Our atomic bomb complex

Published: May 30, 2011
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The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore
saroop.ijaz@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@tribune.com.pk

There is something very falsely mawkish and diabolically insensitive about celebrations and chest-beating at the end of a week which suffered multiple terrorist attacks, including one on an important naval base. The venue was Lahore on May 28 and the cause for this sloppy jubilation was the Yaum-e-Takbir, i.e. the anniversary of the ‘Islamic atomic bomb’. A disgracefully and wilfully ignored anniversary falling on the same day was the wanton murder committed in the Ahmadi places of worship, one year ago. The irony here is agonising. If there is one item that brings moral and political certainty in the otherwise grim flux, it is the bomb. The bomb allows for a complete suspension of reason across the political spectrum. The ritualistic solidity of the opinion regarding the bomb is completely apt at some level, given its theological nature. Revelry regarding an instrument of mass destruction, which can kill millions of people in a matter of seconds, defies rationality and decency.

It is evidently imbecilic to ascribe a religion to an inanimate object. Yet, at some level, the bomb is anything but inanimate. It has the ability to violently and explosively kill millions, and that, too, indiscriminately. The technology, at this point, is such so as not to permit the bomb to make the distinction between potential victims on the basis of age, sex, gender and, ironically, religion. Hence, we have miniature versions of the Islamic bomb on an almost daily basis, maniacs blowing themselves up without discrimination. To concede that the atomic bomb is a terrible idea has become treasonous. There is practically no argument about the rationale of the bomb (barring the sparkling examples of Dr Hoodbhoy and very few others). The buoyancy with which the use of the bomb is generally discussed in our national discourse is bizarre.

The primary argument for the existence of the bomb is that India did it first and hence left us with no option. It is absolutely unjustified for any country to possess these hideous weapons. And it was incredibly stupid of India to conduct tests, but we should have been able to resist the temptation of stooping to their level and conducting the corresponding explosion, and then some more by baptising the bomb as ‘Islamic’. Our military experts and their hawkish friends in the intelligentsia have made the argument of ‘nuclear deterrence’ and the utter indispensability of the bomb very vehemently and consistently, the only problem with the argument is that it is not really an argument. It is an argument which does not allow for a counterargument, i.e. it is an argument designed to survive all reason and evidence. And anyone opposing the sacred bomb is likely to be labeled as a foreign intelligence operative. The case against the bomb is beautifully simple, you cannot use it without being annihilated, hence its only utility is in the event of a mass, state-level suicide bombing.

Freud believed the visualisation of guns to have a direct and inverse relationship with a man’s potency. Hence, the more inadequate a man felt; the bigger and meaner the gun would be in his dreams. He loosely termed the phenomena as a ‘phallic complex’. Pakistan suffers from a phallic complex of an unprecedented proportion in history. The immeasurable inadequacies are offset by the possession of a vulgarly outsized gun. We are paranoid that the world covets our bomb, since at a subconscious level we are terrified at the prospect of facing up to our poverty, militancy, and ignorance, which we will be compelled to, once the gun is taken away. The obsession with our apocalyptic weaponry falling in the hands of the messianic forces is excruciatingly sardonic. We are now left to guard with paranoia the object whose only ostensible utility was to defend us, so much for the deterrence argument.

The reluctance of the supposedly liberal to attack and confront this visible absurdity is probably due to some furtive, ingrained notion of ‘patriotism’. This is a particularly salient example of letting an atrociously inane argument go unexamined because it is garbed in ‘national security’. In my opinion, it is shamefully unpatriotic to allow for a weapon capable of exterminating ‘us’, within our midst. We compel ourselves to love an object that is designed to hurt us; this is the very definition of sadomasochism. To glorify an apparently pedestrian scientist and more significantly a self-confessed thief, an exposed trickster now pathetically seeking to recant as a fractious juvenile, is dishonorable. Words like ‘national hero’ have been cheapened by overuse.

