A Discriminatory Nuclear Policy towards Pakistan

Courtesy:- Momina Ashier


Pakistan and India, the only two nuclear states of South Asia, share a relationship of conflict and cooperation. For the past three decades, India and Pakistan have been engaged in a nuclear rivalry that is both a symptom and a cause of their bilateral discord. India’s decision to acquire nuclear weapons and demonstrate its nuclear weapons capability in 1974 resulted in the Pakistani adoption of a nuclear weapons program. When in May 1998 India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests, abandoning nuclear ambiguity for overt nuclear weapons capability, international community raised concerns that each step up the nuclear ladder by India and Pakistan introduces a new tension in their troubled relationship. The apprehension possesses that nuclear expansion between these two states will threaten the international security generally and South Asian regional stability particularly.

In South Asia, modernization of the weapons stems from the threat perceptions prevailing in the region. US has always showed concerns that Pakistan and India are racing to modernize, expand, and operationalize their nuclear deterrent capabilities. Generally US vows for a non-proliferation nuclear policy towards South Asia. However, the nuclear policies towards South Asia slightly varied in times of different US leaders. The Clinton administration’s nonproliferation goals were “first to cap, then over time reduce, and finally eliminate weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in South Asia”. Moving away from the Clinton administration’s nuclear policy toward South Asia, the Bush administration decided not to try to persuade India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or to give up their nuclear weapons programs. However, President Obama’s expressed desire about a nuclear-weapon-free World. Realistically, however, the movement proposing ‘nuclear zero’ has failed to receive substantial support in India or Pakistan. Both states’ strategic environments discourage initiatives for their denuclearization. In the Pakistani case, the United States weighed its nonproliferation concerns against other geostrategic interests. Pakistan borders on Iran, Afghanistan and China, and is close to the Gulf and neighbors the resource rich Central Asian Republics. The United States hoped to revive its cold war pattern of friendship with Pakistan, and to use Islamabad as a stabilizing influence in the region. In the Indian case, the flourishing India’s economy gave the United States an unprecedented opening to gain economic and diplomatic advantages. The U.S. did not, however, implement tangible, targeted, and sustained sanctions against India’s nuclear weapons program. On the contrary, the U.S. agreed to reschedule India’s external debt, increased its economic assistance to India, and for a few years continued to supply nuclear fuel to India’s nuclear reactors. The U.S. provision of unconditional military, economic, and technological assistance to countries with active nuclear weapons programs highlighted the contradictions between its declared and operational nonproliferation policies.
The Obama administration takes care to ensure that its course corrections give a feeling of satisfaction to India without adding to the concerns of Pakistan and China. Common bilateral ideals and interests are the motivating factors between US and India.
US for sure is not practicing its non-proliferation policy, contrary practicing a prejudiced nuclear policy towards Pakistan. The partnership with India has extended beyond nuclear issues. As the New York Times recounts, “the American and Indian militaries increased joint exercises; exchanged trade delegations; their companies won expanded access to the other’s markets; and U.S. officials began to talk up India as a rising great power in a new century”.
US presents justification for this biased approach by pointing the Pakistan’s nuclear security system, he shows concerns that terrorism is increasing in Pakistan thus non state actors are a great threat to the nuclear weapons. Pakistan says that nuclear weapons are not like conventional weapon that can be easily stolen and Pakistan’s standard operating programs are not easy to understand. General Tariq Majeed said that such timid episodes are being created to push Pakistan to sign NPT, CTBT and FMCT and for that reason US is using misinformation against Pakistan’s military agency, intelligence and government. US didn’t find any loophole in Pakistan’s nuclear system. US is just forcing Pakistan as he wanted to have India hegemony in the region for its own strategic interests in the region.
After 123 Agreement India is importing nuclear energy from US, and enjoying assistance of NSG. Pakistan is not enjoying any waiver like this. Indian agreement with the IAEA was a pre-condition for the implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal and allows the 45-member NSG to supply material and technology for India’s ambitious nuclear power programme. India due to NSG is signing different accords with Russia, Britain, Australia, Canada and many other states and can increase its fissile material. The NSG granted the waiver to India in 2008 allowing it to access civilian nuclear technology and fuel from other countries. The implementation of this waiver made India the only known country with nuclear weapons which is not a party to the NPT and NSG but is still allowed to carry out nuclear commerce with the rest of the world. Nevertheless US seek to change this criterion of NSG by removing the condition of NPT in order to fix India in required criteria for membership.
India the most hostile neighbor of Pakistan, after all these strategic pacts is swiftly increasing its nuclear stockpiles. Currently India is having twenty nuclear plants and it is looking forward to expand its nuclear programme. However Pakistan on other hand is not enjoying such strategic pacts. All the nuclear reserves which India is filling after civil nuclear deals with many countries can be used for military purposes. US overtly speak for India as a hegemonic regional power and he is doing his best to fortify Indo-US strategic ties.
Pakistan has showed grave concern over Indian continuous nuclear expansion and its desire to achieve the second strike capability through nuclear submarine, As Indian nuclear expansion is disturbing the balance of regional nuclear deterrence.
As US remained fail to practice its non-proliferation policy towards South Asia, in result New Delhi and Islamabad failed to negotiate and execute a bilateral arms control agreement or treaty, which could prevent a nuclear arms race and decrease the mistrust between them.
U.S. objectives in South Asia have been inconsistent, the tools used to carry out U.S. nonproliferation policy, incentives or sanctions were based to satisfy US own interests in the region. Thus, punitive measures were inconsistently applied and proved ineffective. US never implemented its nuclear non-proliferation policy in its true sense conversely persuading a discriminatory policy towards Pakistan by giving nuclear incentives and signing nuclear accords with India. This discrimination is forcing Pakistan to increase the number of its nuclear weapons and to seek nuclear technology from countries other than US, as a result US is provoking a nuclear arm race in region.

Comments

  1. Kashmir issue is a nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan .... UN have to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
    www.kashmirvoice.org

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