The Bomb: Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan

Published: January 22, 2012

The writer currently teaches physics and political science at LUMS. He taught at Quaid-i-Azam University for 36 years and was head of the physics department. He received a doctorate in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Once upon a time Iran was Pakistan’s close ally — probably its closest one. In 1947, Iran was the first to recognise the newly independent Pakistan. In the 1965 war with India, Pakistani fighter jets flew to Iranian bases in Zahedan and Mehrabad for protection and refuelling. Both countries were members of the US-led Seato and Cento defence pacts, Iran opened wide its universities to Pakistani students, and the Shah of Iran was considered Pakistan’s great friend and benefactor. Sometime around 1960, thousands of flag-waving school children lined the streets of Karachi to greet him. I was one of them.

The friendship has soured, replaced by low-level hostility and suspicion. In 1979, Ayatollah Khomenei’s Islamic revolution, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, set major realignments in motion. As Iran exited the US orbit, Pakistan joined the Americans to fight the Soviets. With Saudi money, they together created and armed the hyper-religious Pashtun mujahideen. Iran too supported the mujahideen — but those of the Tajik Northern Alliance. But as religion assumed centrality in matters of state in both Pakistan and Iran, doctrinal rifts widened.

These rifts are likely to widen as the US prepares for its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Iranians cannot forget that in 1996, following the Soviet pullout from Afghanistan, the Taliban took over Kabul and began a selective killing of Shias. This was followed by a massacre of more than 5,000 Shias in Bamiyan province. Iran soon amassed 300,000 troops at the Afghan border and threatened to attack the Pakistan-supported Taliban government. Today, Iran accuses Pakistan of harbouring terrorist anti-Iran groups like Jundullah on its soil and freely allowing Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and its associates to ravage Pakistan’s Shia minority. Symptomatic of the grassroot-level change, Farsi is no longer taught in Pakistani schools.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s footprint in Pakistan has grown steadily since the early 1970s. Pakistani leaders, political and military, frequently travel to the Kingdom to pay homage or seek refuge. The dependency on Saudi money grew. After India had tested its Bomb in May 1998 and Pakistan was mulling over the appropriate response, the Kingdom’s grant of 50,000 barrels of free oil a day helped Pakistan decide in favour of a tit-for-tat response and cushioned the impact of sanctions subsequently imposed by the US and Europe. The Saudi defence minister, Prince Sultan, was a VIP guest at Kahuta, where he toured its nuclear and missile facilities just before the tests. Years earlier Benazir Bhutto, the then serving prime minister, had been denied entry.

The quid pro quo for the Kingdom’s oil largesse has been soldiers, airmen, and military expertise. Saudi officers are trained at Pakistan’s national defence colleges. The Pakistan Air Force, with a high degree of professional training, helped create the Royal Saudi Air Force and Pakistani pilots flew combat missions against South Yemen in the 1970s. Saudi Arabia is said to have purchased ballistic missiles produced in Pakistan.

So what happens if Iran goes nuclear, and Saudi Arabia wants to follow?

For all its wealth, Saudi Arabia does not have the technical and scientific base to create a nuclear infrastructure. Too weak to defend itself and too rich to be left alone, the country has always been surrounded by those who eye its wealth. It has many universities staffed by highly paid expatriates and tens of thousands of Saudi students have been sent to universities overseas. But because of an ideological attitude unsuited to the acquisition of modern scientific skills, there has been little success in producing a significant number of accomplished Saudi engineers and scientists.

Perforce, Saudi Arabia will turn to Pakistan for nuclear help. This does not mean outright transfer of nuclear weapons by Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. One cannot put credence on rumours that the Saudis have purchased nuclear warheads stocked at Kamra air force base, to be flown out at the opportune time. Surely, this would certainly lead to extreme reaction from the US and Europe, with no support offered by China or Russia. Moreover, even if a few weapons were smuggled out, Saudi Arabia could not claim to have them. Thus they could not serve as a nuclear deterrent.

Instead, the Kingdom’s route to nuclear weapons is likely to be circuitous, beginning with the acquisition of nuclear reactors for electricity generation. The spent fuel from reactors can be processed for plutonium. Like Iran, it will have to find creative ways by which to skirt around the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – which forbids reprocessing spent fuel. But it doubtless takes heart from the fact that the US forgave India for its nuclear testing in 1998, and eventually ended rewarding it with a nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia had unwillingly signed on to the NPT in 1988. Its position then was that it would be happy to sign up but only if Israel did the same. That, of course, never happened. But Saudi Arabia had no option but to follow the US diktat.

