Monday, February 11, 2013

Silicon Valley Launch of "Eating Grass- The Making of the Pakistani Bomb"

Unlike most western accounts of Pakistani nuclear program which begin and end with A.Q. Khan's network,  Brig Feroz H. Khan's  scholarly work "Eating Grass" offers a very comprehensive story of the "Making of The Pakistani Bomb". Feroz Khan takes the reader through the interdisciplinary nature and the inherent complexity of what it takes to develop, build and operationalize a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Book Cover: PINSTECH Campus, Nilore, Pakistan

Setting the Record Straight:

The standard Western and Indian narrative has us believe that A.Q. Khan stole the uranium enrichment technology and built the Pakistani atom bomb, and then proliferated it to Iran, Libya and North Korea. To put it perspective,  Feroz Khan explains that it takes at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers with relevant training and skills to have a nuclear weapons program, according to a 1968 UN study. In a piece titled "Laser Isotope Enrichment-a new dimension to the nth country problem?", Dr. Robert L. Bledsoe writes as follows: "a United Nations study conservatively estimates that at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers are needed to develop and maintain warhead production facilities, and an additional 19,000 personnel (more than 5000 of them scientists and engineers) are required to produce delivery vehicles of the intermediate ballistic missile variety".

Book Launch:

Khan's book was launched in Silicon Valley at the Fremont Marriott yesterday, with about 100 invited guests, including this blogger, in attendance. The author was introduced by Ms. Sabahat Rafique, a prominent local Pakistani-American. The author, currently a lecturer at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey,  spoke briefly about the extensive research he undertook to write the book. He was joined by Prof Rifaat Husain, visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, to answer questions.

L to R: Sabahat Rafiq, Feroz Khan, Riaz Haq, Yasmeen Haq at "Eating Grass" Book Launch

Human Capital Development:

"Eating grass", published by Stanford University Press, traces the origins of Pakistani nuclear program to the work of Dr. Rafi Mohammad Chaudhry in 1950s and of Dr. Ishrat Husain Usmani in 1960s, both of whom were graduates of Aligarh Muslim University. Dr. Chaudhry did his doctoral research in physics under the supervision of the famous British physicist Ernest Rutherford at Cambridge and Dr. Usmani got his Ph.D. in physics at Imperial College, University of London, with Nobel Laureate Professor P.M.S. Blackett as his adviser.  Along with Pakistani Nobel Laureate Dr. Abdus Salam, Chaudhry and Usmani built laboratories and academic institutions and inspired generations of Pakistanis to study subjects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields to produce the scientific and engineering talent for the young nation beginning in 1950s and 1960s.

Source: OECD Global Education Digest 2009

Darra Adam Khel cottage industry making copies of sophisticated firearms is a testament to the reverse engineering prowess in Pakistan. Faced with multiple layers of sanctions, Pakistanis have now developed industrial scale reverse engineering capabilities. The best example of it is Pakistan's cruise missile Babur which was derived from US Tomahawk cruise missile. Some of these Tomahawk missiles landed intact in Pakistani territory when Clinton ordered cruise missile attack on Bin Laden in August 1998 in response to USS Cole attack by Al Qaida.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's Role: 

The title of the book "Eating Grass" alludes to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's famous quote "we will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own (atom bomb). We have no other choice".  Khan goes beyond the quote to highlight Bhutto's substantial role in promoting Pakistan's nuclear program in 1960s. After India's humiliating defeat at the hands of the Chinese in 1962 and the Chinese nuclear test in 1964, Bhutto realized that India, too, would follow suit with a bomb of its own. He started lobbying with President Ayub Khan to start the bomb effort as early as mid 1960s. Ayub and most of his cabinet dismissed the idea but Bhutto remained committed to it and started taking modest steps toward building the scientific capability for it. As part of this effort, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and Pakistan's Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) were established in 1960s under the leadership of Dr. I.H. Usmani. These were followed by the construction of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) in 1970s. These institutions became training grounds for thousands of engineers and scientists in Pakistan in the field of nuclear science and technology.

1971 India-Pakistan War:

It was Pakistan's dismemberment after a humiliating defeat in India-Pakistan war of 1971 and India's first successful nuclear test in 1974 that, according to Khan,  strengthened Pakistanis' resolve to weaponize the country's nuclear program.  This new resolve gave strong impetus to expanding research and development activities and covert acquisition of a range of components necessary to build indigenous capability to produce nuclear warheads and delivery mechanisms. This was done in the face of strict international controls mandated by NPT and MTCR to prevent proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies.

Parallel covert efforts started with the establishment of a uranium enrichment facility at Kahuta which was headed by A.Q. Khan. A.Q Khan, a graduate of Karachi University, had been working on uranium enrichment in Europe for many years. He had the knowledge and the experience. He also had a wide range of contacts he had developed over the years while working at URENCO in Europe which he used to establish a procurement network. A.Q. Khan succeeded in acquiring the components and building thousands of gas centrifuges to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU) well ahead of a similar plutonium (Pu) reprocessing program underway at PAEC.

The book explains that HEU from A.Q. Khan's Research Lab (KRL) was essential but alone was not enough to make a bomb. It was PAEC that did the R&D to metalize UF6 into bomb core, and designed and built trigger mechanism with specialized explosives, lenses and detonators. It also required lots of cold testing to test the bomb design before conducting hot tests.

May 1998 Nuclear Tests:

Pakistan finally decided to go ahead with its atomic weapons tests in response to India's tests in May, 1998. It took only two weeks for Pakistan to do so after the Indian tests. Pakistan's then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the tests in the face of intense international pressure, particularly from the US President Bill Clinton who made multiple phone calls to Sharif asking him to refrain from it.The tests were followed by severe international sanctions led by the United States against Pakistan.

Ballistic and Cruise Missiles:

In addition to the work on the bomb, both PAEC and KRL labs also pursued development of reliable delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads. While PAEC worked on solid fuel rockets based on Chinese M-11 design, KRL focused on liquid-fueled variety based North Korean Nodong, writes Khan in "Eating Grass".  Khan says Pakistanis have also reverse engineered American Tomahawk cruise missile as part of their efforts to add stealth capability to hit targets deep inside India from air, land and sea.

Command and Control: 

Khan goes into the efforts made by Pakistan under President Musharraf since 2000 to put in place robust security of its nuclear assets and sophisticated command and control structures. A separate strategic command has been established to operationalize its nuclear weapons capability. And it is continuing to develop with changing needs.

Response to Indo-US Nuclear Deal:

Khan says in the book that there are eight Indian reactors exempted by US-India nuclear deal from IAEA safeguards leaving India free to process and accumulate 500 Kg weapons-grade plutonium per year. In addition, India is rapidly expanding its HEU production for its nuclear submarine by adding thousands of centrifuges.

Pakistan has responded by increasing its plutonium production at its indigenously built Khushab reactor complex which is not covered by IAEA safeguards, according to Khan. KRL is also continuing to produce about 100 Kg per year HEU with a new generation of P-3 and P-4 centrifuges at much higher separation rate.

Damaging Episodes:

Khan does not gloss over the severe damage done to Pakistan by AQ Khan's proliferation network and concerns raised by a meeting of Pakistani nuclear scientists Sultan Bashiruddin Mehmood and Abdul Majeed with Osama Bin Laden. He discusses at length how AQ Khan turned his procurement network into a proliferation network for personal profit. Musharraf saw the AQ Khan's proliferation as the "most difficult thing to deal with". The author quotes Musharraf as saying, "(T)he public image of A.Q. Khan was that of a legend and father of the bomb. He certainly was a hero for his role and contribution to the nuclear program, but at the same time no other person brought so much harm to the nuclear program than him".

 As to Mehmood and Majeed, Khan says that they designed Khushab reactors. Their expertise was in reactor design, not bomb-making, and they couldn't have helped Al Qaeda  acquire a bomb even if they wanted to. Nonetheless, they reinforced international suspicions about Pakistan's primarily defensive nuclear efforts.