Orwell in his essay You and the atomic bomb, observed that since the atomic bomb was not something as cheap and easily manufactured as a bicycle or an alarm clock, but rather a costly object, similar to a battleship, it is likelier to put an end to large-scale wars at the cost of prolonging indefinitely a ‘peace that is no peace’. This is applicable to Pakistan with remarkable precision. The bomb has brought misery, not peace. Orwell’s other point about the pricey nature of the bomb is also relevant. The bomb is like the generals in Pakistan in many ways, i.e. they are expensive to make, even more expensive to maintain and once made, not easy to get rid of. Hence, even if we need to make our ‘peace’ with the bomb’s existence for now, we at least have to subjugate it to democratic control.

A question conspicuous by its absence on this discreditable anniversary, immediately following the Abbottabad and Mehran base incidents, is why shouldn’t parliament control our nuclear weapons. One is compelled to refer to Georges Clemenceau’s statement, almost a cliche now, that “war is too important to be left to the generals”, especially to those with records of irresponsibility. The reluctance and inability to have that debate is as significant and telling as whatever the substantive conclusions may be. The military establishment cannot and should not be allowed to play God and decide the timing of the Armageddon.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • May 30, 2011 - 11:28PM

    Its not the size of the boat, its the motion in the ocean.

    Time to overcome our insecurities. Recommend

  • Sarmad
    May 30, 2011 - 11:42PM

    Go and teach this lesson to India, America and Israel!! They need it more than us.Recommend

  • MUNIB
    May 31, 2011 - 12:01AM

    PAK people dont have the capacity to think about 100 years ahead and where the world is going. Our establishment has created this anti-INDIA monster which has no basis and starting from the school every PAK child’s heart is filled with hate for the world and especially INDIA. Growing up , there is no surprise that we love bombs more than shaking hands with neighbors, be it desi bomb, pathaka bombs or atomic bombs. Shame !!Recommend

  • Ayesha
    May 31, 2011 - 12:07AM

    Brilliant, brilliant article, wow.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    May 31, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Brilliant, brilliant article, wowRecommend

  • Abdul Ahad Ayub
    May 31, 2011 - 12:13AM

    I personally do agree that there are certainly a lot of depressing ramifications which have resulted from developing the bomb and would have been much better off without it; however, we can’t really ignore the other side of the picture before making an argument. What would be the potential consequences of not making the bomb?

    The argument of nuclear deterrence, however it became ‘atrociously inane’ and ‘survived all other reason’, has its merits until it is EXPLAINED how exactly it is ‘visible absurdity’ and not an imperative issue of national security.

    Can the author, instead of playing around with words, completely renounce the argument of nuclear deterrence by claiming that its crap and there would have been NO war in 1998, or after that, if there had been no bomb?
    If he can’t, than there the potential consequences of not making the bomb could have been war. War with a nuclear nation where nothing stops them from ‘not using it without the fear of being annihilated.’ And in that case, their nuclear weapon is not a case of mass state-level suicide bombing.

    Again, I think that the cons of the bomb outweigh the pros, but while making that argument, I think we should respect the fact that there was a chance, however small it may be, of much greater consequences.Recommend

  • Ashok
    May 31, 2011 - 12:37AM

    Mr. Saroop Ijaz,

    You say India was stupid to test, but Pakistan had acquired the bomb from North Korea and centrifuge equipment from the West and China far before the testing took place. Full scale conventional warfare was already outside the picture. After a decade has past since the testing, India’s problems are slowly being minimized, whereas Pakistan’s problems are being maximized. All in all, it was a very smart and strategic move on India’s part. Even K Subrahmanyam had encouraged Pakistan to test. I’m sure it was part of India’s long term strategy.Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 31, 2011 - 12:53AM

    The World has a duty to liberate all of us humans from the tyranny of Nuclear Weapons. No state needs such weapons and pathetic excuses are no justification. Destroy all of them and free the human race from bondage.Recommend

  • May 31, 2011 - 1:29AM

    every other thing is well discussed but despite of all his argument the writer has logically failed to refute the idea of nuclear deterrence.Recommend