The Kingdom’s first steps towards making nuclear weapons are being contemplated. In June 2011, it said that 16 nuclear reactors were to be built over the next 20 years at a cost of more than $300 billion, each reactor costing around $7 billion. Arrangements are being made to offer the project for international bidding and the winning company should “satisfy the Kingdom’s needs for modern technology”. To create, run and maintain the resulting nuclear infrastructure will require importing large numbers of technical workers. Some will be brought over from western countries, as well as Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

But Saudi Arabia will likely find engineering and scientific skills from Pakistan particularly desirable. Since many are Sunni Muslims, the Pakistanis would presumably be sympathetic with the Kingdom’s larger goals. Having been in the business of producing nuclear weapons for nearly 30 years under difficult circumstances, they would also be familiar with supplier chains for hard-to-get items needed in a weapons programme. And because salaries in Saudi Arabia far exceed those in Pakistan, many qualified people could well ask for leave from their parent institutions at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Kahuta Research Laboratories, and National Development Complex.

Good sense dictates that Iran stops its pursuit of the Bomb. But whether it does or not, Pakistan should stay out of the Iran-Saudi nuclear rivalry. Over and above all this, Israel and the United States must stop threatening to bomb Iran.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd,  2012.

Reader Comments (58)

  • Talha
    Jan 22, 2012 - 10:55PM

    Very apt and well thought out analysis.

    Its a shame that you or people like you don’t hold policy making positions in Pakistan.

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  • arsalan khan
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Saudi arabia and iran’s proxy parties in pakistan have made life difficult for the people.these parties have been spreading sectarian hatred against each other,they’ve been highlighting sectarian differences to gain importance in the eyes of the public in pakistan.we need to stop our country being made a score settling ground for foreign countries.they fight proxy battles in our streets and the loss is for pakistan.we are so obsessed with which sect the other person belongs to.the interference and funding by foreign powers in our country should stop.

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  • sidrah amjad
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:10PM

    nuclear weapons should never fall in the hands of religious fanatics.they’ll think that by using these weapons on their enemies they will go to heaven and the common people in that country would be the ones that pay the price.control over such destructive weapons should always be in the hands of people who think rationally.

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  • Nadir
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:19PM

    First it was the Shah of Iran then the Saudi Royals, Pakistan really chooses it friends on how dictatorial and brutal they are!

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  • Arifq
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:37PM

    Good debate Doctor sahib, as usual extremely erudite delivery.

    What would happen if Iranian nuclear facilities were to be attacked? Maybe some success but overall such an attack would favor the serving Iranian regime and translate into increased tension in the region which may become extremely hostile towards US and it’s allies. Remember, US plans to leave Iraq, they cannot stay forever they will have to leave, guess who will be the biggest beneficiary? Iran of course and the biggest loser? Saudis, as they have already lost a dependable ally in Iraq, counterbalancing act in the region. Threats of attacking Iranian nuclear facailities to me appear to be pressure tactics and no more, I may be wrong but being wrong carries a huge cost for regional countries which includes Pakistan, therefore it’s in our interest to diffuse any tension. Saudis depend on Pakistan military for logistics and security umbrella and this has been true from the seventies well before the nuclear bomb arrived, here honorable Doctor sahib may be wrong in his deductions. Both Sunni dominated countries have common interests, long history of working together in the cold war against the soviets and being patronized by America. None of that is expected to change, Pakistan will continue to depend on Saudi support and lose sovereignty.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:47PM

    Sir, I have read some of your articles and it simply leaves me baffled as to why are people like you not involved in actual policy making decisions in Pakistan ??
    Pakistan would not be in its current cauldron, and relationship with its neighbours would have been lot more stable, hence would also have helped expand its economy, and not so dependant on Aid and Handouts, as its become for Pakistan.
    This Nation really needs to have a serious Policy Makers and also those that can implement it for its basic survival !!!

