Pakistan Agonists

Category: Asia, World Affairs Topics: Journalists, Kashmir, Pakistan Views: 4777

Pakistan and India Nuclear Establishments

Unilateral concessions to India, fears of a Kashmir sellout and misgivings about the future of Pakistan's nuclear capability, are inter-locking factors fuelling a bitter national mood. Not for a long time have Pakistanis felt so insecure or demoralized. 

So thick is the gloom that commentators sympathetic to General Musharraf are urging him to "take the nation into confidence" (one of the hoariest cliches in Pakistani politics). Convinced of the general's persuasive powers, they expect the national mood to lift if he chooses to explain what is going on. 

Their advice is sound but of doubtful utility when the performance of the top leadership appears to be the principal source of national distress. India policy has been shaped in the presidential office. Nuclear policy is being handled (handled?) at the highest levels. 

When the president declares to CNN's Christiane Amanpour that " far as Pakistanis are concerned, it is clear (proliferation) was done by individuals for their own personal financial gain..." nothing is left to the imagination. The line could easily have been taken that the inquiry was not yet over and it wouldn't be proper to prejudge the issue. Instead the definitive comment is volunteered that, yes, some scientists did proliferate for personal gain. 

If you read the transcript of the interview, it becomes clear this was an unforced confession. Amanpour was not homing in on the scientists. Her questions were vague and general. She couldn't have got a more specific answer. No wonder the international wire services flashed this story, for this was the first ever admission from Pakistan that some scientists had indeed proliferated. Where angels might have feared to tread, the president waded in.

Much the same thing happened in the Reuters interview when Gen Musharraf said goodbye to the UN resolutions on Kashmir. The interviewer was not forcing the question. Out of the blue during the course of a somewhat lengthy answer came the giveaway line consigning the UN resolutions to the trashcan of history.

If any civilian leader had spoken like this, scuttling an important plank of national policy through an off-the-cuff remark, he would have been denounced for treason. 

Singly, either of these two fiascos, unilateral concessionism and nuclear mishandling, might well have been absorbed by a nation inured to hardships and policy setbacks. But coming in quick-time one after the other, a left and a right, they have proved to be a slammer on the nation's chin, putting it down for a count of ten. What's more, in January, making you wonder that if this is how the New Year has begun how will it end? 

The calculation may well be that by making scapegoats of Dr A. Q. Khan and his colleagues, and dragging their names through the mud, Pakistan will be applauded for boldness and candor. Chances, however, are that anyone listening to the Amanpour interview will react differently. "Didn't we say Pakistan was a dangerous place, an irresponsible country? Can these Pakistanis be trusted with nuclear weapons? Give me a break." 

Nor is it particularly astute of us to think that by exonerating successive army chiefs (the real guardians of Pakistan's nuclear program), and making sacrificial lambs of A. Q. Khan and a few other scientists, we'll convince the world of our good intentions. The world is not as thickly populated with gullible fools as we seem to imagine. 

Without being too uncharitable, it's hard not to see how this affair, to Pakistan's enduring detriment, has been bungled from the start. Instead of investigating IAEA charges of proliferation thoroughly and quietly, which was the proper thing to do, and waiting for the inquiry to conclude, the Pakistani leadership, marching well ahead of Pakistan's accusers, has confessed to proliferation. 

What on earth for? While we say a few scientists were involved, the world will say it couldn't have happened without the knowledge or connivance of the top army brass. 

And consider the smear campaign against A. Q. Khan in influential sections of the national press. At the national level we may not have much of a reputation for good taste but this campaign really touches the depths for what it ends up tarnishing is not an individual but the nation's self-image. 

Dr Khan has his faults. Who doesn't? But his failings pale into nothing beside his and his team's singular achievement of giving Pakistan, alone of all Muslim countries, a uranium-enrichment capability. 

The story of how Pakistan got the bomb reads like a racy thriller. Bhutto made a fuss about going for a nuclear reprocessing plant from France, even as Khan went ahead with his centrifuge program. The Americans were fooled and stayed fooled for a long time. It was hard going and everything had to be procured secretly. But in the end Khan and his team succeeded. From any angle, it was a huge achievement. 

Now for want of finesse and subtlety, and a bit of backbone, we are imperiling one of Pakistan's few success stories. The people of Pakistan are worried as they have every reason to be. Not lending much credence to what seems like an inspired campaign to besmirch the scientists, they fear the worst: the eventual de-nuclearization of Pakistan. 

As therapy for national anxiety, the nation is being read lessons in realism. For a people prone to excesses of emotionalism this is a welcome reminder. Trouble is that in the current climate of ultra-loyalist pro-Americanism, realism is often hard to distinguish from defeatism. 

