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Category — nuclear terror

Pak nukes hidden at nine places, at risk of being stolen by terrorists

by Sachin Parashar in The Times of India, Sept 25, 2017
NEW DELHI: Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last week yet again flaunted+ his country’s tactical or nonstrategic nuclear weapons, saying they were meant to deter the Indian Army’s ‘cold start’ doctrine.

While Abbasi declared that Pakistan’s nuclear assets, including the tactical nukes, were under a robust command-and-control system, the short-range weapons meant to be used early in a conventional conflict with India are vulnerable to accidents and risk of landing up with terrorists.

According to a recent report by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Pakistan has stored its nuclear forces at nine different locations across the country.

Renowned US nuclear weapon expert and co-author of the report Hans Kristensen said Pakistan’s nuclear warheads may be located in storage facilities near the bases the report identifies, and that these bases themselves appear to house nuclear-capable launchers that would use those warheads.

The report describes the launcher bases to give readers an impression of the extent to which Pakistan’s nuclear forces are being dispersed across the country.

Kristensen told TOI that because Pakistan was building a short-range sub-strategic nuclear arsenal (in addition to its longer-range force), the warheads would likely be distributed to regional storage sites from which they could be assembled and transported to the launcher bases.

“Since the shorter-range systems are intended to be used earlier in a conflict below the strategic level, weapons for these systems would likely be distributed early in a crisis and raise the risk of accident and incidents. If used against conventional attacks, use of the tactical nuclear weapons would likely lead to escalation to a wider nuclear war quickly,” said Kristensen.

A Trump administration official was quoted last month as saying that the US was particularly concerned by the development of tactical nuclear weapons that were designed for use in the battlefield, and that Washington believed these systems were more susceptible to terrorist theft and increased the likelihood of nuclear exchange in the region.

The report by Kristensen and Robert Norris also says that Pakistan has a rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal of 130-140 warheads and an increasing portfolio of delivery systems.

The report says Islamabad is quantitatively and qualitatively strengthening its arsenal and deploying weapons at more sites and yet the locations are difficult to pinpoint.

“For example, no reliable public information exists on where Pakistan produces or stores its nuclear weapons. Thus, we have used commercial satellite images, expert studies, and local news reports and articles to make the assumption that nuclear weapons are likely to be at, or near, wherever nuclear-capable weapon systems are deployed,” it says.

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Fingerprints on bomb central to terror trial of US citizen

Report in The Wall st Journal, Sept. 12, 2017
NEW YORK — A U.S. citizen accused of abandoning his birth nation to fight for al-Qaida is being put on trial in New York in a case that hinges partly on fingerprints found on an unexploded bomb.

Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh was born in Houston and raised in Dubai. He was captured by Pakistan’s security forces in 2014.

His case has drawn extra attention because of reports American officials had debated whether to try to kill him in a drone strike, a step almost never taken against U.S. citizens.

The administration of President Barack Obama ultimately decided to try for a capture and civilian prosecution instead.

Farehk has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals and other crimes. His trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday. https://www.wsj.com/articles/APaa9b0db87d7944ab91743002cdbf1481

September 12, 2017   No Comments

Will the real Pervez Musharraf please stand up: by Miranda Husain in Daily Times, Sept 6, 2017

The writer is the Deputy Managing Editor, Daily Times.
Gen (rtd) Pervez Musharraf is either a wily fox gifted with a strategist’s mind. Or else he is a wily-yet-craftless opportunist, used to just winging it.

He has, of course, been charged by an Anti-Terrorist Court in connection with Benazir Bhutto’s murder. Yet he is presently in self-exile, safe in the knowledge that under Pakistani law he can’t be tried in absentia. From Dubai does he sit easy, either hosting his own show on a local television channel. Or else does he lean back as he is called on by pundits and working journalists alike proffer his views on this or that, in a bid to push up ratings. This shouldn’t come as too much of surprise. After all, Musharraf has long credited himself with waving his magic wand to have Pakistan’s so-called free and independent media explode on to the scene, in all its Technicolor glory. And it seems that the fourth pillar is still unready to see this spell broken. Especially when the good general can be relied upon to talk off the cuff.