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  • romm
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Very good advice to religious fanatics in the corridors of power…

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  • Mir Agha
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:00AM

    The only thing a reasonable person can agree on with hoodbhoy is the need to re-establish the close relationship with Iran. They haven’t done jack to us while we have done everything imagineable to them, for no reason at all. The past few years have been a welcome change. In fact, the only foreing policy positive for this present government is the forward movement in relations with Iran. Be it on energy (IP pipeline, electricty), economy (exchange of currencies, academic exchanges, trade associations, railway connection etc), or geo-political cooperation (ultimately the same goal in Afghanistan free of foreign interference, common Central Asian vision, recognition of the danger of the US in Afghanistan and the need for an inclusive afghan process).

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:09AM

    If (less chances) iran goes Nuclear then diffenitelly Saudi arabia will do the same and lot of pakistanis sciencists will get good jobs so go iran go.

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  • S A
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:16AM

    The race of nuclear weapons is going to be horrible for the entire region.

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:16AM

    The opinion expressed in this article is totally conjectural, and based on altruistic nihilism.
    A derivative of the theory of DETERRENCE is the MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION (MAD) Theory. Facing the Soviet threat, America adopted this theory, and most people believe that this posture saved mankind from Nuclear Destruction.
    .
    As long as the neo-cons in America and the Zionist-entity keep repeating the threatening mantra: ‘all options are on the table’, Iran has moral right and life-imperative to take ALL MEASURES NECESSARY TO PREPARE ITS OWN DEFENCE. This is a GOD given right and does not have to be negotiated through the Security Council.
    .
    When India introduced nuclear weapons into South Asia, Pakistan rightly met the challenge to its existence. Since India is eight times the size of Pakistan, Pakistan should not feel safe until the size of its Nuclear Arsenal is eight time the size of India’s.
    .
    Similarly, if Iran feels that those threatening it can annihilate and destroy 100% of Iran, then it should build an arsenal large enough for 100% destruction of its enemies

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:25AM

    Iranians are being sensible by not producing useless atomic weapons and using their nuclear know how to produce electricity and radio isotopes for cancer treatment. Everyone knows Iran has mastered nuclear fuel cycle from mining uranium to producing fuel rods, and if they choose to build an A bomb they have all the ingredients and human capital to do so in very short time, recent IAEA’s report which was based on a stolen laptop doesn’t prove nothing because it just repeated 2003 report. Iran right now is a credible military and political power in our area, according to media reports they not only brought down stealth spy plane but successfully blinded a spy satellite with powerful laser weapon. Their universities are producing top students with girls leading the charge, they are self sufficient in producing food and their health system is impressive. It is important we learn from their experience in science and technology, agriculture and human development. On the other hand Saudia is highly volatile country, with increasing discontent in oil producing Shia province.Recommend

  • khurram
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:41AM

    a very brave insight …. good one

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  • umar abad
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:53AM

    The writer surprisingly, didnot mention that the internal security situation in the Kingdom is pretty delicate. King Abdullah, aged 87, has not been active since july 2010 due to his health issues. Speculation, meanwhile continues over succession disputes regarding the Allegiance Council in particular, along with the anti regime protests in the eastern city of Awamiyah, calling for political reforms.
    Amidst these conditions, the death of the King, which might not be imminent, but atleast needs to be regarded as an important factor in the foreseeable future, would play an interesting role, to which the author has not addressed.

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  • Cautious
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:57AM

    The Saudi’s don’t rely on Pakistan for military expertise – no one does. The Saudis buy their planes from the USA and those purchases come with training provided by American’s. As far as nukes go – if Iran develops the bomb all the Saudi’s have to do is get the USA to sign a mutual defense treaty which specifies that a nuclear attack on Saudi Arabia will be considered a nuclear attack on the USA – that beat all the rigamarole about using Pakistan’s “so called” nuclear expertise.

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  • John B
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:58AM

    The author missed one important point. It is Saudi Arabia that does not want Iran to go nuclear and is backing all the efforts of US, including on the recent central bank sanctioning. In the next ten years, uranium reactors will be banned by IAEA to prevent the reprocessing of spent fuels.

    The time for using the bomb for concession has gone since 9/11.

