US-Pakistan Civil Nuclear Deal

"The Pakistani establishment, as we saw in 1998 with the nuclear test, does not view assistance -- even sizable assistance to their own entities -- as a trade-off for national security vis-a-vis India". US Ambassador Anne Patterson, September 23, 2009

Having failed to persuade, intimidate, bribe and sanction Pakistan to abandon its nuclear weapons program, there are credible reports that Washington is now ready to accept Pakistan as a legitimate nuclear weapons state in exchange for limiting the range of the country's ballistic missiles.

Washington is abuzz with the news of major think tank analyses and credible media reports indicating that the October 22, 2015 Obama-Sharif summit agenda includes US-Pakistan civil nuclear deal along the lines of India-US civilian nuclear deal.

According to a Washington Post report, the deal with Pakistan centers around a civilian nuclear agreement similar to the one the United States arrived at with India, in exchange for a Pakistani commitment that would "restrict its nuclear program to weapons and delivery systems that are appropriate to its actual defense needs against India's nuclear threat."

As part of such a deal,  the United States will support an eventual waiver for Pakistan by the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, of which the United States is a member. At U.S. urging, that group agreed to exempt India from rules that banned nuclear trade with countries that evaded the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This so-called “civil nuclear agreement” allowed India partial entry into the club of nuclear powers, in exchange for its willingness to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to its civilian program, according to the Washington Post's veteran columnist David Ignatius.

Prior to the Washington Post report, the Washington-based Stimson Center and the Carnegie Endowment think tanks published a 20,000-word essay on Pakistan’s nuclear program and diplomatic ambitions last week. Written by Toby Dalton and Michael Krepon and titled "Nuclear Mainstream", it recommends Pakistan to agree to meet five conditions for its nuclear mainstreaming:

(1) Shift from the full spectrum deterrence to strategic deterrence

(2) Limit production of tactical weapons or short range delivery weapons

3) Become amenable to talks on the fissile material cut off treaty (FMCT)

4) Delineate civil and military nuclear programs

5) Sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

Given Pakistan's growing energy needs,  the country will most likely engage with the United States to try and get a stamp of legitimacy from the NSG. However, the Washington Posts's Ignatius believes that such "negotiations would be slow and difficult, and it's not clear that Islamabad would be willing to accept the limitations that would be required." Meanwhile, the issue is being discussed quietly in the run-up to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington on October 22.

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses US-Pak Civil Nuclear Deal and other subjects with panelists Ali Hasan Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

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Related Links:

Haq's Musings

US Must Accept Pakistan as Legitimate Nuclear Weapons State

Pakistan's Shaheen 3 Can Hit Deep Inside India and Israel

India-US Civilian Nuclear Deal 

Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb

Gen Kidwai on Pakistan 2nd Strike Capability and Nuclear Triad

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?


Riaz Haq said…
The discussions are being led by Peter R. Lavoy, a longtime intelligence expert on the Pakistani program who is now on the staff of the National Security Council. White House officials declined to comment on the talks ahead of Mr. Sharif’s visit.

But the central element of the proposal, according to other officials and outside experts, would be a relaxation of the strict controls imposed on Pakistan by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a loose affiliation of nations that try to control the proliferation of weapons.

“If Pakistan would take the actions requested by the United States, it would essentially amount to recognition of rehabilitation and would essentially amount to parole,” said George Perkovich, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has maintained contacts with the Pakistani nuclear establishment.

“I think it’s worth a try,” Mr. Perkovich said. “But I have my doubts that the Pakistanis are capable of doing this.”

David Ignatius, a columnist for The Washington Post, first disclosed the exploratory talks in a column a week ago. Since then, several other officials and outside experts have talked in more detail about the effort, although the White House has refused to comment.


But American leverage has been hard to find. Unlike Iran, Pakistan never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the international agreement that prohibits nations, except for existing declared nuclear states like the United States, from possessing a nuclear arsenal. Pakistan is not alone in that distinction: India and Israel also have not signed.

(North Korea left the treaty two decades ago.)

Ordinarily, any country’s refusal to sign the treaty would preclude American nuclear cooperation. So Pakistani officials remain angry with the American decision to enter an agreement with India in 2005 allowing India to buy civil nuclear technology, even though it remains outside the treaty and put no limits on its nuclear program. Under that agreement, India’s nuclear infrastructure was split with a civilian program that is under international inspection, and a military program that is not.

Pakistani officials have demanded the same arrangement.

That does not appear to be on the table. Instead, the United States is exploring ways to relax restrictions on nuclear-related technology to Pakistan, perhaps with a long-term goal of allowing the country to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which regulates the sale of the technology. That would be largely symbolic: Pakistan manages to import or make what it needs for its nuclear arsenal, and China has already broken ground on a $9.6 billion nuclear power complex in Karachi. Mr. Sharif presided over the ceremony.
Riaz Haq said…
The United States will discuss concerns about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal during a visit to Washington next week by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the White House said on Thursday.

The News York Times reported on Thursday that the Obama administration was concerned that Pakistan might be on the verge of deploying a small tactical nuclear weapon that would be harder to protect from falling into hands of militants.

The paper said the administration was also seeking to prevent Pakistan deploying missiles that could reach beyond its main foe India, and was thus exploring a possible deal to limit the Pakistani arsenal that could involve relaxing restrictions on access to nuclear technology.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest played down the prospect of an agreement when asked if there was a serious effort to reach a deal with Pakistan on nuclear technology in the run-up to Sharif visit, which is expected to start on Tuesday.

"I would not be overly excited about the prospects of reaching the kind of agreement that is being speculated about publicly," he told a regular news briefing, adding that it was "not likely to come to fruition next week.

"But the United States and Pakistan are regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security. And I would anticipate that dialogue would include conversations between the leaders of our two countries."

Earnest added that the administration was confident the Pakistani government was "well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal" and that "Pakistan has a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance and the high priority that the world places on nuclear security."
Riaz Haq said…
FACT SHEET: #US-#Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership. #renewables
Under the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership, the United States will work with the Government of Pakistan to advance energy sector reforms, improve the investment framework, and make targeted investments that will enable U.S., Pakistani, and international private sector developers to add at least 3,000 megawatts (MW) of clean power generation infrastructure to Pakistan’s national electricity system, benefitting 30 million Pakistanis.

