- We hope Tony Blair spoke about Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal when he was at Islamabad
- Military News Analysis -
Brussels,with inputs from correspondents at London, New Delhi and Tel Aviv:
Pakistan today holds a unique position in more ways than one. Not that it is till date a frontline state in the war on terrorism. But more importantly it is the only nuclear capable Islamic state on the globe. After the Chagai Nuclear tests, Pakistan was quick to christen its nuclear devise the "Islamic Atom Bomb". Why is not the American one called the Christian Atom Bomb or the one with India called the Hindu Atom Bomb. This underscores the outlook of the Pakistani rulers and gives away the scope of use of their nuclear capability.
The Retd. Jihadi Generals of the Pakistani Army - ex-ISI chiefs Mahmoud Ahmad and Hamid Gul, Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, and Muhammad Aziz Khan
There is nothing novel in what we have said and the world knows this, so do the governments of the USA and UK. And it is this issue which is on the agenda of Tony Blair's and Donald Rumsfield's forthcoming visits to Islamabad. The concern in the minds of all statesmen of the civilized world is "what happens if and when Pakistan's nuclear potential falls into the hands of the Jihadis? And this is not idle imagination. This question was asked by both CNN and BBC to President Pervez Musharraf when they interviewed him last week. As expected he assured the TV channels that Pakistan's nuclear potential was in safe hand and that the Pakistani army was a disciplined lot. While we would like to believe what President Musharraf says, the statements of Retd. Generals Hamid Gul, Mirza Aslam Beg are a cause for alarm.
Pervez Musharraf - the best bet?
It is wise that the USA and UK have decided to tackle this issue till as long as Pervez Musharraf is still in power at Islamabad. The possibility of such an agenda would be zero, if and when Musharraf is replaced by more Jihadi generals of the Islamized Pakistani Army. Retd. Generals Hamid Gul, Mirza Aslam Beg, and others have openly spoken that Pervez Musharraf 's feet will hang in the air after military action starts in Afghanistan. So it is as along as Pervez Musharraf is at the helm in Pakistan that the world at large can even think of talking about the possibility of taking steps to prevent the arsenal from falling into Jihadi hands. An aim that Osama Bin Laden has clearly spelt out. And the daily rampage on the streets of Quetta, Karachi, Islamabad are raising concerns further.
The Modus Operandi to Render Pakistan Harmless
The options that might be discussed could be:
* Pakistan would itself render its nuclear potential useless by disabling it or that it would destroy that potential. In either case the danger of it falling into wrong hands is prevented.
* Pakistan would allow the Western nations to physically transfer the entire nuclear paraphernalia to a safe place in the West. This was done in the past with Kazakstan when its President Nursultan Nazarbayev requested this to avoid the same possibility of the potential falling into wrong hands. Since this was done before the Jihad warmed up, the event did not make news headlines then.
* Pakistan would surrender control over its nuclear facilities to NATO (or UN forces) while they physically remain in Pakistan.
De-nuclearizing of Pakistan is becoming a critical piece in the jigsaw.
The last possibility still has the danger of the NATO or UN forces being overwhelmed by the Jihadis and the worst case scenario becoming possible. Although nobody is openly discussing this issue of Pakistan's nuclear potential, this is on everyone's minds. And the Western nations will have to force a decision on this, before the military action starts off in Afghanistan. Nobody knows how Pakistan will try to subvert this Western demand. Since it is not going to surrender its Ace Card - the Islamic Atom Bomb. The scene, on this front in the next few days, is going to be interesting to watch.
Why does President Bush keep saying that there is no time-frame for action.
The Western nations, know for sure that the simmering anti-US, anti-West and basically anti-Christian sentiment on the streets of the Muslim world, would explode in to an pogrom against all Whites in all countries across the Islamic crescent once the news of deaths in Afghanistan, consequent to Western Military action start making news headlines in the Muslim world. TV channels like Al Jazeera can be relied upon to sensationalize the happenings to hyper-reactive audiences across the Crescent. The Western nations know this and hence they are withdrawing diplomats from Pakistan and Multi-national Companies are also pulling out staff. That Western Embassies would be a target of attack is illustrated by the Taliban vandalizing the empty premises of the American Mission in Kabul.
President Bush keeps saying that there is no time-frame for action. Thus giving the Western allies leverage of time during which quiet and determined preparations of the military action are being worked out - the de-nuclearizing of Pakistan being a critical piece of the jigsaw.
Why is the USA talking of a Palestinian State and Forcing Israel to make peace while Downplaying India's concern of Terror in Kashmir?
There is close link between the efforts to de-nuclearize Pakistan, the talk of US support for a Palestinian State and US downplaying India's concern of Terror in Kashmir. The US wants to buy time, till is is safe to act. This is a legitimate strategy. But the catch is how far will Israel and India allow themselves to come in the firing range of the Jihadis, till the US is ready to act? The US is pressurizing Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, the Hamas and Fatah reject the peace moves and carry out attacks. While here India is tactfully told to keep quiet on Kashmir and there is a upsurge of violence in Srinagar. We understand US compulsions in this regard that it wants the Arab world to back the war on Terrorism. It wants Pakistan to keep its nuclear potential from falling into wrong hands. The American objective is legitimate - to be on a winning turf. We do not question that. But what we certainly question is; "whether this US strategy is going to appease the Arabs into joining the war against their co-religionists wholeheartedly, or make the Pakistanis surrender their nuclear potential to the West?" We do not think so; and the Western Strategy is not going to succeed on either of the two counts.
Appeasement failed in 1938, can it succeed in 2003?
These unseen undercurrents in the War on Global Terrorism would like to keep Israel and India to play a low profile. So that the Arabs and Pakistanis do not openly come out against the US led alliance. And that the war does not appear like what it really is - A war against Islam. The Western nations have not learnt from History, and hence they are repeating history. They did this at Munich. They painted Hitler to be amenable to compromise. They followed a policy of appeasement. They failed to buy off Hitler and they worked themselves into a position of weakness before they finally decided to call Hitler's bluff and challenge him in an open war.
When we know that Appeasement failed in 1938, then on what basis can we say that it will succeed in 2003? The Western nations have to remember the lessons of 1938 and move accordingly today. In 1938 they refused to call Nazism to be evil, today they refuse to call Islam an evil. In 1938 they forced Czechoslovakia to surrender Sudentenland to the Germans, today they are asking Israel to surrender to Palestinian demands for more land and India to absorb the jabs of the Jihadi knives in Kashmir. In 1938 they refused to recognize the Nazi Lebensraum, today they refuse to recognize the Islamic Jihad. In 1938 they did not condemn the outlook of Mein Kampf, today they refuse to condemn the Jihad that the Quran calls upon all Muslims to wage against the Kafirs (non-Muslims).
Can the Western nations learn from their own experiences in 1938 and prepare themselves to face the oncoming future repeat of 1939-1945. And can they do this before the enemy becomes too strong to overcome; putting the future of all humankind at peril.
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