Criticism of the Book:

As expected, the main criticism of the book has come from Indian reviewers. In a 500-page book, Indian critics have singled  out a one-line citation by the author that on December 16, 1971, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi stood before the Indian Parliament and, amid a thunderous standing ovation, stated that India had “avenged several centuries of Hindu humiliation at the hands of Mughal emperors and sultans”. Khan has cited his reference for it as follows: V. Longer, The Defence and Foreign Policy of India (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1998), 205. Cited in Sattar, Pakistan's Foreign Policy 1947-2005, 119.


Brig Feroz Khan's "Eating Grass" is an erudite work that offers the first authentic insider account of the making of the Pakistani bomb. It details a story of spectacular scientific and strategic achievement by a nation dismissed as a temporary "tent" and a "nissen hut" at birth by Viceroy Lord Mountbatten in 1947. That same "nissen hut" is now a nuclear power about which Brookings' Stephen Cohen has said as follows:

“One of the most important puzzles of India-Pakistan relations is not why the smaller Pakistan feels encircled and threatened, but why the larger India does. It would seem that India, seven times more populous than Pakistan and five times its size, and which defeated Pakistan in 1971, would feel more secure. This has not been the case and Pakistan remains deeply embedded in Indian thinking. There are historical, strategic, ideological, and domestic reasons why Pakistan remains the central obsession of much of the Indian strategic community, just as India remains Pakistan’s.”

Brig Feroz Khan concludes his book on a somber note by mentioning "massive corruption" and "stagflation" in the country he served. "Perhaps it never crossed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's mind that his words (eat grass...even go hungry) would become a self-fulfilling prophesy."

Here's a video of this blogger talking with Brig Firoz Khan, the author of "Eating Grass":

"Eating Grass-The Making of the Pakistani Bomb"-- Riaz Haq Talks With Author Brig Firoz Khan from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Indigenous Copies of Nukes and Missiles 

India's Nuclear Bomb by George Perkovich

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Cyberwars Across India, Pakistan and China

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High-Tech

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Scientist Reveals Indian Nuke Test Fizzled

The Wisconsin Project

The Non-Proliferation Review Fall 1997

India, Pakistan Comparison 2010

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Global Firepower Comparison

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Only the Paranoid Survive

India Races Ahead in Space

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

World Military Spending

Indian Attempts to Scuttle F-16s For Pakistan

Attrition Rates For IAF and PAF

Mockery of National Sovereignty


Anonymous said...

"my contribution to 80386 program.!

Wow and I love you for that which was the first real man processor in my opinion. :)

Shams said...

AQ Khan is the system architect of the Pakistani bomb. A system architect is one who makes things happen, using a number of personnel working on hardware and software, QA people, test engineers and the like. In the end, it is the system architect's vision that the credit goes to. Yes, you give credit to all those who lent hand, but then again, those people have chosen to, and are destined to, do only one thing - lend a hand.

There is a lot wrong in the book, but you should have done your own research and then you would have been able to publish an "authentic" review of an unauthentic book.

Ras said...

I guess that only the Bay Area elite were invited!

Riaz Haq said...

Ras: "I guess that only the Bay Area elite were invited!"

I was probably the only exception to the "Bay Area elite" at the event.

Hanif said...

Not many in the Military liked AQK or started to "disown" him after the house arrest. These people are the majority of the ones being interviewed in the book.
Very biased indeed !

Scorched Earth said...

Amazing how this review omitted the names of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan--Chairman PAEC 1972-1991--who headed 20 labs the projects of the entire fuel cycle and the bomb program--each one the size of KRL, and his successor Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad along with Dr. Samar Mubarakmand who built up the NDC/NESCOM and the missile program even though their respective roles have been dealt with at length in the book.

HopeWins Junior said...

Speaking of our energy crisis, let us do a recap of our nuclear program. You can correct me if I am wrong....

A) Electricity-generating Nuclear Facilities

Karachi: 125 MWe (Canadian, IAEA)
Chasma 1: 300 MWe (Chinese, IAEA)
Chasma 2: 300 MWe (Chinese, IAEA)

Under construction:
Chasma 3: 300 MWe (Chinese, IAEA)
Chasma 4: 300 MWe (Chinese, IAEA)

Indigenous electricity-producing reactors: None

B)Non-electricity generating Nuclear Facilities

KRL: HEU centrifugal production (Indigenous, non-IAEA)
Khushab 1: 15 MWe (Indigenous, non-IAEA)
Khushab 2: 15 MWe (Indigenous, non-IAEA)

Under construction:
Khushab 3: 15 MWe (Indigenous, non-IAEA)
Khushab 4: 15 MWe Indigenous, non-IAEA)

SUMMARY: We don't have a SINGLE electricity-producing reactor that was made locally and isn't under IAEA safeguards. Not even one.

And these 300MWe (CNP-300) that our BFF China has so generously grandfathered past the NSG are actually circa 1950s Westinghouse PWR designs.
See "Qinshan-I" at

The only reason China built these for us is because they STOPPED building them in China 10 years ago because they were completely obsolete in terms of efficiency, cost, safety and reliability.

The fact that we need China to build a low-power 300 MW reactor with a obsolete 1950s design SHOULD TELL US that we do not have the capacity to build anything beyond the rudimentary 15MWe university-level PHWR plants we have at Khushab.

So all these dreams of "indigenous" production of 8000MWe is just fantasy.

The only way we will EVER get to 8000MWe is (a) if China builds lots of reactors for us by ignoring the NSG, or, (b) if the NSG gives us a waiver so that we can buy (or borrow) the lastest, more efficient and most safe technologies from all suppliers.

With one of these two things happening, we can FORGET about Nuclear electricity. Yes, we will have plenty of HEU and WGP bombs, but we won't have a lot of nuclear-generated electricity.

And, as I mentioned elsewhere, we will just be watching from the sidelines as the whole world helps Bangladesh march forward towards its goal of 10,000 MWe from Nuclear Power by 2030.

Is it not ironic that Bangladesh will wind up having more Nuclear Electricity that we do, even though we were the ones with the early Nuclear Program and the alphabet soup of agencies?

PS: For the record, we should note that the Indians are already building 700MWe PHWRs and even 500MWe Complex FBRs (non-IAEA) by themselves right now. They are relying on foreigners only for the latest 1,000-1,600 MWe designs (VVER-1200, EPWR-1200, AP-1500 etc).

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on Russian book author at Karachi Literature Festival:

KARACHI: VY Belokrenitsky says the country has come a long way since Partition
Many intellectuals believe that internal problems and geopolitical upheavals have taken Pakistan to the brink. But according to Russian scholar VY Belokrenitsky, who has spent decades studying its history, the country remains as strong as any other.
“If you look at all that has happened in the past, Pakistan’s is a success story,” he said during the launch of the book ‘A Political History of Pakistan: 1947 to 2007’ on day two of the fourth Karachi Literature Festival on February 16. He has co-authored the book with compatriot VN Moskalenko.
Belokrenitsky said that at the time of Partition, Pakistan was made up of areas which were less developed and faced problems. “Since then, many parts have urbanised and the population has grown manifold. It has become a vibrant society.”
The book has been divided into seven parts which trace the country’s history from the pre-partition era to the tumultuous end of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s government.
Belokrenitsky said the book has been written from the Russian perspective, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between the two countries. However, it also deals with prominent political developments.
“We have discussed matters related to the upper level of politics. There is something going on underneath all that as well and not many people know about that. It needs to be studied more.”
He said that years 2013 and 2014 can be a turning point for Pakistan as foreign troops are expected to exit Afghanistan. Columnist Humayun Gauhar also spoke at the event.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a report on the impact of science and technology on developed nations:

Technical advance -- according to Eric Hobsbawm's The Age of Extremes -- had three significant impacts. First, it transformed everyday life in the affluent world: before 1945 most families in the "developed world" would not have had a refrigerator, a television, vinyl records, tape cassettes, transistor radios, digital watches, pocket calculators, video equipment or general access to the birth control pill. Second, disproportionately more money was now spent on research and development (R&D) than ever before, thus bolstering the dominance of the wealthy regions of the world over the poor. By the 1970s the affluent countries had over 1000 scientists and engineers for every million people in population while Pakistan averaged around 60 and Kenya around 30. Third, and most importantly for the period after the 1970s, the new technologies were capital-intensive and eventually labour-replacing: machines would build automobiles, computers would manage trains, and money would be deposited, invested and withdrawn without the intervention of tellers. The significance of technological progress was that employees in the rich countries -- other than scientists and engineers -- would eventually become more crucial to the success of the economy as consumers rather than as producers.