To advance the goals of the Clean Energy Partnership, the U.S. and Pakistan will work to:

Strengthen regulatory institutions and develop market-based rules that attract increased local and international private investment, and continue to support Pakistan’s necessary reforms in the energy sector, such as improvement and privatization of the distribution system;
Develop an investment plan for expanding the role of clean energy systems;
Expand transmission capacity for clean energy projects through on-budget U.S. assistance to selected transmission infrastructure; and,
Mobilize loans, grants, technical assistance, guarantees, and public-private partnerships needed to manage and reduce investor risks and leverage private capital into clean power generation projects.
Areas of cooperation envisioned under the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership are:

Catalyze private-sector energy investments: The United States will provide technical assistance, risk guarantees, and targeted investments in supporting energy infrastructure (e.g., transmission lines) to enhance Government of Pakistan (GOP) efforts to attract private funding. This assistance will: (1) increase private-sector led generation capacity, (2) expand transmission system capacity, (3) enhance distribution system profitability, and (4) improve power sector governance by supporting GOP power sector reform efforts. USAID will also work closely with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and multilateral development banks to bring additional financial resources to the table in support of enhanced private sector investment. In September 2015, the OPIC Board of Directors approved a loan guaranty of up to $250 million for transmission and distribution infrastructure improvements at K-Electric, Karachi’s power distribution company. OPIC has also executed loan agreements facilitating U.S. private sector investment in five wind projects amounting to 250 MW of generating capacity in Sindh province.
Highlight Pakistan’s energy opportunities: The Pakistani and the U.S. governments will hold a Clean Energy Business Opportunities Conference in December 2015, which will highlight the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership and private sector investment opportunities in Pakistan’s natural gas, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and other clean energy projects.
Riaz Haq said…
#Obama meeting with #Pakistan's leader yields accords on #education, #energy via @usatoday

President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went into their White House meeting Thursday with the situation in Afghanistan and nuclear security high on the agenda. They came out of the meeting with accords on clean energy and education.

The two countries said that they would cooperate on new efforts to help Pakistan keep up with a demand for electricity expected to double over 15 years, including a $250 million loan guarantee for transmission and distribution. And they pledged to cooperate on a girls education initiative, in which U.S. Agency for International Development will spend $70 million to provide access to schooling for 200,000 Pakistani girls. Pakistan previously promised to double its education spending and allow more opportunities for girls.

There were no announcements on counterterrorism efforts, nuclear security, arms sales or other issues.

"For good reason, the counterterrorism linkage gets a lot of attention," White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said. "But for the president, our approach to deepening those relationships is broader than just the counterterrorism."

U.S. officials have long suspected Pakistan of supporting groups with links to the Afghan Taliban, but the White House said Thursday that Pakistani efforts to crack down have had a "significant impact."

"They've targeted terrorist sanctuaries and have restored government control to parts of Pakistan that have previously been safe havens for terrorists," Schultz said.

Sharif's visit to the Oval Office — his first in two years — comes a week after Obama reversed plans to drawn down U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which shares an often lawless border with Pakistan that's long been a haven for terrorists and extremists. Obama now says at least 5,500 troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2017 to stabilize an increasingly volatile security environment..

Another area of concern: Nuclear security. A new report Thursday by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Pakistan has increased its nuclear arsenal to as many as 130 warheads, a number that could double over the next decade as it jockeys with regional rival India.

State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that there was "a lot to talk about."

"We’re going to continue to hold regular discussions with Pakistan on a range of issues to include nuclear security," he said Wednesday. "And Pakistan, I would note, is engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues. I’d also note that they have a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance of nuclear security."
Riaz Haq said…
FACT SHEET: The United States And #Pakistan – Announcing New Partnership To Advance Girls #Education

Today, the United Strates and Pakistan pledged a new partnership to further adolescent girls’ education in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan, as announced by Prime Minister Sharif in Oslo in July, will double spending for education in Pakistan, from two to four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2018 and increase girls’ enrollment in school. This will support improving girls’ access to education. The government will also increase the provision of female teachers and necessary physical factors such as boundary walls and adequate toilets in girls’ schools. In addition, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is committing $70 million and will work jointly with the Government of Pakistan and other partners to help educate and empower more than 200,000 additional adolescent girls across Pakistan by:

Bridging the Schooling Gap in Conflict and Disaster-Affected Areas through the construction and rehabilitation of schools, and by providing access to basic education for adolescent girls in internally displaced or conflict-affected communities.
Improving the Teaching and Learning Environment through improved reading instruction and materials and community mobilization to create a culture of reading.
Engaging Civil Society and Communities through small grants for innovative activities to address barriers, improve equitable access to quality education, and build local capacity to improve adolescent girls’ education and empowerment.
Building Skills for School and Beyond by providing training, scholarships, and internships for adolescent girls that create paths to higher education, entrepreneurship, and employment.
Providing Scholarships for girls to attend a year of high school in the United States and live with a host family.
Build a Foundation of English Language Skills for underrepresented 13- to 18-year-olds through two-year programs of after-school classes and intensive immersion activities.
Create Economic Opportunities through skill building and training, securing income and employment for girls, and expanding the skilled labor force with public and private partners.
Champion the Cause of Adolescent Girls’ Education and Affect Social Change by promoting public-private partnerships with public and civil society leaders in Pakistan.
Expand Education and Career Options by bringing underprivileged Pakistani high school girls to top U.S. universities to explore a wide range of professions.
Investing in girls’ education will help the many adolescent girls in Pakistan who still face barriers to education from an early age due to poverty, cultural norms, violence, insecurity, and geographic isolation. Girls are less likely to enter primary schools than boys, and face barriers to accessing and completing their education through each stage of the education system. Empowering girls and ensuring them access to quality education has long-term, transformational benefits for their future, for their families and communities, and for Pakistan’s economic prosperity overall. We count on Pakistan’s commitment to achieve the education targets laid out in the global Sustainable Development Goals and Education for All-Framework for Action.
Riaz Haq said…
White House FACT SHEET: US-#Pakistan Augmented Joint Action Plan for Trade and Investment. #Obama #NawazSharif

The United States and Pakistan have a mutual interest in expanding bilateral trade and investment. The United States is Pakistan’s largest export destination and one of the largest sources of investment in Pakistan. The Augmented Plan builds on the successful implementation of the Joint Action Plan on Trade and Investment and adds the following components:

Organizing Trade Missions and Business Delegations
The Department of Commerce will facilitate private sector engagement through its International Buyer Program and Special American Business Internship Program and explore opportunities for high-level trade missions to the United States.

Expanding Utilization of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences)
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will enhance current outreach and training efforts to boost GSP utilization. USTR is prepared to assist the Government of Pakistan in identifying and petitioning for additional GSP tariff lines and to obtain eligibility for exports of goods under newly GSP-eligible travel goods tariff lines.

Strengthening the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) Sector
The United States will help upgrade the capabilities of the ready-made garments (RMG) sector through support of vocational centers dedicated to RMG and improvements in industry labor conditions. U.S. assistance will also help scale-up Pakistan’s International Labor Organization (ILO)-International Labor Standards (ILS) Textile program and support the launch of an ILO “Better Work Program.” Also, the United States will support an investment event in New York to highlight opportunities in Pakistan’s RMG industry and other sectors.

Making the Business Opportunity Conference a Regularly Scheduled Event
The Business Opportunities Conferences (BOCs) will become a regularly scheduled event overseen by a standing bi-national committee responsible for its organization.

Women’s Economic Empowerment
Through the Memorandum of Understanding on Women’s Empowerment, use the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to integrate women entrepreneurs into all aspects of our bilateral trade and investment agenda, including business-to-business events, agriculture, GSP outreach, labor, and entrepreneurship.

Facilitating Pakistan Becoming an Observer in the U.S.-Central Asia TIFA
The United States will sponsor Pakistan’s admission as an Observer to the six-nation U.S.-Central Asia (CA) TIFA, to be formalized during the CA TIFA Council meeting in November 2015 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, if desired.

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
The United States will support Pakistan’s efforts to ratify and implement the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), including through technical assistance provided to Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue and other governmental and industry representatives of the National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee.

WTO Agreement on Government Procurement
To enhance Pakistan’s access to U.S. and other government procurement markets, the United States will support Pakistan’s accession to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (AGP) through the provision of technical assistance, particularly with regard to bringing Pakistan’s government procurement laws and regulations into conformity with AGP eligibility standards.

Future Procurement Opportunities
The Department of Commerce and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will assist Pakistan in building its capacity in sanitary, safety, and other standards required of U.S. Government procurements. Pakistani vendors will also be eligible to bid on select Department of Defense procurement opportunities that are in direct support of operations in Afghanistan.
Riaz Haq said…
2015 Joint Statement By President #Obama And PM #NawazSharif. #US #Pakistan #Economy #Energy #Education #Health


Economic Growth, Trade, and Investment

The President and Prime Minister affirmed that economic growth in Pakistan provides the surest foundation for the prosperity of its people and the security of the region.


Education and Civil Society Cooperation

President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif emphasized the value of investing in higher and basic education. Reflecting this, the United States and Pakistan re-instituted an Education, Science and Technology Working Group under the bilateral Strategic Dialogue, and in June, launched three University Centers for Advanced Studies in agriculture, energy, and water research. This is in addition to nineteen existing university partnerships between U.S. and Pakistani institutions and the highest-funded Fulbright scholarship program in the world. Welcoming the establishment of the “U.S.-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor” in June 2015, the two leaders directed their respective governments to intensify cooperation within this important framework in consonance with the priorities set out in Pakistan’s Vision 2025.

Climate Change and Energy

President Obama reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to strong cooperation in the energy sector. The leaders announced the formation of a new U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership, based on the initial work of the April 2015 Energy Working Group under the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. At its core, the Partnership aims to facilitate private sector investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, including generation, transmission, and distribution.

Promoting Global Health

President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif discussed the importance of enhancing measurable capability of Pakistan to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases. Building from that shared understanding, they reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), including a mutually-developed five-year plan to achieve the GHSA targets and advance the World Health Organization International Health Regulations, with a view to advance global cooperation across sectors to counter biological threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberate.

Regional Security and Counterterrorism

President Obama condemned the December 2014 terrorist attack by the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in which 140 school children were killed.



Recognizing the opportunities and challenges presented by information and communications technologies, President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif affirmed that international cooperation is essential to make cyberspace secure and stable. Both leaders endorsed the consensus report of the 2015 UN Group of Governmental Experts in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security. The leaders looked forward to further multilateral engagement, and discussion of cyber issues as part of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

Defense Cooperation

Taking note of the robust bilateral defense cooperation between their two countries, including recent military engagements, exercises, and consultations on regional security, President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif expressed satisfaction with the cooperation achieved in defense relations and reaffirmed that this partnership should endure.

Strategic Stability, Nuclear Security, and Nonproliferation

President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif recognized the shared interest in strategic stability in South Asia. The two leaders underscored that all sides should continuously act with maximum restraint and work jointly toward strengthening strategic stability in South Asia. They acknowledged the importance of regional balance and stability in South Asia and pursuing increased transparency and uninterrupted dialogue in support of peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes.
Riaz Haq said…
#US-#Pakistan bonhomie angers #India. #Delhi objects to ref to "strategic stability" in joint statement. TheHindu …

External Affairs Ministry says offer of F-16 fighter jets will affect regional stability in South Asia.

ndia on Friday took exception to the American appreciation for Pakistan’s anti-terror operations and the American pledge to provide eight F-16 aircraft to the Pakistan Air Force.

At a weekly press conference, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup, said: “Our reservations about providing such platforms [F-16] to Pakistan are well known and all countries are aware of India’s position in such cases.” He said supply of such strategic platforms to Pakistan could not help South Asia, especially in view of reports that Pakistan had acquired tactical and miniaturised battlefield nuclear weapons.

The joint statement issued at the end of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington DC has been criticised in Indian policy circles as it entrusts Pakistan with maintaining “strategic stability” in South Asia. Experts have argued that the American decision-makers have misread Pakistani commitment to strategic stability in South Asia, especially since gifting the F-16 jets will further embolden Pakistan’s reckless nuclear establishment. “Pakistan is already the largest owner of nuclear weapons in South Asia. It is a known beneficiary of a clandestine nuclear programme. How can strategic stability in South Asia be maintained by gifting fighter jets to a country which has violated all norms of regional peace and stability,” asked Ajay Lele of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

That apart, India has also expressed reservations about the support President Barack Obama has extended to securing finances for the Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams in Gilgit Baltistan which India believes cannot be built because of it is in an area under “illegal occupation of Pakistan.” The joint statement repeatedly referred to Pakistan’s need to deal with issues arising out of water and energy issues and both sides have also joined hands for researching on water to help Pakistan.

The joint statement was dissected critically by India which finds the Obama-Sharif call for dialogue on Kashmir an irritant. That apart, India has been surprised by the description of “terrorism as of mutual concern” between India and Pakistan.

“The Pakistan Prime Minister has agreed to act on the Haqqani Network, which is in keeping with the promise made by the United States in the joint statement of January 25, 2015 in New Delhi,” the spokesperson said, hinting at the fact that the Obama-Sharif joint statement makes a contradictory point by conceding Pakistani role in promoting terrorism. Mr. Sharif who promised to act on the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) reaffirmed in the US that “Pakistan’s territory will not be used against any other country.”

India, however, maintains that the fighter aircraft promised to Pakistan will not immediately be handed over to the Pakistan Air Force and the U.S. Congress will examine the proposal carefully.
Riaz Haq said…
Declassified US documents reveal #India planned attack on #Pakistan nuclear facilities at #Kahuta in 1985. #nukes …

Last week, the US State department declassified its top-secret documents from 1984-85 which focus on the Pakistani nuclear programme. The CIA analysis, and the talking points for the US Ambassador to Islamabad while handing over President Ronald Reagan’s letter to General Zia-ul Haq, show that the US warned Pakistan about an Indian military attack on the Pakistani nuclear reactor at Kahuta. But the Americans were not alone in anticipating an Indian attack. Prof Rajesh Rajagopalan of JNU recently pointed to The End of the Cold War and the Third World: New Perspectives on Regional Conflict, a book by Sergey Radchenko and Artemy M. Kalinovsky based on the declassified documents of the Eastern Block. Radchenko says that documents in the Hungarian archives show that the Soviets had shared with the Hungarians India’s plans to attack Kahuta. It is not clear though, Rajagopalan says, if the Soviets actually had access to any Indian plans or were only reporting widespread rumours. The rumours were indeed widespread, and The Washington Post had run a front-page story on December 20, 1982 headlined, ‘India said to eye raid on Pakistan’s A-plants’. It said military advisers had proposed an attack to prime minister Indira Gandhi in March 1982 but she had rejected it. In his book, India’s Nuclear Policy —1964-98: A Personal Recollection, K Subrahmanyam recollected that the Indian proposal to Pakistan for non-attack on each other’s nuclear facilities, which he suggested to Rajiv Gandhi, was an outcome of such rumours in the Western media. Although the ‘Agreement on the Non-Attack of Nuclear Facilities between Indian and Pakistan’ was first verbally agreed upon in 1985, it was formally signed in 1988 and ratified in 1991. Since 1992, India and Pakistan have been exchanging the list of their nuclear facilities on January 1 every year. -

But how close was India to attacking Kahuta in the 1980s? The first time India is believed to have considered such an attack is in 1981. The idea obviously originated from the daring Israeli attack of June 7, 1981, that destroyed the under-construction Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. Eight F-16s of the Israeli Air Force flew more than 600 miles in the skies of three enemy nations to destroy the target and returned unscathed. In 1996, WPS Sidhu, senior fellow for foreign policy at Brookings India, was the first to state that after the induction of Jaguars, Indian Air Force (IAF) had conducted a brief study in June 1981 on the feasibility of attacking Kahuta. The study concluded that India could “attack and neutralise” Kahuta but feared that such an attack would result in a full-blown war between India and Pakistan. This was besides the concerns that an Indian attack will beget an immediate retaliatory — some say, even pre-emptive
Riaz Haq said…
The Hindu Op Ed on Nawaz Sharif visit to Washington:

The visit and its stated outcomes undermine an increasingly fashionable strategic theory that an emerging polarisation is giving shape to two axes in South Asia – Pakistan and China on the one side and the U.S. and India on the other. As a U.S. official who briefed the Indian media put it candidly, the U.S. has global intentions that will not allow it to choose between Pakistan and India, or tilt towards either of them. He went on to clarify that relations with Pakistan and India stand on their individual merits. India should not misread the energy and intensity in its relationship with the U.S., demonstrated most recently during the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue and the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama last month, as U.S. willingness to jettison Pakistan. Pakistan continues to leverage its strategic location at the frontier of Afghanistan and China, and to a lesser extent, India. The U.S. appears clear that its South Asia policy involves a composite approach involving India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in its search for stability and peace, as well as of the fact that Pakistan is an important partner in the fight against global terrorism. The joint statement and the anticipated decisions – which will possibly include the sale of new F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan and the continuation of the Coalition Support Fund beyond 2016 – make it clear that the U.S. cannot afford to, and will not, overlook Pakistan’s significance as a regional strategic player. It will be unwise and ill-advised for India to assume it would be so.
Riaz Haq said…
The #India-#Pakistan Nuclear Nightmare. Tactical Nukes, Intolerance, #BJP #Kashmir

Persuading Pakistan to rein in its nuclear weapons program should be an international priority. The major world powers spent two years negotiating an agreement to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which doesn’t have a single nuclear weapon. Yet there has been no comparable investment of effort in Pakistan, which, along with India, has so far refused to consider any limits at all.

The Obama administration has begun to address this complicated issue with greater urgency and imagination, even though the odds of success seem small. The recent meeting at the White House on Oct. 22 between President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan appears to have gone nowhere. Yet it would be wrong not to keep trying, especially at a time of heightened tensions between Pakistan and India over Kashmir and terrorism.

What’s new about the administration’s approach is that instead of treating the situation as essentially hopeless, it is now casting about for the elements of a possible deal in which each side would get something it wants. For the West, that means restraint by Pakistan and greater compliance with international rules for halting the spread of nuclear technology. For Pakistan, that means some acceptance in the family of nuclear powers and access to technology.

At the moment, Pakistan is a pariah in the nuclear sphere to all but China; it has been punished internationally ever since it followed India’s example and tested a weapon in 1998. Pakistan has done itself no favors by refusing to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and by giving nuclear know-how to bad actors like North Korea. Yet, it is seeking treatment equal to that given to India by the West.

For decades, India was also penalized for developing nuclear weapons. But attitudes shifted in 2008 when the United States, seeking better relations with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as a counterweight to China, gave India a pass and signed a generous nuclear cooperation deal that allowed New Delhi to buy American nuclear energy technology.


Such moves would undoubtedly be in Pakistan’s long-term interest. It cannot provide adequate services for its citizens because it spends about 25 percent of its budget on defense. Pakistan’s army, whose chief of staff is due to visit Washington this month, says it needs still more nuclear weapons to counter India’s conventional arsenal.

The competition with India, which is adding to its own nuclear arsenal, is a losing game, and countries like China, a Pakistan ally, should be pushing Pakistan to accept that. Meanwhile, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has done nothing to engage Islamabad on security issues, and he also bears responsibility for current tensions. The nuclear arms race in South Asia, which is growing more intense, demands far greater international attention.
Riaz Haq said…
#India’s casual approach to guarding its #nuclear sites ranks it 23 among 25. Only #Iran #NorthKorea worse. #safety …

They said that India’s security practices have repeatedly ranked lower in these assessments than those of Pakistan and Russia, two countries with shortcomings that have provoked better-known Western anxieties.

In all the categories of interest to the U.S. intelligence experts making the rankings—the vetting and monitoring of key security personnel, the tracking of explosives’ quantities and whereabouts, and the use of sensitive detectors at nuclear facilities and their portals—the Indians “have got issues,” a senior official said. (He spoke on condition that he not be named, due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.)

Cautioning that Washington probably does not know everything that India has done to protect its facilities because of its obsessive nuclear secrecy, the official said that according to “what we can see people doing...they should be doing a lot more.”

He added that it is “pretty clear [they] are not as far along as the Pakistanis,” explaining that, as with the Russians, Indians’ confidence in being able to manage security challenges by themselves has repeatedly closed them off to foreign advice not only about the gravity of the threats they face but also about how to deal with them.

When U.S. officials made their first visit to the restricted Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) in Mumbai, a complex where India makes plutonium for its nuclear weapons, their observations about its security practices were not reassuring. “Security at the site was moderate,” a cable from November 2008, approved by embassy Chargé d’Affaires Stephen White, told officials in Washington.

Identification checks at the front gate were “quick but not thorough,” and visitor badges lacked photographs, meaning they were easy to replicate or pass around. A security unit at the center’s main gate appeared to be armed with shotguns or semi-automatic Russian-style rifles, the cable noted, but as the U.S. delegation moved toward the Dhruva reactor, where the nuclear explosive material is actually produced, there were no “visible external security systems.”

White’s cable noted that a secondary building where engineering equipment was stored also had “very little security.” While there was a sentry post at a nuclear Waste Immobilization Plant that processes radioactive water, no guards were present, and visitors’ bags were not inspected. No security cameras were seen inside, White added. The cable was disclosed by WikiLeaks in 2011.

A U.S. nuclear safety official, also on the visit, who still works in the field and was not authorized to discuss it told the CPI in an interview that “laborers wandered in and out of the complex, and none of them wore identification.” He said that “the setup was extraordinarily low-key, considering the sensitivity,” explaining that guards could not see camera footage from other locations. There is little evidence that conditions have changed much since then, officials say.

U.S. and Indian officials also have privately expressed worry about the security surrounding India’s movement of sensitive nuclear materials and weaponry.

For example, an industrialist who provides regular private advice to the current prime minister about domestic and foreign strategic issues said in an interview that due to India’s poor roads and rail links, “our nuclear sector is especially vulnerable. How can we safely transport anything, when we cannot say for certain that it will get to where it should, when it should.”
Riaz Haq said…
6th Annual #Pakistan #US Strategic Dialogue Planned to Start Monday in #WashingtonDc with #Kerry Sartaj meeting …

It will be the third annual meeting since the present government has come to power. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the U.S. in October last year had given the necessary impetus

Pakistan and the U.S. will on Monday hold a ministerial-level strategic dialogue on key areas including economy, security and counterterrorism, amid strong opposition by India as well as U.S. lawmakers on the proposed F-16 deal to Islamabad.

Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will lead the Pakistani delegation while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the U.S. side for the 6th round of the strategic dialogue to be held in Washington, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

The six segments of the strategic dialogue include cooperation in economy and finance; energy; education, science and technology; law enforcement and counterterrorism; security, strategic stability and non-proliferation and defence.

It will be the third annual meeting since the present government has come to power. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States in October last year had given the necessary impetus to the dialogue mechanism, the report said.

The dialogue process began in 2010 but interrupted in 2011 when the U.S. forces killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in a midnight raid. The process resumed in 2014 when Mr. Aziz and Mr. Kerry met in Washington in January.

The key meeting will take place soon after the U.S. announced to sell eight F—16 fighter jets worth $700 million to Pakistan, despite objection from India and mounting opposition from influential American lawmakers.

Mr. Kerry has strongly defended the Obama Administration’s decision, arguing that these fighter jets are a “critical” part of Pakistan’s fight against terrorists.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who is in Washington as part of the Pakistani delegation, has said the dialogue will provide an opportunity to operationalise key future making initiates between the two countries.

He was speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The Foreign Office had earlier said that the upcoming meeting will “afford an important opportunity to take stock of the entire gamut of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the U.S”.
Riaz Haq said…
Ex-Ambassador Jamshed Marker gives full credit for #Pakistan #nukes to Gen Zia ul Haq …

Retired diplomat Jamsheed Marker talks about “meeting characters, genuine and shady, in tiny cafes tucked away in obscure villages deep in the beautiful Swiss and German countryside”.

One of Pakistan’s best-known diplomats has given an unprecedented account of how his country clandestinely built its nuclear arsenal using its diplomatic network in Europe.

In Cover Point: Impressions of Leadership in Pakistan, an autobiographical account of Pakistan’s politicians, retired diplomat Jamsheed Marker, 94, says: “This exercise involved a bit of James Bond stuff, and I remember Ikram and myself meeting characters, genuine and shady, in tiny cafes tucked away in obscure villages deep in the beautiful Swiss and German countryside.”

Mr. Marker served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany between 1980 and 1982, when the meetings took place, which led to Pakistan acquiring sensitive technology from European firms for its nuclear weapons programme.

“The Embassy had a Procurement Department [the nomenclature really fooled nobody] headed by a most able officer of Minister rank named Ikram Khan, who was seconded from our nuclear establishment headed by Dr A.Q. Khan. Ikram was a superb officer, knowledgeable, low-key and efficient, and went about his sensitive job with the combination of initiative and discretion that were its primary requirements,” writes Mr. Marker , revealing how Pakistan sourced technology for its nuclear programme from western markets.

Mr. Marker’s disclosure sheds light on a wide array of willing partners from among firms in Europe which were willing to partner Pakistan’s quest for nuclear weapons, for a price. Mr. Marker, who worked directly under the supervision of General Zia-ul-Haq, played a peripheral role as the “Procurement Department” operated under a cloak of secrecy.

Mr. Marker, served for three decades in various important embassies of Pakistan, but reached the most successful phase of his career with his back-to-back appointments as Pakistani Ambassador to Bonn, Paris and Washington DC during the tenure of Gen Zia (1977-1988). Mr. Marker said that he admired the way Gen Zia (who became civilian President in 1985) diverted the West’s attention while going all out for giving Pakistan its nuclear weapon. “I maintain a mild, amused contempt for the enthusiasm with which western industrial enterprises, in their pecuniary pursuits, conspired with us to evade their own governments’ law prohibiting all nuclear transfers to Pakistan,” he writes in what is the first account from one of Gen. Zia’s key diplomats on the modus operandi adopted to build the nuclear bomb in Pakistan.

Mr. Marker says the U.S. spy services were aware of Pakistan’s determination to go nuclear and were unable to prevent Gen. Zia.
Riaz Haq said…
Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors
Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck
War & Peace: Media and War

Based on the relations between the United States and France and Pakistan, we predicted that propaganda would exist in the American media that portrays the powerful nuclear technology of France significantly more positively than that of Pakistan. We will analyze specific examples of such propaganda based on a methodical process as described below.

Case Study #1: Social Proof, Societal Norms, Similarity, and Dehumanization

Studying media coverage of Pakistan’s nuclear achievement, it becomes clear that a certain amount of propaganda was used to make Pakistan appear threatening. The fact that Pakistan developed the technology was not what shaped the articles, but rather how this information was presented to the reader. In a sense, the propagandists were looking to turn Pakistan into an enemy of sorts, a country to be feared, instead of embraced.

One method used to by propagandists to create an enemy is through the technique of social proof. One way in which we process information is by observing what other people are doing that are similar to us or linking them to social norms. "When we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct" (Cialdini 106). Since it is almost impossible for the common American to be an expert in nuclear cause and effects, he looks to what others say as a means to form his opinion. This allows him to be persuade to an ideology not of his own. Furthermore, it is possible to rely on past stereotypes as form of linking one idea to another group.

For example, articles that took such an approach attempted to use a subset of social proof, where one casts the enemy by declaring it to be a friend of an already established enemy. For instance, in order to persuade the American public to think of Pakistan in such terms, media will link Pakistan to historically defined United States enemies such Libya, Iran, Iraq and the former Soviet Union. This tactic plays on the principle of social proof in which people look for justifications to quickly form their beliefs. Thus, linking to a country America already has shared beliefs about quickly allows one to associate and project the existing beliefs on the new group, which in this case is Pakistan.

An article in the Washington Post took such an approach by starting with a quote from the Iranian Foreign Minister, congratulating Pakistan. "From all over the world, Muslims are happy that Pakistan has this capability," the Minister was quoted at the start of the article (Moore and Khan A19). By beginning with this quote, the article ensured a link would be established between Iran and Pakistan, playing off the propaganda theory of similarity, in which we fundamentally like people who are similar to us and share our beliefs, values, and ideas. Therefore, an object deemed as bad or dissimilar will make all associated objects bad as well and allows the media to use social proof and similarity to create an enemy as friend of enemy. Arguably, the presentation of this quote may be deemed important factually for the development of the article, but the placement of the quote right at the start of the article strongly suggest propagandistic intentions.

