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Pakistan Defence Minister’s Nuclear Blackmail: Responsible Nuclear State Behaviour?

Roshan Writes: Is Pakistan different from North Korea? Both countries have been known to use their nuclear status to blackmail adversaries, then why does the global community have different standards while responding to their threats?

Roshan Writes: Pakistan Defence minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, fell victim to a fake news article on Israel threatening to launch a nuclear strike against Pakistan, when he tweeted that Israel must not forget that Pakistan is capable of mounting a similar attack[i].It is not the first time that the defence minister was seen to use such an irresponsible, deplorable comment. Previously in September he had threatened to use Tactical Nuclear Weapons against India when he commented while giving an interview to Pakistani TV channel SAMAA, that “Tactical weapons, our programmes that we have developed, they have been developed for our protection. We haven’t kept the devices that we have just as showpieces”. India in the past has been voicing concerns over Pakistan’s irresponsible behaviour when it comes to nuclear weapons.  The question is where does it stems from? Are the Pakistani minister’s so naive that they do-not understand that such kind of comments will place Pakistan as an irresponsible nuclear state and damage their reputation, or there is more to it than meets the eye. We all know the role of military in Pakistan’s political system. Often it has transgressed its boundaries, and if this comment is at the behest of the military then this depict a dangerous trend. This jingoism will impact the security of this region in future, hence, such kind of tweets needs to be condemned.

Also, Is Pakistan different from North Korea? Both countries have been known to use their nuclear status to blackmail adversaries, then why does the global community have different standards while responding to their threats?  When North Korea becomes belligerent the global community goes overboard, placing sanctions and restrictions, so why not apply the same standards of judgement to Pakistan. Pakistan, as a historically proven perpetuator of terrorist activities, should be given the same treatment as North Korea.

We know that on one hand Pakistan is the hub of jihadi terrorist groups and it is alleged that there are some 20-deadly terrorist organisations residing in Pakistan, whereas on the other hand Pakistan has seen an increase in the stockpile of nuclear fissile material, considering there are no standard nuclear safety and security mechanisms there, hence such kind of jingoism may enhance the chances of non-state actor acquiring these materials for nuclear terrorism. As such there had been reports in the past of the failed attempts of Al Qaida leaders negotiating with Pakistani scientists for attaining nuclear materials.  One should understand that an ideologically motivated terrorist will not see any geographical boundaries in using such deadly weapons, so countries who have the leverage to control Pakistan must act positively, they should also support other countries in bringing the terrorist to justice and not support Pakistan. Terrorism is a global concern hence constructive mechanisms should be adopted to prevent its proliferation.

End Notes

[i] Nuke Israel over Fake News,Indian Express, 25 December 2016, at http://indianexpreThis ss.com/article/india/pakistan-defence-minister-israel-nuclear-attack-fake-news-4444055/

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