And so it was that the one-time enemy combatant waited until the very time that the ATC was handing down its first verdict in the Benazir case – something for which Pakistanis have been waiting nearly a decade – to drop a conversation changing bombshell of his own. The father of the country’s nuclear bomb, Dr AQ Khan, so the latest story goes, admitted to the former military strongman that he had been actively involved in nuclear proliferation to Iran. And that’s all we really know.

Yet it remains to be seen in the long-term, at least, whether Musharraf’s risky gamble on political deflection will pay off or spectacularly backfire. And in the event of the latter – just who will pay the price? He alone or the entire country? In the meanwhile, he has vowed to come back to fight the ATC verdict and pending charges that include murder. Now this is where it becomes unclear as to with which Musharraf we are dealing.

The country’s parliamentarians have rightly called for an independent inquiry into the claims. The Committee of the Whole House has expressed its commitment towards this end. This process must be supported. And it must also extend to former Interior minister Rehman Malik who claims to know the ins-and-outs of the proliferation deal but who has, until now, preferred to keep it under his hat.

Following this, the principled thing to do would be to have the former COAS ‘handed over’ to the IAEA. Especially given how inconceivable it is that Khan was able to act independently, without anyone else being in the know.

Yet why is Musharraf speaking out now? If the aim was to side track the ATC verdict – it appears not to have been an effective ploy. Meaning that the bombshell has proved to be rather a dud, with all eyes still firmly fixed on increasing US belligerence towards Pakistan’s anti-terror record. Not to mention the unwelcome BRICS statement in this regard.

If it is the wily fox we choose to see before us: it could be a piece of superbly choreographed patriotism. The objective being distracting the increasingly unquiet American President from the Afghan quagmire next door to a different country, a different border. After all, the latter has been warning Pakistan to do more on terror or else face the music. And, like many of us, Musharraf may be alarmed at the thought that Donald Trump may just be toying with the idea of avenging a certain American contractor. In other words, any action against Pakistan could well be conducted against the backdrop of a particular song. About kissing a girl, or someone.

Yet enter Musharraf the opportunist who may well see his ‘plan’ backfire. Like his predecessors, Trump is focusing on scape-goating Pakistan over the lack of security across the Afghan border rather than the illegal US occupation of that country. Thus Musharraf’s comments may inadvertently strengthen long-held American fears that our nuclear arsenal may fall into the wrong hands. Indeed, it was during the long years of his dictatorship that Washington was ever fearful that militants would overthrow the regime and seize their control. Indeed, the end of 2004 – the year after the military invasion next door – saw a US report leaked. This outlined how if the worst were to happen Washington would sweep in to secure Pakistan’s very own weapons of mass destruction. Sadly, the White House failed to make the connection between a possibly beleaguered military strongman who was viewed at home as little more than an American asset and the ‘legitimacy’ that this afforded to anti-state forces here in this country.

This all being said, how feasible would it be for Musharraf to ‘hand himself over’ the IAEA? After all he would be unable to return now; not without finding himself in the firing line once again, with those aforementioned anti-state forces having their fingers firmly on the trigger. There are, after all, those who believe that the red-line that Benazir dared to cross was pledging to grant the nuclear watchdog access to Khan if returned to power.

Does this mean that, in theory at least, we are faced with a stark choice? Do we have to sacrifice seeing Musharraf brought to account for the crimes that the ATC finds him guilty of in the Benazir murder case? That is, if we want him to disclose to the relevant international authority everything he knows about proliferation to Iran. If this was his strategic gamble all along – then it was a card well played. This also poses the chance for Musharraf to suddenly try on for size the mantle of elder statesman, however ill-fitting that may be. Meaning he could go voluntarily to the IAEA in a bid to blunt the growing contrast between a responsible nuclear India and an increasingly rogue nuclear Pakistan.

