International Relations department marks "TWENTY YEARS OF NUCLEARIZATION OF SOUTH ASIA"

Peshawar: In memory of Yom-e-Takbeer, a seminar took place at the department of International Relations, University of Peshawar titled: “20 years of nuclearization of South Asia: Technical and Political Dimensions”. The seminar was addressed by Dr Rauf Khan, Director, IRNUM Peshawar and Prof Dr Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, Chairman Department of International Realtios, University of Peshawar.

Dr Soherwordi said that Pakistan and India went nuclear in May 1998. Pakistan’s operation was nick-named as Chaghai 1 on 28 and Chaghai 2 on 30th May. Earlier, India’s project of going nuclear was named as Shakti 1,2, and 3. With India’s tests, the tone of speaking with Pakistan was completely changed. India’s home minister said that the strategic balance has changed in South Asia. Another leader of the BJP said: “India was now in a position to take control of AK”. Thus Pakistan was to think about it security. Under extreme pressure from the US and world community for not going for the tests, Pakistan had to take decisions for itself by itself. Pakistan was offered $ 6 billion by the US as a compensation for not going for it. Moreover, most of the economists were predicting that this would cost Pakistan a lot in economic terms. In those days, we used to say that those who think about strategic balance from economic perspective think from their tummy. Thus Pakistan didn’t go nuclear. Pakistan conducted defensive nuclear tests. Pakistan passed through temporary sanctions. But see, today Pakistan is a nuclear weapon state. Viability of deterrence by Pakistan may be seen from the fact that Indian general Shankar Roy Chaudhri said that had Pakistan not possessed Nukes, India would have attacked Pakistan during Parliament crisis of 2001 & Mumbai crisis of 2008.

Now What?

There are two important things: Theory of deterrence and Strategy of deterrence. Theory is that the “Deterrence is a theory to influence enemy’s assessment of its interests”. Strategy is “that the adversary is hostile and will act if an opportunity arises”. This means upgrading missiles system, means of delivery & Warheads, improving accuracy like Ghauri Missiles, enhancing capacity to hit and destroy more cities.

Current level of crisis is such that the Nuclear deterrence has stopped the path of an all out war. Both are scared of each other. Hence, they may resort to a conflict of low intensity without touching nuclear threshold. However, this is also a question as who would draw the line of not using the nukes in a conventional war or in a low intensity conflict? During Kargil war, there were resonances of the use of nukes on both sides of the divide. So was the case during Mumbai Crisis of 2008 as witnessed by General Chaudhri.

Deterrence may fail if the enemy miscalculates the adversary. This may be on the basis of domestic political compulsions, international pressure, removing attention from a particular government or for public consumption.

Its very important that Pakistan is a nuclear weapon state carrying around 90 to 120 nukes. However, its directly related to other determinants of national power. Nukes are a part of national power but not the national power of a state. Economy, technology, skilled manpower, strong currency, poverty line, youth employment, education, S & T advancement, and national integration are the determinants of a country’s power. Soviet Union had thousands of Nukes, which could not contain it from disintegration. Nukes are a guarantee to Pakistan’s security. However, human security is direly needed which may be focused along with many other factors.

Another challenge is cyber security in the security of nuclear weapons. Today Palistan is an established nuclear weapon state. After 20 years from enigma to reality, Pakistan is a secure state in the region.

Dr Muhammad Rauf Khattak, Director of IRNUM Peshawar was the guest speaker of the event. He said that the Peaceful use of atom or nuclear technology is the cornerstone of his field. Pakistan atomic technology is responsible for use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes like medical.  KANUP and IRNUM are Cancer prevention program. Major fascilities- nuclear images like x rays, Oncology- radiation and medical physics are important means of medical treatment in the present age and IRNUM is working its best to benefit this to patients. Teaching and training and research fascilities are also important part of IRNUM. He spoke more about medicines from the Nuke technology. He further said that although, Shoukat Khanum hospital and Agha Khan hospital are working for treating Cancer patients,  80% is treatment is done by IRNUM and allied hospitals in Pakistan.