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 "...as 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.
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.
Let the bastards choke on their hatred.
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.
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...
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.
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.
3 things were common in the men on these ships;
They asked "Are Ya with us or against us"
Musharaf did not know how to reply.
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.
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.
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!!!
Assalamu alaikum (Peace be unto you).