Peace-keeper nukes

Ikram Ullah Khan

A debate is observable at various public forums that Pakistan is a nuclear power that has insufficient electricity to fulfill its domestic needs. In addition to this why it is continuously investing in its nuclear weapons program (missiles tests) rather than to invest in development sector.

Ironically, a number of Pakistani people have been influenced with this debate and rising questions even about the very existence of Pakistan and especially about the Pakistan nuclear capability. The reason behind this emerging perception is that, in these days, nation is suffering with “load shedding”, the worst energy crisis, ever in the history of Pakistan and country’s rapidly declining economy.

The problem is there but it should not be the way to discuss it, as it is. If some one is suffering with severe headache, he will not raise question about the very purpose of his head. He knows that with some appropriate treatment he will get rid of his troublesome headache and will continue to use the head for his survival and success. Similarly, Pakistan with appropriate planning can overcome this growing energy crisis. And then it can continue its journey of peace, prosperity and stability with its nuclear deterrence.

We must be cleared that nuclear weapons are meant to maintain peace & stability between Pakistan and India. Pakistan was forced to run its nuclear weapon program due to Indian nuclear weapon program and its hegemonic ambition. Pakistan has long said that its nuclear weapon program is security driven. While on other hand Indian nuclear weapon program is not security driven, rather it is based on its regional and global aspirations.

The security threats still exist for Pakistan but due to its credible nuclear deterrence Pakistan is capable to crush such threats or plans. In recent past the tragedy , which many historians remember as the “Fall of Dhaka” carries some lessons for us to be learnt. If India can intervene at that time then it is quite possible it would intervene in Baloachistan. Now the nuclear capability of Pakistan deters India from perusing any kind of intervention because of the fear of perceived consequences.

It is Pakistan’s credible nuclear deterrence capability that effectively neutralizes any ill intent of its opponent against its integrity and sovereignty. It is evident that after December 13, 2001 terrorists attack on Indian Parliament, India mobilized its armed forces to attack on Pakistan, but could not; as it realized that any such irrational action will lead to nuclear war. The same was the case after Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008; the nuclear deterrence prevailed and it prevented the likelihood of all out nuclear war in South Asia.

It is our national responsibility that we should strengthen our strategic institutions with our moral support rather unnecessarily criticizing the sincere efforts of our strategic community. Nuclear weapons prohibit the leaders to take any irrational step, even a minor one, which can lead towards the nuclear war. Cuban Missile crisis 1962 was the occasion when a war was imminent between USSR & USA. It was only the credible threat of nuclear use which directed the political leadership of both superpowers to defuse the crisis with political means.

This is the reason Pakistan can not remain oblivious to any development inside India in the realm of nuclear. It is India which is heavily investing in its nuclear weapon program and Pakistan is only responding to it, to keep the nuclear deterrence stable at all levels. Pakistan, if in any case, remains unable to establish the credibility of its nuclear deterrence with continuous progress in Research & Development of its nuclear weapon program then its mainland will no longer be safe for its inhabitants. The doctrine of minimum credible deterrence has been designed in accordance with the economic conditions of Pakistan and to maintain the strategic stability in South Asia.

The nukes are peace-keepers, not evil and their role is only to keep humans on right path. These are the weapons of restraint, which certainly impose an environment of peace, stability and development without the threat of war.

The possession of nuclear weapon capability is also more akin to Islamic values. Islam emphasizes on its followers that “ready your strength to the utmost of your power”. It is verity that a nation will not adopt the decision to impose war on its enemy if it perceives that the enemy is sturdily capable to retaliate in full manner. In this case both sides will engage themselves in a peace process to resolve their disputes and will refrain from intervening in their respective domestic domain.

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