But then what if the real Musharraf stands up and we find ourselves confronted by the craftless opportunist? What if this were simply a ruse to increase American pressure on Iran? After all, back in 2006, according to a WikiLeaks cable, the former COAS took it upon himself to urge the Tehran leadership to roll back its nuclear programme, which was making things difficult for its neighbours including Pakistan. The cable goes on to disclose the then Foreign minister revealing the main source of pressure: namely that Musharraf was keen to have Pakistan remain the only Muslim nation with the bomb. That this was in the aftermath of renewed interest in the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline may or may not be significant. Fast-forward to today and he could simply be doing his bit to strengthen the so-called Muslim NATO that appears to already have Iran in its sights.

One thing is sure. Whichever Musharraf prevails – Pakistan had better be prepared for the fallout. http://dailytimes.com.pk/features/06-Sep-17/will-the-real-pervez-musharraf-please-stand-up

September 7, 2017   No Comments

GPM and N-Hornets nest: by Wajid Shamsul Hasan in Daily Times, September 6th 2017.

The writer is former High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK and a veteran journalist
Pakistan’s nuclear programme keeps bouncing into controversy time and again. It has been Pakistan’s resistance and its perseverance that despite enormous reluctance the community of nuclear states has accepted it in its club with reservations. United States has always been wanting its roll back. It leaves no opportunity to blackmail Pakistan for possessing its nuclear arsenal and development programme. Latest being run-away General Pervez Musharraf’s malicious diatribe against Dr AQ Khan.

Americans constantly badgers us that we should not have nuclear weapons-though meant entirely for our defence and deterrence — as it is apprehended by them that someday they might get clandestinely passed into the hands of Jihadi terrorists since there is a stout perception that we not only support them but often use them as proxy actors for pursuit of our own strategic goals.

Father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme martyred Zulfikar Ali Bhutto believed that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was a matter of life and death and that come what may, Pakistan had to have it for the defence of the country. It was he who realised the urgency of going nuclear as he had feared that Americans could stop supply of their arms and spares to Pakistan whenever they needed to arm twist Islamabad to tow its policy. According to him only a self-reliant Pakistan could face an adversary six times bigger than its size, better armed and with 6th largest armed forces in the world. More than the generals, he underscored the need for strengthening of the nation’s defence capability supplemented by self-sufficiency and economic development.

Dr A Q Khan and late Muneer Ahmed Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission no doubt played the lead role, it were several hundred nuclear scientists and technicians who worked day and night to make Pakistan go nuclear. It was nuclear engineer Sultan Basheeruddin Mahmud who had stood up in Multan meeting (1974) called by ZAB and shouted — “Give us funds and we will give you the Atomic bomb in no time” — Bhutto responded instantly — “we will eat grass, you will have the money”. And we got it in perhaps shortest possible time through the collective effort of our scientists and the unlimited resources provided by Bhutto Sahib. And had ZAB survived another year, he would have tested the device himself and not left it for usurpers to take the credit.

SZAB and later Benazir were fully in known of threats to Pakistan’s nuclear programme and its scientists. As such both introduced strict security procedures for the protection of the two. These security procedures worked smoothly until 1989 when Pakistan cold tested the nuclear device and its nuclear programme became a lethal object of concern for CIA, RAW and Mossad.

As Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had inherited a successful n-programme that could produce bombs but had no delivery system other than conventional. In her two tenures she secretly worked with China and North Korea to help Pakistan acquire missile technology capable of delivering nuclear-war heads. Having acquired, that Pakistan became fully capable of not only manufacturing nuclear weapons but also delivering them.

At this juncture Benazir heard about approaches being made to Pakistan by some Muslim countries to help them in their nuclear programmes. In her meetings with her top brass — she enunciated Bhutto N-Doctrine that it was not exportable at any price. And when she came to know that our n-scientists could be harmed or kidnapped she introduced a fool proof regime for their security. She had to put her foot down when she was approached for permission to allow transfer of nuclear technology to friendly Muslim countries by her officials and scientists seeking her permission for its export.