  • meekal ahmed
    May 31, 2011 - 2:01AM

    Excellent.Recommend

  • faraz
    May 31, 2011 - 2:29AM

    Well the atomic bomb acts as a deterrence against future wars and eliminates the purpose behind spending huge sums on money on conventional weapons. After testing the bombs, both countries should have reduced their defense budgets and settled all disputes through dialogue. Use of force is not an option for nuclear states. Recommend

  • Sarah
    May 31, 2011 - 3:40AM

    Fantastic articleRecommend

  • samar
    May 31, 2011 - 5:55AM

    the bomb may postpone war but can not bring peace. that is for sure…Recommend

  • Chotta Chetan
    May 31, 2011 - 6:15AM

    Its not how big your missile is, its how far it can explode and how intense it is. Therefore the “aitum bum” is justified.Recommend

  • Hasan
    May 31, 2011 - 6:26AM

    Excellent and poignant piece of writing.Recommend

  • Latif
    May 31, 2011 - 7:20AM

    Great
    Phallic complex
    State level suicide bomb
    I am impressed,, you are on my list of writers which I shall never skipRecommend

  • prashanth
    May 31, 2011 - 7:27AM

    As it turned out, to go atomic was a smart move for India – it had China to fear. For Pakistan to remain notionally non-atomic would have been the smart move. Do you remember how desperate Indian political leaders were after their blasts? They pressed Pakistan to go nuclear – so that India does not remain isolated and Pakistan did what India desired.
    If I remember right, Advani even threated to use the nukes against Pakistan – while there was no provocation from Pakistani side. How dumb of Pakistani leaders not to read the desperation in his statement. Recommend

  • Talat
    May 31, 2011 - 7:41AM

    @Sarmad:
    USA had the bomb to defend against USSR. Israel against all the combined Arab states and Iran. India worries more about China than Pakistan. Incidently, nuclear weapons are always the resort of those who feel that their conventional military forces will not stand up to the might of the aggressor. Or in the US case, wont give them a dominant advantage.
    That is the mentality behind the US bomb for USSR, the Israeli bomb and the Indian anti China bomb. So they dont need the lesson. I think you do. Recommend

  • Maria
    May 31, 2011 - 8:03AM

    I think people like you forget who started the nuclear arms race in South Asia. Pakistan has an effective deterrent because it was forced to develop indigenous nuclear capacity to counter Indian threats. I would ask you to reread all the Indian sabre rattling at the time of the Indian Pokram nuclear tests. Then compare what happened when Pakistan was forced to show her hand and prove its ability to defend herself. I agree with another reader that you need to give this lecture to the Indians and other nations who started with the nuclear genie while they ignore millions of citizens who live in poverty in slums.Recommend

  • SS
    May 31, 2011 - 8:29AM

    Excellent. The general-bomb analogy is pure gold.Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    May 31, 2011 - 9:36AM

    @MUNIB:
    NO BASIS??? Three wars? Terrorist strikes in each others country? India stealing our water (what about the Indus Water treaty), India giving refuge to Brahamdagh Bugti (Pak giving refuge to Dawood Ibrahim)… and you are saying NO BASIS of an anti-India sentiment?
    What world do you live in?Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    May 31, 2011 - 9:40AM

    @Ashok:
    It was obvious what Indian “long term strategy” was when your leadership was forced to eat their words after giving bold and threatening statements post-Indian nuclear blast…
    The only thing stopping India from launching an outright offensive on Pakistan is our nuclear assets, which are of far greater capability than India’s… why else would India ride on the CIA/America back and try to demolish Pakistan from within rather than be real men and attack from the front?

    CowardsRecommend

  • Skeptical
    May 31, 2011 - 10:41AM

    Very good article. I am becoming an admirer with every article that I read from Saroop Ijaz.Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 31, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Great article, very brave and new thinking.

