…by Sajjad Shaukat for VT
Despite the repeated assurances of Pakistan’s military and civil leadership that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having well-coordinated command and control system, a deliberate propaganda campaign against the safety of these weapons keeps on going by the US, India and some Western countries who are acting upon the Zionist agenda to ‘denuclearize’ Pakistan.
As regards the security of Pakistan’s nukes, Islamabad has adopted potent measures as part of Nuclear Security Action Plan (NSAP), Mobile Expert Support Teams (MEST) and Nuclear Emergency Management System (NEMS) to respond and manage nuclear emergency and security.
Additionally, Strategic Plans Division (SPD) has deputed approximately 25,000 personals to safeguard Pakistan’s nuclear facilities with extensive barriers, detection systems, separate storage of nukes and security system to prevent unauthorized use and to meet international standards of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA).
Pakistan is the only nuclear country with zero incidents of mishap. All other nuclear states have such incidents on their credit, including US having maximum incidents of nuclear negligence.
Terrorist’s organizations do not have any access to the Pakistan’s nuclear assets. Pakistan’s security measures to protect nuclear assets against internal and external threats are among the best in the world.
Despite extensive safeguards in place, Pakistan’s nuclear activities are still considered unsafe by the US-Indo-Israeli-Western lobbies which have been propagating that the possibility of nuclear assets could go into the hands of terrorists. It is a pre-planned idea just to target Pakistan’s national security.
It is notable that in 2009 when the heavily-armed Taliban entered Pakistan’s towns of Swat, Dir and Buner, Zionist-led American high officials and their media had exaggerated the ‘Talibinisation’ of whole Pakistan, while showing concerns about country’s atomic arms. In that context, on April 22, 2009, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that Taliban “advances pose “an existential threat” to Pakistan, while on April 23, 2009, she had warned that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists.
When Pakistan’s armed forces ejected the Taliban insurgents out of Swat, Dir and Buner by breaking their backbone—capturing many militants, then, American high officials had admired the capabilities of Pak Army.
Similarly, when militants had attacked on Pakistan’s Naval Airbase in Karachi on May 23, 2011, Zionist-led US and some Western countries, including India and Israel exploited the situation by spreading disinformation about the security of Pak nukes.
In this regard, on June 9, 2011, the ex-US Defence Secretary and CIA Chief Leon Panetta told a US Senate committee, “There is a danger of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, falling into hands of terrorists.”
On May 24, 2011, the head of NATO in Afghanistan, Anders Fogh Rasmussen also said that he was confident that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe, but stated that security had become a matter of concern, the day after the worst assault on a Pakistani military base.
Speaking in the tone of the US-led West, on May 25, 2011, the then Indian Defence Minister AK Antony misperceived that India was “concerned about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal after a group of terrorists laid siege to a heavily guarded naval air base…Naturally it is a concern not only for us but for everybody our services are taking all precautions and are ready round-the-clock”.
Likewise, on August 20, 2012, terrorists’ assault on Kamra Airbase Base was successfully foiled by the personnel of Pakistan Air Force, but, a baseless report, published in the New York Times on the same day indicated that suspected militants attacked a major Pakistani Air Force base where some of the country’s nuclear weapons were considered to be stored in the early hours of the militants’ attack. The report also presumed, “The base is part of Pakistan s nuclear stockpile, estimated to include at least 100 warheads.”
It is mentionable that being the only nuclear country in the Islamic World, Pakistan was already on the hit-list of the US, India and Israel, including some Western countries. Based in Afghanistan, American CIA, Indian RAW, Israeli Mossad and British MI6 which have well-established their covert networks there and are well-penetrated in the terrorist outfits like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and their affiliated Taliban groups are using their terrorists to destabilize Pakistan by arranging the subversive activities such as target killings, suicide attacks, hostage-takings, sectarian and ethnic violence in various cities of the country.
Now, these foreign entities have also started backing the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) in order to weaken Pakistan through terrorist acts.
While, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan.
But, these Zionist-controlled foreign elements have, again, started terror attacks in Pakistan to show that nuclear weapons of the country are insecure.
Overtly, American high officials remark that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they continue to destabilize it to obtain the illegitimate interests of Israel.
Taking cognizance of the anti-Pakistan developments, Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had disclosed on June 7, 2011 that there was “accurate information…Americans are to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear facilities to find dominance over the country.” While, also indicating Zionist regime was behind the conspiracy, he elaborated that for this purpose, the US can also use “the United Nations Security Council and some other international organisations as tools to exercise pressure on Pakistan and weaken its national integrity.”
It is noteworthy that Indian nuclear weapons and their related-material are unprotected, as various cases of smuggling and theft have verified.
In July 1998, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation seized eight kg. of nuclear material from Arun, an engineer in Chennai, including two other engineers. It was reported that the uranium was stolen from an atomic research center. On November 7, 2000, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicated that Indian police had seized 57 pounds of uranium and arrested two men for illicit trafficking of radioactive material. IAEA said that Indian civil nuclear facilities were vulnerable to thefts.
On January 26, 2003, CNN disclosed that Indian company, NEC Engineers Private Ltd. shipped 10 consignments to Iraq, containing highly sensitive equipment including titanium vessels and centrifugal pumps. Indian investigators acknowledged that the company falsified customs documents to get its shipments out of India. On June 12, 2004, Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation, an American company was fined US $ 300,000 for exporting a nuclear component to the Bhaba Atomic Research Center in India.
In December 2005, United States imposed sanctions on two Indian firms for selling missile goods and chemical arms material to a Muslim country in violation of India’s commitment to prevent proliferation. In the same year, Indian scientists, Dr. Surendar and Y S R Prasad had been blacklisted by the US due to their involvement in nuclear theft. In December, 2006, container packed with radioactive material had been stolen from an Indian fortified research atomic facility near Mumbai.