In an interview to Financial Times after the AQK scandal Bhutto disclosed that she got a consensus agreement on her nuclear doctrine from her top brass and had succeeded in putting a bar on the export of nuclear technology in December 1988. “It certainly was their belief that they could earn tons of money if they did this.”

That’s was the reason that Bhutto wanted a bipartisan parliamentary investigation into the AQK scandal. She was of the view that Dr A.Q. Khan had been made a scapegoat by General Musharraf for covering up his running a nuclear super market. She had believed that Musharraf and his colleagues in-charge of nuclear installations had committed an act of treason by exposing Pakistan’s nuclear programme to complete obliteration. Indeed, if the matter is investigated in-depth, it might reveal one of the causes for Bhutto’s assassination.

Following GPM’s latest diatribe against Dr A Q Khan, his disclosure how Americans showed him the evidence of proliferation, how AQK cried at his feet to save him, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has rightly called for an investigation into nuclear proliferation by Pakistan under the rule of former president Pervez Musharraf. One shares Senator Babar’s concern that Musharraf’s claim would “open old wounds” and strengthen the international position that Pakistan was involved in nuclear proliferation to North Korea. Indeed, an investigation into the matter is rightly justified. I remember Benazir Bhutto’s words — repeated by the Senator — that it was impossible for any single individual to smuggle huge centrifuge machines and other nuclear material out of the country especially when nothing could move — or even birds could fly — without the knowledge and connivance of the Lt General in-charge of Special Planning Division and his team of commandoes. Surely as Babar says — “Dr Khan could not have carried the nuclear material on his head,” adding that Musharraf’s statements had “opened up a Pandora’s box”. In his retort to GPM’s claim that that despite pressure he did not hand over AQK to the Americans, the then Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali said GPM wanted to hand over AQK to the Americans, it was he who stopped him.

September 6, 2017   No Comments

Musharraf belonged to anti-bomb lobby,Hashmi quotes Qadeer as saying

Report in The News, Sept 1, 2017
MULTAN: Senior politician Javed Hashmi said on Thursday that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan once revealed to him that General Pervez Musharraf belonged to that lobby of the army that was opposed to making nuclear bomb and was ready to make compromises on it.

He condemned former president Pervez Musharraf’s recent interview regarding supplying nuclear material to North Korea was a huge conspiracy against Pakistan. Speaking at a press conference, Hashmi described Musharraf as a traitor who divulged information for his own publicity and said the timing of his interview was very alarming. He said Musharraf insulted Dr AQ Khan and, according to Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, wanted to hand him over to the US.

Recalling his past memories, Hashmi said AQ Khan informed him about the threat from the former dictator during an Iftar hosted by the Saudi ambassador in 2003 and stated that Musharraf had made his [AQ Khan’s] life miserable.

He claimed that former federal minister Mushahid Hussain and the then naval chief Abdul Aziz Khan were witness to the interaction. He praised AQ Khan, calling him a hero of the nation, who did great service for making the country an atomic power. The nation was capable of protecting AQ Khan as well as the atomic programme, Hashmi added.

He said all rulers sacrificed for the atomic programme and never divulged secret at any level. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he added, started the atomic programme and Zia ul Haq took it to its peak. He said Americans thought Benazir would shut down the N-programme but she not only refused rather also launched missile programme.

He said the US should remember that the Pakistani nation would teach it an appropriate lesson and it would forget the USSR. “Pakistan would grow stronger but the US will be divided soon,” he said. Answering a question, he said Musharraf was responsible for Benazir Bhutto’s murder as he refused to provide security to her. The former dictator was the main accused in the case and the army chief should bring him back to the country, Hashmi demanded. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/227476-Musharraf-belonged-to-anti-bomb-lobbyHashmi-quotes-Qadeer-as-saying

Musharraf’s remarks: edit in Dawn, September 1st, 2017
IF retired Gen Pervez Musharraf is unable to resist commenting on Pakistani politics and his time in office, politicians are unable to resist responding to Musharrafian provocations, large or small. On Wednesday, the Senate resounded with speeches denouncing the former military dictator after he spoke yet again, carelessly and glibly, in the media about the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation saga that became public on the general’s watch. The former army chief’s comments were neither wholly new nor surprising. The episode was deeply humiliating for the country and personally embarrassing for Mr Musharraf, who had cast himself then as a strongman in total control and alone in a position to put the country on the path of progress and good global standing. Unhappily, greater considerations of the national good continue to escape Mr Musharraf, who speaks in an off-the-cuff manner about issues that could have unpleasant ramifications for the country he once led.

