Pakistani Peace Mission to India :: Pakistan a Land of Peace with Deadly nWeapons.



Pak enhancing N-capability to target India: US report

Posted: Tuesday , Sep 01, 2009 at 1524 hrs Washington

 Top US nuclear scientists have shockingly revealed in a report that Pakistan is enhancing its nuclear weapons and production capabilities. pnpAccording to the report, which is yet to enter the public domain, Pakistan is readying a new nuclear capable ballistic missile for deployment and two nuclear capable cruise missiles. It also says that Pakistan is building two new plutonium production reactors and a second chemical separation facility at Chasma, Khushab and Dera Ghazi Khan in southern Punjab. 

Pakistan is also renewing work on a partially built separation plant at Chasma. It is believed that this secretive and substantial arsenal build-up is targeted at India. Based on official estimates of Pakistan’s current uranium and plutonium technology, scientists had so far thought the country far short of having a 100 nuclear warheads in its kitty.

The new report, however, suggests that Pakistan has exceeded earlier estimates, and from being able to build 30-40 nuclear weapons it actually could possess as many as 70-90 a disturbing figure from India’s point of view and that of the US, currently debating financial and military aid to its friend in keeping with the AFPAK agreement. Moreover, if this report is true Pakistan is clearly going beyond the moratorium existing as an unwritten code of conduct in South Asia to halt the arms race.

Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons

Reviewed by Samanth Subramanian


Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons

by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark

Walker and Company, 608 pages, $28.95

January/February 2008
Reviewed by Samanth Subramanian
The full title of Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark’s book sounds, at first, too alarmist, as if it had been written for the next Jason Bourne movie. But this is a story that needs very little embellishment. With classically straightforward journalism, Deception covers the creation and proliferation of a rogue nuclear program, the campaign to mask it from international vision and the side effect formation of potent Islamic terror networks. An alternate edition of the book includes the word “conspiracy” in its subtitle; considering the levels of collusion that Mr. Levy and Ms. Scott-Clark pick apart, that word is well chosen.
The dominant motif in Deception is essentially one of control–intelligence and military control of the executive branch in Pakistan, and in the United States, executive control of intelligence and the military. Both are highly relevant threads, because, more than 30 years after the start of the events documented in Deception, those processes of control and their effects still operate vigorously in Pakistan and the U.S.
Pakistan’s nuclear aspirations began, ironically enough, at the executive level. In the early 1970s, then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, smarting from a military loss to India, initiated a project of nuclearization that was saved from ambitious overreach only by the arrival of Abdul Qadeer Khan. Having worked in European uranium enrichment labs, Mr. Khan was able to smuggle technical designs, establish a sourcing network for components and build cascades of enrichment centrifuges at Kahuta, a village 40 miles from Islamabad. The rapid development and efficiency of the Pakistani nuclear project owed much to Mr. Khan’s megalomania and his desire to be seen as the father of this nationalist achievement.
Gradually, the nuclear project began to slip away from executive control. Bhutto, overthrown in a coup and then hanged, was replaced by Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who brought Kahuta under the informal control of the army and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Khan began reselling Kahuta’s designs, components and enriched uranium to countries such as North Korea, Iran and Libya, and military generals and isi chiefs facilitated the proliferation. When Benazir Bhutto, elected prime minister in 1988, demanded to know about and control Kahuta’s operations, she was roughly brushed aside. In an interview in 2006, Bhutto remembered a conversation with then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. “I said, ‘I need to know about the aid money that will come in this year. How is it being spent?’ He said, ‘I am not telling you. It’s a nuclear issue. You need to know nothing.'”
By the early 1980s, Pakistan had also become the U.S.’s most important strategic ally in the struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Successive U.S. administrations, and most notably Ronald Reagan’s, went to astonishing lengths to keep it that way, using measures that, in the cold light of Iraq, sound uncomfortably familiar. In the face of an overarching agenda, dissenting intelligence was suppressed or bowdlerized, promising careers were lopped off at their roots and Congress was kept on a diet of lies. Mr. Reagan not only hid Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities, he also encouraged them. During his presidency, the U.S. dispensed billions of dollars in military and economic aid, aid that was intended for Pakistan-backed Mujahideen in Afghanistan but that routinely and openly found its way into Kahuta’s scheme of activities.
 Deception tracks these events minutely, almost as if Mr. Levy and Ms. Scott-Clark were present, at every turn, at the elbows of Mr. Khan, Gen. Zia or Bhutto; describing, in one instance, an interrogation of Mr. Khan, the book does not forget to mention that it occurred in “his red-carpeted living room.” The authors build the conviction of their case through the steady accretive power of these details. Deception may reveal few new arguments, but it marshals its facts into the most thorough dossier yet on the Pakistani nuclear program.
For both countries, the most severe indictment of their policies lies in the monsters they have unwittingly nourished. In the late 1980s, as the Soviet misadventure in Afghanistan ended and Pakistan was still not reprimanded for its nuclear activities, “the CIA forecast that Afghanistan, abandoned by Washington, was likely, with Pakistan’s interference, to turn against the West and become a staging post ‘for terrorism in the region and beyond.'” As per schedule, Islamic militant outfits, armed to the teeth and protected by the religious elements within Pakistan’s ISI, have lashed out against their American progenitor.
Mr. Khan’s state-abetted proliferation, under the willfully blind eye of the U.S., seeded unsupervised nuclear programs in Asia and Africa. In Pakistan, the empowerment of the Islamic and military factions has come at the expense of even a pretense at democracy. Bhutto’s terms in power are exonerated perhaps a little too easily; Deception methodically counts the odds stacked against her and concludes that she was often nearly helpless, manipulated and coerced beyond her powers. Prophetically, though, she told the authors: “These military guys have the capacity to kill. I cannot believe that the international community still thinks I am crazy when I say it.”
Worse still, none of the lessons of history, even the history as recent as that of Deception, seem to be shaping current policy in any way. The U.S. has fallen back on its disastrous tactic of the 1980s by supporting an Iranian opposition group that figures on its own list of terrorist organizations, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq. The American executive overrode intelligence in the case of Iraq, and as a recent National Intelligence Estimate shows, wishes to do so again in the case of Iran. In Pervez Musharraf, the U.S. supported a military dictatorship to achieve its objectives in Afghanistan–exactly as it did with Gen. Zia. It is difficult to imagine results to these policies that can be qualitatively different from those described in Deception, and as the assassination of Bhutto shows, the legacies of this line of strategic thought have by no means exhausted themselves yet.
Samanth Subramanian is a free-lance journalist based in New York.
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