Technology's great leap forward -- and our deification of it -- continues unabated: it is now enabling some corporations to "in-source" production. Historically, technology facilitated companies' abilities, especially those from the United States, to "out-source" production, though not necessarily co-ordination, to other parts of the world thus substantially reducing the costs of labour. Today, because of computerization and other factors, some companies are choosing to return some of their manufacturing processes back to the United States. Tyler Cowen notes in the May/June 2012 issue of The American Interest that "in a manufacturing survey from November 2011, almost one-fifth of North American manufacturers claimed to have brought production back from a 'low-cost' country to North America." While it would be understandable for workers to stand up and cheer at the thought of companies returning to their country, their elation would be short-lived. Artificial intelligence and computing power are taking over manufacturing, thus transforming factories into quiet, empty spaces whose only sound is the hum of a machine.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH Quotes Someone: "By the 1970s the affluent countries had over 1000 scientists and engineers for every million people in population while Pakistan averaged around 60 and Kenya around 30. "

Do you have the current figures? How has the situation changed since the 1970s?

How many "scientists and engineers per million people" do we have now? How does this compare to equivalent countries like Kenya & Bangladesh? How does it compare to the West (US/EU)?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Do you have the current figures? How has the situation changed since the 1970s? How many "scientists and engineers per million people" do we have now?"

I don't have the exact data on the number of Pakistani engineers and scientists per million today but my guess is that it's several times higher now.

A good indicator is the work of Barro & Lee. It shows that the percentage of Pakistanis who have completed tertiary education has more than doubled in the last 20 years, growing from 1.7% in 1990 to 3.9% in 2010.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news report about Obama's nominee for US Defense Secretary saying India has been "financing problems" for Pakistan in Afghanistan:

Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel suggested in a previously unreleased 2011 speech that India has “for many years” sponsored terrorist activities against Pakistan in Afghanistan.

“India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan” in Afghanistan, Hagel said during a 2011 address regarding Afghanistan at Oklahoma’s Cameron University, according to video of the speech obtained by the Free Beacon.


Hagel appears to accuse India of fueling tensions with Pakistan, claiming it is using Afghanistan “as a second front” against Pakistan.

“India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border,” Hagel says in the speech. “And you can carry that into many dimensions, the point being [that] the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years.”

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "A good indicator is the work of Barro & Lee. It shows that the percentage of Pakistanis who have completed tertiary education has more than doubled in the last 20 years, growing from 1.7% in 1990 to 3.9% in 2010."

QUOTE: "A recent public opinion poll revealed that the top-most research priority areas identified by Pakistanis included ...Urdu literature, Islamic studies, Arabic......"

Also see:

HopeWins Junior said...

UK paper now says Pakistan's Khan is father of North Korea's rogue bomb....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakistanToday on German assistance for vocational training in Pakistan:

The German Consulate in Karachi is going to initiate the “Dual Training” system which is an internationally recognised concept related to vocational training and based on German skills of development.
Under the Germany-Pakistan Training Initiative (GPATI), this scheme would now be modified and developed into an appropriate model of cooperative training in Pakistan.
The training was demand-driven and focused on the development of an employable and highly skilled workforce. In collaboration with employers, such as BASF, Dewan Motors/BMW, DHL, Linde, Lufthansa Cargo, Merck, METRO, Schenker, Shanawaz/Daimler and Siemens and Vocational Training Institutes (VTIs) such as AMANTECH and iACT, this pilot scheme would now be implemented in Karachi. The VTIs would develop programmes according to the need of the employees and the employers would ensure the provision of technical/practical training under normal work conditions.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a federal enterprise, supported the German government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development around the globe. Along with the European Union (EU) and the Embassy of Netherlands, the German Ministry of Economic Development and Technical Cooperation was funding an ambitious TVET Reform Support Programme in Pakistan and had commissioned the GIZ to assist the Government of Pakistan in the implementation thereof. Programme partners included the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), the Technical and Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAs) in provinces and regions, private sector organisations and a large number of other stakeholders.
A key theme of the reform programme was to give employers and industry/training experts of the business economy a central role in all aspects of TVET planning and policy development, quality assurance, monitoring and delivery.
GPATI united the underlying principles of the reform and was therefore highly significant as it could give valuable input into the implementation of the overall TVET sector reform. Once the pilot phase of GPATI was successful, the long term objective was to scale up this scheme in 2014 under the TVET Reform Support Programme by including other national and multi-national companies and reaching out into other parts of Pakistan.
The first project committee meeting of GPATI took place on February 26th this year. Besides presenting the outline of GPATI activities for the current year, the participating companies, training institutes and GIZ signed a Letter of Intent. The event was chaired by Consul General of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr Tilo Klinner and GIZ Principal Education Advisor Dr Julie Reviere.
The idea of the project was to make use of the presence and commitment of large German companies to develop a workable approach to cooperative training (modeled after the German dual training approach). The success of the project would also demonstrate that TVET was intrinsically driven and delivered by industry and had the chance to produce better results in skills development in terms of both quality and relevance.
The training was planned to commence in the first quarter of the current year in the following occupational groups: General electric (incl. motor winding), general mechanics (including bench fitting and machining), electronics, process controlling, pharmaceutical technician, motor vehicle service mechanic, customer service, supply chain, sales and operations. All courses would be complemented by “Life Skills”, “Computer Literacy” and “English Language” learning modules.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Hindustan Times report on failure of US-India strategic alignment:

A lack of strategic vision in the military alignment between India and the US is likely to ensure that New Delhi fails to emerge as Washington's key security ally in the Indo-Pacific region, a former Chinese diplomat to India has said.

Mao Siwei, who served as the Consul General
of China in Kolkata in the late 2000s, quoting a report indicated that strategic military ties between the US and India failed to evolve as expected after they signed the civil nuclear deal.

According to a "report of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, US-India Military Engagement, authored by an insider at the US Department of Defence, the current situation of the US-India military relations is far from what the US side expects. The report said the US and India lacked a clearly defined strategic vision to focus their military engagement," Mao said at a recent conference.

The report said the US and India lacked a "clearly defined strategic vision to focus their military engagement."

"The concerns of the Indian side about jeopardising strategic autonomy, along with personnel and budgetary limitations, have led to a further stymieing of deeper military contact," Mao said.

As a result, he said India was not likely to emerge as a key provider of security within the Indo-Pacific region any time in the near to midterm future.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Al-Arabia Op Ed by Mansoor Jaafar on Pakistan transferring control of Gwadar port to China:

At last, Pakistan finally took the gutsy decision of handing over the strategically vital Gwadar port to China, ignoring the raised eyebrows from the U.S., India, several western and Gulf countries including Iran.

Located at the top of Arabian sea and mouth of Gulf near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Gwadar port is at the apex of busy trading and oil shipping route and surrounded by a region that houses around two-thirds of the world's oil reserves. Besides Pakistan and China, its natural beneficiaries will be the landlocked, but energy-rich, Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan, for whom it is the nearest warm-water sea port.