Certainly, a more open and frank national conversation on a dark chapter in the country’s history is needed. In one sense, the state’s claims that it has tightened the safety and security of the nuclear complex to world-class standards that make accidents or deliberate mischief unlikely in the extreme is borne out by the fact that there have been no publicly known incidents of attempted proliferation since the network was dismantled. Surely, given the hostility and suspicion with which the Pakistani nuclear programme is viewed by much of the outside world, if there had been a breakdown in safety and security measures it would have been used to heap further pressure on Pakistan. But the senators’ fulminations on Wednesday point to an uncomfortable reality: the political class is unwilling and unable to seek greater input on nuclear matters; at most, the issue is used as a means to politically attack perceived opponents. Nuclear safety and security are matters of national security and should be treated as such, but that should not preclude civilian input. https://www.dawn.com/news/1355188/musharrafs-remarks

September 1, 2017   No Comments

Musharraf says Dr Qadeer knelt before him, cried and sought forgiveness

Report in The News, August 30, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Former army chief Pervez Musharraf has revealed on Tuesday that George Tenet, former Central Intelligence Agency chief, showed him irrefutable evidence against Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan in a one-on-one early morning meeting in his suite during his United States visit.

In an interview, former dictator said that George W Bush asked him to hold a meeting with CIA chief before he left for Pakistan, saying that it was very important.

He said that Tenet handed him over photographic and black and white evidence confirming AQ Khan’s involvement in proliferation through a Sri Lankan front man who acted as a double agent, the other side for the United States. Musharraf narrated that he summoned Dr Khan upon his return who after he was confronted, knelt before him and cried.

However, he went on to apologise to the nation in a television broadcast following which he was removed from his post. The former army chief said that the intelligence communication between Pakistan and US agencies was focused on handing the man over which he said he had denied.

To tell the truth, Musharraf added that he was not under a house arrest but it was for his protection. He said that he had never been more embarrassed in his life than what he went through after George Tenet showed him the irrefutable evidence.

The former dictator who is dubbed as one of the most closest Pakistani leaders to the United States said that he had given a presentation to than premier Nawaz Sharif in General Headquarters (GHQ).

While answering a question about why Pakistan’s intelligence agencies could not find out the ‘hole in the boat’ before the United States, Musharraf said that being an autonomous body, Khan Research Laboratories had its own security and it was completely cut off from agencies.

However, he did not disagree with the security approach and lauded his predecessors for opting for the strategy as he cited if the world turns against you, you have to have a strategy like that. He denied the claims that he had provided Dr A Q Khan a speech to read out to the nation.

Pervez Musharraf said that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s picture was among the photos that than-US President George W. Bush had showed to him of the infamous nuclear deal taking place. “Dr Qadeer grabbed my knees while crying and asked for my forgiveness,” he said.

“I accepted the pressure but never handed Dr Qadeer to any country,” he said. “Now that he speaks against me, it surprises me a lot,” he added. Meanwhile, talking to The News Dr A Q Khan rubbished the claims made by former dictator Prevez Musharraf. He said Musharraf had sold himself to Americans and he is a liar and traitor. He said whatever, he said about me is totally untrue. He said, “the former dictator had made a deal on me with the US and continued to say to me that you are a hero of the nation.” He said former prime minister Zafrullah Khan Jamali in an interview had admitted that Mush was ready to hand over Dr Qadeer to US.

August 30, 2017   No Comments

NSG deadlock: By Zamir Akram in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2016.

