Diabolical schemes about Pak nukes
Mohammad Jamil


A recent article captioned ‘The Ally From Hell’ published in Atlantic magazine of December 2011 about possible American plans to secure the country’s nuclear arsenal in the event of any extremist threat. Pakistan described it as ‘pure fiction, baseless and motivated’.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said: “No one should underestimate Pakistan’s will and capability to defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests.” The Atlantic article details contingency plans involving hundreds of US commandos specially trained in securing weapons of mass destruction who would swoop in and disable or seize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in the event of the collapse of the state or a jihadist coup. The startling allegation is that Pakistani authorities transport assembled nuclear weapons in civilian vans without heavy security, moving in regular traffic to avoid being noticed. What an absurd conjecture? Another concocted story was conversation between the COAS Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and General Qidwai regarding measures to be taken to counter American moves to neutralize Pak nukes.The authors Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder said that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are vulnerable to theft by jihadists, compromising security in a country where numerous militant organisations of various stripes are believed to be headquartered. They referred to a few incidents to justify their conjectures and absurdities: “a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying workers to the Sargodha air base, which is believed to house nuclear weapons; the following month, a school bus was attacked outside Kamra air base, which may also serve as a nuclear storage site; in August 2008, Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers attacked the country’s main nuclear-weapons-assembly depot in Wah cantonment”. Though, the US has many a time acknowledged that they do not have any clue about the storage of nukes, yet they try to make the world believe that above sites warehouse nukes. However, America and West’s concerns about and desire to neutralize Pakistani nukes are not new. Within 6 weeks after 9/11, David Albright had written a paper titled ‘Securing Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Complex’. This paper was commissioned and sponsored by the Stanley Foundation for the 42nd Strategy for Peace Conference, Strategies for Regional Security (South Asia Working Group), from October 25-27, 2001, in Virginia. From the very first para, it is obvious that America has malicious intent about Pakistan’s nukes, which reads: “Fallout from Pakistan’s decision to cooperate with the United States following the September 11th terrorist attacks may severely test Pakistan’s security system throughout its nuclear weapons complex. Instability in Pakistan could make its nuclear weapons and stocks of nuclear explosive material dangerously vulnerable to theft”. The US and the West have double standards, as in case of India, which faces insurgency in a dozen of its states that offer serious threat to the stability of the country, they do not see the gravity of the situation and never mention that Maoists, if succeed in bringing about a communist revolution, could one day control Indian nukes, and could pose palpable threat to India itself and the region at large. It has also been proved that in many cases of terrorists’ attacks, India accused Pakistan’s ISI for supporting the terrorists, but during investigations, it was proved that home-grown terrorists were involved.As regards safety of Pakistani nukes, the US and India have in the past eulogized the command and control system of Pakistan. Two years ago, India’s National Security Advisor MK Narayanan in an interview with a foreign TV channel had said that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe adding: “It is extremely difficult for any outside element just walking away with a readymade nuclear device. It is not easy for just a couple of people to manage a nuclear device”. The US has been trying to get details of Pakistan’s nuclear programme on one pretext or another eg to help improve the security of the nukes, but our Foreign Office spokesman at least once during a weekly briefing had said: “The details of Pakistan’s nuclear programme were sacrosanct and could not be shared with any country”. It has to be mentioned that India had detonated atomic device in 1974 in violation of the agreement with Canada that fissile material will not be used for making atomic bomb. In May 1998, India had detonated five atomic devices, but the US or the West neither raised any alarm nor named it a Hindu bomb. But when Pakistan conducted atomic tests, they called it an Islamic bomb to justify their devilish designs against Pakistan nukes. Already in 1979 when Pakistan’s nuclear programme was at its initial stages, then President and Chief of Army Staff General Zia ul Haq had told Air Force chief that he had reliable information on Indian plans to attack and destroy the Pakistani nuclear research facilities at Kahuta. Air Chief Marshal Shamim told General Zia that he may not able to stop Indian aircraft that could reach the area in 3 minutes; however the PAF would take 8 minutes for retaliatory strike on India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay. This was revealed by ACM M. Anwar Shamim, in his book “Cutting Edge PAF” launched in May 2007 in London. According to Shamim, Pakistan had warned India in the early 80s that an attack on nuclear assets in Kahuta would evoke a retaliatory strike on its Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay. Today Pakistan is a nuclear state; its nuclear assets scattered beyond the reach of American satellites and the CIA’s keen eyes and the delivery system to frustrate the designs of Pakistan’s enemies.Members of the US administration, US army generals and international media have the habit of maligning Pakistan and creating unfounded fears and concern that the Taliban could take over Islamabad and as a consequence they would gain control of the nukes. There have been conjectures that Pak army can not defeat the Taliban fighters as it is not geared up and trained to fight guerilla warfare. By further stretching their imagination they conclude that the Taliban could one day win, therefore the US was examining the possibility of gaining control of Pak nukes in case of such an eventuality. But this is fraught with dangers, as it could lead to Third World War. Robert Windrem, NBC News Investigating Producer for Special Projects’, in his article captioned ‘US prepares for worst-case scenario with Pakistan nukes’ had quoted Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy having stated: “By comparison the bin Laden operation involved only minor risks. Even if a single Pakistani nuke (out of roughly 100) escapes destruction that last one could be unimaginably dangerous…The situation is more uncertain than even this. For one, it might trigger nuclear war with India, even if India was not involved in the snatch.”