    As a US tax payer, I am at great pains to give my hard earned money to a nation that is a nuclear blackmailer and a beggar at the same time. Pakistan had a catastrophic flood last year. Many Pakistanis saw a cold response from the West. After arguing with several North Americans I realized that they were very generous when tsunami hit South East Asia, Haiti, and others.
    The difference is not Islam or Pakistan. All those countries especially Haiti are really poor countries. They do not have latest war toys, and hundreds of nuclear weapons. They don’t have those kinds of resources and they cannot even dream about those expensive killing machines. They need basic necessities and the world came to their help.
    Pakistan has to decide whether they are a nuclear blackmailer or a beggar? They cannot be both at the same time. Recommend

  • narejo
    May 31, 2011 - 10:45AM

    brilliant article.Recommend

  • Imran
    May 31, 2011 - 11:22AM

    It’s ironical when big ‘bum’ inspires pride. Perhaps, we forget that the bigger the bum is, the stronger the spank from the world around. Recommend

  • observer
    May 31, 2011 - 11:34AM

    @Saroop Ijaz

    We can naively believe that Pakistan was living in a state of nuclear innocence and was forced to acquire Nuclear capability over a space of 18 days,after India ‘foolishly’ carried out its own explosion. Or we can get real about it.

    Getting real about it, we realise that Pakistan was gifted N capacity through US munificence (remember Presidential ‘determinations’ of Pakistani nuclear innocence) Chinese connivance and North Korean proliferation. Add to this, the diversion of NSAs / Jihadis from the Afghan war to the Indian theatre, leaving India at the receiving end and extremely vulnerable.

    India probably realised that countering the NSA/ Jihadi assault would be difficult, if Pakistan continued to receive financial and material aid, while being a closet n-power. India also realised that going openly nuclear will have a cost, but reckoned that the cost for Pakistan would be higher as it would take away their support structure. Bingo- The Budha smiled.

    The idea of nuclear deterrence is supportive of status quo, as it assures unacceptable cost on the party seeking to change the status quo with use of force. Pakistan, unfortunately lost sight of this and continued to seek to force a change of the status quo with the help of the NSA/ Jihadi elements working under the Pakistani nuclear umbrella.Pakistn escaped any significant adverse consequences for a long long time.
    This bred overconfidence.In fact this overconfidence led them to believe that they could thumb their nose to the rest of the world on the NSA/Jihadi/Terrorist support and get away with it. Turns out Pakistan bit more than it could chew.Recommend

  • Chacha
    May 31, 2011 - 11:44AM

    @Sarmad: India has learnt the first chapter of this lesson – they have an official no-first use policy. Pakistan has formally refused to have a no-first use policy – i.e they are capable of a pre-emptive nuclear strike.Recommend

  • Khan
    May 31, 2011 - 12:01PM

    The comment,”Hence, even if we need to make our ‘peace’ with the bomb’s existence for now, we at least have to subjugate it to democratic control“. is absurd. What democratic control? The kind of people our politicians are, you want to sell off the asset due to democratic control. Mr Saroop Ijaz also seems to have grown up in a drawing room democracy and knows nothing of ground realities. Had you not have possessed this deterrent our enemies would have eaten us by now. This atleast prolonges our life if cannot save from a certain death.Recommend

  • narayana murthy
    May 31, 2011 - 12:41PM

    Maria says “Pakistan has an effective deterrent because it was forced to develop indigenous nuclear capacity to counter Indian threats.”

    I would understand if you had said that Pakistan needed nukes to counterbalance against India.

    However, what I don’t understand is when you say “Indian threats”?!! Lady, if you look at the history of India and Pakistan in the last 60 odd years, India never threatened Pakistan unless provoked, like the Mumbai attacks, Parliament attacks, Kargil etc.

    Please give me one example, where India has wantonly threatened Pakistan. I hope you understand the meaning of the word “wanton”.Recommend

  • shafat
    May 31, 2011 - 12:42PM

    brilliant!Recommend

  • Aslam Mahaboob
    May 31, 2011 - 1:13PM

    @Maria: What the author is trying to say is that, once we got the bomb, we expected the world to treat us as a superpower, give us the respect that comes with it. Also, we got emboldened enough to pursue our agenda in afganistan, kargil & kashmir knowing that the world wont allow a nuclear war. We are now suffering the consequences of the policies we pursued. Maybe in introspect, we may not have done so many follies if we didnt have the bomb. Your guess is as good as mine.Recommend