The writer is a former Ambassador of Pakistan.
Despite trying to load the dice in India’s favour, the Obama administration has failed to deliver on its promise to ensure NSG membership for India during its tenure which ends in mid-January 2017. Due to the principled position taken by China and supported by more than 10 countries, consensus has eluded the NSG so far with the result that the informal meeting scheduled for later this month has been postponed till early next year. Meanwhile, these are signs that after seeing the writing on the wall, even India has asked that consideration of its membership be put on hold. The result is a deadlock in the NSG in spite of desperate last ditch efforts by the US and other Indian allies.

The aggressive American campaign in collusion with the Indians, using a mixture of incentives and pressure, to bring NSG members on board was sustained and relentless. Even the NSG Chair, Ambassador Song of South Korea, and the previous Chair, Ambassador Grossi of Argentina, were willingly co-opted to pave the way for India.

In their eagerness to appease Washington and New Delhi, both Song and Grossi went so far to violate the very basis of their mandate, given to them by the Seoul NSG Plenary meeting in June 2016, to engage in a transparent consultation process with all NSG governments to develop objective and equitable membership criteria for Non-NPT member states. Instead, they engaged secretly and surreptitiously with selected countries, mainly in India’s favour, to develop membership criteria. They not only failed to take China’s views into consideration despite the primary role being played by Beijing, but even ensured that the substantive criteria that they proposed placed no new requirements for India to fulfil.

The proposals have now been uncovered by several public sources, including Bloomberg News and the US-based Arms Control Association. They include undertakings already given by India to obtain the exemption from full-scope safeguards given at American behest in 2008. As Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association points out “this formula would not require India to take any additional non-proliferation commitments beyond the steps to which it consented in September 2008” for the India specific exemption for civil nuclear trade. He adds that “any further country specific exemption from NSG guidelines for trade and/or membership without compensating steps to strengthen non-proliferation and disarmament would increase nuclear dangers in South Asia, and weaken the NSG and the broader nuclear non-proliferation regime”.

The worst aspect from Pakistan’s perspective of this biased and preferential Grossi-Song formula is that it is designed to harm Pakistan’s application for NSG membership. For instance, it advocates a sequential rather than simultaneous approach to membership by India and Pakistan which is obvious from the requirement that India, after becoming a member, would not object to membership requests from other countries — ie., Pakistan. Even if India were to give such a commitment it would not be worth the paper it would be written on. Moreover, there is absolutely no justification for taking such a sequential approach since Pakistan’s credentials for membership are equally good if not better than India’s and therefore, both country’s applications should be considered concurrently and simultaneously.

Even worse is the Grossi-Song stipulation that even when Pakistan is admitted as a member, it will still need to obtain a waiver or exemption to be eligible for civilian nuclear cooperation, which potentially can be blocked by any NSG member, most likely India if it can get in the NSG.

It is not surprising, therefore, that several countries like China, Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil, Ireland, Austria, Belarus, Italy, Switzerland among others have raised objections to the proposed criteria developed by the Grossi-Song duo at Indo-American instigation. They have not only questioned the procedural aspects such as lack of transparency and selective engagement but also substantively the clear absence of impartiality and objectivity of the proposal. Even Russia, a close friend of India, has weighed in by calling for greater transparency and the need for due process of consultations.

Forced by this negative backlash, the Chair has now postponed the scheduled December informal NSG meeting till January-February 2017. During this period he intends to engage in further consultations in an effort to develop consensus — the only basis on which a decision can be made by the NSG.

Meanwhile, India has also reportedly decided to ask for a pause in view of the negative response to the Grossi-Song proposal. Some realistic observers in India are also questioning the merits of pushing for NSG membership despite the clear opposition, pointing out that the 2008 waiver should suffice.

For its part, the Obama administration has recalled its team from Vienna, the NSG Headquarters, recognising that it will not be able to fulfil its promise to its Indian friends during the few days it has left in office. Now it will be up to the next US administration to decide whether or not to push for Indian NSG membership.

