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Threats To Pakistan’s Strategic Nuclear Assets

February 17, 2010

Shahid R. Siddiqi

Indian explosion of its nuclear device in 1974 drew only a customary “show of concern” from the Western powers. But Pakistan’s nuclear program, initiated in response to the Indian acquisition of nuclear weapons, evoked immediate and “serious concern” from the same quarters. Ever since, Pakistan has been under immense pressure to scrap its program while the Indians remain uncensored.

That Western discriminatory attitude can also be seen by the religious color it gave to Pakistan’s bomb by calling it an ‘Islamic bomb’. One has never heard of the Israeli bomb being called a ‘Jewish Bomb’, or the Indian bomb a ‘Hindu Bomb’, or the American and British bomb a ‘Christian Bomb’ or the Soviet bomb a ‘Communist’ (or an ‘Atheist) Bomb’. The West simply used Pakistan’s bomb to make Islam synonymous with aggression and make its nuclear program a legitimate target, knowing full well that it merely served a defensive purpose and was not even remotely associated with Islam.

With India going nuclear soon after playing a crucial role in dismembering Pakistan in 1971 and enjoying an overwhelming conventional military superiority over Pakistan in the ratio of 4:1, a resource strapped Pakistan was pushed to the wall. Left with no other choice but to develop a nuclear deterrent to ward off future Indian threats, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto declared: “Pakistanis will eat grass but make a nuclear bomb”. And sure enough, they did it. Soon, however, both he and the nuclear program were to become non-grata. Amid intense pressure, sanctions and vilification campaign, Henry Kissinger personally delivered to a defiant Bhutto the American threat: “give up your nuclear program or else we will make a horrible example of you’.

And a horrible example was made of Bhutto for his defiance. But he had enabled Pakistan to become the 7th nuclear power in the world. This served Pakistan well. India was kept at bay despite temptations for military adventurism. Although there has never been real peace in South Asia, at least there has been no war since 1971.

Ignoring its security perspective, Pakistan’s Western ‘friends’ refused to admit it to their exclusive nuclear club, though expediency made them ignore its ‘crime’ when it suited their purpose. But driven by identical geo-strategic interests in their respective regions and seeing Pakistan as an obstacle to their designs, Israel and India missed no opportunity to malign or subvert Pakistan’s program.

Due to its defiance of Indian diktat, Pakistan is for India an obstruction in its quest for domination of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Israel’s apprehension of Pakistan’s military prowess is rooted in the strength Pakistan indirectly provides to Arab states with whom Israel has remained in a state of conflict. Conscious that several Arab states look up to Pakistan for military support in the event of threat to their security from Israel, it is unsettling for Israel to see a nuclear armed Pakistan.

Israel can also not overlook the fact that Pakistan’s military is a match to its own. The PAF pilots surprised Israeli Air Force, when flying mostly Russian aircraft they shot down several relatively superior Israeli aircraft in air combat in the 1973 Arab Israel war, shattering the invincibility myth of Israeli pilots who believed themselves to be too superior in skill and technology. The Pakistanis happened to be assigned to Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces on training missions when the war broke out and, unknown to the Israelis then, they incognito undertook combat missions.

After successfully destroying Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, Israelis planned a similar attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities at Kahuta in collusion with India in the 1980s. Using satellite pictures and intelligence information, Israel reportedly built a full-scale mock-up of Kahuta facility in the Negev Desert where pilots of F-16 and F-15 squadrons practiced mock attacks.

According to ‘The Asian Age’, London, journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark stated in their book ‘Deception: Pakistan, the US and the Global Weapons Conspiracy’, that Israeli Air Force was to launch air attack on Kahuta in mid 1980s from Jamnagar airfield in Gujarat (India). The book claims that “in March 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed off (on) the Israeli-led operation bringing India, Pakistan and Israel to within a hairs breadth of a nuclear conflagration”.

Another report claims that Israel also planned an air strike directly out of Israel. After midway and midair refueling, Israeli warplanes planned to shoot down a commercial airline’s flight over Indian Ocean that flew into Islamabad early morning, fly in a tight formation to appear as one large aircraft on radar screens preventing detection, use the drowned airliner’s call sign to enter Islamabad’s air space, knock out Kahuta and fly out to Jammu to refuel and exit.

