Dark Mode
Wednesday, 26 June 2024
Logo
AdSense Advertisement
Advertisement
26 Years of Responsible Nuclear Weapon State

26 Years of Responsible Nuclear Weapon State

By Sara Nazir


Its been twenty-six long years since Pakistan became a formal nuclear power and these years bear testimony to the fact that the country is a responsible nuclear state but conspiracies still abound to pressurize Pakistan to either roll back or limit its programme. Therefore, the day should serve as a reminder to remain constantly sensitive to the unending propaganda campaign and pressure tactics with the resolve to address our vulnerabilities that others seek to exploit to undermine our nuclear capability which has served as a guarantor and balancer of peace in South Asia. The Pakistani nation commemorates 28 May as Youm-e-Takbeer, the day when Pakistan’s Minimum Credible Deterrence was firmly established which finally declared its defense invincible. By testing the bomb, Pakistan rendered full-scale war with India redundant.


The day made Pakistan the seventh nuclear nation of the world and the first Muslim state having the nuclear arsenal in its defense stockpile to exercise maximum deterrence for peaceful purposes. The tests not only demonstrated the resolve of the Pakistani nation to safeguard its territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty but also the desire to preserve strategic balance in South Asia.


Pakistan and India have a long and troubled history of outstanding disputes that have led to a number of wars and hostilities between the two countries. Both states, armed with nuclear weapons continue to build their conventional and nuclear capabilities to address their respective insecurities. On 18 May 1974, India tested its first nuclear bomb in an operation-code named, “Pokhran-I”. Pakistan was left with no option but to develop its own nuclear deterrent to keep in check a belligerent nuclear-armed India. In 1965 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto insisted by saying, “If India developed an atomic bomb, we too will develop one even if we have to eat grass or leaves or remain hungry because there is no conventional alternative to the atomic bomb.”


India’s ambition to assert regional domination created a security dilemma for Pakistan when India again tested five nuclear bombs in Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) on May 11, 1998. Pakistan left with no other choice, as a sovereign nation committed to national security preservation, had conducted five successful nuclear tests in the north-western Chaghi district of Balochistan in response to continued aggressive posturing by India. Consequently, on May 28, 1998 Pakistan became the first nuclear power in the Islamic world and seventh in the world after the USA, Russia, Britain, France, China and India. The day marks the historic milestone of Pakistan’s successful and calculated response to counter India’s aggression as it established minimum credible deterrence to ensure regional stability.


Proliferation history reveals that all nuclear states have justified their NWs citing security as primary factors. Pakistan and Israel are the only two states that have deployed nuclear capabilities due to existential threats. Whereas, a brief history of Indian NWs suggests that the Indian NW program was driven majorly by “Prestige” or “International Norms” because India wanted to emerge as a global power. During 1990s, I.K. Gujral (Famous politician and ambassador who also served as Prime Minister from 1997 to 1998) stated, “I have a third eye that can see into the doors of United Nations Security Council (UNSC), only with wealth and nuclear weapons can be a major power”, depicts the International Norms as the main cause of India NW program. Domestic politics also played a significant role but security seems last and less important due to the absence of existential threat. One can say that the Indian NW program was multi-casualty in which more than one factor was the driver of its Nuclear ambition.


Pakistan’s nuclear capability has played a critical role in establishing the balance of power in South Asia besides providing the country with a strategic advantage. In terms of the threat of a nuclear escalation, Pakistan has always acted sensibly and proportionally while avoiding an arms race in the region, despite India’s mad rush for defense acquisition. Pakistan has a very robust command and control system that prevents any accidental use. Not a single nuclear radiation accident has occurred in the country’s nuclear history with its reactors under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s safeguards. Pakistan’s pursuit of peaceful energy also met splendid success. Pakistan has established a comprehensive and effective national nuclear security regime that is at par with international standards and guidelines. In the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) 2020, Pakistan's credentials as a responsible nuclear state are well established.


Pakistan’s nuclear capability is not only a guarantor of peace and stability in the region but has also contributed to the energy sector to uplift the socio-economic of the country. Pakistan has a remarkable experience in safe and secure operations of nuclear power plants having the expertise and the ability to supply items. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has actively contributed to nuclear energy's peaceful applications. By addressing threats to national defense and meeting the expanding energy demands, Pakistan's nuclear technology has been instrumental in the growth of the country. To prevent South Asia from a nuclear arms race, Pakistan has put forward various proposals to India over the years: First, in 1974 to declare South Asia as a "nuclear-weapon-free zone"; Second, post-1998 proposal to establish a "Pakistan-India strategic restraint regime". Unfortunately, India has consistently rejected them and India's unwelcoming attitude has left Pakistan with limited options.


India’s irresponsible nuclear conduct, on the other hand, has always remained talk of the town. Recently, seizure of more than 7kg of natural uranium from unauthorized persons in India highlights the poor state of India's nuclear safety and security. The very fact that some people stole or illegally mined uranium raises serious concerns about nuclear safety and security in India and Indicates the possibility of a nuclear black- market existing in India that could be connected to international players. More worrying is the fact that the Indian nuclear arsenal is in the hands of an irresponsible extremist BJP government. Moreover, India has been a customer in the nuclear black market. India's hegemonic and nefarious designs, massive defense procurement operations, irresponsible nuclear safety procedures, belligerent policies, and the 2019 incident, when the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) experienced a cyberattack due to the plant's lack of awareness about its weaknesses, corroborate that it is not a responsible nuclear country.


Since the saffronisation of the Indian polity has endangered regional peace, the world community must play its role in resolving the Kashmir issue to reduce the chances of escalation between India and Pakistan. In post-Pulwama environment, the world needs to wake up to the horrible reality that India's nuclear stockpile is presently in the hands of Hindu fanatics who are imbued with expansionist Hindutva doctrine. The rogue nuclear state of India remains a looming threat to regional as well as global peace and stability. As recent mishaps raise serious concerns about the command and control system in existence in India, the world must be concerned about the safety of India's nuclear program and its delivery systems. By carefully monitoring and protecting the security of its nuclear facilities, Pakistan has displayed an exemplary responsible attitude in the role of nuclear power nation. Pakistan aims to continue doing so. As per its obligations under international non-proliferation regimes, Pakistan has adopted tight export restrictions to stop the spread of sensitive technologies and materials. In addition, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, Pakistan has effectively utilized nuclear technology. Power plants in Pakistan are producing electricity for many years with an excellent record of safeguarding IAEA. By looking into the facts and figures, one can say that India is not a nuclear responsible state but in reality, Pakistan is.

AdSense Advertisement
Advertisement
AdSense Advertisement
Advertisement

Comment / Reply From

Archive

Please select a date!

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the new updates!

AdSense Advertisement
Advertisement