Useless arsenals

Pakistan now has over 100 such arms as compared to the 60 to 100 possessed by India.


Editorial February 01, 2011

Many in Pakistan will probably feel rather proud at the thought that according to a report in The Washington Post, we now have more nuclear weapons than India. According to experts cited in the article, Pakistan now has over 100 such arms as compared to the 60 to 100 possessed by India. The thought of what it must have taken to develop these runs through the mind each time one sees a child scavenging for food or a sick person lie in the courtyard of a hospital that has no room for patients. The hawks in Pakistan will argue that the superiority in nuclear arms helps balance India’s advantage in conventional weapons. But does this really make sense? The destructive power of a single nuclear-powered weapon is enough to create havoc on an unimaginable scale. Given this reality, the possibility of firing many dozens of weapons seems remote. A single strike and the expected response from India would be enough to bring both nations to their knees.

There can be no conceivable advantage to building more and more weapons. In terms of humanism or reality, their use is not really an option. One nuclear warhead offers just as much deterrence as many more. The problem is lack of awareness among people about these weapons and the devastating effects of their use. While their acquisition, over a decade ago was hailed as a great national event — it could also be construed as a tragedy. Nuclear weapons bring with them the most terrible horrors. Sadly, people at home are not familiar with these. But if we wish truly to guarantee the security of our nation, it is people we need to invest in. Eventually their well-being holds the key to the security of the country. Arsenals of nuclear weapons, whether they number a few dozen or several hundred cannot really offer a nation any security. There is nothing to be proud off in Pakistan’s latest status as the world’s fifth largest nuclear power. In fact, it counts as a matter of shame that while these weapons are built, and scientific expertise and resources spent on this, people across the country still lack access to safe water, food and other basics of what constitutes a dignified life.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2011.

COMMENTS (17)

Subhan Basha | 10 years ago | Reply Well said Mr.Haseeb. Kashmir suffers under India just like Baluchistan suffers under Pakistan..
Haseeb | 10 years ago | Reply @JOHAR: I hear you but I think you are missing the point. I have seen misleading and exaggerated reports being released for a reason in the past too. Just like they released them before attacking Iraq that it had WMD which were never found. So it not always true what Washington Post publishes. You also missed the point that under Musharraf Pakistan’s GDP grew at about 10% while they were “building this stockpile of nukes”. The real problem here is bad governance and corruption. That is the point and you completely ignored it. You did not address aggressive behavior from India towards Pakistan either. I can post lots of links giving you proof of that assuming you did not see them for the last many years. @Raja: It is naïve that this world will respect weak nation. I would say it is a fools dream at best. Just pay attention to Indian chatter and you will realize that they are not so peace loving. Look at what they are doing in occupied Kashmir. I am sure you read about them in Wikileaks. I am not saying that we should not fix our economic problems but let us not do this by weakening us. Let us not undersell Punjab and its sacrifices for Pakistan. Punjab has not created these problems alone. It is created by ALL of Pakistan and we need to fix it by education, justice, strength, good governance and unity.
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