The project of world-class sea port that could monitor and share bulk of world’s oil trade has always been a temptation for entire world; like the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which has enabled its controller Iran to see eyeball to eyeball with the mighty super power, the U.S. So, Gwadar always remained a prized object inviting all the mighty countries of the world to win it.

Before creation of Pakistan, Gwadar was gifted to Sultanate of Oman by its controller, Khan of Kalat (present day district in resources rich Baluchistan province), as part of dowry to his daughter when she married prince of Muscat. Due to its strategic importance, India made several attempts to purchase it, all of which were foiled by Pakistan, and finally purchased it back from Oman in 1958.

Tagged with all those multi-billion dollar profit options, Gwadar port will now being operated by China, against a vehement resistance by the U.S. Obviously, controlling the huge unfathomable resources of central Asia is perhaps one of the major objectives of the long and the costliest ever military campaign in Afghanistan. Despite all the lip service, none of the western countries has ever been willing to give any substantial help to Pakistan which could enable this nuclear power grow into a strong economic regional power.
China’s 60 percent oil comes from Gulf by ships traveling over 16,000 kilometers in two to three months, confronting pirates, bad weather, political rivals and other risks up to its only commercial port, Shanghai. Gwadar will reduce the distance to mere 2500 kilometers and also serve round the year.

Besides China, Gwadar will be a much cheaper alternative to the traders of Europe, Japan, the Far East, and Central Asia, who could use the under-construction airport to air-lift their good from here, saving over half of the costs and time.
Regional politics

But from the phase of construction to operating, China has given up two subsidiary projects which were part of original Gwadar port. Beijing refused to build the oil refinery at Gwadar, and to review the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline through its economic experts. Nevertheless, Pakistan made “significant progress” this year in shape of commissioning IP gas pipeline and Gwadar port projects despite world's sanctions on Iran.

How will the U.S. respond? It is the key question on which the regional politics in near future will rest. Both these decisions are being termed as historic and a feather in the cap of otherwise the ever-notorious president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari who is also practically controlling the affairs of the ruling PPP. He made those toughest decisions at the tail-end of his party’s five-year rule, leaving the consequences to be faced by the next government.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a Dawn report on Pakistan's university education:

According to the OECD’s 2009 Global Education Digest, 6.3 per cent of Pakistanis were university graduates as of 2007. The government plans to increase this rate to 10 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2020. But the key challenges are readiness for growth of the educational infrastructure and support from public and private sector.
According to 2008 statistics, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year. Pakistan Telecom Authority indicates that as of 2008 there are nearly 22 million internet users and over 80 million mobile phone subscribers. A combination of all these educational and technological factors gives Pakistan great leverage to progress towards targeted curriculum development and dissemination through e-learning..

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on PAEC's KINPOE graduation:

KARACHI: Nuclear power will continue to play its due role in meeting energy demand all over the world because of its technical and economic merits.

This was stated by Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director General Lt Gen (r) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai while addressing the 12th convocation ceremony of Karachi Institute of Power Engineering (KINPOE), as chief guest where 65 graduates of the MS (Nuclear Power Engineering) were conferred degrees by Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS).

He emphasised that the use of science and technology for achieving better living standards and general comfort for the masses, is not an easy task by any means.

Kidwai said that Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is serving the country and its people in many ways. It also bears the ultimate responsibility for the implementation of nuclear power programme of the country.

The commission’s power generation programme remains one of its most important commitments. This objective cannot be achieved by the procurement of equipment and hardware alone. It is critically dependent upon the availability of sufficient number of personnel having the necessary qualification and competence, he added.

He appreciated the efforts of the faculty and staff of KINPOE in promoting education and training in nuclear technology and added that technical education of high quality is only weapon to combat the future challenges.

In his welcome address, PAEC Chairman Dr Ansar Parvez said that education and manpower training in the field of nuclear technology has always been a prime consideration within PAEC, in the field where the doors of the outside world are no longer open for us.

Self-reliance in the training and education is not just important for us but it is absolutely essential.

Earlier, in his introductory remarks KINPOE Director Dr Zafar Mahmood said that KINPOE is a part of an organisation which strongly believes that nations deficient in technological development cannot survive in this world.

He advised the graduating class to continue hard work and pursuit of knowledge with greater zeal and contribute more enthusiastically for nation building.\03\02\story_2-3-2013_pg12_13

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Ottawa Citizen news story on Pak nuclear arsenal:

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), an independent research wing of the US Congress, figures that Pakistan has between 90 to 110 nuclear warheads.

“Islamabad is producing fissile material, adding to related production facilities, and deploying additional delivery vehicles. These steps could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal,” the recently released CRS report noted.

India currently has approximately 60-80 nuclear weapons, it added.

“Whether and to what extent Pakistan’s current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 US-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. Islamabad does not have a public, detailed nuclear doctrine, but its ‘minimum credible deterrent’ is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan,” the report noted.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on China supplying 1000 MW Chashma 3 nuclear power plant:

China confirmed this week it will sell a new 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor to Pakistan that the United States says would violate Beijing’s obligations under a nuclear supplier control group.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was asked Monday about a report in the Free Beacon March 22 that first disclosed the secret agreement for the reactor reached last month in Beijing between the China National Nuclear Corp. and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

“China has noted the relevant report,” Hong told reporters in Beijing.

Normally, Chinese government spokesmen deny such reports and label them “groundless” as a way to avoid comment. The spokesman’s use of the phrase “noted the relevant report” is unusual and a tacit admission the report is accurate.

U.S. intelligence and diplomatic officials privately said the agreement was reached in Beijing during a visit by a high-level Pakistani delegation of nuclear industry officials from Feb. 15 to 18.

The Chinese at the meeting urged Pakistan to keep the deal secret to avoid expected international opposition by states that say the sale violates China’s commitment to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a 46-member association aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

China agreed in 2004 not to sell additional reactors to Pakistan’s Chashma nuclear facility beyond the two reactors that began operating in 2000 and 2011.

However, Hong denied the sale violates the voluntary NSG guidelines.

“The cooperation between China and Pakistan does not violate relevant principles of the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” he said. “In recent years, China and Pakistan do indeed carry out some joint projects related to civilian use of nuclear energy. These projects are for peaceful purpose only, in compliance with the international obligations shared by both countries, and they are subject to guarantee and monitor by international atomic energy organization.”

However, U.S. intelligence officials said the China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) is Beijing’s main nuclear weapons producer and is working to modernize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in addition to the civilian reactor construction at Chashma.

China also is working to develop Pakistan’s nuclear fuel reprocessing capabilities, the officials said....

Riaz Haq said...

Here are bits of info on Pakistan's nuclear fusion effort:

Realizing the importance of fusion and the worldwide effort in this regard, Pakistan has launched a National Tokamak Fusion Program to develop human resource and capacity building. Under this program, the Government of Pakistan plans to install a small tokamak (like HT-6M of Hefei , China ) along with various accessories and diagnostics so as to acquire the basic scientific knowledge and the technical know-how of the fusion technology.