  • ashwin
    May 31, 2011 - 1:52PM

    We India were happy to see Pakistan go for the nuke tests, well if they hadn’t gone for it , Pakistan would have been bestowed with a formidable PAF with 250+ f-16 with complete Awacs support which would have been bought from USA, if Pakistan had not gone ahead with the plan India would have suffered dearly, because Pakistan would anyway have got a Nuke cover from china or some nuke bombs and also the US support in terms of Latest weapons and trade.India would be the sole villain. Pakistan was foolish enough to do what it did and then plan Kargil, support strategic assets against India,allowing India to play the victim card. Now look at Pakistan isn’t it sad that,Pakistan one of the fastest growing economies in the 60’s ended becoming a rag tag Nuke nation with no internal security. Recommend

  • anand singh
    May 31, 2011 - 1:58PM

    @Adeel Ahmad

    Why would India be stupid enough to attack Pak ?

    It suits India to make Pak spend on its defence including Nukes. If in so doing Pak feels that its the nukes that save it from Indian attach – wonderful.More money gets diverted to such weapons and its national debt continues to grow.

    As regards India riding on CIA to achieve its objectives, well, Pak is doing a splendid job of destroying all its foundations by itself without India having to fire a bullet in anger.

    Nukes do not help. The retaliatory strikes will cripple any nation.It only remains to be seen who has the ability to resurrect itself. Pak does not fare well on this parameter.Recommend

  • Liberal fascist
    May 31, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Absolutely brilliant. If only more of our columnists had the guts and the eloquence to say it like it is.Recommend

  • omar yusaf
    May 31, 2011 - 3:20PM

    I agree with the author on most points. However I do have my doubts about his rationale behind why we can do without the “bomb”.
    Humankind is by nature predatory. Morality comes a distant second when someone with a bigger stick wants to have a go at you. This primitive behaviour extends all the way from the solitary individual, up through tribal entities and to entire nation states. The fact is that so called ‘civilisation’ is not very civilised after all. It is predatory by nature. An unfortunate fact of life, but factual nonetheless.
    Consider this – had Japan possessed the ability to retaliate with Nuclear weapons in the second WW2, it is unlikely that the USA would have used its Nuclear weapons on it.
    The doctrine of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) may be said to have prevented an all out conflict between the (erstwhile) Soviets Union and the West, because each side was fully aware that neither would survive to have the last laugh. A sobering thought that kept the peace between them, and still does to this day.
    My point is that although Nuclear arms are an affront to mankind’s efforts to forge a civilised comity of nations, they become a necessary deterrent – a counterbalance if you will – against a potentially hostile threat to sovereignty.
    The mere fact that we have the bomb is a deterrent to superior forces who may succumb to the urge to attack us, because the other side knows it will not survive to reap the rewards of its foolishness. And of course neither will we. Its mad, but it works, in a world that is one slice short of a sandwich.Recommend

  • Khalid
    May 31, 2011 - 3:46PM

    Wonderful article but i think instead of playing around with the words the author could have used simple English to express himself. Recommend

  • indian
    May 31, 2011 - 3:51PM

    the future is only a nuclear war.
    we both nations has to suffer and at least 100 million people will die.
    and after that may be ,we can realize value of peace, harmony and brotherhood.Recommend

  • mind control
    May 31, 2011 - 4:01PM

    @Omar Yousaf

    Humankind is by nature predatory.

    Mr Yousaf, this is a big statement to make and needs corroboration. My take is , had human beings been primarily predators, we could not have grown from a few hundreds to the billions that we see to day. Even in the distant past history is replete with, both the strong and the week standing for others.

    Take your example of US and Japan. At one point of time US was the sole nuclear power. Did we see US annihilating Japan, Germany or Italy as a predator should have done? On the contrary, we saw Marshall Plan rebuilding the vanquished axis powers.

