New Mischief about Pak ‘Nukes’
US-led some western countries includaing India and Israel have accelerated their deliberate campaign against the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. It can be judged by the new mischief of the BBC about Pak nukes. In this regard, in its programme Newsnight, BBC reported on November 7, this year, “Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will…it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic,” of Iran.
While quoting various anti-Pakistan sources, BBC elaborated, “A senior NATO decision maker told BBC Newsnight that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a press conference that if 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.” On the same day, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman rejected BBC’s report as baseless and mischievous, saying, “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state, with robust command and control structure and comprehensive export controls.” He added that its “nuclear programme is purely for its own legitimate self-defence and maintenance of a credible, minimum deterrence…Pakistan supports objectives of non-proliferation as well as nuclear safety and security.” It is notable that on September 3, 2013, The Washington Post, while quoting American former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, published a 178-page summary of the US intelligence community’s “black budget”, which disclosed that the US has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms. The Post allegedly elaborated, “US intelligence agencies are focused on the possibility that Pakistan’s nuclear facilities might come under attack by Islamist militants, Pakistan has dozens of production and storage sites scattered across the country and the budget documents indicate that US intelligence agencies suspect that Pakistan is adding to that stockpile. Little is known about how it moves materials among its facilities, an area of potential vulnerability. Concerns persist that extremists could seize components of the stockpile or trigger a war with neighbouring India.” Again, Foreign Office spokesman of Pakistan on September 3 rejected the story published in The Washington Post as baseless and stated that as a nuclear state, Pakistan’s policy was characterized by restraint and responsibility.
In fact, overtly, US high officials state that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they continue to destabilize this lonely ‘nuclearised’ country in the Islamic World through multi-faceted subversive activities of the American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. With the assistance of these secret agencies, Indo-Israeli lobbies which are working in Europe and especially, penetrated in the US administration including their media manipulate any major terror event in Pakistan in order to show to the international community that this country’s atomic weapons are not safe as militants can possess them.
It is of particular attention that in 2009 when the heavily-armed Taliban entered Swat, Dir, Buner and other adjoining areas, US high officials and their media had exaggerated the ‘Talibinisation’ of whole Pakistan, while showing concerns about Pakistan’s atomic arms. In that context, on April 22, 2009, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that Taliban “advances pose “an existential threat” to Pakistan, while on April 23, she 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 Swat, Dir and Buner by breaking their backbone, then American top officials had admired the capabilities of Pak Army.
When insurgents 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. Particularly, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony misperceived that India was concerned about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal after a group of terrorists laid siege to a heavily guarded naval air base.” He explained, “Naturally it is a concern not only for us but for everybody.”
Similarly, 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 on the same day 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 report also presumed, “The base is part of Pakistan s nuclear stockpile, estimated to include at least 100 warheads.”
The ex-US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also stated on the same day, “There is a danger of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, falling into hands of terrorists.”
It is noteworthy that while taking cognizance of the anti-Pakistan developments, Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad disclosed on June 7, 2011 that there was “accurate information…Americans are to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear facilities to find dominance over the country.” While also indicating Zionist regime behind the conspiracy, he revealed that for this purpose, the US can also use “the United Nations Security Council and some other international organisations as tools to exercise pressure on Pakistan and weaken its national integrity.”
Notably, US and other hostile countries which feel jealousy in relation to Pakistan’s atomic assets should better have concerns about India’s nuclear weapons which are quite insecure. Indian past record proves various kinds of security lapses regarding various nuclear plants and the related sensitive materials. In this context, events of nuclear theft, smuggling and killing have become a regular feature of Indian atomic plants which still continue in one or the other way.
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 center. On November 7, 2000, International Atomic 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 10 consignments to Iraq, containing highly sensitive equipments entailing titanium vessels and centrifugal pumps. In February 2004, India’s Ambassador to Libya, Dinkar Srivastava revealed that New Delhi was investigating that retired Indian scientists could possibly be engaged in “high technology programs” for financial gains during employment in the Libyan government.
In December 2005, US imposed sanctions on two Indian firms for selling missile goods and chemical arms material to Iran in violation of India’s commitment to prevent proliferation. In the same year, Indian scientists, Dr. Surendar and Y. S. R Prasad had been blacklisted by Washington due to their involvement in nuclear theft.
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 definitely adopt a soft way to eliminate his life. Afterwards, Dr. Haleema Saadia said that death of the scientist was a conspiracy. It is regrettable that by setting aside the Indian irresponsible record of proliferation, while showing double standard, the US signed defence agreement with India on July 20, 2009 as part of the deal about civil nuclear technology, agreed upon by the two countries in 2008. Surprisingly, despite the repeated assurances of Pakistan’s military and civil leadership that Pak nukes are well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having well-coordinated command and control system, a deliberate propaganda campaign against the safety of these armaments keeps on going by the Europe, particularly US and India. In this respect, the new mischief of the BBC about Pak nukes is also part of the same scheme.
Nevertheless, Pakistan’s civil-military leadership must be well-prepared to cope with any drastic situation due to the real intentions of the US-led foreign enemies, while our media must counter the external propaganda in this regard.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org