National Tokamak Fusion Program

Glass Vessel Spherical Tokamak

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday story on HuT's campaign against voting and democracy:

The banned outfit Hizbut Tahrir (HT) has started its campaign across the country to convince people not to participate in elections and join hands with the outlawed organisation for the unification of Muslim world as a single state under the leadership of Sheikh Ata Abu Rishta.
The campaign has been started in almost all parts of the country and the HT activists have started holding public gatherings and corner meetings to convince people on a point that democracy was against Islam.
The intelligence agencies have started operation against the HT and arrested two of its activists from outside a mosque for distributing leaflets among the worshipers and preaching them not to participate in elections.
Through the leaflet, the banned outfit invited people to join hands with them to abolish democracy from Pakistan and establish caliphate.
The leaflet reads further, “Muslims have not been stung merely twice, but countless times by the current system in Pakistan. Each time new faces come through coup or election, the people curse the old faces. However, only after a while, the new faces appear even uglier and more despised than the older faces. The current system is incapable of looking after the affairs of the people and securing the rights that Allah guaranteed humankind, regardless of their race, language, gender or religion.”
It reads further, “Pakistan's current system is a continuation of the British rule occupation that abolished Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent in the first place. Even though the Muslims shed their pure blood to establish Pakistan in the name of Islam, it was the British Parliament that created Pakistan’s initial legislation under its Indian Independence Act of 1947.”
“It is democracy, designed by and inherited from the colonialist kufr that separates our ummah from Islam and its ruling system of khilafah, whether in Pakistan, Egypt or Turkey, Tunisia or Indonesia. The claim that yet more elections within this system would bring change of system is a lie made to secure this system from abolition,” it also reads.
“It is the Khilafah alone that ensures our education, foreign policy, economy, judiciary, consultation; accounting and removing of rulers are all according to Islam,” the leaflet adds.
Talking to Pakistan Today, a leader of HT confirmed that they had started a campaign across the country for abolishment of democracy and establishment of khilafah in Pakistan.
“We will hold public gatherings, corner meetings and door-to-door campaign to boycott the elections as the democracy is un-Islamic,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

A recent UNESCO report shows that Pakistan had 162 science and tech researchers per million people in 2009, a 2X increase from from 80 in 2005.

By contrast India had 152 S&T researchers per million inhabitants in 2009, up from 136 in 2005.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a blog post from Scientific American:

Our class was recently asked whether or not we felt particle physics research should receive public funding. The majority of us were opposed, our reasons being that such research has no practical value. An instrument as sophisticated and expensive as a particle collider is surely a waste of a nation’s resources.

So it might come as a surprise that plans to build a synchrotron particle collider in Jordan have received overwhelming support from countries in the Middle East, including Iran, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Scientific discovery is not the only goal being pursued. Those involved hope that this installation, appropriately dubbed SESAME (for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East), will open lines of communication between countries that would not normally work together, and possibly inspire peace.

In John Horgan’s The End of War, he argues that war can be eradicated by simply choosing peace. To support his argument he cites Muzafer Sherif’s famous Robbers Cave Experiment, in which twenty-two fifth-grade boys in a camp were divided into two groups, Rattlers and Eagles, and kept apart for a week, each group growing suspicious of the “others.”

When brought together to compete in games, the groups were alarmingly violent toward one another, having been “manipulated into hating and fighting.” However, once the groups were presented with problems that could only be solved by cooperating with one another, the violence ceased, and they eventually became friends. Sherif saw these interactions as evidence that “traditionally hostile groups can overcome their differences if they are bound together by [a common goal].”

This idea inspired Stanford University physicist Herman Winick more than a decade ago to suggest the synchrotron being dismantled in Germany be sent to the Middle East instead of being scrapped. In the same way that the boys in Sherif’s experiment could only rent a movie if everyone contributed money, a project as expensive as SESAME can only be achieved with funding from multiple countries.

As of 2012, Iran, Israel, Jordan and Turkey have agreed to make contributions of $5 million each to fund the project, which will be based in Jordan and is expected to open in 2015. Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority are willing to give $5 million and $2 million respectively, and Egypt and the United States are both considering making contributions. The project has also been donated spare parts from a number of countries following Germany’s example, and has received funding from the European Union (Science Diplomacy).

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on India threatening massive retaliation if Pak uses tactical nukes:

NEW DELHI: India will retaliate massively even if Pakistan uses tactical nuclear weapons against it. With Pakistan developing "tactical" nuclear warheads, that is, miniaturizing its weapons to be carried on short-range missiles, India will protect its security interests by retaliating to a "smaller" tactical attack in exactly the same manner as it would respond to a "big" strategic attack.

Articulating Indian nuclear policy in this regard for the first time, Shyam Saran, convener of the National Security Advisory Board, said, "India will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but if it is attacked with such weapons, it would engage in nuclear retaliation which will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage on its adversary. The label on a nuclear weapon used for attacking India, strategic or tactical, is irrelevant from the Indian perspective." This is significant, because Saran was placing on record India's official nuclear posture with the full concurrence of the highest levels of nuclear policymakers in New Delhi.

Giving a speech on India's nuclear deterrent recently, Saran placed India's nuclear posture in perspective in the context of recent developments, notably the "jihadist edge" that Pakistan's nuclear weapons capability have acquired.

Saran argued that as a result of its tactical weapons, Pakistan believes it has brought down the threshold of nuclear use. "Pakistani motivation is to dissuade India from contemplating conventional punitive retaliation to sub-conventional but highly destructive and disruptive cross-border terrorist strikes such as the horrific 26/11 attack on Mumbai. What Pakistan is signalling to India and to the world is that India should not contemplate retaliation even if there is another Mumbai because Pakistan has lowered the threshold of nuclear use to the theatre level. This is nothing short of nuclear blackmail, no different from the irresponsible behaviour one witnesses in North Korea," he said.

One of the main reasons for Pakistan miniaturizing its nukes is actually to keep its weapons from being confiscated or neutralized by the US, a fear that has grown in the Pakistani establishment in the wake of the operation against Osama bin Laden. "Pakistan has, nevertheless, projected its nuclear deterrent as solely targeted at India and its strategic doctrine mimics the binary nuclear equation between the US and the Soviet Union which prevailed during the Cold War," Saran said.

However, warning Pakistan, he added, "A limited nuclear war is a contradiction in terms. Any nuclear exchange, once initiated, would swiftly and inexorably escalate to the strategic level. Pakistan would be prudent not to assume otherwise as it sometimes appears to do, most recently by developing and perhaps deploying theatre nuclear weapons."

There have been significant shifts in Pakistan's nuclear posture recently. First is the movement from uranium to a newer generation of plutonium weapons, which has enabled Pakistan to increase the number of weapons, outstripping India in weapons and fissile material production. Although they are still to be verified, Pakistan has claimed it has miniaturized nuclear weapons to be used on cruise missiles and other short-range missiles. The newer generation of Pakistan's weapons are also solid-fuelled rather than liquid, making them easier to transport and launch.

Riaz Haq said...

There are many, including Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, who have claimed credit for Pak nuclear program.

Among the scientists, Prof Rafi Chaudhry and Dr. Ishrat Husain Usmani, both graduates of Aligarh University who later studied in England under Nobel Laureates, were the fathers of nuclear technology in Pakistan in 1950s and 1960s. Then came Dr. Munir Ahmad Khan and Dr. A.Q. Khan who took it to fruition.

Among the political and military leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto started the nuclear weapons program in 1970s and Zia ul Haq continued to support it in 1980s. After Zia's death, it was Ghulam Ishaq Khan who took care of it and then passed it on the military when he resigned in 1990s. So ZAB, Zia, GIK and Pakistan Army all deserve credit for it.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an opinion on Pak and Israeli nuclear weapons on subs:

The policy of a nation, Napoleon once quipped, can be read in its geography. For much of human history, the verity of such an assertion would have appeared self-evident. After all, what is geostrategy if not a state’s chosen response to a preexisting spatial reality? For many thinkers of the early modern era, a country’s geographical position shaped its strategic behavior, whether in times of peace or war. Maritime powers, some have noted, appear both more democratic and inclined to pursue alliances than their territorially obsessed continental counterparts. Amidst the swirling tides of global geopolitics, geography formed a key fundamental — an enduring physical truth — providing a degree of structure and continuity to otherwise arcane national strategies.

The dawn of the nuclear age, however, greatly eroded the importance attached to the study of maps. Nuclear weapons, with their terrifying and seemingly indiscriminate power for destruction, seemed to render cartographic musings somewhat irrelevant. In an era where the devastating effects of a single bomb could extend over land and sea, casting their radioactive shadow over bustling cities and sleepy hamlets alike; what did it matter whether a nation was urban or rural, maritime or continental?

