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Pakistan Nuclear Weapons Symbol of Honor and Security

Significance of Youm-e-Takbeer  by Reema Shaukat

Pakistan became the first Muslim nuclear power on 28th May, 1998 by detonating several nuclear devices in the Chagai district, Balochistan. Despite immense international pressure especially from the US, Pakistan was compelled to conduct at least six nuclear tests on May 28 and 30, 1998 in response to Indian grand scheme. Pakistan’s nuclear tests were widely criticized though Pakistan’s nuclear programme is part of its self defence against India. Nuclear Pakistan is deterrence against India’s powerful conventional military might.

Be it a democratic government or military rule, Pakistan’s nuclear programme was never unheeded but the acclaim goes to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who initiated Pakistan’s nuclear programme in 1972. India tested its first nuclear device in 1974 under its nuclear programme named “Smiling Buddha”. This initiative by India gave momentum to Pakistan’s nuclear programme and Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan who was German trained metallurgist and nuclear physicist came to Pakistan and gave a boost to Pak nuclear programme. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan established Kahuta Research Laboratories in 1976 which worked under the supervision of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.  ZulIfiqar Ali Bhutto, once  had said, “if India builds the nuclear bomb, we will make a nuclear bomb, too, even if have to eat grass .” The Christians have the bomb, the Jews have the bomb and now the Hindus have the bomb. Why not the Muslims have the bomb?”  Many scientists of Pakistan including Chairman PAEC of that time Munir Ahmad Khan, Abdus Salam, Dr. Ishrat Usmani,Dr. Samar Mubarak Mundd and several others have played a pivotal role in making Pakistan first Muslim and seventh nuclear power of the world. Mr. Nawaz Sharif who was also Prime Minister at that time stated after the nuclear tests that they were forced by the Indian leadership’s reckless actions and that it was in the interest of national self-defense to deter an external aggression, whether nuclear or conventional.

After the reciprocal nuclear explosions of both states, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution advising India and Pakistan to stop their nuclear programmes. The United States and other Western states imposed economic sanctions against Pakistan. The U. N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, urged both the countries to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which Pakistan agreed to sign if India did the same.

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are widely criticized by overlooking Indo-US deals and Cold Start Doctrine. From a military standpoint, doctrine for the use of tactical nuclear weapons must be operationally credible so as to enhance deterrence. Pakistan’s need for doctrine refurbishing with specific regard to tactical nuclear weapons is rooted in challenges, which are all genuine due to growing Indian conventional as well as nuclear capabilities.

With the introduction of low-yield or tactical nuclear weapons our doctrine has not changed principally but now it is defined as Full Spectrum Deterrence. These low yield nuclear weapons are under sharp focus of US and west and often say that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals are under high risk of theft, which surely is a wrong postulate.

National Command Authority in its 22nd session, held in February 2016 restated that nuclear deterrence is the factor of stability in South Asia and Pakistan will maintain Full Spectrum Deterrence in proportion to strategy of Credible Minimum Deterrence. Pakistan has the required credentials that entitle it to become part of all multi-lateral export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group in which Pakistan strive for a non-discriminatory approach.

Not a single nuclear radiation accident in Pakistan has occurred since it became nuclear and all its reactors are ensured under IAEA safeguards.  Pakistan has always acted sensibly while avoiding arms race in region and India’s hostile intentions forced Pakistan to go for nuclear tests. 28th May was announced as “Youm-e-Takbeer” or” The Day of God’s greatness”  and every year it honors the contribution of those scientists and heroes which made Pakistan stand out and shine as a first Islamic nuclear power.

Pakistan is a nuclear country. It’s the duty of every national of Pakistan to never undermine country’s strength and let not turn our strength into weakness by international pressures. Pakistan must stand firm in its current approach of carrying forward development of low-yield short-range missiles to not only flop Indian designs of undermining Pakistan multilaterally but also to shield its political and economic interests alongside country’s security and sovereignty.

Pakistan’s policymakers must continue good relations with the US and West without compromising on the promising relations with China and Russia. Our foreign policy, must also depict Pakistan as a first Muslim nuclear power state and the spirit of Youm-e-Takbeer should be maintanined.

As Feroz Hassan Khan, nuclear strategist, has rightly said in his book “Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb”,  Pakistan’s nukes have “evolved into the most significant symbol of national determination and a central element of Pakistan’s identity”. Pakistan Nuclear Weapons stands a symbol of honor and assured security.

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