportunism aside, there is absolutely no chance that Pakistan’s tight control over its nuclear weapons would be compromised. Officials are 100 percent confident that fissile material cannot

fall into wrong hands as proper procedures and technologies to safeguard them are in place. They are convinced about the strong physical security capabilities – the most advanced, sophisticated and fool-proof in all respects — for nuclear installations and fissile material. The country has taken several measures to safeguard the nuclear components dispersed throughout the country. The location of such components is only known to concerned people. Pakistan has spent a considerable amount on this account.
Given Islamabad’s focus on non-proliferation, it is an erroneous belief that Pakistan would help Saudi Arabia or any other country to help them to acquire nuclear weapons or provide any sort of nuclear umbrella. The nuclear weapons are there to provide security to Pakistan and Pakistan only. Any claim otherwise is a dishonest analysis and an exercise in misinformation.

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