Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Safe & Sound

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Few days ago an article appeared praising Pakistan's nuclear security against the outsider threat. However, same article asserted that inside threat to Pakistan's nuclear weapons can be real threat.

Following is the response to the article by Brig (R) Naeem Salik, former Director Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs (ACDA) at the Strategic Plans Division (SPD).

[FONT=&quot]Safe and sound -- Pakistan's nukes[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Friday, June 12, 2009[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]This is in reference to your editorial of June 8 titled "Safe and sound". While I am appreciative of the broader position taken by you on the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, on which there must be no doubt, western propaganda notwithstanding; there are at least two aspects that need to be seen in the correct perspective.

Firstly, while your assertion that Pakistan has invested heavily in the security of its facilities and weapons is absolutely valid, your interpretation that the warheads are 'stored in a disassembled state in more than one location. No warhead is attached to a delivery system. No delivery system is located in the same facility as the warhead parts' is basically speculative, conjectural and conveys a state of operational unpreparedness, which would be a very dangerous situation and seriously erode the credibility of our nuclear deterrence. I have never seen any official statement, and I emphasise on 'any' official statement, depicting the status that you describe in your editorial. The best description that one comes across is the position that our weapons are not on hair trigger, contrary to the Cold War times regarding the American and Soviet nuclear weapons. Now, not being on hair trigger, does not imply scattered and disassembled weapons. Somehow the latter perception seems to have caught the imagination, and needs to be corrected. Any military would want to strike a balance between operational readiness and preventing accidental or unauthorised use.

Secondly, I agree with your concern that there can be individuals in our society who may tend to think of an agenda to find links with people within Pakistan's strategic organisations to gain nuclear knowledge, thereby creating an 'insider threat'. This must, however, be seen in consideration of Pakistan's proactive response to such possibilities. Nuclear security is a multi-dimensional and robust mechanism that covers all aspects of security, including physical security tiers, intelligence systems, counter-intelligence set-ups, technical solutions to security and more importantly the so-called Personnel Reliability Programme (PRP) that amply covers the human factor risk. All individuals within the nuclear establishment are subjected to the PRP, which commences from background checks, police records, medical records, etc and goes on to include security screening, periodic, as well as random security clearances, closely monitored access controls, two-person rule, sensitive material accounting, etc. The list is long and stringent. While one is never complacent about security systems and one must never be- we should rest assured that any potential tendency of a possible 'insider threat' would be identified at the outset and would be nipped in the bud. Finally, much seems to have been made of the so-called US assistance in this area. To the best of my information, it has been extremely modest, focused on very elementary training and mostly inconsequential -- and most certainly non-intrusive. All of the security solutions in place are home-grown and entirely indigenous.

Brigadier (r) Naeem Ahmed Salik

Islamabad [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Safe and sound -- Pakistan's nukes[/FONT]


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Pakistan and the Bomb: How the U.S. Can Divert a Crisis -

USA can’t take over Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons

USA’s thirty years of struggle to stop Pakistan becoming nuclear state became fruitless when it exploded atomic bombs on 28th may 1998 and till know established state of the art command and control system and to secure it. In Clinton’s era it was suggested by senior analyst that USA with help of India, Afghanistan and China pressurize Pakistan and make it alone in the region to give up her nuclear program. Atom bomb itself is no threat but the country which attains it is a threat and that is Pakistan which is threat right now.
This suggestion is published on 1st of June in Wall Street Journal. In Clinton’s era Bruce Rydal was in charge of Indo-Pak region and has written also on Indo-Pak Kargil War. In Kargil War USA was openly sided to India diplomatically and militarily. This step was taken by USA to show India that in past it was aligned to Pakistan doesn’t means that it is permanent friend of Pakistan. USA also signed many Long term economic and military pacts with India.
Bruce Rydal says according to defense analysts, Pakistan has 60 to 100 atom bombs in its arsenal and no body knows where they are stored. That is also happy news for Pakistani Nation. After Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s incident he was afraid that Pakistan’s nuclear program is finished. He also added due to Pakistan’s military nuclear program USA has very limited options left.
Bruce Rydal also written in his column, President Clinton gave options to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that if he withdraw to explode atom bomb May 1998 to answer India’s atomic explosions in early 1998, USA will grant them 6 billion dollars package to Pakistan. Economic situation of Pakistan was very critical in 1998 and the only option left was IMF (International Monetary Fund). But rather taking economic package form USA to secure small term economic situation he chose to make Pakistan a nuclear deterrent state and exploded atomic weapon that’s way USA and rest of the world has limited options left. Mr. Rydal was member of discussion team from USA and was in Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif instead of giving verbal answer exploded atomic weapon.
Mr. Rydal didn’t declare Pakistan’s atom bomb as “Islamic Bomb”. Other western analyst says that Taliban and Al-Qaeda will take over Pakistan and are just 60 miles away from Islamabad and if the capture Islamabad the nuclear weapons automatically fell in their hands. Second option is that if Pakistan’s those parties which has soft corner towards Taliban came in power then they can use nuclear weapons. USA is the only country which has used nuclear weapons. Since 1950, USA is threatening to use nuclear weapons but up till now including Russia and other nuclear weapons states didn’t use these weapons. In 1962, Cuba Missile Crisis President John F Kennedy announced to use nuclear weapons against Soviet Union.
Last year elected civil democratic government of Pakistan gives a new policy to India that Pakistan will never attack India first with nuclear weapons in state of war. According to Rydal, Military leadership in against of non-first nuclear attack policy of civil government. Nuclear weapons are used as a first strike or pre-emptive strike when your enemy has the capability of destroying your regular armed by traditional war. India and Pakistan’s armed forces are not balance. Pakistan can’t stand longer against India’s large quantity of weapons and regular troops. So Pakistan should keep the first nuclear attack option open. Pakistan has made nuclear weapons for the safety of its resources and millions of its people.
Mr. Rydal has given suggestion to civil government of Pakistan to amend non-first nuclear attack policy. He also wrote some positive points in his column. Nuclear weapons of Pakistan to be secured by any other country or to capture them are not the way or easy task. Pakistan is very well equipped and trained to secure its nuclear weapons and other thing is that no one knows that where they have been stored and in how much quantity. It is impossible to capture or secure all the nuclear weapons. Pakistan is making nuclear weapons rapidly.
Those politicians who ran away from the country in short notice they can think of non-first nuclear first policy. But the millions of people who have to live in Pakistan its nuclear weapons and its security is matter of live or death for them. And they will never believe on their arch rival India on this matter.
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