According to reliable reports in mid 1980s this mission was actually launched one night. But the Israelis were in for a big surprise. They discovered that Pakistan Air Force had already sounded an alert and had taken to the skies in anticipation of this attack. The mission had to be hurriedly aborted.

Pakistan reminded the Israelis that Pakistan was no Iraq and that PAF was no Iraqi Air Force. Pakistan is reported to have conveyed that an attack on Kahuta would force Pakistan to lay waste to Dimona, Israel’s nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert. India was also warned that Islamabad would attack Trombay if Kahuta facilities were hit.

The above quoted book claims that “Prime Minister Indira Gandhi eventually aborted the operation despite protests from military planners in New Delhi and Jerusalem.”

McNair’s paper #41 published by USAF Air University (India Thwarts Israeli Destruction of Pakistan’s “Islamic Bomb”) also confirmed this plan. It said, “Israeli interest in destroying Pakistan’s Kahuta reactor to scuttle the “Islamic bomb” was blocked by India’s refusal to grant landing and refueling rights to Israeli warplanes in 1982.” Clearly India wanted to see Kahuta gone but did not want to face retaliation at the hands of the PAF. Israel, on its part wanted this to be a joint Indo-Israeli strike to avoid being solely held responsible.

The Reagan administration also hesitated to support the plan because Pakistan’s distraction at that juncture would have hurt American interests in Afghanistan, when Pakistan was steering the Afghan resistance against the Soviets.

Although plans to hit Kahuta were shelved, the diatribe against Pakistan’s nuclear program continued unabated. Israel used its control over the American political establishment and western media to create hysteria. India worked extensively to promote paranoia, branding Pakistan’s program as unsafe, insecure and a threat to peace. The fact is otherwise. It is technically sounder, safer and more secure than that of India and has ensured absence of war in the region.

The US invasion of Afghanistan provided another opening for Indo-Israeli nexus to target Pakistan’s strategic assets. This time the strategy was to present Pakistan as an unstable state, incapable of defending itself against religious extremist insurgents, creating the specter of Islamabad and its nuclear assets falling in their hands. Suggestions are being floated that Pakistan being at risk of succumbing to extremists, its nuclear assets should be disabled, seized or forcibly taken out by the US. Alternatively, an international agency should take them over for safe keeping.

Pakistan has determinedly thwarted the terrorist threat and foiled this grand conspiracy. The terrorists have either been eliminated or are on the run. Pakistan has made it clear that it would act decisively against any attempt by any quarter to harm its nuclear assets. But if the game is taken to the next level, the consequences would be disastrous for the region.

The Indo-Israeli nexus is losing initiative. But as long as the American umbrella is available Afghanistan will remain a playground for mischief mongers. It is now up to the US to walk its talk and prove its claim that it wants to see a secure and stable Pakistan. It must pull the plug on conspiracies to destabilize Pakistan.

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14 comments

  1. Well written article and well said that the west alongwith US, India and Israel has been propogating that pakistan’s nuclear program is unsafe and that its nuclear assets could be taken over by Taliban. Just to scare the world these statements are issued time to time to pressurise pakistan. Most recently JOE BIDEN again claimed that Pakistan nuclears are threat and they can be deployed. So can be your Mr. Biden because your country was the first to actually used them. Now once again Hillary is talking about the Iran’s nuclear threat to the west and a Saudi student asked why iran is the threat why Israel is not. So these thugs just talk about islamic countries only. They should put up and shut up.


  2. Please read it Dear Brothers and Sisters.This is what i got from one website http://www.alqimmah.net
    Rabi’ al-awwal 02, 1431 A.H, Tuesday February 16, 2010

    In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

    It is now for one week that the invading enemy have launched military operations named “ together” against Mujahideen in Marjah, a part of Nad Ali district, Helmand province. They have put more than 15,000 American, NATO and the hireling Afghan troops against a minuscule number of Mujahideen in the area. More than 60 helicopters, armed with hellfire missiles, and hundreds of tanks are taking part in the operation.

    Marjah has remained in the hands of Mujahideen for the last few years. Other parts of Helmand province like Baghiran, Dishu, and Washer districts are already under the administration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. So question rises why the enemy chose Marjah, a small area, to launch operations. Ostensibly, the enemy say that they want to put pressure on Taliban to accept the government terms of re-integration and reconciliation announced at the end of London Conference on 28th of last month. In fact, Marjah is a geopolitically important area because it borders on Baluchistan, Pakistan where China has a vast developmental project in the shape of Gwadaer seaport.

    The invading America wants to control the transit way to Gwader in order to ensure a short-cut for supply of its logistics which are now shipped through Karachi sea port, Pakistan and through Tajikistan to the north of Afghanistan. They also want stymie Chinese involvement in the Gwadar project. Similarly, in light of the new round of the politically tense situation between Washington and Tehran over uranium enrichment and Iran’s missiles program, the White House wants to install new espionage equipments in Marjah close to the Iranian border. In addition to this, British invaders have been extracting uranium in Sangin district which is fraught with raw uranium. Local Mujahideen say, the British invading forces have brought heavy excavation equipments to the district for extraction of uranium in Sangin.

    The British are also involved in drug trafficking in Helmand province. They are secretly taking heroin in British planes to black markets in Europe. No question, the war fought under the name of terrorism has other political and economic motives including expansionist goals rather than the so-called announced War on Terror. However, the Afghani Mujahideen have been sacrificing their lives to ensure independence of their country and put an end to the colonialist game started under the unjustified reasons and causes.

    Despite the media fanfare and partial reporting of the Western media, Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Marjah have besieged the enemy troops. Fresh reports from the area say:

    “In fact, the invading forces have made no spectacular advancement since the beginning of the operations. They have descended from helicopters in limited areas of Marjah and now are under siege. The invaders are not able to come out of their ditches. Wherever they intend to move, they come under severe attacks of Mujahideen and face explosions of planted mines. Then they retreat hastily. The enemy troops have lost their morale. The local people are beholding the foreign troops crying loudly.“

    We want all freedom-loving forces in the world to support the legitimate cause of the Afghan Mujahideen led by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and save the humane values from the claws of colonialism. Right now, the occupying forces are trampling down on human dignity, freedom, security and values under the farcical name of terrorism.

    Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan


    • 15,000 chickens should not be able to control Gwadar and restrict Chinese involvement in Gwadar either why? because pakistan has a strong army of more than 600k and the US chickens are invaders from far far away. China is also not far away from this area. But the problem is that our Army is going to taken action against these 15000 chickens if they try to push towards balauchistan or will they let it happen??? Well when we see someone big from afghanistan captured in pakistan, does it mean another U-turn from pakistan???


  3. THOUGH USA AND INDIA ARE THE EXTERNAL THREATS TO PAK NUKE ARSENAL BUT THE GREAT INTERNAL THREAT IS ZARDARI AND THE USA RELATIONS ;ZARDARI AND HIS ADVISORS (WHO SOUND SIMILAR TO MUSH’ ADVISORS)ARE BENT UPON DOING ANYTHING THAT IS HARMFUL TO PAKISTAN AND BENEFICIAL FOR USA AND INDIA.


  4. Pakistan has achieved up to ninety percent of indigenisation of weapons and equipment. We have our own tanks, guns, cruise missiles, fighter aircrafts, battleships and submarines as well as we have a stock-pile of war reserves, of over forty days, as compared to just eleven days of war reserves in 1965 and seven days in 1971. Whereas India’s war reserves as of today are limited to 15 days only. Thus, Pakistan in this respect also enjoys a clear edge over India and Israel.


    • Never underestimate your enemy…

      This is the biggest error any military commander can do, which will lead to a disaster.

      But I assure you that our military leadership is much more capable than we expect and see.

      Long live the Islamic Republic of Pakistan


  5. @Faheem,

    The future wars will be neither on coventional weapons nor on WMDs.They will be on Doomsday Weapons.