For now, Pakistan has scored a tactical success by working with principled countries to prevent yet another preferential waiver exclusively for India. But the struggle for equitable and impartial treatment as an aspirant for NSG membership is not yet over for Pakistan. http://tribune.com.pk/story/1279755/nsg-deadlock/

January 2, 2017   No Comments

‘Quality, capacity, safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons better than India’s’ Ikram Junaidi in Dawn, December 28th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s nuclear programme was launched for peaceful purposes but national security issues forced the country to build nuclear weapons, former nuclear scientist and the chairman of the Underground Gasification Project at the Thar Coal Field, Dr Samar Mubarakmand, said on Tuesday.

Dr Mubarakmand was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Civilian Uses for Nuclear Energy in Pakistan: Opportunities and Prospects’, organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).

Although the seminar was supposed to focus on nuclear energy, the discussion revolved mostly around nuclear weapons and nuclear material.

Dr Mubarakmand said Pakistan’s nuclear programme was always peaceful, and there have been various peaceful applications of nuclear technology such as the establishment of several nuclear medical centres, agricultural research centres and the radioactive tracers used by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to build the Mangi Dam in Balochistan.

Because Pakistan is not a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, he said it was impossible for the country to receive simple technology, and this was possible because of Pakistani scientists who despite heavy sanctions made Pakistan a nuclear state.

“The relaxation of bans by members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) with respect to India as a special dispensation in 2008 under US lobbying, and the current efforts to make India a member of the NSG is an example of the biased Western psyche and mindset,” he claimed.

Defending Pakistan against allegations of helping Iran and Libya build nuclear weapons, he said both those countries remain non-nuclear states.

“The world can see that Pakistan’s civilian nuclear programme is not being used for military purposes. No theft of nuclear material has ever taken place in Pakistan. We need to survive in the subcontinent with dignity and, being a smaller state, Pakistan restored the balance of power by conducting nuclear tests after India,” he said.

Strategic Vision Institute Executive Director Prof Zafar Iqbal Cheema said the treatment given to India by the West is evidence that politics prevails over rules.

“India was trying to make nuclear weapons since 1959, but India is considered a country with a good track record and Pakistan is considered a country that cannot be trusted. However, it is a fact that the quality, capacity and safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons are better compared to India’s,” he claimed.

Prof Cheema endorsed a statement by the Senate chairman, where he claimed that Pakistan was denied nuclear energy because it is a Muslim country.

National Defence University assistant professor Dr Rizwana Karim Abbasi, however, did speak about nuclear energy. She said the demand has increased since the 1990s, and nuclear energy could fill the demand for energy.

“Greenhouse gases have to be cut by 70pc by 2050 so the world will definitely move towards nuclear energy, which is cheaper and environment-friendly. China is producing 19,000MW of electricity through nuclear energy. India and 31 other countries are also going for it,” she said.

“Although incidents of atomic reactor accidents in Germany and Japan have led to resistance to nuclear energy in the West, it is still believed that nuclear energy should be used,” she added.

Dr Abbasi said fossil fuels increase environmental pollution so the world needs to depend more on nuclear power, and safety standards have to be improved.

“Pakistan needs to secure its membership in the NSG, and it should make more nuclear power plants to make more energy,” she said. The former chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Pervez Butt, said Pakistan has been considering producing 8,835MW electricity through nuclear energy by 2030, which will meet 5 to 8pc of the total requirement.http://www.dawn.com/news/1304890/quality-capacity-safety-of-pakistans-nuclear-weapons-better-than-indias

December 28, 2016   No Comments

Chashma Unit C-3 inauguration today: Report in The News, December 28, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The 340 megawatt Chashma Nuclear Power Project Unit C-3 will be switched on today (Wednesday), a statement said on Tuesday.

“The Unit C-3 will start working by Wednesday, while the Unit C-4 of the project, having a capacity of generating 340 megawatt electricity, would be operational by July 2017,” Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Secretary Attiq Ahmed told the National Assembly’s Committee on Planning, Development and Reform in a briefing.

He informed the committee as many as 733 megawatt nuclear-energy-based electricity has been added to the national grid to date.

Meanwhile, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lt Gen (Retd), Muzammil Hussain told the committee the 2,400 megawatt electricity will be injected into the national grid by 2018.

