Pakistan’s Proliferation Regime
of startling revelations in the last few months have pinpointed Pakistan as the
source for the nuclear programmes of North Korea, Iran and Libya. There are also
unconfirmed reports of Saudi Arabia using Pakistani know-how and hardware to go
nuclear in its turf war against Iran as the dominant Muslim power of the Middle
East. It is a well-documented fact that Saudis are behind the financing of
Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions and this latest expose can be viewed as a quid pro
quo between two longstanding allies and jihad bedfellows. Pakistan is also much
quoted as the supplier of Weapons of Mass Destruction to terrorist non-state
actors such as Al Qaeda.
While the routine
approach of the Pakistan government to these linkages being made public is to
allege an ‘Indian hand’, the weight of evidence produced recently is so
overwhelming that Islamabad has been forced to accept that “individual
scientists” may have been involved in proliferating nuclear technology. What is
ironic is that simultaneously, Pakistan remonstrates that its nukes are under
tight government control and that no rogue element or individual can compromise
the safety of Pakistan’s unconventional weapons arsenal.
Albert Einstein was a
remarkable scientist and a great human being because he foresaw the destructive
potential of some scientific leads. If scientists are brought up in a milieu
where the political and military outcomes of their inventions and discoveries
are none of their concern, the world can be sure of approaching Armageddon.
Conscience and science must go hand in hand to prevent the destruction of
humankind. Pakistan’s scientists, if the government’s mea culpas are to be
accepted, seem to have imbibed no values except fanaticism and jihad mentality.
Knowledge in the hands of Islamist bigots with government connivance can be a
very very dangerous thing. George W Bush’s repeated attempts to give clearance
chits that Pakistan’s nukes are “secure” and linking it to India’s nuclear
safety are making matters worse for the global nonproliferation regime.
A global proliferation
regime beyond sane proportions has begun and Pakistan sits on the throne of this
shady network. Identifying the hub and promptly de-nuclearising Pakistan are the
needs of the hour.