However, owing to the collaboration of the officials with smugglers, proliferation of nuclear components and their related-material has continued from time to time by India.
In fact, the US President Barack Obama’s contradictory approach which has resulted into failure of America’s external policy in the Middle East has been meeting the same fate in South Asia. Recall that on September 25, 2008, Obama, while accusing President Bush’s policies in the region, offered it as part of his policy to encourage India and Pakistan to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and resolve the Kashmir problem to reduce nuclear dangers in South Asia and militancy in the region.
Quite contrary to his commitments, during his first visit to New Delhi, on November 6, 2010 President Obama announced the measures, America would take regarding removal of Indian space and defence companies from a restricted “entities list”, and supported Indian demand for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council including membership of four key global nuclear nonproliferation regimes.
And as part of the double standards, America set aside the Indian poor record regarding the safety of nuclear weapons and materials. Despite, Indian violations of various international agreements and its refusal to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Additional Protocol with the IAEA, Washington signed a pact of nuclear civil technology with New Delhi in 2008. During American President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, on January 25, 2016, the US and India announced a breakthrough on the pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology.
America also pressurized IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on larger scale.
Under the pretext of countering China, Washington has continued favouring India’s programme of advancement and modernization of nuclear weapons.
Evidences indicate that India has not fulfilled the conditions of the NSG waiver. At least, eight of India’s nuclear reactors are outside safeguards which are a big question mark on the credibility of its nuclear safety and security standards.
Two reports from the King’s College –respectively titled ‘India’s Nuclear Exceptionalism’ and ‘India’s Strategic Nuclear and Missile Program’ also claim that India has already accumulated nuclear material for over 2600 nuclear weapons, including all of its unsafeguarded reactor-grade plutonium, which is weapon-usable, and raised concerns over this stockpiling.
Nevertheless, arms deals with America, which include nuclear submarine and drone sales to New Delhi would increase Indian hegemonic designs in the region. And NSG’s membership of India will create concerns for regional strategic stability.
Besides obtaining atomic weapons from the US and other Western countries, New Delhi is, clandestinely, importing nuclear arms, components and submarines from Tel Aviv. In this connection, Zionist-led Indo-Israeli secret diplomacy could be assessed from the interview of Israel’s ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, published in the Indian weekly Outlook on February 18, 2008. Regarding India’s defense arrangements with Tel Aviv, Sofer had surprisingly revealed, “We do have a defense relationship with India, and “with all due respect, the secret part will remain a secret.”
It is worth-mentioning that President Obama had hosted the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on March 31, 2016 to check the spread of nuclear weapons, showing concerns about the ambitions of terrorist groups such as the ISIS in acquiring a nuclear weapon or radioactive material.
The US President Donald Trump had taken a different stand in his interview with the CNN by stating, “More nuclear weapons could make the world safer…US can no longer afford to bankroll the defense of its allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East…Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia may need arsenals to confront threats in their region on their own.”
Once, the power-theorist, Henry Kissinger had stated that true diplomacy runs in the barrel of gun. This is what Trump is determined to follow not only by increasing American nuclear arsenal, but also encouraging India and other countries like Israel in this respect.
Notably, from the very beginning, the CIA kept eye on the nuclear programme of Pakistan, which was taken as a threat to Zionists, Israel and India.
In this context, in an interview to a private TV channel on April 4, 2010, the former deputy chief of the US mission in Islamabad Gerald Feuerstein disclosed, “He was a witness to the meeting between former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in Lahore in August 1976…Kissinger came with a carrot and stick…since US elections were near and the Democrats were set to win them and wanted a tougher non-proliferation approach and might make Pakistan an example…Bhutto rejected the warning to disband Pakistan’s nuclear programme.”
Afterwards, Bhutto’s government was toppled in 1977 by a CIA-backed coup of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Zia-ul-Haq who hanged him through the court, which is still considered a judicial murder in Pakistan.
It is of particular attention that before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a deliberate disinformation campaign was launched by the CIA, Mossad and MI6 all over the world that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMDs). For that sinister aim, these agencies also funded and used some American and Western media. In that connection, a self-fabricated report was prepared by CIA about Iraq.
Afterwards, Iraq was attacked and occupied by the Anglo-American forces, but no WMDs were found. As a matter of fact, under the cover, main aim of the United States was to occupy the oil resources of that country and to obtain the political, economic and religious goals of the Zionist Jews.
We should remember that a well-coordinated campaign was also launched by the Zionist-led these entities about the atomic arsenal of the former Soviet Union when violent protests had taken place in various states and republics of that country. But nuclear weapons of the former Russia remained in safe custody.
Now, without bothering for internal backlash, the Zionist-led America has accelerated its pressure on Islamabad by insisting upon its old maximum to ‘do more’ against the militants of Al Qaeda, ISIS and Taliban.
Thus, by creating unrest in Pakistan, Washington wants to show to the Western countries that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are insecure and the same can fall into the hands of the militants of Al Qaeda and Taliban or ISIS, who can use these fatal arms inside Europe and American homeland. Under the pretext, the US and its Western allies will ask Islamabad to rollback its nuclear programme and to hand over its all nuclear assets to Washington.
Nonetheless, at present, strained relations exists between Islamabad and Washington, as the latter is implementing double game against Pakistan by sponsoring terrorism. Hence, Pakistan’s reliable online sources suggest that the US, India and some Western powers, who are acting upon the Zionist agenda to ‘denuclearize’ Pakistan, are likely to accelerate their propaganda campaign regarding the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations