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Pakistan’s Nuclear Deterrent at all Cost?

In cricket when a player scores hundred no body ask how many catches were dropped. When nations survive wars and conspiracies no one in history ask what they were living on or what they were eating. Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent has reduced the chances of war in the region and there is a greater chance of peace flourishing in the region. One doesn’t count the costs in survival?

By Dr Shahid Qureshi

In 1973 Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir signed a costly arms deal with the US though Israel at that time was facing a serious economic crisis. Israeli cabinet rejected the deal saying it would be so costly, that the whole nation would have to make do with a single meal a day, for years to come.

Golda Meir said, “Your doubt are well founded, but if we win this war, and defeat the Arabs, history will remember us as the victors, and in history, once a community is know as the victor, it forgets how many eggs they ate and how many times they had food. Whether there was jam, honey, butter on the table, and how many holes they had in their shoes. Or whether the sheaths of their swords were new or old! A conqueror is a conqueror.”

Few years later Washington Post interviewed Meir, asking, “Was the logic you had in your mind for the arms was spur of the moment decision or you had had an advance strategy?”

Golda Meir’s reply was very surprising. She answered, “I got this logic from the prophet (of the Muslims) Mohammed. When I was a student, my favourite topic was comparative study of religions. Those days I studied the life of Prophet Mohammed. One author stated that when Prophet Mohammed died, there was not enough money to buy oil for a lamp; his wife (Ayesha Siddiqua) mortgaged his battle shield to buy oil, yet there were nine swords hung on the wall of his house. When I read this account, it occurred to me- how many people in the world would have known about the worst economic condition of Islamic state? But everyone recognizes them as conquerors of half the world. So I decided that I would buy arms at any cost; even if we would have to starve or to live in camps instead of buildings, but we would prove ourselves as the victor”.

I had an interesting chat with the London Bureau Chief of World’s 30th leading Japanese daily newspaper with publication over 2.5 million. The chat was about the role of Benzair Bhutto in North Korea and Pakistan’s co-operation into nuclear and missile programs.

I asked him, ‘if you need fresh milk would you go to the big farms next door or five thousand miles? He said, ‘I would go to the closest one’. I said, ‘so if the North Koreans needed anything they would go China and Russia next door and not Pakistan for fresh milk’? North Korean leaders have travelled by train to China and Russia, and there is far more space on a train to carry big and small toys, jobless nuclear scientists etc. I asked him, ‘is there any nuclear program in the World without human or state proliferation? Developed world should help small developing countries if they would like to develop peaceful nuclear programs and not intimidate them with UN sanctions. One ask if a person (alleged network of AQ Khan) or persons are alleged to have involved in some kind of proliferation they should be brought to justice but what about the state to state proliferation (Transfer of technology to Israel and India from Russia, US France and Britain)? What should happen to these states in the international court of law?

Israelis say, ‘we need nuclear deterrent because we are surrounded by hostile neighbours and so is Pakistan facing attacks from India since 1948, 1965, 1971 and continuous presence of hostile 700,000 troops in the occupied Kashmir.

What happened in 1948,1965, 1971 wars and than in Kargil is part of military history but what really happened in the World’s leading capitals is an ugly story of betrayal, treachery and selfishness. There is no doubt that 1971 war and separation of East Pakistan was an international conspiracy and more of stabbing in the back by friends like US both in 1965 and 1971.

On 23 December 1956, less than two months after the Anglo French-Israeli invasion of Suez but before the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru (d.1964) was visiting Canada and the Indian High commissioner threw a reception in his honor. Attending the reception, among others, were the Pakistan high commissioner, Mirza Osman Ali Baig, and Israeli ambassador, M S Comay.

Nothing unusual, except what the Israeli ambassador reported to his government … Pakistan High Commissioner Mirza Osman Ali Baig publicly came up to me, shook me by the hand, and warmly congratulated me on the “wonderful show your splendid little army put up in beating the Egyptians”. His only regret was that the British and the French had intervened; otherwise, we [Israelis] might have gone right through to Cairo. He certainly represented a certain small but insidious and powerful toady-Zionist ­Qadiyani nexus within the country’s foreign office.

However, treachery is also telepathic. If a Pakistani ambassador had told an Israeli ambassador that he wished, their ‘splendid little army’ had gone right through to Cairo, only a decade later almost similarly rude sentiments were expressed by President Nasir of Egypt.

President Dr Radhakrishnan of India recounted this to a former ADC of his, Major C L Datta: `Nasser asked me when I was at Cairo airport on my way back from Ethiopia: “Why didn’t you take Lahore [in the September 1965 war with Pakistan]? We were waiting to hear this news.”‘ Radhakrishnan, however, went on to add, `You know, I hate hiding the truth, and I just couldn’t tell him [President Nasir] that they [the Pakistanis] fought like tigers, across the Ichhogil canal.’

Unfortunately Pakistan is cursed with some pseudo intellectuals, subverts and organised minorities for example Pervez Hodbhouy said, ‘Pakistan should not have tested its nuclear bombs and put all the material on a table to show the world that we have the capability’. So why did Indians tested their nukes second time when they have already tested in 1974?

Dr Abdus Salam was a Pakistani. However, as Anthony Tucker’s obituary in The Guardian (22 November 1996) noted that ‘in spite of his powerful influence in world physics, his eminence in the West and lifelong commitment to science in developing countries, in his own country Abdus Salam is blamed for the starvation of important areas of science through encouraging theoretical and nuclear physics and by inference, weapons research’. Anthony Tucker also said that Abdus Salam `was a vigorous supporter of Pugwash’ and he `sought nuclear disarmament’. His unwillingness to contribute to the development of science in Pakistan can also be attributed to his being a committed and proselytising member of the heretic Qadiyani community.

The Chinese received Dr Salam as an eminent Pakistani scientist and, it is probable, that they might spoke to him freely about their cooperation with Pakistan’s nuclear program. It may have been a coincidence that Pakistan’s ‘Islamic bomb’ became news soon after his visit. The BBC1 TV current affairs program, Panorama, aired in June 1980, mentioned Abdus Salam as one of those who were present at a 1972 ‘ meeting where Zulfikar AIi Bhutto had ‘ allegedly taken a decision to make a nuclear bomb.

Dr Abdus Salams’s position as scientific adviser, however, came to an abrupt end in 1974 when the ministry of interior told the PAEC not to allow him anymore into its laboratories?
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)


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