    So have a heart, with a little trust we can trump the mad weapons sooner than later.Recommend

  • Amit Jpr
    May 31, 2011 - 7:22PM

    general and the nuke bombs……..! fantasticRecommend

  • gothmog
    May 31, 2011 - 7:48PM

    Considering the matter from a strictly military point of view the weapon was necessary to level the playing field. I believe our bomb is strictly defensive in nature. It was vital to negate the massive conventional advantage enjoyed by our traditional rivals. As for the argument that our military policy is India centric, well that is true and with good reason, we’ve fought wars along with regular skirmishes. But I’m all for peace. Wars or constant military tension is not the in the interest of the people. Keeping the country’s defenses strong should also be considered important. Peace offered from a position of strength lasts longer.
    Another argument I find vaguely true is cost of manufacturing and maintaining these weapons. The funds could have been put to a better use, I agree. But what about the rest of the money our government mismanages or downright siphons off for their own use? Would we trust them to put to good use the money generated by de-commisioning these weapons? And not just this government,those in the past and future as wellRecommend

  • Observer
    May 31, 2011 - 8:30PM

    Brilliant article…great analogies that ring home the message…Recommend

  • calm-like-a-bomb
    May 31, 2011 - 10:42PM

    The usual cry-baby article overflowing with idealistic fluff. The only worthy sentence offered by the author was an obvious solution:”Hence, even if we need to make our ‘peace’ with the bomb’s existence for now, we at least have to subjugate it to democratic control.”Recommend

  • Observer
    May 31, 2011 - 11:45PM

    @gothmog

    What ‘level playing field’? If it is war you are talking about, India is not and never was interested in ‘playing’ with Pakistan. It has bigger games to play…tackling poverty, providing for food,shelter and jobs to a population of 1.2 billion, managing with maturity the high growth opportunity that the current economic cycle has put in its laps. Pakistan should pick its battles well and seek ‘level playing field’ with others in more productive/developmental aspects of their lives e.g.level playing field with China in terms of being a economic powerhouse. Level playing field with Canada in terms of healthcare and social security etc.

    What is ‘strictly defensive’ about the bomb? Has any country invaded Pakistan since the birth of the country? Why does Pakistan need a bomb? It has only given it ‘out-of-control’ army a lever to blackmail the world into giving it more aid (else the argument goes the world will have a failed nuclear state which would be a huge mess for the rest of the world) or testing the patience of India while using terrorism as a foreign policy under the nuclear overhang. India was stupid to build these bombs in the first place and Pakistan followed suit with even more recklessness. Ask yourself, under what circumstances will Pakistan ever be able to use the bomb?

    The reason I responded to your comments is while you believe that building and maintaining these weapons of mass destruction is a folly, in some corner of your mind you seem to find some justification and I thought I should put those to rest.

    There is no good that comes from these weapons and definitely not for countries which have a long way to go like Pakistan and IndiaRecommend

  • Observer
    Jun 1, 2011 - 12:08AM

    @omar yusaf

    You reap what you sow. STOP SOWING seeds that will warrant someone to come and drop a atom/nuclear bomb on you. The example of Japan you gave is a very bad one. Japan was a part of the axis which was responsible for the terrible war the world had to face. They crossed the lines of decency many times over. Are you saying that Pakistan can keep continuing on its course of being the ‘bad boy’ in the school yard because you have a atom bomb which Japan didn’t? If it is not a actual atom bomb it will be something else which will come and bite you from behind e.g. the US playing havoc with your sovereignty using the aid they dole out. Now there is an atom bomb for you. How do you use your bomb in this situation?

    Instead of arguing that you need a bomb in the eventuality of grave danger strengthen your position in the world as a responsible member of the community of nations. It is that strength that will be you invisible protection which is a thousand time stronger than any atom bomb. If you think building a atom bomb is difficult, try building this kind of character into the fabric of the nation and you will realise how difficult it is. So the country has simply surrendered its house keys to the watchman (army) who has in turn swapped the notion of nation building for a perpetual ‘nation at war’ paronoia with regards to India to stay relevant in the whole pictureRecommend

  • omar yusaf
    Jun 1, 2011 - 7:43AM

    @Observer: It is apparent that you haven’t taken the time to understand what I was saying. There is no point arguing with you unless you extend your powers of understanding towards a rational contemplation of what exactly it is that someone else is saying.
    You have misread my argument, and for that you get a D minus.Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2011 - 12:54PM

    The “what would be different had we not made the bomb” speculation is heading in the wrong direction.

