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Pakistan and the Nuclear Intricacies

The third Nuclear Security Summit was held in The Hague recently in March, 2014. The overall outcome was good, considering that 35 countries vowed to beef up the nuclear security and harmonize their nuclear security regulations with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) guidelines. Pakistan was among one of those 35 countries, because NTI’s (Nuclear Threat Initiative) 2014 Security Index put Pakistan on 22nd position out of the 25 nations that possess nuclear weapons. Only India, Iran and North Korea followed Pakistan respectively.  However the positive thing was that Pakistan was the most improved nuclear-armed state in 2014 because of its Domestic Nuclear Materials Security Legislation and Independent Regulatory Agency.

However because of its low score in the other categories Pakistan came on 22nd. It should be mentioned here that Pakistan also scored lowest in all 25 countries in the “Political Stability”. Pakistan will need to improve its ranking considerably if it wishes to be welcomed to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). This should be noted because Pakistan has considerable internal insurgency problem which needs to be minimized effectively because the presence of such groups puts Pakistan in a corner.

India and other nations also have so many times claimed that Pakistan’s nuclear assets maybe a threat to the global security because of Pakistan’s Security Establishment’s approach towards some Jihadi Groups. These claims maybe true in case of some Jihadists but not all. However it should be pretty clearly noted here that Pakistan’s security establishment and Pak Army’s approach towards these groups is just like a dog on a tight leash.

ISI may be wily and sly (which spy agency isn’t?), but it is not stupid and it knows how to keep the hounds controlled and keep them at bay and further if the hound gets out of control then how to neutralize it. However, if Pakistan needs to achieve the greater agenda of acquiring a spot in the NSG, then the security establishment will have to go an extra mile in formulating its national and international policies and strategies.

This may entail Pakistan changing its nuclear doctrine, signing a No-First-Use treaty, which Pakistan currently is not a signatory because it acts as a deterrent of war with India, changing control and accounting procedures et cetera. Hence, is not as simple as it seems on paper. (Keep in mind that Pakistan’s doctrine has effectively avoided a potential war with India; India decided against carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan in the aftermath of 2008-Mumbai attacks considering that Pakistan may launch a nuclear strike. So in a way Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine has helped to maintain peace in the region, albeit using threat as a means)

It is after the acceptance in the NSG that I am worried about, if that. Pakistan is already seen as a state which has played its fair share in the nuclear proliferation and North Korea and Iran are given as two examples who were beneficiaries of Pakistan’s generosity in this regard. Recently there were rumors that Pakistan would sell nuclear arms to a ‘brotherly’ Islamic country. God knows to what extent this was true, but there is no smoke without fire.

Also the case of mysterious US $1.5 billion popped up which escalates the concerns in this regard. Whatever the case is, Pakistani military and civilian officials must keep this in mind that Pakistan should not supply any nuclear weapons to any state, Muslim or not. The problem, in case of this ‘brotherly’ Islamic country, is its egoistic desire to control the Muslim world and the resultant incessant cold war with Iran. The rulers of this Islamic nation have so many times shown their will to co-operate with other nations to extreme extents just so that Iran be tamed. Who knows what else the Royals would do if they get their hands on a nuclear weapon.

They already use the resource at their disposal (oil and the subsequent money earned from it) to spread their version of Islam in Muslim countries and the stories of Pakistani insurgents and Syrian rebels being financed by His Highness are no stranger to anyone. The stance in this regard should be very clear instead of a usually ambiguous stance by Pakistan; Pakistan will not provide nuclear know-how to anyone unless it conforms to the NSG and international rules and regulations. Again, Security establishment and Army will have to play an active and positive role in this regard and it will not be easy considering the “petty” donations they receive from the same Islamic regime, ironically. An intricate conundrum, Isn’t it?

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