The assumption that geographical factors play only a minor role in the formulation of nuclear strategy is, however, deeply flawed. Territorial insecurity and the attendant quest for strategic depth are profoundly embedded within the nuclear strategies of small to medium-sized powers. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the evolving naval nuclear postures of two nations, which would seem, at first glance, to have little in common: Pakistan and Israel. Indeed, irrespective of numerous sizable differences — both in terms of institutional history and strategic culture — the nuclear force structures adopted by both countries’ small navies are disturbingly similar. In both cases, the perceived pressures of geography have played an enormous role in the conceptualization of naval nuclear deterrence....

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan to launch Science TV channel, reports Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Science Club (PSC) has launched beta version of Pakistan’s first science, technology, innovation and educational television,, which will be fully functional by August 14.
Pakistan PSC President Abdul Rauf told APP that with the launch of this channel, people would be able to access significant amounts of information with reference to any topic in a short time through different programmes.
He said today television has become an important part of people’s life as a source of information, entertainment, a great tool for learning and education, and communications.
Many different programme genres have been used to address diverse audiences for a variety of formal and non-formal learning purposes with scientifically measured results, he said.
Abdul Rauf said the channel would air educational programmes in all subjects, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and zoology, offering an excellent opportunity for young people to learn.
“In remote villages, it will help spread education to willing students through distance learning. Educational television will educate masses on hygiene, literacy, childcare and farming methods or on any topic related to day to day happenings,” he said.
PSC President said would cover all events from Pakistan related to science and technology and educational activities.
It will also offer free online courses of web application development, DIY (do it yourself) projects, project management and other science and technology topics.
He said also has an entertainment category with science fiction movies, cartoons and science entertainment programmes.
The channel will cover science and technology educational activities in addition to popularising the subjects through disseminating the relevant information and latest progress to students and common people.
Rauf said this television channel can prove to be very useful, easy to access at anytime from anywhere and users can access a significant amount of information with reference to any topic in a short time regardless of geographic barriers, allowing them to consult different points of view as well as hands-on experience through different DIY (do it yourself) projects.
The channel will use interactive and innovative programmes for this purpose that cover topics of science, chemistry, physics, education, technology, DIY projects, e-learning, documentaries, news, interviews, events, experiments and entertainment.
“The main objective of this web TV is to promote scientific culture and the youth’s interest in science, technology and innovations. The channel would also popularise science for laymen and students, seeking to cultivate the spirit of scientific inquiry and the love of learning in its audience,” said Abdul Rauf.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ story on Pakistan buying two more nuclear reactors from China:

Pakistan is acquiring two large nuclear power reactors from longtime ally China, officials said, in a $9.1 billion deal that has raised concern in Washington that Beijing is overstepping international rules on transferring nuclear technology.

For Islamabad, the pact with China counters the nuclear energy accord New Delhi signed with the U.S. under then-President George W. Bush. Pakistan regards that arrangement as providing India with an unfair potential strategic advantage for nuclear weapons. Both countries possess a nuclear arsenal.

There is unease in the U.S. and elsewhere over the security of sensitive facilities in Pakistan, where Islamist militants have shown they can attack even the most heavily guarded installations, analysts said. There is also concern the Chinese are willing to circumvent rules locking out countries from nuclear trade if, like Pakistan, they aren't part of to the nonproliferation treaty.

Pakistani officials haven't talked publicly about this latest agreement, which was quietly signed around midyear and closed in early July.
The reactors covered by the deal would be technologically advanced and built outside the main port city of Karachi. They each would provide 1,000 megawatts of electricity, a big boost for power-starved Pakistan. "Every country has this. We are also entitled," the senior official said. "We have to focus on adding cheaper energy supply."

China would deliver the first reactor in 70 to 80 months, with the second coming 10 months later. Nuclear reactors take several years to build. They would be installed on the Karachi coast close to a small existing reactor, the senior Pakistani official said. The Chinese will provide 82% of the financing through a loan on what another Pakistani official described as very soft terms.

With the 2005 U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement India, which also isn't part of the nonproliferation treaty, won an NSG exemption to buy nuclear power technology. But legal complications have subsequently stalled the anticipated sale of American nuclear plants to India. These obstacles include the liability for compensation for accidents that now exists under Indian law, following the deadly 1984 accident at a chemical plant owned by Union Carbide, a U.S. company, in the Indian city of Bhopal. But Pakistan has objected to the pact.

Still, Pakistan, which is in a nuclear arms race with India says that accord was discriminatory. "The U.S.-India nuclear deal was very disturbing for the strategic stability of this region," said Sarwar Naqvi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the IAEA. "It put Pakistan at a disadvantage. It freed Indian uranium to be diverted to their military program."

Carnegie Endowment's Mr. Hibbs said that the design of the new 1,000-megawatt reactors that Pakistan will receive is untested, even in China. He added that the price tag doesn't suggest that Islamabad is getting any "bargain." There wasn't competitive bidding on the project.

As part of his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Prime Minister Sharif called for Pakistan to be allowed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. "Pakistan qualifies for full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, to meet its growing energy needs," Mr. Sharif said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's NY Times on 2,200 MW nuclear power plant in Karachi:

“The beginning of the 2,200-megawatt power project is indeed a proud moment in the energy history of Pakistan,” Mr. Sharif said at the groundbreaking ceremony in the coastal city of Karachi, which the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong, and officials from Pakistan’s Atomic Energy Commission attended.

“For achieving the goal of energy, nuclear power will form an increasingly significant component,” Mr. Sharif said, adding that he was told by the Chinese officials that the project, Karachi Coastal Power Project (K-2/K-3), will be completed in six years.
The cost of the new reactor project is estimated to be $9.59 billion, with China providing extensive construction help and expertise. Further, China will provide maintenance and enriched uranium for fuel.


China has signaled its intent to expand nuclear energy cooperation with Pakistan in joint statements from their leaders, Mr. Zhang said in a telephone interview.

“Both countries have expressed their willingness to expand cooperation in civilian nuclear energy,” he said. “In that sense, you didn’t need a crystal to see this project coming.”

China is almost certain to deem the new projects as a “grandfathered” extension of nuclear cooperation agreements signed with Pakistan before China joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group, meaning that China will not consider seeking approval for the reactors from the group, Mr. Zhang said. He said the major member states in the group, including the United States, also appeared unlikely to go beyond relatively restrained, formulaic expressions of concern about the new reactors.

“My analysis is that this issue won’t trigger too much controversy,” he said. “The Indian government will certainly respond, but I don’t think that this will fundamentally harm Sino-Indian relations, because it’s not something that has come out of the blue. China and India have exchanged views on this many times.”

On the supplier group’s likely response, Mr. Zhang said: “I don’t think the N.S.G. will formally raise this issue, because the experience in the past was that the members would reach an implicit understanding, and so this issue never caused a big fuss in previous N.S.G. meetings.”
“China’s supplies to Pakistan are under full I.A.E.A. safeguards,” said Mansoor Ahmed, a Pakistani analyst who is a visiting research scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Center, Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, N.M. “However, the Chinese have chosen to ignore criticism with regard to the N.S.G. restrictions, which are subject to various interpretations, in view of the India-U.S. nuclear deal.”

Mr. Ahmed also stressed that the two reactors were being sold under a civilian nuclear cooperation framework concluded in 1986 before China becoming a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1992 and the N.S.G. in 2004. “Therefore, the Chinese don’t need N.S.G. approval for the sale of new reactors in spite of Indian protests,” he said.

Mr. Sharif on Tuesday also announced plans to build six more civilian nuclear plants in other parts of the country. But Mr. Zhang said that China was unlikely to build any more nuclear reactors in Pakistan beyond the two units in Karachi.

The choice of Karachi is significant as it is considered Pakistan’s economic and trade center. “Today people look with envy toward cities like Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore,” Mr. Sharif said in his speech, which was broadcast live on state-run television.