    Nothing negative would have come from you not having the bomb. Because they’re seen on a world-scale. Not a single country minding its own business. If someone wanted to nuke you, the world would destroy whoever it was that pointed at you. You’re already protected with or without them in that scenario.

    Furthermore, your history and paranoia involves other countries invading you. You can not use the nuke on militants near your borders and certainly not inside your borders, either. You’ll kill and destroy much more than you would have simply fighting them off. Not to mention, if another country fires one first, you’re not going to be able to retaliate anytime soon. It’s not like you’d get a warning.

    One big thing you guys see as a positive aspect of it existing is very flawed logic. The hesitation to take action against Pakistan, for whatever reason they may have does not happen because you’re being seen as powerful. In fact, it originates from the opposite. If someone had them in their sights the first thing they’d do is create distractions. If you and another country are only looking at each other it leaves a huge opening, It’s the perfect time to make a move. That is what they’re concerned about. It’s obvious there are some terrorists hiding out and/or operating in Pakistan and it’s already unstable to begin with. The actions of other countries are focused on your stability for the sake of the World’s safety. Yes, the world.

    Do you actually realize the reality of the matter?

    The constant incompetence and security issues added with the existence of those nukes is seriously capable of ending the world.

    Also when you guys refer to other countries with them, they still exist because of the possibility of something happening as a result of going down the same exact same path you’re on now. The difference between Pakistan and those countries is that the other ones are mature and stable enough to not have to worry about them. You could easily lose some of yours in the next 24 hours pending on which way the wind is blowing.

    Not to mention it seems you don’t grasp what it takes to actually dispose of them. It’s not easy at all and actually has long term negative effects on environment. That’s why they’re stock piled though there’s little intent to use them. But, they area also very secure. They hold on them securely with a bit of regret attached. You guys just keep making them without a plan. It’s insane that you don’t see just how misplaced nukes are in your hands right now. Your country is not mature enough to handle them. It’s a sad fact.Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2011 - 12:56PM

    @Observer:
    Wow. You really suck at history and logic.Recommend

  • A Badu
    Jun 1, 2011 - 9:15PM

    Brilliant articleRecommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:27PM

    Sarop Ijaz fails to take account of the basic fact that the real utility of nuclear bomb lies in its non use because if used, it will ensure mutual destruction, and that keeps a check on its use.

    Sarop Ijaz also fails to take account of one basic fact and it is that bombs do not kill people, these are people who kill people. Also, ever since its birth, the bomb has been used twice and on both occasions by the US which considers itself to be the most ‘responsible’ state on earth, and which has taken on itself the job of civilizing all others. Just get through the internet a list of countries that the US invaded after the world war II in which it managed to kill millions of innocent people, all without nuclear bombs

    It is a fact that ever since Pakistan acquired nuclear capability, there have been no major wars between India and Pakistan and to that extent, it has proved itself to be a real deterrent, a concept Sarop Ijaz makes fun of.

    Sarop says the bomb is like the generals in Pakistan in many ways, i.e. they are expensive to make, even more expensive to maintain and once made, not easy to get rid of. It is just as true of our corrupt politicians who spend billions to come to power, and make the country poorer by trillions while they are in power, and are not easy to get rid of. As for his suggestion to subjugate bombs to ‘democratic’ control, knowing the sort of democracy we have, the less said the better.

