22 Sep 2017/Friday  

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said his country has developed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the ‘Cold Start’ Doctrine’ adopted by Indian Army. He was also assertive of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals being safe and secure. “We have a very robust and secure command-and-control system over our strategic nuclear assets. Time has proved that it’s a process that is very secure. It’s a process that has complete civilian oversight through the NCA,” Abbasi said in response to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank.

Use of tactical nuclear weapons in any country’s war fighting doctrine is fraught with danger. The very nature of this arsenal compels it to be posted well ahead in the hands of tactical commanders and well outside the civilian control. Any panic led situation or a decision by a rouge tactical commander armed with tactical nuclear weapons deployed in the front lines, may lead to catastrophe and escalate to a full scale nuclear war. Probably the Pak PM does not know, what does a tactical nuclear weapon mean and how it is to be employed. In short it can be said that Pakistani Civilian leadership and its army are totally confused and issue statements without any thought and this makes the scenario even more vulnerable. This lack of coherent thought and confusion is likely to result in the scenario of nuclear weapons or material falling in the hands of terror groups. 

The security of Pak Nukes may be not be an immediate concern to the world but Pakistan’s role in proliferation of nuclear  technology for military purpose can not be denied by any one. Pakistan’s leading nuclear scientist A Q Khan has openly accepted his role in supplying nuclear technology to North Korea and Iran. Though North Korea has openly flouted its capability but how far Iran has succeeded in making a nuclear bomb is anyone’ guess. Another issue which needs to be tackled by Pakistan is its Nuclear waste Management plan. Wasted fissile material is equally dangerous if it falls in the hands of the terrorists. Though the Pak PM has reassured by boasting that “we need to know how to handle nuclear waste. We had a nuclear program in 60s, so if we have managed it for over 50 odd years I think we can continue to manage it, provided the security and geo politics remains the same”. Viewpoint analyses this statement with great sense of caution. The emphasis on security and geo political situation needs to be read very carefully. The security situation in Pakistan and its neighborhood has worsened by each passing day with the completion of CPEC projects. Pak Army and its government continues to patronise the terror groups and use them in low intensity war against India, as proxies and an instrument of State Policy. There are reasons to believe that, Pak based terrorist have managed to lay their hands on the nuclear waste material and are in the process of making an improvised nuclear device (IND). Number of low yield INDs can be transported with ease and blasted to create terror unheard so far. The world community needs to take a serious note and ask Pakistan not to create a conducive situation for terrorists.