Why Endless Propaganda against Pak Nukes?

Future of nuclear weapons in S. Asia      By Sajjad Shaukat

  While showing their double standard openly, the US and some western countries use one pretext or the other in targeting the unfavorable small countries in order to obtain their selfish interests. Therefore, they are taking the nuclear proliferation as an ultra sensitive concern, haunting the entire world, and they feel impatient to impose unilateral sanctions against those states which fall in the ambit of hostile nations—are aspiring to acquire nuclear capability.

In this respect, particularly America and West’s discrimination and bigotry include Iran, North Korea and Libya (now under immunity) for violating terms of Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, any country, especially with Islamic identity which desires to get atomic capability is subjected to severe economic sanctions and political isolation or military action so as to render it incapable of acquiring nuclear expertise.

In these terms, Pakistan is the only declared nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, it has become special target of some western top officials, media and think tanks, particularly those of the US, who leave no stone unturned in continuing their endless propaganda against Pak nukes.  They have been creating doubts about the safety and security of Pakistan’s atomic weapons.

In this regard, Michael Kugelman, a senor programme associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, where he is responsible for research, programming and publications on South and Southeast Asia, used the change of guard at Special Strategic Division to implicate Pakistan. On January 10, 2014, the ‘National Interest’ published his article, ‘One more reason to worry about Pakistan’s nukes’. He wrote, “Yet one of the most troubling changes occurred on the very last day of 2013, and with little fanfare. On December 31, according to Pakistani media reports, Lt. General Khalid Kidwai logged his last day as head of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), the entity in charge of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.” Last month, Michael Kugelman had written a lengthy essay in America’s Foreign Policy magazine titled, ‘The most magnificent delusion’, in which he used all the arguments given by Hussain Haqqani in his book to paint Pakistan in malicious light, maligning its nuclear assets.

It is regrettable that the US-led propagandists like Michael Kugelman naively argue that Pakistani nukes may fall in the hands of terrorists attacking sensitive air bases in Pakistan. The absurd contents assert that Pakistan is producing tactical nuclear weapons, meant for actual battlefield use with conventional forces—for short range use against India. He explains that consequently, these will be removed from locked-down and secured bases, making them tremendously vulnerable to seizure and attack, or accident.

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 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 neighboring India.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman rejected the story, published in The Washington Post as baseless and stated, “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state, with robust command and control structure and comprehensive export controls…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.”

In fact, overtly, US high officials remark that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they continue to destabilize it 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 mentionable 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, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 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.

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 of particular attention 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 organizations 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 must 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 way or the other.

It is of noteworthy that while recognizing an inter-relationship between war against terrorism in Afghanistan, issue of Kashmir and arms race between Pakistan and India, the US President Barack Obama stated on September 25, 2008 that it is part of his policy “to encourage India and Pakistan to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and resolve the Kashmir problem to reduce nuclear dangers in South Asia. On a number of occasions, he and his aides like Mr Riedel had re-affirmed had that settlement of the Kashmir issue was essential for fighting terrorism.

Surprisingly, Obama and his high officials have totally neglected their previous statements regarding the solution of Kashmir issue which is the root cause of tension not only between Pakistan and India, but for the whole region. However, politicians may back out of their statements, but it is not the job of statements to eat their own words.

It is the right hour that US-led western world must realize that the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan is the real cause of concern, and is a nuclear flash point. If this core dispute is resolved, it will guarantee permanent peace between the two neighboring countries, besides safeguarding American and major powers’ interests in the region as well as the whole world. In case, Kashmir issue is peacefully settled, tactical and strategic level atomic weapons will become irrelevant for Islamabad and New Delhi.

Notably, by setting aside the Indian irresponsible record of proliferation, the US signed a defence agreement with India, pressurized International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on larger scale, while the latter has not signed the NPT.

Nevertheless, 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. The aim of such propaganda is to depict Pakistan’s nukes as hazardous and risk-prone.

In light of the above analysis, the propagandists like Michael Kugelman must understand as to why possibility of a nuclear clash between India and Pakistan exits, and as to why endless propaganda continues against Pak nukes.

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: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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