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  • Bipul Rajput
    Jan 23, 2012 - 1:03AM

    The Iranian leadership mostly believes that the coming of the 12th Imam can only be hastened by “setting up” Armageddon, ergo, weapons of mass destruction are especially dangerous in the possession of people who believe in the end of days or a messiah lead new beginning.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jan 23, 2012 - 1:40AM

    @Bipul Rajput:
    Your theory may have some merit, however in this day and age, rest assure that makority if Iranians are simply concerned about the hardships they are likely to fave and their economy is not in good state either, even with their resources.
    The golden rule is when clergy and politicians mix, it creates a lethal cocktail “Snakebite”.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 23, 2012 - 1:42AM

    @Bipul Rajput: they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, certainly your comments show that. According to Muslim text Imam Mehdi will not need weapons to spread justice nor Iranian Ayotollahs are anti humans, infact Ayotollahs issued religious decree against anti human weapons like A bomb.Recommend

  • stenson
    Jan 23, 2012 - 1:55AM

    @Cautious: You really don’t know much about Arab military ability do you? Whatever limited victories the “Arab” pilots scored in Arab Israeli wars was largely through exploits by Pakistani pilots on depuation with Arab forces. Pakistani soldiers and military men are renowned for their martial abilities and can outperform anything the arabs can muster. That’s why Arabs prefer the native martial races of Pakistan for fighting over their own soldiers too. As for nuclear technology, at least Pakistan developed it on its own. You Indians had to take western gifted nuclear aid like the Canadian Candu reactor and divert it to start a nuclear arms race in South Asia.

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 23, 2012 - 2:42AM

    @Bipul Rajput:
    Salutations, Bipul
    It is not only that some Muslims believe in the Second Coming of the Savior, ALL CHRISTIANITY BELIEVES IN IT. Christianity also claims that the Savior will come after APOCALYPTIC EVENTS. A number of branches of present-day Christianity also believe that all Mankind will after the SECOND ADVENT turn Christian. This is why some branches of Christianity support Zionism: they want the end of time to come AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, for then everybody will be Christian.

    I am a Muslim, but not hot on this stuff.

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  • Arindom
    Jan 23, 2012 - 2:56AM

    So after proliferating to Libya, Pakistan now wants to run another black-market Nuclear-Walmart!! This time in Saudia and surely in the rest of the Mid East!!! Best of Luck!!

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  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 23, 2012 - 3:28AM

    How about we stay neutral and keep out of the mess ? Pakistan hosts the 2nd Largest Shia Population of the world. Rather than defining us as a South Asian or Middle Eastern Country, why not start a movement from the ground roots which allows people to appreciate and respect each other differences rather than fight over them. This mess has gone on far enough. We are not a chess board for Religious and Ethnic violence.

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  • Maryam
    Jan 23, 2012 - 4:15AM

    I am aspiring for a Pakistan where people like you will be sitting in the policy formulation domain to lead us to some sanity. But alas, I see a bleak future as more and more hawks want to crawl to the policy decision level which is pathetic.

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  • Mustafa Moiz
    Jan 23, 2012 - 4:41AM

    You always seem to have an extra sympathy for Iran’s position in all this. Iran has not been justified in any of its actions since 1979, including stationing troops at the Afghan border, supporting Afghan traitors like the late warlord Masood in the 1980s, supporting tyrants like the Baath Party in Syria, attempting to stir revolution in Bahrain and the Gulf time and again.
    Also, though it is not of much importance, I would just like to mention that before saying Iran might have been our closest ally before the revolution of 1979, remember Turkey. They are more than allies to us, they are our brothers.

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  • ADEEL759
    Jan 23, 2012 - 6:19AM

    I respectfully disagree with Dr Sahibs idea that rumours could not be used as Nuclear Deterrence. Infact it could, but rumours also have to have some element of credence to it, throught the happening of chain of events. For example, once Saudis have got few functional Nuclear Reactors with Highly Enriched Uranium being processsed, all they need is a credible news outlet, with a credible investigative journalist quoting top ranking annonymous officials, both from Pak and saudia to ascertain that Saudis have procured few bombs from pakistan. And both Govts’s silence on the story could definitively lead to certainty of the rumour which in turn could make saudis nuclear state without acknowledgment, case in point, State Of Israel. There has been no test to prove and never been ascertain by Israelis.

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  • Homa
    Jan 23, 2012 - 8:42AM

    @Ahsan Raza: Well siad. Pakistan a chessboard for iran and saudis. Pakistan is their strategic depth. How ironic. Neither middle eastern nor south asian, only chinese.