    Also, the nuclear bomb has nothing to do with the militancy, extremism and fanaticism prevailent in our society, which must be eliminated. In our case, the nuclear bomb is meant to curb the militant tendency of our neighbour India and in this, the bomb has been very successful. Again, the bomb’s usefulness lies in its non-use.Recommend

  • Arvind Sinha
    Jun 2, 2011 - 9:55AM

    @Talat: You are so right about this ‘big fish eat small fish’ rational
    behind the mutually assured destruction ideology.
    – USSR > (USA / UK / FRANCE) > CHINA > INDIA > PAKISTAN.
    – ISRAEL > ARAB+IRAN (MID-EAST).
    – NORTH KOREA > SOUTH KOREA + JAPAN (?)
    In Sanskrit, it is a concept called, ‘Matsya Nyaya’.
    Matsya = meaning ‘machchli’, that is fish.
    Nyaya = menaing ‘insaaf’, that is justice.
    Therefore, ‘Fish Justice’.
    It is a concept that thrives on fear of the big.
    The political equivalent of ‘keeping up with the Joneses / Sharmas / Khans’. Recommend

  • Naviaslam`
    Jun 2, 2011 - 7:13PM

    Geopolitical situation & Pakistan by MN Aslam

    It will be strange for some people but Pakistan is a country with full of surprises, Either good or bad but every day some thing new is happening, which gives a new resilience and motivation to Govt and people of Pakistan to fight back and also it is the main reason that Pakistan is still surviving. No country can survive the situation or danger Pakistan is facing; from within the country and from outside. Look at the Global map and you will find that Pakistan is situated at such a place which attracts the whole world (America, Russia, UK, India and etc) to have mineral resources and to use coastal areas, ports and full fill their goals to conquer the whole world. If we look at history from Alexander the great, Arabs, Moughals, Afghans, Birtish to America, all have been trying to grab and use this “Gold-Mine”.Recommend

  • Fahim N.
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:52AM

    @Naviaslam`: “Alexander the great, Arabs, Moughals, Afghans, Birtish to America”…
    LOL! Your statement is our great Pakistani History doctored and spoonfed for our indoctrination … at work. You have swallowed the propaganda (our own press releases) bait, hook and sinker.
    The “Alexander the great, Arabs, Moughals, Afghans, Birtish to America”, knew of India and only India … or Hind / Hindustan. And that is what they came for. Pakistan came to birth on August 14, 1947. It was all India before. Thus, it is why historians call it the Vivisection / Partition of India and the Birth of Pakistan. Not the other way round. Just for the record, let us get rid of that shibboleth as well … it is lighter on our heads and hearts. Recommend

  • Muhammad Shoaib
    Jun 3, 2011 - 4:13PM

    The author is ignorant of how the international politics sways around the matters of survival and security and he’s being inclined to pacifist model. Even the leaders like Rajiv Gandhi, carrying the Gandhian legacy of moralism and pacifism, surrendered his idealist approach where there was a question of national security, and secretly authorized going nuclear, and the onward endeavors were essentially according to the International Balance of Power structure. The argument of ‘nuclear deterrence’ is very much based on realpolitik, where the international system is dominated by power politics. States must maintain the Balance of Power and status quo deterrence in order to remain independent from behavioral dictation.
    In the contemporary nuclear arena, the number of nukes is not a distinguishing factor in nuclear capabilities, rather it’s the superiority of the delivery capabilities and the second strike capability, that ensures the deterrent behavior of the states. Furthermore, it overcomes the conventional disparities between the parties.
    Pakistan is not like Iran, where it can assert itself on the basis of its strong and deep rooted civilization, rather it’s just the military power that can prove to be a strong broker in state interactions. In raising the question “why shouldn’t parliament control our nuclear weapons”, the author is again ignorant of the dynamics of foreign policy formulation, where the policy flows in an ascendant manner in Pakistan and not in top to down order. The question should be that “do we have any national security policy or grand strategy? So as we could let the parliament take the reins of our nuclear weapons?”Recommend

  • gothmog
    Jun 4, 2011 - 1:52AM

    @Observer:
    Your kidding me right or have you simply forgotten the three major wars we’ve fought. In an ideal world the bomb should never have been made but since it has Pakistan has to respond to keep a belligerent neighbour at bay. The recent comments made by the Indian commanders portray India as a dove of peace. India has invested unprecedented ammounts of money in its military, you can’t seriously say its all for show. Big military spending by India makes Pakistan nervous. Now If India were to dramatically reduce its offensive capabilties then the region would gain a lot from it,rapidly decreasing tensions as well as suspicionsRecommend

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