“The country has a huge potential for hydel power generation; however, only 7 percent of this potential had been tapped so far,” the Water and Power Development Authority chief said.

“Diamar-Bhasha dam will be developed in two phases. In the first phase, a water reservoir (dam) will be constructed at a cost of $ 7 billion (in the first seven years)
and later the power generation house worth $ 7 billion will be built in the second phase.”

General Hussain added the Dasu project, with a production capacity of 482 megawatt electricity, will also be launched in April, 2017.

Later, the committee sought a detailed record of documents related to the Mangla Dam Raising project from the concerned authorities. The committee, chaired by Abdul Majeed Khan Khanan Khail, was attended by MNAs Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Shazia Farid, Shamas-un-Nisa, Junaid Akbar, Qaiser Jamal, Sheikh Salahuddin, Sher Akber Khan, and Iftikhar-ud-Din.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/174863-Chashma-Unit-C-3-inauguration-today

December 28, 2016   No Comments

Formula for new NSG members leaves Pakistan out: US group Anwar Iqbal in Dawn, December 28th, 2016

WASHINGTON: A draft proposal for accepting new members into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) paves the way for India’s entry but leaves Pakistan out, says a US-based arms control organisation.

The Arms Control Association (ACA), Washington, also warns that relaxing membership rules will undermine non-proliferation.

Last week, the US media reported that Rafael Mariano Grossi, a former chairman of the NSG, had prepared a two-page document, explaining how a non-NPT state, like India and Pakistan, could join the group. Mr Grossi was acting on behalf of the current chairman, Song Young-wan of South Korea, and his document enjoys a semi-official status.

To prevent India from blocking Pakistan from joining the NPT, Mr Grossi’s draft note proposes that “one non-NPT member state should reach an understanding not to block consensus on membership for another non-NPT member state”.

But ACA’s executive director, Daryl Kimball, warns that “Pakistan still has grounds to object to the formula outlined by Mr Grossi”. He explains that the document will require Pakistan to meet the same criteria for membership as India “but, to engage in civil nuclear trade with NSG states, it would have to win a separate NSG exemption from the full-scope safeguards requirement”.

The 48-nation NSG is a nuclear technology control organisation formed in 1975 in response to India’s first nuclear weapon test, which used plutonium produced with nuclear technology from Canada and the United States. The NSG seeks to prevent similar future misuses.

Current NSG membership rules require a state to sign the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) before joining this exclusive club. India remains one of only three countries, with Israel and Pakistan, never to have signed the NPT.

Earlier this year, India formally applied for membership and was followed by Pakistan. The United States, and a host of other powerful western nations, back India’s application, but China and half a dozen other nations are blocking India’s membership, which requires a consensus of all members.

India had hoped to join the group during NSG’s last plenary session, held in Seoul in June this year, but the meeting ended without taking any decision on New Delhi’s application.

Several countries expressed concerns over India’s entry because it had not yet signed the NPT. China led the efforts to block India’s membership.

After the plenary, the new chairman asked Mr Grossi to work out a proposal for admitting new members. The proposal he prepared also addressed the India-Pakistan dispute, acknowledging that both countries had “political reasons” for blocking each other’s membership.

But Mr Kimball points out that Grossi’s formula allows India to claim that it has already undertaken the steps necessary for membership, “which could then lead to a decision on membership for India, while still leaving Pakistan in a different status”.

The proposal requires a non-NPT state to declare that it has brought into force a clear and strict separation of current and future civilian nuclear facilities from non-civilian nuclear facilities and is willing to apply this principle to future facilities as well.

The new member also needs to assure NSG that it has provided and maintains a declaration to the IAEA that identifies all current and future civilian nuclear facilities.

The applicant also needs to assure NSG that it has enforced a safeguards agreement with the IAEA covering all declared civilian facilities and all future civilian facilities which the IAEA determines are eligible for safeguards.http://www.dawn.com/news/1304941/formula-for-new-nsg-members-leaves-pakistan-out-us-group

December 28, 2016   No Comments