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  • Jan 23, 2012 - 11:37AM

    Let we stay out of the mess between KSa and Iran, let them sort out there own issues – none is better then the other for us. West should focus on supporting iranians to bring change from within. there is already the green movement in swing, give them some push to do away with the theocracy.

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  • Jan 23, 2012 - 11:50AM

    @Dr Jamil Chaudri:
    “Pakistan should not feel safe until the size of its Nuclear Arsenal is eight time the size of India’s” –
    Oh!! You mean to say Pakistan can feel safe even if it does not have the economy to safely maintain such an arsenal from extremists and also from the fact that India can at its will enhance its arsenal to an extent not needed just to fry Pakistan completely and without much economic strain.. How smart is that!!??Recommend

  • antanu g
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:52PM

    @Nadir:
    well erstwhile USSR was not a democracy either….but India chose to side with it.Dear its all about national interest …try to learn.

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  • Yusuf
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Relax, there is no bomb. Its Election time in America, just an Iran Hype. Irani Cricus for American Voters.

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  • antanu g
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:55PM

    @Hedgefunder:
    when faced with realities….such ideologies go for a spin….words are easier to utter than actions.

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  • vasan
    Jan 23, 2012 - 3:47PM

    @Dr Jamil Chaudri:
    “Pakistan should not feel safe until the size of its Nuclear Arsenal is eight time the size of India’s” –

    Then Pakistanis may not even have grass to eat.

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  • Mawali
    Jan 23, 2012 - 5:37PM

    Well, respectfully allow me to say “wishful thinking”. US will not allow any Pakistani-Saudi Nuclear cooperation. Just will not happen. However, that is not to say that the US can deny he Saudi’s from acquiring the technology. This will happen pretty much in the same way as the US covertly helped Israel become an open sectret Nuclear state. In other words US will supply and man muclear missiles for the inept but rich Saudi’s. There is a lot of mutual gain in that relationship to be wasted over Pakistan. This country now has the reputation of becoming a 10 Dolla’ w704e.

    I see Iran and India develop a strategic relationship. US will be marginalized. Give India the credit it has played the game on its own terms and not really submitted to the pressure of the high and mighty.

    Remember, Israeli lobby will never allow another Muslim state i.e., the Saudi’s from acquiring home grown nuclear capabilities.

    But then…….its a crap shoot, Pakistan might just get its 10 dolla’s.

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  • workforce
    Jan 23, 2012 - 6:37PM

    I hear Saudis bought several ready-made devices from Pakistan- They are in storage in Kamra AFB.

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  • Cynical
    Jan 23, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Nuclear bomb for KSA is a must.That will ensure the protection of the holiest place on earth.

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  • Umer
    Jan 23, 2012 - 8:53PM

    mr pervez… u r my mentor

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  • mind control
    Jan 23, 2012 - 8:58PM

    @Dr Jamil Choudri

    Since India is eight times the size of Pakistan, Pakistan should not feel safe until the size of its Nuclear Arsenal is eight time the size of India’s.

    Conversely, since Pakistan in only 1/8th of India’s size, it would be long gone before it even gets to use even 1/4th of its nuclear arsenal, what do you do with the rest of it? I hope you are not planning on rebirth in order to use the rest of it.

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 23, 2012 - 10:01PM

    @Indian:
    I think you are underestimating the WILL of the PAKI people. Pakistan was MADE AGAINST THE ODDS. Pakia survived AGAINST THE ODDS.
    See if you can understand this: once the nation feels save from external attacks, the nation can develop according to its genius; if you are not strong, others take over your resources, enslave you, and then the chance to build yourself ceases to exist.
    Regarding economic development: China is only marginally bigger than India in population, but according to the report in
    http://www.firstpost.com/economy/india%E2%80%99s-best-is-not-good-enough-to-beat-china-figures-show-14474.html
    Here is what the above referenced report (Jan 2012) says:
    “In short, despite a decade of dramatic growth (by our own standards), India has fallen farther behind China. India’s position vis-a-vis China as a growing ‘world economic power’ stands diminished as things stand today compared to a decade ago”.
    In 1947, there was no industry in Pakia, there was only one University, for 25000 people there was only one medical doctor. By all the metrics of development, the Republic has made huge strides. And now, there is not much of a difference in the GDP (PPP) between India and Pakia, on the index of GDP (PPP) per unit population: India (4.0), Pakia (3.3).
    Returning to Defence, Yes Pakis will eat GRASS today, rather than be PREVAILED upon tomorrow.