To strengthen the feel of Pakistan as a friend of the enemy, the article continues to use the dissimilar tactic or hatred through association by further linking Pakistan with Syria Libya:

At the same time, the prospect that Pakistan could share its nuclear technology with other Islamic states, or serve as their protector, concerns many Western analysts, who fear that nuclear materials and technology may fall into the hands of countries the West has branded sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria and Libya (Moore and Khan A19).
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani nuclear forces, 2015
Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norri

Federation of American Scientists (FAS)

The second cruise missile under
development, the air-launched, dualcapable
RaÕad (Hatf-8), has been testlaunched
four times. The test-launches
have been conducted from a Mirage III
fighter-bomber. The most recent testlaunch
was conducted in May 2012; the
span of time since then also hints at
technical challenges. After the last
test, the Pakistani government
acknowledged that ÒÔCruise TechnologyÕ
is extremely complex,Ó and
said that the RaÕad could deliver
nuclear and conventional warheads to
a range greater than 350 km, and enable
Pakistan Òto achieve strategic standoff
capability on land and at seaÓ (ISPR,
There are also signs that Pakistan is
developing a nuclear weaponÑinitially
probably a nuclear-capable cruise missileÑfor
deployment on submarines. In
2012, the Pakistani navy established

Headquarters Naval Strategic Forces
Command (NSFC) for the development
and deployment of a sea-based strategic
nuclear force. The government said that
this command would be the Òcustodian
of the nationÕs second-strike capabilityÓ
to Òstrengthen PakistanÕs policy of Credible
Minimum Deterrence and ensure
regional stabilityÓ (ISPR, 2012e).
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan fires its first submarine-based nuclear cruise missile

Pakistan has successfully fired its first nuclear-capable submarine-based cruise missile, in a move that escalates tensions with neighbouring India.

The Pakistani navy said on Monday afternoon that it had launched a nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile, which has a range of 450km, from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean.

“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence,” the military said in a statement.

It added that the missile was “capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence”.

The move comes with tensions still high on the de facto border with nuclear-armed India. Hours before the announcement of the test, India said three civilians had been killed when militants crossed the line of control between the two countries in Kashmir and attacked an army camp.

The skirmish was the latest in a series of tit-for-tat strikes across the border since 19 Indian soldiers were killed in an attack on the Uri army base in India-controlled Kashmir in September.

Experts said Pakistan was thinking of developing a sea-based nuclear missile programme in case India succeeded in damaging or eliminating its land-based weapons. According to some, the country has vigorously pursued sea-based nuclear missiles for years — but before Monday’s test it had only launched nuclear missiles from land and air-based platforms.

“It’s the completion of our triad, which is important,” one senior government official told the FT.

India is pursuing a sea-based nuclear deterrent “largely to keep up with China while Pakistan is attempting to follow suit”, according to Walter Ladwig, a lecturer in international relations at King’s College, London.

“If Pakistan could succeed in developing a successful and survivable submarine-based deterrent, it could, in theory, assuage a lot of their concerns about pre-emption by India,” he said. “However, it also creates opportunities for more mistakes and accidents.”

Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said: “If Pakistan fears that India may aspire to destroying Pakistan’s nukes on the ground, thereby undercutting mutual deterrence, then it makes sense to put weapons at sea, where they are more survivable.”

But he added: “This would come with a huge price tag.”

Pakistan’s test comes two weeks after India test-fired its long range ballistic missile Agni-V, which has a range of more than 5,000km.

India is also well ahead in developing an at-sea missile system, having test-launched a cruise missile from a submarine in 2013.

Nevertheless, Pakistan has stepped up its spending on armed forces in recent years. In 2015, Pakistan formally reached an agreement with China for the latter to supply the Pakistan navy with eight new submarines, the country’s largest defence contract in value terms.

A spokesman for the Indian army did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan successfully tests #Ababeel, 2200 Km range #nuclear-capable #missile that can deliver multiple war heads

Pakistan on Tuesday conducted a successful test flight of the Ababeel surface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSM), the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Ababeel has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometres and is capable of delivering multiple warheads using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, an ISPR press release added.

"The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system," it said.

Ababeel is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has the capability to engage multiple targets with high precision, defeating hostile radars, the ISPR elaborated.

"The development of the Ababeel weapon system was aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan's ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment," read the press release.

The Ababeel test came on the heels of a successful test of submarine-launched cruise missile Babur-III earlier this month.

"The successful attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone; it is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighborhood," the military had said after the Babur-III test.

The missile, launched from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean from an underwater, mobile platform, had hit its target with precise accuracy, the Army had said.

Babur-III is a sea-based variant of ground-launched cruise missile Babur-II, which was successfully tested in December last year.

Riaz Haq said…

#India, Long at Odds With #Pakistan, May Use #Nuclear First Strikes Against Neighbor

India may be reinterpreting its nuclear weapons doctrine, circumstantial evidence suggests, with potentially significant ramifications for the already tenuous nuclear balance in South Asia.

New assessments suggest that India is considering allowing for pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Pakistan’s arsenal in the event of a war. This would not formally change India’s nuclear doctrine, which bars it from launching a first strike, but would loosen its interpretation to deem pre-emptive strikes as defensive.

It would also change India’s likely targets, in the event of a war, to make a nuclear exchange more winnable and, therefore, more thinkable.

Analysts’ assessments, based on recent statements by senior Indian officials, are necessarily speculative. States with nuclear weapons often leave ambiguity in their doctrines to prevent adversaries from exploiting gaps in their proscriptions and to preserve flexibility. But signs of a strategic adjustment in India are mounting.

This comes against a backdrop of long-simmering tensions between India and Pakistan — including over state-sponsored terrorism and the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir — which have already led to several wars, the most recent in 1999.

The new interpretation would be a significant shift in India’s posture that could have far-reaching implications in the region, even if war never comes. Pakistan could feel compelled to expand its arsenal to better survive a pre-emptive strike, in turn setting off an Indian buildup.

This would be more than an arms race, said Vipin Narang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who studies nuclear powers.

“It’s very scary because all the ‘first-strike instability’ stuff is real,” Mr. Narang said, referring to a dynamic in which two nuclear adversaries both perceive a strong incentive to use their warheads first in a war. This is thought to make nuclear conflict more likely.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hints of a high-level Indian debate over the nuclear doctrine mounted with a recent memoir by Shivshankar Menon, India’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2014.

“There is a potential gray area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first” against a nuclear-armed adversary, Mr. Menon wrote.

India, he added, “might find it useful to strike first” against an adversary that appeared poised to launch or that “had declared it would certainly use its weapons” — most likely a veiled reference to Pakistan.

Mr. Narang presented the quotations, along with his interpretation, in Washington last week, during a major nuclear policy conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” he told a gathering of international government officials and policy experts.

Mr. Menon’s book, he said, “clearly carves out an exception for pre-emptive Indian first use in the very scenario that is most likely to occur in South Asia.”

The passage alone does not prove a policy shift. But in context alongside other developments, it suggests either that India has quietly widened its strategic options or that officials are hoping to stir up just enough ambiguity to deter its adversaries.

After Mr. Narang’s presentation generated attention in the South Asian news media, Mr. Menon told an Indian columnist, “India’s nuclear doctrine has far greater flexibility than it gets credit for.”

Mr. Menon declined an interview request for this article. When told what the article would say, he did not challenge its assertions. India’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Whether these signals indicate a real shift or a strategic feint, analysts believe they are intended to right a strategic imbalance that has been growing for almost a decade.
Riaz Haq said…

#India, Long at Odds With #Pakistan, May Use #Nuclear First Strikes Against Neighbor

Use It or Lose It

Shashank Joshi, a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said he suspected that Mr. Menon was signaling something subtler: a warning that India’s strategy could adapt in wartime, potentially to include first strikes.

That distinction may be important to Indian officials, but it could be lost on Pakistani war planners who have to consider all scenarios.

