Pakistan’s Nuclear Program: Startling Disclosures by Defense Secretary
Establishing a spy network in Pakistan, mistrusting Pakistan's army and intelligence, adopting a double standard with regard to its nuclear program: These features will never make the U.S. popular among the people of Pakistan.
Translated By Fauzia Iqbal
30 December 2012
Edited by Mary Young
Pakistan - Nawai-Waqt - Original Article (Urdu)
Speaking to journalists at the Ministry of Defense, the defense secretary, retired Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin said that the U.S. and Britain are opposed to Pakistan's nuclear program; Pakistan's nuclear assets, however, are in safe hands. America also employs agencies of other countries against Pakistan. It has, however, provided a complete list of the CIA agents present in Pakistan. Pakistan's relations with America were forged at a new level for mutual benefit, but a change has appeared in the Americans’ tone and attitude toward Pakistan.
The facts disclosed by the defense secretary in his conversation with newspaper journalists are being presented in the media as startling revelations, but, one way or another, the nation was already aware of most of these realities.
There is no doubt that under the leadership of the superpower America, opposition to Pakistan's nuclear program is being systematically fostered throughout the world. The founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had waved around a letter from Kissinger, while announcing at the Raja Bazar [a mosque in the city of Rawalpindi] that, as a consequence of Pakistan's nuclear program, he had received the gift of a threat from the U.S. of being targeted for a dire lesson. The reason that America did not oppose the toppling of the Nawaz Sharif government was that the latter was not prepared to accept a bundle of dollars in exchange for not taking Pakistan’s nuclear program to the testing stage. The U.S. and Europe are adopting a hypocritical and mixed policy with regard to Pakistan's atomic program, whereas India's establishment as a nuclear power and Israel's nuclear program are more than merely tolerated. The enacting of the Civil Nuclear Agreement with India not only acknowledged its nuclear program but also furnished it with the opportunity to become a member of the world atomic club. When India carried out an atomic explosion in Pokhran in May 1974, not a wrinkle appeared on the forehead of any world power. Later, when it completed its series of nuclear explosions in 1998, there was only a slight protest — limited to words. In contrast, when Pakistan took the same step in an effort to maintain the balance of power in South Asia, it raised an enormous tumult. Being the sole atomic power of the Islamic world is a distinction for Pakistan, but it is the cause of acute concern for the American leadership and Western countries. Conversely, the Israeli nuclear program, which is an instrument of further oppression of the Palestinian state, has the benefit of American help and full cooperation. If the objection raised against signing a civil technology treaty with Pakistan was that Pakistan's signature is not present on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it should be pointed out that there are three countries — Pakistan, India, and Israel — that are not signatories on the treaty. The difference is very clear as to which country’s nuclear program is the subject of severe complaints from the U.S. and which two countries’ nuclear programs have its full cooperation and help.
Reports concerning the activities of U.S. agencies in Pakistan are often broadcast and published in the media; they are believed by some and rejected by others. Now the secretary of defense is telling us that the U.S. employs not only its own agencies but also the agencies of other countries “against” Pakistan. At the same time, the list of CIA agents in Pakistan is claimed to be complete. Agents of secret agencies are to be found in every country. But the numbers in which foreign agents have been operating in Pakistan for the last few years and the nature of their objectives are such that they can be regarded as harmful to Pakistan's national interest. The secretary’s expressed resolve that foreign agents will not be allowed to carry out their undercover activities is a matter of relief. For this we will have to improve our intelligence system and fashion it along modern lines. Immediately after entering individuals in the list of hidden enemies, among which Raymond Davis can be cited as an example, the conspiracies being conducted by such elements should be totally destroyed, or they should be ousted from the country.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s* announcement in an on-camera parliamentary session that foreign agents are operating in Baluchistan, Karachi and FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] is not enough. Rather, all necessary steps need to be taken to exterminate such elements, as it is the need of the hour and necessary for the national interest. Here it is also necessary to point out that the agents present in Pakistan are not only from Western countries; they belong to many other countries as well. In the current situation the need is for a national resolve, and if the interests of some friendly countries are hurt as a result of this, even then we should not worry, because, above all, we need to safeguard our own interests.
The relationship of military cooperation and military aid is still operative between Pakistan and the U.S., and this should remain so. With regard to Pakistan's defense preparations, the U.S. also knows that this preparation is for our traditional rival, India; no superpower gives military aid for use against itself. Nonetheless, establishing a spy network in Pakistan, mistrusting Pakistan's army and intelligence, adopting a double standard with regard to its nuclear program: These features will never make the U.S. popular among the people of Pakistan.
Pakistan cannot compete with India in the arms race; however, it has the right to take the same steps for its defense as are taken by its enemy. It was to safeguard itself from India's aggression that Pakistan resolved to become an atomic power. Ever since Pakistan became an atomic power, India has not dared to cast foul looks in its direction. Nevertheless, it certainly continues to conspire to destabilize Pakistan. The nuclear program is the nation's greatest asset and the key to making Pakistan's defense invincible. With regard to its quality and safety, India's program is undoubtedly far inferior. Incidents of nuclear material being stolen have taken place in India on multiple occasions. Numerous nuclear scientists have been kidnapped and killed. Several explosions have taken place in its power plants. The international community’s reservations should be about India's nuclear program. Yet, it is Pakistan — whose nuclear program has always been secure — that is targeted. The defense secretary has assured the nation that its nuclear program is in safe hands. Nothing should ever be overlooked in making it foolproof. Regardless of the many weaknesses of our leadership, our nuclear program is the guarantee of Pakistan’s existence, well-being, security and invincible defense. The U.S. needs to abandon its double standard and patronize the nuclear programs of Pakistan, India and Israel alike.
* Editor’s Note: Malik was interior minister until June 2012; he now holds the position of adviser to the prime minister on interior affairs.
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