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  • PakistaniCanadian
    Jan 23, 2012 - 11:07PM

    The spent fuel from reactors can be
    processed for plutonium. Like Iran, it
    will have to find creative ways by
    which to skirt around the Nuclear
    Non-Proliferation Treaty – which
    forbids reprocessing spent fuel.

    Dr. Hoodbhoy,

    Just to clarify, the above statement is incorrect. There are no prohibitions in the NPT that precludes any nation from reprocessing spent fuel. Apart from the fact that several non-weapon states party to the NPT have been actively reprocessing spent fuel (such as Japan), you are likely well aware that the only way to obtain P-239 (for peaceful or non peaceful purposes) is through reprocessing spent/half-burnup fuel. If the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ever decided to reprocess spent fuel, it would only have to implement the appropriate IAEA safeguards in place by declaring their intent to reprocess, and the purpose for which they seek to reprocess, and then allowing an inspection regime in place for verification purposes to ensure the material is used only for peaceful purposes.

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  • mind control
    Jan 23, 2012 - 11:13PM

    @Dr Jamil Choudri

    Unless you are inventing a new kind of economics, please remember that China is approximately 3 times the size of India in landmass i.e. 9.6 million sq kms to India’s 3.3 million sq kms, and most economists would agree it means more minerals and more crops and more space for expansion.

    And precisely what odds did Pakistan overcome in its creation? Name one Muslim League leader who spent even 1 hour in British prisons on account of the ‘freedom struggle’. No sir, you got it as a gift from the British.And you have sustained it on account of freebies from the Cento and Seato groupings.

    And when you compare Indian and Pakistani GDP , do you include the gifts of free crude and American aid or exclude it?

    And to the best of my knowledge University of Punjab (Lahore) was established in 1882 and Dacca in 1921. So that makes your assertion off the mark by 100%.

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  • Indian
    Jan 23, 2012 - 11:16PM

    @Dr Jamil Chaudri:
    Now, it becomes my earnest duty to give you answers:
    1) ‘WILL of the PAKI’ – Oh! I understand what you say – ‘I will not accept anything is wrong with me because Allah is my god’!
    2) ‘Pakia survived AGAINST THE ODDS’ – Were you born after 1971 and are you still alive???
    3) ‘once the nation feels save from external attacks, the nation can develop according to its genius’ – Exactly, India has faced 4 from you (dictocracy = hybrid between dictatorship and democracy) and 1 from China (Communist).
    4) ‘India has fallen farther behind China’ – Yeah i understand that a Pakistani finds comfort in seeing India down but apparently you guys forget how China went about controlling its population (2 child policy – Please read about it) and how homogeneous and autocratic it is as against India’s diversity and democracy.
    5) kindly read about India’s economy vs other world giants as predicted by well known economists in 2025.
    6) GDP! – the 12th most failed state of the world and GDP!!! Would you please mind to read why is it that the Pakistani rupee so devalued and why is it that you so dearly need the dollars in loans….

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 23, 2012 - 11:25PM

    @vasan:
    Salutations, Vasan.
    Vasan, you have to understand the others aspirations for life, and expectations in life.
    .
    Some people like life so much that they “run away to live another day”, others “run away to fight another day”. For still others, they just want to live on their own terms, and they try to avoid terms imposed by others. You could even say, the matter is that of weltanschauung
    ..
    Like individuals, nations choose life-styles. For the Pakis, if it implies becoming vegetarian (eating grass), it would be a choice they FREELY EXERCISE, rather than eat KABABS and live in “protective custody”, in RESERVATIONS.

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  • Parvez
    Jan 23, 2012 - 11:34PM

    ED, about the same time as this article another one by Mr.Javed Burki on ‘Bad governance and the economy’ appeared and it was an excellent write up. For some reason you’ll have pulled this article – any particular reason ?