Mr. Joshi, in a policy brief for the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, tried to project what would happen if India embraced such a policy, or if Pakistan concluded that it had.

First would come the arms race.

The fear of a first strike, Mr. Joshi wrote, “incentivizes Pakistan to undertake a massive nuclear buildup, in order to dispel any possibility of India disarming it entirely.”

India, whatever its strategy, would feel compelled to keep pace.

Second comes the tightening of nuclear tripwires, Mr. Joshi warned, as “this reciprocal fear of first use could pull each side in the direction of placing nuclear forces on hair-trigger alert.”

Finally, in any major armed crisis, the logic of a first strike would pull both sides toward nuclear escalation.

“If Pakistan thinks India will move quickly, Pakistan has an incentive to go even quicker, and to escalate straight to the use of the longer-range weapons,” Mr. Joshi wrote.

This thinking would apply to India as well, creating a situation in which the nuclear arsenal becomes, as analysts dryly put it, “use it or lose it.”

‘That Can Blow Back Real Quick’

The most optimistic scenario would lock South Asia in a state of mutually assured destruction, like that of the Cold War, in which armed conflict would so reliably escalate to nuclear devastation that both sides would deem war unthinkable.

This would be of global concern. A 2008 study found that, although India and Pakistan have relatively small arsenals, a full nuclear exchange would push a layer of hot, black smoke into the atmosphere.

This would produce what some researchers call without hyperbole “a decade without summer.” As crops failed worldwide, the resulting global famine would kill a billion people, the study estimated.

But nuclear analysts worry that South Asia’s dynamics would make any state of mutually assured destruction less stable than that of the Cold War.

For one thing, Pakistani leaders view even conventional war with India as an existential threat, making them more willing to accept nuclear risks. For another, a large-scale terrorist attack in India could be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as Pakistan-sponsored, potentially inciting war. The disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, where conflict sometimes boils over, adds a troubling layer of volatility.

“Maybe it is this Reaganesque strategy,” Mr. Narang said, comparing India’s potential strategic shift to President Ronald Reagan’s arms race with the Soviet Union. “But Pakistan has a much bigger security problem than the Soviet Union did. And that can blow back real quick.”
Riaz Haq said…
Strategic Insights : Is #Pakistan close to a #nuclear deal with the #US?: #India … via @TOIOpinion

Many signs portend yes. In the waning days of the Obama administration, talk grew in Washington, D.C. of the US offering the same nuclear deal to Pakistan as it had offered India. The White House never seemed to categorically deny those rumours.

Pakistan has always held the keys to Kabul, and has played its cards expertly. The seeming about-face against the Taliban post 9-11; the double game played with the Americans, one foot in their camp, the other planted firmly in the Afghani Talibani; all of this has led to the Taliban coming to the cusp of capturing Kabul, with the Yanks receiving the same hiding that the Russkies and the Pommies haven’t as yet forgotten.


But how can one secure against a security guard who turns turtle. The Yanks must have their own folks in the Strategic Plains Division and other centralized Pakistani nuclear establishments. After all, a hundred million can pay for a lot of outsized American salaries. But the Pakistanis have pulled a fast one with the deployment of their tactical nukes, the little Nasrs.
No Yank can control their use, for the operational control lies with about 300 Pakistani military field commanders. One goes rogue and a dirty bomb could go off in Indianapolis in short order. No wonder Nikki Haley, a key member of Trump’s foreign policy team, is now crying herself hoarse to mediate between Pakistan and India. Her express aim: Islamabad, you ditch your tacticals, India you yours. Washington’s interest must always be protected.
Pakistan is happy with the mediation. But not happy enough. It has left the Americans out of talks with the Afghan Taliban, cozying up instead to the Chinese and the Russkies. What is the Russian interest in Kabul? They are not even contiguous with Afghanistan any more. And the Chinese? Well, wherever the Pakistanis are, can the Chinese be far behind. And not even a leaf can fall anywhere in Asia now without the assent of the Chinese.
America is alarmed. Ever the brinkman, Pakistan is up to its old tricks. One overriding purpose drives it: Treat us as India’s equal. Memo from Islamabad to Washington: We know you are screwed in Afghanistan. We will get you out safely as long as we get the same nuclear deal as India has got.
The Yanks seem to have got the message. Pakistani nuclear delegations visit Washington regularly now. One is there right now meeting with American experts. Nikki Haley was perhaps just the portend of things to come. Any day, you might have an announcement of a nuclear deal for Pakistan.
Poor India. What has it been doing all this while. It has alienated the Russkies so much that they are now selling arms to Islamabad for the first time ever. Has India’s foreign policy establishment been sleeping at the wheel? Or will they be able to pull a rabbit out of their hat? The plot thickens.

Riaz Haq said…
What exactly is behind Pakistan’s much-discussed low-yield Nasr? And how might it be used?

By Aditya Ramanathan and Kunaal Kini
May 07, 2019

Like China, Pakistan started out by making implosion bombs based on highly enriched uranium (HEU). (In these bombs, a conventional explosive compresses the fissile core into a supercritical mass.) Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear tests were based on such designs. But for smaller warheads like the Nasr’s, (Brig Feroz Hasan) Khan believes Pakistani scientists will “likely use a plutonium warhead with an implosion assembly.” The NIAS study similarly concludes that a variant – the plutonium-based linear implosion device – is best suited for the slim profile of the Nasr missile.

However, as the authors of the NIAS study note, there are two problems with this approach. First, since the linear variant needs twice the amount of fissile material as a spherical implosion system, Pakistan would run out of its estimated plutonium stock (as of 2013) after producing just 12 warheads. Second, any such device would be untested.

An alternative for Pakistan is to reject the implosion system altogether and produce a simple gun-type HEU device – essentially a highly miniaturized version of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Such a device would need no testing and could be fitted into the Nasr. It would, however, go against the deeply-ingrained preference for implosion devices among Pakistan’s weapon-makers.

Whatever its design options, Pakistan may also be facing greater constraints on its supply of fissile material than previously thought. While previous estimates put Pakistan’s arsenal size in 2018 at 140-150 warheads (and growing at the rate of about 10 warheads a year), a recent assessment suggests Pakistan’s dwindling domestic supply of uranium will limit its nuclear arsenal size to between 112 and 156 weapons. While such studies are necessarily speculative, it’s likely Pakistan will be forced to make hard choices when it allocates weapons-grade material among its growing array of missiles.

Considering the Cold War Experience

Pakistan could adopt more than one pathway toward miniaturizing a Nasr warhead, but how long would the process take? Information about the current state of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program is scarce, but U.S. and Soviet efforts at miniaturization during the early years of the Cold War provide some indications.

In 1949, the United States began a project to develop nuclear artillery for battlefield use. Just four years later, a 280 mm cannon fired a shell with the new W-9 warhead, which airburst 10 kilometres away, with a yield of about 15 kilotons. The W-9 was a simple gun-type HEU fission device. Over the next decade, the United States would produce even smaller nuclear artillery, including a tiny plutonium linear implosion warhead that could be fired from a standard 155 mm artillery piece.