“I wish to see Karachi in this list of harbors and industrial hubs.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation news story on Knowledge Hub in Karachi:

KARACHI - First time in the history of country, Latif Ebrahim Jamal National Science Information Center (LEJNSIC), Karachi University (KU), is going to start an open learning program, named ‘LEJ Knowledge HUB’, in Pakistan and globally as well.
These views were expressed by former HEC chairman Prof Attaur Rahman while speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Friday.
“Pakistan is now among the first in the world to initiate a learning platform which includes integrated courses from various major world sources for ready accessibility, structured mentoring and assessment system,” he added.
He said the programme has potential to change the entire landscape of higher education in Pakistan and the developing world.
Chairman Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation Mr Aziz Latif Jamal and Director International Center for Chemical, Biological Sciences (ICCBS-KU) Prof Iqbal Chaudhary were also present on the occasion.
Prof Attaur Rahman said that the vision of the program was to provide an interface for the researchers and reputed institutions from around the world to collaborate, share and enhance their knowledge. An easily accessible treasure chest of unending information is being made available to students, faculty and researchers alike, he maintained.
The entire programme is led by our most celebrated scientist and global leader in education, Prof Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman as a monumental service to the nation and the world at large. Talking about his federal minister ship, he said that the first major steps to enter into the new IT age were taken in Pakistan when I (Prof Atta) was the Federal Minister of Science & Technology in 2000-2002.
“Internet access was confined to only 29 cities till early 2,000. It was rapidly expanded to cover 2,000 cities, towns and villages during the next two years. Fiber was expanded from 40 cities to over a 1000 cities and towns. Bandwidth had been priced ridiculously high till then ---$ 87,000 per month for a 2 MB line per month. The rapid improvements in the IT infra-structure allowed me later as Chairman Higher Education Commission to use them for the benefit of the higher education sector,” he held.
“In the year 2001, a satellite was placed in space (PakSat 1) and a couple of transponders were set aside for distance learning courses of the Virtual University that we established in Lahore. Today the Virtual University provides quality education to over 100,000 students and has teaching programs across Pakistan and abroad,” he maintained.
Dr Atta said that the inaugural ceremony of the LEJ Knowledge HUB will be held at Sindh Governor House on December 12, when the 4-day 14th Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants, Spices and Other Natural Products (ASOMPS) will also be concluded; President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain will inaugurate the country’s great knowledge resource.”
Aziz Latif Jamal said: “LatifEbrahim Jamal National Science Information Center (LEJNSIC) has been serving as a hub of information dissemination and focal center of the Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) since 2008, led and supervised by Attaur Rahman and Prof Iqbal Choudhary.
Talking about the significance of the Asian Symposium, Prof Iqbal Choudhary said that a special session is dedicated to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ASOMPS, which started in 1960 from Peshawar (Pakistan). Moreover, some plenary and keynote lectures will be also arranged through video conferencing.
“The program will consist of plenary lectures, keynote lectures, session lectures and poster presentations. Each session will address a theme topic within the area of Medicinal Plants and other Related Natural Products. Special events will be arranged to ensure a lively interaction between scientists and students of natural product chemistry,” he opined....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on Pakistan's civilian nuclear efforts:

ISLAMABAD: Despite facing various kinds of embargoes to obtain nuclear equipment, Pakistan will continue to develop its civil nuclear capability in a bid to diversify its energy mix and overcome power crisis, an official said.

Pakistan’s nuclear installations are safe from terrorist attacks as the outer container installed at the nuclear power plants can save them in case of missile attack or even hitting an aero plane similar to that of 9/11 attack on the twin towers in the US.

“Pakistan’s situation is quite different from that of India, as the Nuclear Supply Group has not imposed restrictions on them and even Australia is providing them uranium. We are hopeful that embargoes imposed on us for getting uranium will be lifted down the line over the next five to 10 years,” Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Dr Ansar Parvez said, while briefing reporters on the occasion of media workshop organised by the PAEC on Saturday.

In the concluding daylong workshop, the PAEC chairman said that Pakistan is facing various kinds of embargoes but the government has given its indication that whatever would be possible it would be done to install 42,000MW through nuclear power plants till 2050.

The PAEC chairman said that he was quite optimistic that time will come down the line in the next five to 10 years after lifting of embargoes on Pakistan.

To another question about the possibility of seeking civil nuclear cooperation from the US as it did in the case of India, Dr Parvez said that there is no commercial agreement signed between the US and India.


About the cost of nuclear power plants, he said that the nuclear energy plant costs around $4 million per megawatt that was not cheaper but in the long run, the energy generated through these plants costs cheaper as compared to other sources such as fuel and wind.

Despite all difficulties, Pakistan is continuing its nuclear energy programme with the help of China, he said, adding that three nuclear plants are already working in the country and two other are near completion.

Nuclear energy, he said, is important for Pakistan due to its sustainability and low generation cost. In the near future, PAEC is going to start building two more plants in Karachi with 2,200MW generation capacity, which are likely to be completed in 2021.

Dr Inam Ur Rehman, who is among the pioneers of the country’s nuclear programme, said that Pakistan developed the required human resource and now capable to run its programme without the help of anyone.

The scientists of the PAEC briefed about the safety measures and said that there is no safety issues with the nuclear plants in Pakistan and they are built keeping in view the extreme circumstances.

Pakistan, they said, is now using third generation nuclear equipment and that is 500 times safer as compared to the equipment installed in Fukushima and Chernobyl where nuclear accidents took place.

But, they said, that even in the case of Chernobyl and Fukushima no mass killing was observed.

Nuclear energy generation plants are not that dangerous at all, as they are perceived and all the international research reports deny that a mass killing took place after an accident in any nuclear energy generation plant.

There was no chance of leakage of radiation from these plants in any circumstances, they said.

The speakers also said that there are around 71 nuclear plants under-construction worldwide having almost 70,000 megawatts generation capacity.

All the modern and advanced countries were using nuclear power to meet their energy demands......

Riaz Haq said...

Retired US career diplomat Mark Fitzpatrick proposes giving Pakistan a civil nuclear deal similar to US-India deal. Here he's talking about his new book "Overcoming Pakistan's Nuclear Dangers" on Pakistani nukes:

I am eagerly awaiting the first runs of my new book, ‘Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers’. Publication comes one year and three-quarters after conception. They’ve been laborious months.

The book was inspired by fellow Londoner Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, who asked in a June 2012 column why the West was so obsessed with stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons when, ‘by any sensible measure, Pakistani nukes are much more worrying’. I suppose I was one of those who seemed obsessed with Iran, so Rachman’s words hit home. Let’s take a look at Pakistan, I decided.

Successive chapters of my book examine in detail the dangers Rachman ticked off, plus a few more. I concluded that some of the concerns about Pakistan are exaggerated. While the prospect for nuclear terrorism cannot be dismissed, the government’s efforts to ensure the security of its nuclear programme garner too little attention, and compare favourably with India’s nuclear security management. In the ten years since the leakage of the nation’s nuclear secrets masterminded by A.Q. Khan, lessons have been learnt and reforms adopted.

Other concerns get too little attention. As a nuclear wonk, I cannot help but fixate on Pakistan’s veto over negotiations to ban fissile material production and the nation’s move away from signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The most worrisome danger, though, is the prospect for nuclear war in the subcontinent.

One cannot write about Pakistan’s nuclear programme without examining the ways that it is motivated by India’s actions, and perceptions thereof. Therefore, the manuscript is about more than Pakistan. One key chapter assesses the South Asian arms race. Although it pales in comparison with the nuclear excesses of the Cold War, the strategic competition in South Asia is potentially destabilising.