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 24, 2012 - 12:11AM

    @Indian:
    Invective and Abuse, should not be a norm, in discussions.
    1. I said “Will of the PAKI people”; I did not mention ALLAH, nor did I claim to know HIS will.
    2. No I was born in 1946, in Ludihana, in the part of Punjab which the Brutish gave to India. And Yes, I am still alive? It does not say much for your thinking ability when you ask me whether I am alive, for dead men do not write!!
    3. In 1939, Germany said that Poland had invaded it. Indian version of events follows the German style. Now then, how safe do you feel from China?
    4. For the last 40 years, I have analysed development in India, Pakia, Bangalistan, along with other parts of the world. I purposely sent you an Indian article, to make you aware of REALITY as opposed to feel-happy propaganda.
    5. Ditto
    6. Please note some people and some nations DO NOT LIVE (or overly care about) labels OTHERS try to fix on them. In 1984 a US dollar was worth FOUR Swiss Francs; today a US dollar is worth 0.96 Swiss Francs. Could YOU tell me why this is so?
    Now coming back to Iran, it is also a very successful nation. And very friendly to India. Will India help Iran in its hour of need, when it is being squeezed

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  • ahmed
    Jan 24, 2012 - 12:22AM

    dear writer you said pak authorities generated the gap between pak and iran but u can see iran involvement in Baluchistan and and other areas and ur allegation on pak auth is incorrect. i dnt agree with your opinion its base on fabricated stories. if Saudi government want to have nuclear power than Pakistan should assist them why only western wants to have such powers because they can rule the wold.

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 24, 2012 - 1:25AM

    @Indian:
    You appear to suggest that the land area of a country is the sole determinant of Economic Potential. How would you then explain Japan’s industrial might, when it has a very small land area and practically no resources of the type you appear to be alluding to?
    Regarding spending time in British jails, I know only of two types of people who would do that: (1) Criminals (2) Freebooters who want to become guests of the Crown, if possible for a long period, get 3 meals a day, and Ceylon-Tea, clean bed-sheets, and safety from assassins. Most members of Muslim League did not fit either of the two profiles, so why would they spend even an hour in jail?
    Seato and Cento were the biggest self-inflicted disasters for Pakia. Membership of these created a fake friendship, and a sense of security which proved to be virtual, and which Pakia lived to rue. While some Paki Mafiosi may have gained dollars into their accounts, the nation on the whole suffered a net loss.
    Freebees cannot be included in GDP, perhaps their effect could be; however, I have not seen such analysis for Pakia.
    Charles University of Pague, founded by German Princes while they ruled Bohemia, is NO LONGER A GERMAN UNIVERSITY; it is a Czech University. Universität Breslau was another German founded University but which is now a Polish University. These two examples illustrate that references to institutions are made with respect to their current/present jurisdiction, and not historical affiliations or ownerships. Thus University of Dacca was a British (Indian) University, for a short time it was a Paki University, today it is a Bangalistani institution. The statistic I quoted referred to present day Pakia.

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  • Liberalache
    Jan 24, 2012 - 3:00AM

    I also think its important for Saudi Arabia to have a nuclear deterrence. Considering that both our holy cities are located there and the incalculable significance that it holds for the vast majority of Pakistanis…it is unthinkable that Saudi Arabia could be attacked and Pakistanis would not horde to defend her. Just imagine if any country invaded Saudi Arabia…just think for one second….it would be Afghanistan times 100,000! No kidding, I would expect millions of Pakistanis would go over there one way or another and participate in what would become a war that none of us would like to imagine. Not only Pakistanis…Chechnians, Albanians, Afghanis….you name it…every nationality in the world would be headed over there to participate in the war of the end times….or we could simply give them nukes and make sure nobody even thinks about invading Saudi Arabia….which one sounds worse to you?!

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Jan 24, 2012 - 11:41AM

    @Liberalache: ” …. Considering that both our holy cities are located there and the incalculable significance that it holds for the vast majority of Pakistanis…it is unthinkable that Saudi Arabia could be attacked and Pakistanis would not horde to defend her. …”

    Gosh, how very romantic – isn’t this the ULTIMATE fantasy.

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  • Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif PML(N)
    Jan 24, 2012 - 12:34PM

    @Indians,, It is apparent that what you are speaking is completely absurd and out of reality. Please get your facts right. You are only here to speak crap about Pakistan as expected from most Indian especially non-muslims. Else, I do not understand why someone from India would comment on this pakistani news site on a issue not of any concern to India. I would appreciate if you keep your toes in your HINDUstan.