The Soviets took longer to miniaturize. After they became a nuclear power in 1949, the Soviets struggled to catch up with the U.S. atomic artillery program, only producing small warheads in the early 1960s. By then, new nuclear-capable artillery rockets like the Luna-M had already superseded atomic cannons.

Considering these time scales of 4-15 years, could Pakistan have developed a miniaturized device for the Nasr between the first indications of Cold Start in 2004 and the present?

In developing a miniaturized warhead, the Pakistanis would have enjoyed two principal advantages over their Cold War counterparts. One, they would have had a head start, having worked on warhead designs since the 1970s. Khan notes that between 1983 and 1995, Pakistan carried out at least 24 “cold tests” of their nuclear devices (in which the bomb is detonated minus the fissile core).

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Energy – OpEd
November 27, 2020
By Sher Bano

Moreover, in the field of technical industry, the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) Taxila is one of the leading organizations in Pakistan’s engineering sector. It works with an aim of indigenization, self-reliance, and import substitution and to give technical support to the country’s industrial sector. It also focuses on enhancing manufacturing, design, testing, and inspection capabilities to produce high-tech parts, components, and equipment for the thermal, hydel, and nuclear power plants and alternate energy projects. It is a state-of-the-art facility for forging, fabrication, machining, welding, and heat treatment. It is Pakistan’s first engineering establishment that is certified by PNRA (Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority) to develop Nuclear Safety Class 1, 2, and 3 components and equipment in the country.

Hence it is quite comprehensible that Pakistan has successfully demonstrated its commitment towards using nuclear energy for the socio-economic development of the country. This implies that there is another side of the nuclear coin of Pakistan’s nuclear program and that is the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Based on this, the international community needs to admit Pakistan’s continuous efforts of compliance with the international practices of nuclear safety and security and regulatory control. The international arrangements like the NSG and other such cartels, which are supposed to facilitate and promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, need to acknowledge Pakistan’s achievements in this regard. The grant of NSG waiver to India while ignoring Pakistan’s outstanding track record in peaceful uses of nuclear technology has raised questions on the credibility of international arrangements. There is a dire need for openness to new contenders with a non-discriminatory approach. Last but not the least, there should be discrimination between proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear technology at the international level.
Riaz Haq said…
Sour grapes India: Pakistan has clearly won in Afghanistan
September 21, 2021, 2:52 PM IST

By Sunil Sharan in Strategic Insights, India, World, TOI

Much hand-wringing and hair-pulling is going on in India over Pakistan’s “1971” moment. Actually Pakistan has had two 1971 moments. Once when they ejected the Soviets from Afghanistan in 1989, and now.


The fight then is clear. It is white Christian nations versus brown Muslim nations. The US has been involved in the following campaigns after 9/11: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. All Muslim nations. It has met defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq, and been dealt a bruising blow in Libya, Syria and Yemen. Estimate of Muslim lives lost from war and displacement caused by war since 9/11 vary between five and ten million.


Much is being made of Blinken’s statement that the US would like to see Pakistan evolve the way it, the US, wishes. This is just wishful thinking. When the Americans were all over Afghanistan (and Pakistan), they could not force the Pakistanis to do what they wanted to do. Now that they have hightailed out of Afghanistan, are we expected to believe that the US has more leverage over Pakistan now than before?


Other than the US, the country that has clearly lost out in Afghanistan is India. For 20 years, India has poured over $3 billion in aid and reconstruction into Afghanistan, all of which, in a jiffy, has just landed in the hands of the Taliban. Pakistan has now become without doubt emboldened to launch a second jihad to liberate Kashmir from India. India cannot be naïve and altruistic anymore. It has to ramp up support for Pakistan’s Baloch rebels as well as instigate the Taliban in amalgamating Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province into Afghanistan, a long-cherished dream of its.

India just cannot afford to be a mute and idle spectator in the AfPak region. Its very survival is at risk. Pakistan has often accused India of fomenting terrorism in its own territory through the Pakistani Taliban. But think about this. The Pakistani Taliban wants to impose sharia in Pakistan, just as it’s been now imposed in Afghanistan.

But Pakistan’s Muslims are Hinduized. They don’t want sharia, just as India doesn’t want an enormous territory on its western flank under sharia. It is in India’s interest that Pakistan stays Hinduized. Why then would India support the Pakistani Taliban?
Riaz Haq said…
Civil nuclear energy: Kasuri says China agreed to sign accord with Pakistan way back in 2003

The former foreign minister emphasized the need for internal unity if Pakistan was to ensure meaningful progress in the field of foreign policy

ISLAMABAD: Former foreign minister Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has revealed that China agreed to sign an agreement with Pakistan way back in 2003 in the field of civil nuclear energy before joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) while the United States declined to cooperate with Pakistan for the same in the face of AQ Khan affair. The Chinese continued their cooperation and facilitated in establishing many nuclear power plants in Pakistan.

The former foreign minister emphasized the need for internal unity if Pakistan was to ensure meaningful progress in the field of foreign policy.

“In the current state of disunity and lack of direction in Pakistan, no country, friend or foe, knows how or who to deal with in Pakistan. This is a very dangerous situation and cannot be allowed to continue. It is the primary duty of all the stakeholders in Pakistan to bring this to an end.”

Mian Kasuri was addressing a ceremony at the Government College University, Lahore, where he was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in international relations and diplomacy, promoting Pakistan’s relations with major world capitals and neighbours and for his efforts to promote regional peace and connectivity.

The former foreign minister, who served the country from November 2002 to Nov 2007, also disclosed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Pakistan to continue the dialogue for Kashmir dispute’s resolution under the famous four-point formula that was mooted in his tenure as foreign minister.

He expressed his happiness at the fact that the recent book, ‘In Pursuit of Peace’ by former Indian ambassador to Pakistan and negotiator for backchannel talks during PM Manmohan Singh’s tenure Ambassador S K Lambah, had comprehensively confirmed that what Mian Kasuri had said in his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’ published much earlier that Pakistan and India had agreed to resolve all the outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.

Kasuri expressed his pleasant surprise at Lambah’s revelation that Modi asked him to continue the dialogue in 2014 on the same four-point formula. The former foreign minister said that he was aware that because of the negativity engendered by Hindutva supporters under the Modi government, the relationship between the two countries had become exceedingly tense.

PM Modi, Kasuri said, cannot rule India forever. Even at the best of times, he was able to secure about 37% of the total votes with an overwhelming majority voting for parties who are, by and large, opposed to the current policies of the BJP government on Muslims, Kashmir and Pakistan.

“There was no guarantee that Modi would not change his extremist policies, either before or after elections. After all, Modi had paid a surprise visit to Lahore in December 2015 to meet former PM Nawaz Sharif,” Mian Kasuri said.

Besides India, he said, during his tenure, exceptionally close relationship was forged between Pakistan and Bangladesh and he remained in a close personal relationship with his counterpart, Morshed Khan.

He also made sure to cultivate close relationship with PM Khalida Zia and the then opposition leader and current PM, Hasina Wajed.

Similarly, close ties were developed with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Mian Khurshid Kasuri went on to describe the success of the government at that time in establishing close relationship with the US and China, at the same time. A broad-based Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States was formalised, which aimed to promote cooperation in different fields, including economic development, science and technology, education, energy, agriculture, and a regular strategic dialogue.

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