    Pakistan,while working on Robot Army,should also work on them.By visiting ” CHEMTRAILS”,we know everything.

    India’s Cold start is based upon that.Though they don’t have this IBLEESI technology,but they have two IBLEES as their ally,namely,USA & Israel


  6. “Jinno Allah rakhay onno koan chakhay”.

    Great article but old material.

    While Pakistan has done a great job spiking their weapons with tritium we need to develop second generation nuclear weapons of the plutonium
    kind which are more compact and deadly. We MUST move forward and scrap the so-called “minimum deterrance” and build weapons which can address a second and third strike capability. But first we MUST require the capability to store and fire nucler weapons on and from submarines. This what all nuclear piwers has done and which India is moving towards.


  7. Again – an article taking liberties with the truth. The term “islamic bomb” was not given by the “west” but by Pakistan itself. Most probably by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. I would suggest that you guys read history instead of just making stuff up as you go along. Secondly, there was never any evidence of Israel planning to attack Pakistan from IAF air bases. The only evidence exists in the minds of the conspiracy theorists inside Pakistan. Can anyone of you actually find evidence for this.

    History is about facts. Voices inside your head is schizophrenia


    • Hey ‘Amused’ – as you your name suggests u are amusing, you had nothing constructive to say in your piece there. u said:

      “..there was never any evidence of Israel planning to attack Pakistan from IAF air bases. The only evidence exists in the minds of the conspiracy theorists inside Pakistan.”

      you know jack cuz you aint read enough to make such a childish statement. sorry but i’m gona really GRILL you here like a burger, just bite your lip and bear what i’m gona say here ok.

      are you a 10 year old? huzoor-e-wala it is a known fact that Israel, in a joint effort with India, was attempting to attack Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and many ex soldiers have spoken about it on tv and in newspapers – IT’S A FACT! what actually transpired was that Israel ‘chickened-out’ BIG TIME because through back channel diplomacy we warned them what the consequences would be. they didnt have the balls to go through with it. its a case of them blinking first dear friend. DID YOU KNOW that Israeli F-16’s were seen in India with IAF markings prior to the Chagai desert nuclear explosions???? India doesnt even have any god damn F_16’s in it’s inventory, so where the hell did these aircraft come from and what were they doing there?? chalo beta, iss swal ka jwab deydo tou tumhey waqei maan leyn ge! i’m sure you like reading bedtime jackanory/fictional stories. dont get carried away, this is serious stuff mate not any shit conspiracy theory, as you call it. Pakistan has always been a target for her enemies ever since its inception, no one could stomach a muslim country having nuclear capability to protect herself.

      advice: dont make buffoon comments on a serious site. do something constructive, positive and beneficial by helping Pakistan in its hour of need. you would do the same for your mother na? well brother, Pakistan is your mother too so come to her aid and dont pass off her enemies and their intentions as conspiracy theories.
      Pakistan Zindabad!

      i wish you well. take care.

      Ali


    • Amused, if it one thing Indians should not lecture us on then its hisyory. This information is general knowledge and ut is nit our foult that your bias media dont talk anything but spreading hate against the Pakistani federation. This information has been privided by top airforce officials, top generals and by the head of the ISI General Hamid Gul him self on national TV. We all remember the cricket diplomacy in the 80’s when President Zia warned India on this. All these people are qualified and have invested their whole life for the security of their people and country. While you on the other hand are no one.


    • Hahahahah…. love the last point u said!!


    • Indians are in no position to lecture us on history. The Israeli-Indian attack plans are well documented and our top ISI official General Hamid Gul and PAF officers have stated this on national TV and it is on record. President Zia’s cricket diplomacy is well known in this regard.

      The only schizopheria is your people’s damn nationalism which has blocked your Hindustani minds. You people just refuses to accept the truth when it is presented to you just the way when you get surprused every time our Kashmiri brothers inside H&K raise the Pakistani flag and burn Indias.


  8. […] 0 score      Re: Why West fears theft of our nuclear assets Threats To Pakistan’s Strategic Nuclear Assets Indian explosion of its nuclear device in 1974 drew only a customary “show of concern” […]



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