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  • NAVEED TURKMAN
    Jan 24, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Dear HoathBhoy, there is completely contriduction to ur opinion as on one side u say that Iranian govt supported Tajik Northern Alliance while on the other hand u say that she was angry over the massacre of shias in Bamyan.

    Dear, Shias of Bamyan completely separate from those Tajiks as Shias of Bamyan are Hazaras by caste. Iran never supported the Hazaras of Afghanistan. They always supported thier Nejads as Tajik and Iranians are Arian Nejad. U may know the massacre of Hazaras in Afshar, Kabul in 1994 which is completely perpetrated by Tajik, why Iranian did not show its anger on the said issue. Hazaras are only blamed that they were being supported by Iran bcz they r shias, however, iran always remained against Hazaras as hazaras are Turk nejad who occupied iran in past, therefore Iran has hatred against Hazaras.

    It was iran who established several parties amongs Hazaras who were fighting against each other in Central Hazaraistan (Hazarajat). Plz sir do some study about Hazaras of Afghanistan.
    Thanks

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  • LOK
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Your opinion is correct… Iran should do this, Pakistan that, Saudi this and that, US and Israel a bit of this… None of this is going to happen.

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  • romm
    Jan 25, 2012 - 12:07AM

    If Pakistan does proliferation being the Non signitory of NPT, IT’S a crime. But if US being the signitory of NPT, in violation of terms of NPT i.e. nuclear cooperation with non signitory state(India), proliferates, It’s. Crime. Recommend

  • Jan 25, 2012 - 5:23PM

    Actually it is all about oil and the exit from the US dollar and then the exit from hydrocarbons. So thanks to NATO aggression the Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone is taking shape. There is the shift in oil trade which is now denominated in national currencies or gold and next it will be the energy denominate currency, where oil and carbon emission permits are the the value determining the liquidity of the global energy based currency unit. Thus friendship between Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan as well as India, China UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the rest of the Group of 77 (G77) is deepening rapidly. The three relevant articles here are:
    http://pda.trend.az/en/1984119.html
    and
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA26Ak02.html
    and
    http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=6337&magazine=371

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  • FZ
    Feb 1, 2012 - 1:20AM

    What if Iran is right in claiming that it doesn’t want Nukes. It has never ever attacked any country in the past 50 60 years.
    On the flip side, what if all the countries in the region really ONLY make electricity through this technology and usher a new era in the region starting with enhanced life style that we yearn for by moving to West.
    If you have electricity, you can power schools, hospitals, have cheaper research, have industrial growth and much more. Also based on that new comfortable life style, inner differences can be buried, and if you are going to say NO, have a look at Europe years before and after industrial revolution. German, French and British are still fighting but for foreign contracts. At least they are not killing each other.

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  • Kate
    Feb 9, 2012 - 9:10AM

    @Liberalache: ” …. Considering that both our holy cities are located there and the incalculable significance that it holds for the vast majority of Pakistanis…it is unthinkable that Saudi Arabia could be attacked and Pakistanis would not horde to defend her. …”

    I don’t believe anyone has interest in attacking Saudi Arabia on that count! It is quite presumptuous of Pakistanis to consider themselves saviors of Saudis who have bankrolled them at every step.

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  • Kaalchakra
    Feb 9, 2012 - 10:52AM

    Kate and Arijit

    Liberalache is not wrong, even if all of that sounds totally absurd to the rest of us. There is a view that a grain of Mecca/Medina/Arabia is more holy and more valuable than all the land of Pakistan/India/China or the rest of the world. We can expect many Pakistanis to lay down their lives defending such valuable commodity, should it ever be threatened.

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  • wasim
    Feb 9, 2012 - 12:54PM

    Dr Pervaiz keeps on mentioning in his every article how the Pashtun Jihadi complex was built on Saudi funding. I was wondering if he knows that Senator Charlie brown wasn’t a Saudi, the billions which poured into Pakistan were not coming from Riyadh but they were coming from Washington, is there a specific reason due to which Dr. Pervaiz is shy of pointing out American role in building the Jihadi complex.
    As regards the article, as usual it is built on his Pak nuclear Phobia, it is one sided and ignores the real threats faced by Pakistan.

    I am glad that he is not a policy maker in Pakistan, as Policy makers have to be practical they can’t just rely and act on mere hunches and conspiracy theories they have to think and act tactically they cannot be irresponsible on sensitive matters.Recommend

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