Is Pakistan making its defence capability more potent? Is it investing in its nuclear capacity? The answer to both these questions is YES! They are, but if you are an avid viewer of Fareed Zakaria’s prominent show ‘GPS’ you’d definitely be of the view that Pakistan is the only country buffing up its military and nuclear might and its authorities may be too incompetent in protecting its nuclear arsenal.
What Zakaria ignored was that the uranium stockpiles Pakistan has are used for both civil and military uses. Having recently announced a mid-century energy vision, the country plans to use most of its uranium to produce electricity, not weapons. The allegations on the security of the nuclear programme were also baseless. Pakistan has the strongest nuclear security and safety framework in the world. The International Atomic Energy Agency has so much confidence and respect for Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security culture that it is now using Pakistan’s Center for Nuclear Excellence as a regional hub to train others in the norms of safety and security adopted by Pakistan.
Pakistan’s justification of heightening its defence capability makes sense at a time when they are engaged in the biggest counter-terrorism operation, but India’s motivations need to be kept in check. Fareed Zakaria needs to host another show but this time on the city of Challakere, India. When completed, possibly as early as 2017, it will be “the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic-research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities. He can also shed some light on the immunity gained by India via the US-India nuclear deal which allows them to not give access to any military facility such as Challakere.
Another secret project, the Indian Rare Materials Plant, near Mysore is already in operation. It is a new nuclear enrichment complex that is an ambitious project to create an arsenal of hydrogen (thermonuclear) bombs. The recent interest showed by the Indian authorities to buy predator drones from the US also raises concerns regarding how India not only wants to leave Pakistan far behind in the arms race, but also develop the facet of surveillance and spying which will further assist them in their ambition.
The world needs to recognize Pakistani sacrifice in the ongoing War on Terror. But if the mainstream media is fixated on Pakistan and conveniently ignores its efforts in maintaining peace in the region, then this dangerous rhetoric might just cloak the multimillion dollar deals India is making to buff up an already offensive force that it has. India is the forefront in the Anti-China policy being run by the western powers and it went up one place in the Annual report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) of the highest military spending in 2015 from 7th to the 6th spot with a total of $51.3 billion. Media needs to play a responsible role in carefully analyzing the volatile region of South East Asia. Any recent enhancements in the military or nuclear programme of Pakistan are nothing but a knee jerk reaction to the ongoing threat of terrorism and growing military presence of India.
Pakistan has also advocated strongly at the UN to end the duality with which many nuclear states talk about nuclear disarmament. In order to strengthen global security, Pakistan proposed that until nuclear disarmament was achieved, non-nuclear weapon states should be given security assurances against nuclear weapons through a universal, unconditional and legally binding treaty. This is another side of Pakistan the world should surely not ignore or overlook.