Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Denuclearising Pakistan

November 30, 2010

A woman walks past a Pakistan national flag on display at a sidewalk in Lahore August 13, 2010. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza/Files

At about the time WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, including one related to a secret attempt to remove enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor, a top Pakistani military official held a briefing for journalists that focused on U.S.-Pakistan ties.

Dawn’s Cyril Almeida has written a piece based on the officer’s comments made on the condition of anonymity, and they offer the closest glimpse you can possibly get of the troubled ties between the allies.

First off, as the officer says, Pakistan has gone from being the “most sanctioned ally” to the “most bullied ally” of the United States. Presumably the sanctions that the officer is referring to relate to those imposed  on Pakistan following its nuclear tests in 1998. And as for the most bullied ally the other comments offer a clue: 

These include and I quote from Almeida’s piece:

“The U.S. still has a transactional relationship with Pakistan; the U.S. is interested in perpetuating a state of controlled chaos; and perhaps most explosively given the WikiLeaks revelations, the “real aim of U.S. strategy is to de-nuclearise Pakistan.”

U.S. and Pakistani security interests aren’t the same including over Afghanistan and India, the military officer says. And while Islamabad understood America’s growing focus on North Waziristan, it had to first settle South Waziristan and also factor in the blowback any operation in the area would stoke. The officer intriguingly also talks about indications that parties in the conflict in Afghanistan can renounce al Qaeda and even ask it to leave Afghanistan. In other words he is suggesting  that the Taliban are  ready to break ties with al Qaeda  and if so that removes a big obstacle to peace talks.

But clearly the most significant revelation from the briefing which reflects  frank exchanges between the upper echelons of the Pakistan military and the Obama administration is the one about the the nuclear disarmament of Pakistan. There isn’t any further elaboration in Almeida’s article but taken together with the WikiLeaks disclosures  it seems to confirm the Pakistani people’s worst fears. America is on its borders and its overriding objective is to eliminate Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, its national asset and deterrent against much larger and nuclear-armed India. Indeed the whole idea that the United States has Pakistan’s nuclear programme in its sights just as it has virtually recognised India as a legitimate nuclear weapon state must rankle deep across Pakistan.

“The people of Pakistan measure the strength of U.S.-Pak relations on the scale of the U.S.-India partnership,” the military officer is quoted as saying.

According to WikiLeaks,  the United States has been secretly trying to convince Pakistan to allow it to remove uranium from a research reactor on fears it may be stolen or diverted for use in a nuclear device. But Pakistan has refused visits from American experts, according to a May 2009 report by former U.S. Ambassador Anne W.Patterson because “If the local media got word of the fuel removal, they would certainly portray it as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,” a Pakistani official told her.

The question is which reactor the Americans are talking about? Top Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy thinks the report probably refers to the enriched uranium that Pakistan received under the Atoms for Peace programme that America  ran for several countries including India back in the 1960s. He told the Christian Science Monitor that the only reactor running on highly enriched uranium was a small 5mw facility at PINSTECH closed to Islamabad. Pakistan whose weapons programme is based on the uranium enrichment route rather than plutonium has since built its own capability. Any attempt to remove the uranium from that particular reactor is not going to impair its nuclear  programme.

Comments

Pakistan: ” wish Indians would reform the education system so that your attitude towards other communities of the world does not reflect the inferiority complex!”

Would you mind providing some examples about Indian education system reflecting inferiority complex? We are all waiting with eagerness.

You write in another thread that to know Islam one has to know Arabic and have to have lived or visited Arabia. Have you visited India? How long did you stay there? What do you know about India? What do you know about its educational system? How did you figure out that it reflects inferiority complex? Education is not on history alone. Education covers a wide variety of subjects varying from math, physics, biology, chemistry, social sciences, languages and so on. Where do they impart inferiority complex? India’s current educational system is modeled after that of the British system. Some of its technical and business schools rank in the top 100 in the world.

Do you have any idea which century you are living on? What has Germany given you in terms of vision and outlook? Your expressions here show gross level of ignorance of the contemporary world. You should try to take the thing that is covering your eyes.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Definitely!!!!!!!!!!!! a nation that can not uphold the rule of law in its own borders or secure its external borders does not qualify to maintain a nuclear bomb. It should be operate by the UN security council or IAEA!!!! ASAP!!!! & India on the same note, does not qualify for nuclear bombs.
No nation within a certain radius of the Holy city of Jerusalem should be allowed to have nuclear bombs!!!
Ancient history around the middle east should be classed a no nuclear zone!!!
the trio Religion should make a pact of peace!!!!
not New World Order, but New World Peace!!!!

Posted by rizo7 | Report as abusive
 

Both India and Pakistan needs independent education system, not a British, not an american or a Russian etc. I have found Pakistani people people

To be able to communicate with others one needs to be civil and not use counterproduczive commMost people Politeness

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

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