Not long ago we held aloft the banner of jihad. That was one frontier of foolishness we zealously guarded. Now we have turned foreign policy into the fine art of collapsing and surrendering at the first hint of pressure. The new name for this is realism and peace. 

A poet might well say: iss qaum ko na jang ka dhang aya, na amn ka (this nation could neither get war right, nor peace). When we succumbed to Powell's telephone call after September 11, the person most surprised was Powell. Read Bob Woodward's account of that episode. Powell wasn't expecting so swift a capitulation. Pakistan has gone one step ahead and now achieved the truly impossible: embarrassed India by the very fervor of its unilateral concessionism. The embarrassment comes from India finding it hard to mask its glee. 

When communication links between India and Pakistan were restored (links snapped by India in the first place) a feeling of euphoria took hold in both countries. But the one-sidedness of the joint statement signed in Islamabad has destroyed that mood. Consider that fatal sentence, "President Musharraf reassured Prime Minister Vajpayee that he will not permit any territory under Pakistan's control to be used to support terrorism in any manner." 

Not that Pakistan should have espoused terrorism. But this was an-uncalled-for formulation implying an admission of Pakistan's guilt and sounding very much like an assurance of good conduct from a vassal to a superior power. 

The Pakistani foreign secretary knew nothing of the joint statement before it was made public. With what face or confidence will he meet his Indian counterpart in Islamabad mid-February? In any case, what will that meeting signify? Both countries are returning to the 'composite dialogue' agreed to in 1997 and reaffirmed at the time of Mr Vajpayee's bus trip to Lahore in 1999. This return to a line dug seven years ago is being hailed as a major triumph. 

We should be conscious of our weaknesses and not magnify our strengths, few as these may be. We shouldn't punch above our weight as we did during the days of jihad but, out of misplaced humility, we shouldn't punch far below it either. 

Between now and November Musharraf is more vital to George Bush and his re-election than Bush is to Musharraf. (What happens after November is a different story.) Iraq is bad enough for the Bush administration. It can't afford getting it more wrong in Afghanistan. Key to the pacification of Afghanistan is Pakistan. 

So what are we scared of? Why is our body language so apologetic when it comes to dealing with the Americans? They may be doing great favors to the Pakistani leadership but not many to Pakistan. 

So let's take just so much American dictation and no more. Proliferation charges should be investigated vigorously because this is serious business. But in trying to please America let us not outrun discretion and endanger our hard-won nuclear program.

Source: Dawn

  Category: Asia, World Affairs
  Topics: Journalists, Kashmir, Pakistan
Views: 4777

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Older Comments:
I agree. Pakistan's gov't is way too Western and US-friendly. And how dare Pakistan's gov't aid the disbelievers in defeating the Islamic State in Afghanistan. They should've helped the Taliban instead of fighting them.

Well, I hope that Musharraf is replaced by a good, strict Muslim soon. And I sure hope no woman rules that country again. We all know what Islam says about woman rulers. I also hope that Indonesia's woman president Megawati (who wear no hijab, by the way) is soon replaced by a good Muslim man.

Excellent points Anwar, but I believe calling such animals terrorists is the appropriate thing to do.
Let the bastards choke on their hatred.

No doubt we are living in a digital age. The islamophobic personalities are happy with the ignorance in each and every aspect they can find.

We do have very many comments in previous posts by despicable, disgraceful, shameless cowards; ill-informed and with a sick mentality. Those who look a cry shoulder over the champions of the modern civilsation with no civilised language of mentality.

No doubt a same hypocratic, shameless blood is circulating in his mind as was circulating in those hypocrites' mind who built a Dha'rrar Mosque at the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

In particular, one comments:

1.)"1.5 million Iraqis dying is a bluff, and what were pilgrimages doing about Iraq's sanctions?"

This sick mentality does not know what the sanctions are. A British journalist tried to take a cuddly toy for Iraqi children, and he was caught in France as the cuddly toy was in the list of sanctions.

He also says:

2.) "Shame to Muslim men
Shame to Muslim women
Shame to Muslim children
We all Muslims are in hell."

This "degrading" attitude is not the attitude of a Muslim. Not to worry about the Muslims as a whole, but may Allah grant the writer of that comment to grant him his wish (niyyah)

"Inamal a'amalu biniyaat"- Sahih al-Bukhari

[The reward of deeds depends upon the intention].

One must therefore be in constant checking of his intentions.

well said ... nothing more to be said....

i agree with the writer hundred and ten percent. the american need the pakistani's for afghanistan and am sure they could have had lots of pressure on him since he could kick them out of his country anytime.

Pakistan is synonym for corruption. Its time to throw the corrupt people out of Pakistan. We call it Islamic country. But most of them don't practise Islam espeacially women.

Asif, you are far from reality though. I agree with your wishful thinking. Peace and tranquality. I am from India. Every year Indian Hindu Institutions who are very determined to dismember Pakistan and annhilate the Muslims of India produce about over a million students from their thousands of institutes called Vidhya Bharti Schools every year. Don't forget, it wont be just Indian Army, the next war will also be the involvement of those millions of RSS volunteers who will pour into Pakistan. You have destroyed Taliban, who vowed to fight shoulder to shoulder against the enemies of Pakistan, who could have been the counterforce against those Indian Hindu Zealots. Remember, Prophet's (saw) household ran hungry for weeks and months, they did not have even oil for the candles, yet his (saw) house was always decoreated with swords. Where is the diginity? Instead of taking few conditional billions like beggars, Pakistan could have earned hundreds of billions in Central Asia, had it stuck to the pro-Taliban lines. Show me one non-Muslim country that has compromised its national interest appeasing to U.S. Show me one. Peace and prosperity is fine, but not on the expense of Islam. No way. Today, a modern Turkey is on the verge of economical collapse. Why? What is the answer you have? Why Shimon Peres of Israel is praying to God for the survival of Mushrraf? Why? Islam brings peace, prosperity without compromising dignity. Mushrraf has compromised everything. By the way, shame on Pakistanis who have watched the disgrace of Dr. Qadeer Khan without doing anything. Shuja

ASIF said:
This is indeed a highly emotional time for Pakistanis, and this article effectively sums up the frustration and anguish of Pakistanis in general.
I, however, do not agree with the author's emphasis that the recent Dr. Qadeer Khan's confession of Nuclear proliferating and this revealation to the whole world will actually somehow compromise Pakistani Nuclear Program. Nor do I share the view that building relationship with India is detremental to Pakistan. It is about time that for peace and security, between the two nations, all plausible options and or solutions should be looked into...It should be evident to the "not so gullible" folks on both side of the border that they haven't made any progress in the past 50 years by sticking to the Status-Quo. The sooner both parties realize this, the sooner they can effectively engage to make this a peaceful region of the world...Its been long overdue, both the Indians and the Pakistanis owe it to the next generations...

Musharaf is an infidel and also an enemy of Islam, exactly like Saddam.

No wonder the United States and its cronies love him, Musharaf, so much, exactly like the United States' cronies loved Saddam, until Saddam refused to share his pot of oil with the infidels.

It is time the Muslims of Pakistan get rid of this infidellic and unjust ruler. This is where the Muslims must declare jihad!!!!

No one should be obeying unjust leaders who drink and play with the enemies of Islam and Muslims.

Jihad must be ALSO be declared on the Kings and Queens of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and also on the dictator of Egypt.

In addition, all Muslim countries must ban trades with United States, Britian, and Israel because of the unjust WAR in Iraq, EVEN IF MUSLIMS starve to death for whatever inconviniences. That would THE TRUE PRACTICE OF ISLAM.

Muslims must try to bring Bush, Blair, Ariel Sharon, and other thugs to justice for commiting crime against humanity. Countries that do not support these steps, CUT ALL YOUR COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATIONS with those nations.

Your nations actions since 11 Sept is amusing and bewildering to the rest of the world.You have squandered the vital interest of your country, namely
Afghanistan and Kashmir. Now say goodbye to your nuclear weopons.Most pakis ( no longer a derogatory term according to your ambassodor in the US-when Bush used it )are eager to crawl into the backsides of the Americans and the British. Enjoy it when you get there.

Who created Pakistan? First, Ahmed Shah Abdali responding to the call of Shah Wali Ullah (rah), with just 35 thousand pathan military fought with 1 million fully equipped Marhathas, who were on the verge of annihilating Muslims from the sub-continent altogether. They tore down 1 million Marathas that had saved the Muslims of sub-continent, who has created Pakistan later on. Then, from the nawabs of Hyderbad to the Muslims of U.P., Bihar, Bengal combined with many other contributions has helped create Pakistan. In the process, 4 million Muslims of India have lost their lives and millions more lost their dignity. Had not the companions of the prophet (saw) faced the difficulties, hardships that no Pakistani have seen yet, Islam would not have reached to sub-continent and Pakistan would never had been created. In 1965, Iran had provided the emergency shipment of the 60 Sabre jets that played key role in defeating India. Saudi Arabia, Iran and many other Muslim countries have contributed to Pakistani survival. Oh' 33 division Russian military were ready to enter into Pakistan in 1981, when they occupied Afghanistan - Pakistan was not recovered from the humiliating defeat at the hands of India. India from south and Russia from North would have finished Pakistan, when the same mighty Pathans rose to the occasion and saved Pakistan again. Millions of Pathans had lost their lives. It was Saudis and Arabs that has financed Pakistani nukes. Shamefully, when Pakistani brothers support a traitor like Musharraf by telling why we only have to defend Islam? Sir, if Arabs carried Islam to us, if Moores and Baghdadis carried scientific achievements, if Salahuddin defended Palestine, if Turks protected the majesty of Islam, if Hyderabad of India become the candle of Islam, if Pathans stood up with Jehad, shame on you Pakistanis who refused to take the leadership of Islam. Cowards! Shuja



It was the biggest Naval FLeet after world war II by British Royal Navy this time in Arabian Sea.

3 things were common in the men on these ships;

1.English speaking
3. White

They asked "Are Ya with us or against us"

Musharaf did not know how to reply.
He surrendered.

Lost the battle which was never fought.

The Nation remained untouched they remained busy dinning and partying.

As we know dining and partying are one of the most important things we do.

Musharraf is like the emperor or Japan after world war II. When Japan surrendered and then agian surrendered agian and agian.

But kewl Musharraf with 2 puppies in his arms surrendered without a war.

First came replacement of Pakistan Armies Generals.

The new replacing Generals will work like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. And what Saddam Hussain was to Iraq.

Musharaff is not a politician as was Gen. Zia and associates.

His biggest mistake was the coup, taking Nawaz Sharif out.

He thought he can do better than Prime Misnister Nawaz Sharif.

Musharraf was wrong.


President mishandled the nuclear scandle, badly. He is eager to please US at any cost and no doubt he will be let down at the end of the day. He thinks he is a statesman but he is not and he proved it. My advise to him is not to conduct press conferences if he is still adament to remain the president of Pakistan!

Tough times indeed!

We have a cammando without any guts as a leader. Musharaf is being used by the US like tissue paper. When Bush & Co. are finished with the tissue paper it will go in the dust bin. Just like how our good friend General Zia was.

What about the Israelis selling nuclear technology to South Africans? Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear capability. India wanted to destroy Pakistan's. Israel succeeded, India failed.

The enemies of Islam/ Pakistan are succeding in their efforts to label Pakistan a rogue state. Thereby, controlling the nuclear assets.

But we are too corrupt to even realise. God forbid if Pakistan is denuclearised, the Ummah would shift back a hundred years in science.

Pakistan should settle the disput with India and focus on improving the life quality and living conditions for the Pakistan people. Many countries could claim lost land, like Germany, Finland and Mexico, but they prefer to make the best out of what they have left. If you compare what South Korea has achieved in short time with that of Pakistan, it should be obvious that the struggle for Kashmir has ruined Pakistan while S. Korea is flowering. Rather do like Mexico, admit that you can not have back lost land and impress the world with progress back home. More then 50 years are lost so far on that project.

I think options for country like Pakistan is simple "Live with dignity or die with disgrace". I believe leaders of this nation pick "die with disgrace".

I am beginning not to trust Pakistan more and more.

What is so wrong regarding Pakistan selling its nuclear secrets/weapons etc. to other countries?

If the United States, the biggest danger to the world and its stability, can sell its nuclear weapons to the Isreal, the biggest threat to world peace, WHY can't other nations do the same?

Why is the U.S. so special? Why everything the U.S. does is right and is on a moral high ground, and what other countries do is all evil and wrong?

Anyone still wonders why the BIG BANG of 9/11 took place?

Just fasten all the belts out there that are fastenable!!! More Big Bangs are on your way.....It's just unavoidalbe b/c of the ways the drunken U.S. public and its gov't are behaving...

They (the U.S. public) is completely destryoing the United States from all angles by appointing Christian terrorists, religious fundamentalists, neocons, zionists, and morons ( who can't complete a sentence without a long pause in between a sentence) in the GOV'T. It's a shame!!!

H.A.,however, wishes the U.S. and its people good luck!!!

the socalled president you have in pakistan, is worried only for personnel safety. Pakistan will be well disposed to get a sincere, and intelligent person to replace him in a hurry

Okay, Libya I don't get (no offense intended) - but Iran and North Korea seem like reasonable choices, as partners in defensive technologies, given the situation at the time. The situation has changed - as situations do. What's wrong with just saying so, when it seems like the time has come for saying something? Why the attempts at "implausible" deniability? What would be so wrong with saying something along the lines of, "We decided it was time for a change in state policy?"

Assalamu alaikum (Peace be unto you).