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November 9, 2015
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Hackneyed phrases and diplomatic jargons

National

November 9, 2015

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Ever since the American intervention in Afghanistan in post-9/11 scenario, incriminating Pakistan for its ‘criminality’ of speedily developing nuclear systems against a formidable and real threat from India; an avowed enemy, has remained a preferred matter of both Pakistani and foreign including Indian and American nuclear experts. Current letting loose of an ascetic spat particularly against Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons and for taking a logical line of defence against discriminatory Conference on Disarmament (CD) on Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), is not totally beyond comprehension.
Nit-picking by certain Pakistani theorist about potential commission of low yield nuclear weapons in defence inventory purely as weapons of deterrence in the face of augmented Indian aggression and a mad race to acquire added nuclear potency, appears to have single purpose to denigrate Pakistan while paving way for Indians or their allies to find a pretext for aggression against Pakistan by stage-managing an incident either inside India or at a sensitive site domestically to incriminate Pakistan of having links with ‘nuclear avid terrorists’. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of Al Qaeda and alike till recent times were one of most drummed out phrases. In line with diplomatic jargons teased around, Pakistan’s short range nuclear capable weapons once again vehemently associated with ISIS or Daesh, particularly after awesomely trouncing Taliban and Al Qaeda by Pakistan armed forces, need no explanation about the frustration of Indians who waste no time in taking advantage of the awesome nuclear wisdom of some Pakistani so-called experts.
The 6000-ton INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine, which has already completed sea trials, has also accomplished its missile test firing. These tests involved 700-kilometer range K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) or the 3,500 kilometer K-4. These

tests have enabled India to complete its nuclear triad, giving the country’s strategic planners multiple options against a nuclear confrontation with China and more importantly Pakistan. A nuclear triad refers to the three components of atomic weapons delivery i.e. strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and SLBMs. Amongst the three elements of the synchronisation, India considers the SLBMs the most important because nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) for ship submersible ballistic nuclear or ‘boomer’ in the conversational language of seamen, are the hardest to destroy and effectual weapons to pin down an enemy. They give Indian nuclear force the ability to launch and re-launch both ICBMS and strategic bombers in a surprise attack against enemy.
According to a testimony by nuclear expert George Perkovich of Carnegie Endowment, to the US Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 25, 2015, India seeks full spectrum nuclear capabilities including SLBM to deter China and Pakistan today and in the future. Many of the delivery systems and nuclear warhead capabilities India seeks are intended to increase its capacity to deter China, whose current and future capabilities in turn are driven in large part by perceptions of threat from the US. Pakistan then per force seeks nuclear and other capabilities to counter balance-recognizing India to be acquiring. Many Indian analysts deem that China is assisting Pakistan’s strategic acquisitions, so India seeks not only to balance China, but also to further deter Pakistan that may achieve in cooperation with China. For its part, Pakistan is increasingly perturbed over the US-India cooperating in buttressing Indian military capabilities under many guises one being provision of civil nuclear deal.
The more attainment of economic potency and internal stability through robust domestic and foreign policies by Pakistan the more invective comes about Pakistan’s nuclear outlook from our very own scholars.
In any manner short-rangenuclear capable missiles are not a threat to western courtiers including America but surely for India that has openly threatened oblique and open incursions into Pakistan’s territory. While the outside world has been critical of Pakistani nuclear evolution, successive governments have with a good degree of credibility assured openly that the Pakistani response has been developed in view of India’s expanding military capabilities and the mooting of offensive military doctrines such as Cold Start. In particular, the Pakistani security structure has pointed out about two threat trajectories; firstly; India’s rapidly growing military budget is a deliberate attempt to unacceptably widen the conventional military gap between the two countries; and secondly, India’s latent growth capacity in the nuclear arena could be quickly actualised if it chooses to switch nuclear fuel production from civilian to military purposes at several nuclear installations. Focusing on a potential rival’s capabilities and not intentions is the core of military preparedness and that logic becomes all the more powerful when the rivalry appears to be growing rather than being nudged towards the normalisation of ties.
Pakistan and India have had several equivalents of the Cuban missile crisis especially in the wake of India’s Brass Tacks military ‘exercises in 1987, nuclear explosions in 1998 and the yearlong border mobilisation by India in 2002. Yet, no serious effort has ever been made to contain and reduce the danger emanating from of a conflict whose lethal implications for the two countries and their peoples have become graver by the day. For its part, Pakistan has time and again advanced a series of proposals for arms control, such as the post-1974 South Asia nuclear weapon-free zone and the post-1998 Pakistan-India strategic restraint regime. India has consistently spurned these proposals under the oblique support of America. Only a few confidence-building measures specific to most important issue have been agreed, i.e. prohibiting attacks on nuclear facilities and notification of military exercises and ballistic missile tests.
Historically, the prospects of arms control in South Asia have been severely retarded by the discriminatory restraints imposed against Pakistan by the US and Western powers, even as they tolerated and often encouraged Indian nuclear and conventional arms proliferation. Canada’s supply of a heavy water reactor namely CIRRUS to India outside international safeguards and US transfer of missile technology, in the guise of helping India’s space programme, are most alarming examples in addition to encouraging Australia selling nuclear technology while drastically altering and manipulating IAEA and NSG protocols.
American discrimination against Pakistan vis-à-vis India was in effect revived and institutionalised in 2007 when the then US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, proclaimed Washington’s decision to de-hyphenate the US policies towards India and Pakistan. This decision followed an American resolve to build India as a bulwark against China’s rising power that believed to empower Pakistan multilaterally. Washington entered into a formal defence pact and a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India, notwithstanding the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’ (NPT) prohibition of such cooperation with a non-party to the treaty. Since then, external nuclear fuel supplies have opened the way for the exponential expansion of India’s nuclear programme, resulting into a $100 billion in advanced weapons have flowed annually into India from the US, Israel, France and others, entrenching New Delhi’s intransigence on Kashmir and bellicosity towards Pakistan. Will these facts enable at least some insistent Pakistanis believe that Pakistan is not manifestly relying on hackneyed phrases and jargons at international diplomatic arena?

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