In the conclusions, I offer a policy suggestion for the West that will be controversial. Pakistan, I argue, should be offered a path to normalising its nuclear programme. This recommendation did not sit well with one of the statesmen who, before reading it, had agreed to write a back-cover blurb commending my book. Having vehemently opposed making an exception for India, allowing it to benefit from nuclear cooperation while outside the confines of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, he had to back out because he objected to the idea of creating a second such hole in the NPT for Pakistan.

His is a respectable opinion. It had also been my view when I started the book project. If there is one tenet I have taken to heart at the IISS, however, it is that analysis should guide one’s research direction. I reached my conclusion with more surprise than enthusiasm.

I am looking forward to explaining more about my analysis in upcoming book launches in Washington, London, Geneva, Vienna and Islamabad.

Riaz Haq said...


Nuclear weapons and the debate over the necessity for such weapons have persisted for several years. As opinions against nuclear weapons increase, so too do more and more countries yearn to possess these weapons and demonstrate their power. This means that we have to discover those benefits which are of such significance that a country prefers to divert a huge portion of its finances from public sector to become a nuclear capable state.

The rational for Pakistan to develop a nuclear weapon was so that the country could have the self-reliance to ensure its security. After the hefty losses in the wars of 1948 and 1965, and the debacle of 1971, Pakistani leadership understood that none of the great powers were going to support Pakistan in times of crisis against any Indian aggression. Therefore self-reliance was the crucial idea of Pakistan’s policy makers to make sure that only Pakistan should be responsible for defending their country against any Indian offensive. In this regard, we must understand that being a nuclear power is crucial for Pakistan’s survival and sovereignty. Preserving and improving national security is vital to the national interest, and expenses from the state budget in support of this objective are permissible.

For a country like Pakistan, having nuclear weapons means that it has the ultimate strategic defense. Wars are bad for the economy and nuclear deterrence is a best tool to avoid wars. A short conventional war between India and Pakistan would cost Islamabad U.S. $ 350 million per day. Now one can easily estimate the economic deprivation if Pakistan had to face another 1971 debacle without having any nuclear weapons. In contrast, to conventional warfare, nuclear deterrence has made wars between nuclear states rationally non-viable.

In this regard, the possession of nuclear weapons serves not only military and political purposes, but also economic functions. The acquisition of nuclear weapons appears to be associated with the long-term decline in conventional military spending. This is acutely accurate in the case of Pakistan. Pakistan’s conventional military expenditure has been constantly on decline since the nuclear tests. Military expenditure (% of GDP) in Pakistan was measured at 5.3 % in 1998, according to the World Bank. In 2012 that expenditure was 3.13 %. This is a clear instance where nuclear capability served as a major cause to diminish military expenditure in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

It's the birthday of Abdus Salam, who was born in 1926 in Jhang, a rural community in what is now Pakistan. Salam attended Punjab University and then Cambridge University, where he earned a PhD in 1952. In the 1960s, he and, independently, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg identified a symmetry that is shared in a class of field theories by the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. The symmetry implied that the two forces are really different manifestations of the same force, which Salam named electroweak. Glashow, Salam and Weinberg's unification also predicted the existence of two bosons: W, which mediates beta decay, and Z, which mediates the transfer of momentum, spin and energy in neutrino scattering. In 1973 a clear manifestation of the Z was discovered in CERN's Gargamelle bubble chamber. Six years later Glashow, Salam and Weinberg were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Salam was also a founder of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, which has supported the studies of physicists from the developing world since its founding in 1964.

Riaz Haq said...

From Washington Post:

It has long been rumored that the Saudis expect the Pakistanis will help them to acquire an arsenal. However, Pakistan has of late asserted its independence from Saudi Arabia, as evidenced by their refusal to aid Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Such a move would exacerbate tensions not only between Islamabad and Washington, but Riyadh and Washington as well. If Pakistan is not willing to provide sensitive nuclear assistance to Saudi Arabia, Riyadh will have to pursue it on its own.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an extremely limited nuclear infrastructure. It does not even possess a research reactor and only obtained small quantities of nuclear material through the IAEA. It has plans for building up to 16 reactors, but the first will not go online until (at least) 2022. The Saudis have also signed an agreement to purchase American-designed reactors from South Korea. The U.S. maintains that if such reactors were to be sold, KSA would have to sign what is known as a “123 agreement” that would shut down domestic enrichment and reprocessing. Given its weight in international oil markets, the Saudis could call the Americans’ bluff and enrich anyway. However, this would be a tremendous gamble that would likely jeopardize U.S. security guarantees.

Riaz Haq said...

#China to build $1.5 billion science park in #Islamabad #Pakistan …

China on Wednesday agreed to invest $1.5 billion to set up Pakistan-China Science Park in Islamabad.

Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain - who is on a visit to China - signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his Chinese counterpart UN Urmaqi. He also invited the Chinese investers to visit Islamabad in next month to select location for construction of the Park by March 2016. He expressed his gratitude for huge investment in Pakistan.

The minister said that Pakistan and China had a lot to share with each other in term of technology, expertise and business. “We are looking to strengthen our mutual ties on economic as well as technological fronts,” he said, adding that this project would prove to be a link of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It would bring prosperity to the people of both sides.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex-Ambassador Jamshed Marker gives full credit for #Pakistan #nukes to Gen Zia ul Haq …

Retired diplomat Jamsheed Marker talks about “meeting characters, genuine and shady, in tiny cafes tucked away in obscure villages deep in the beautiful Swiss and German countryside”.

One of Pakistan’s best-known diplomats has given an unprecedented account of how his country clandestinely built its nuclear arsenal using its diplomatic network in Europe.

In Cover Point: Impressions of Leadership in Pakistan, an autobiographical account of Pakistan’s politicians, retired diplomat Jamsheed Marker, 94, says: “This exercise involved a bit of James Bond stuff, and I remember Ikram and myself meeting characters, genuine and shady, in tiny cafes tucked away in obscure villages deep in the beautiful Swiss and German countryside.”

Mr. Marker served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany between 1980 and 1982, when the meetings took place, which led to Pakistan acquiring sensitive technology from European firms for its nuclear weapons programme.

“The Embassy had a Procurement Department [the nomenclature really fooled nobody] headed by a most able officer of Minister rank named Ikram Khan, who was seconded from our nuclear establishment headed by Dr A.Q. Khan. Ikram was a superb officer, knowledgeable, low-key and efficient, and went about his sensitive job with the combination of initiative and discretion that were its primary requirements,” writes Mr. Marker , revealing how Pakistan sourced technology for its nuclear programme from western markets.

Mr. Marker’s disclosure sheds light on a wide array of willing partners from among firms in Europe which were willing to partner Pakistan’s quest for nuclear weapons, for a price. Mr. Marker, who worked directly under the supervision of General Zia-ul-Haq, played a peripheral role as the “Procurement Department” operated under a cloak of secrecy.

Mr. Marker, served for three decades in various important embassies of Pakistan, but reached the most successful phase of his career with his back-to-back appointments as Pakistani Ambassador to Bonn, Paris and Washington DC during the tenure of Gen Zia (1977-1988). Mr. Marker said that he admired the way Gen Zia (who became civilian President in 1985) diverted the West’s attention while going all out for giving Pakistan its nuclear weapon. “I maintain a mild, amused contempt for the enthusiasm with which western industrial enterprises, in their pecuniary pursuits, conspired with us to evade their own governments’ law prohibiting all nuclear transfers to Pakistan,” he writes in what is the first account from one of Gen. Zia’s key diplomats on the modus operandi adopted to build the nuclear bomb in Pakistan.

Mr. Marker says the U.S. spy services were aware of Pakistan’s determination to go nuclear and were unable to prevent Gen. Zia.

Riaz Haq said...

AQ Khan: '#Pakistan had ability to conduct #nuclear test in 1984'- but Gen Zia opposed it

"We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984 but then President General Zia had opposed the move," Dawn quoted the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme as saying.
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Pakistan had the ability and had planned to conduct a nuclear test in 1984, said scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. However, Gen. Zia opposed the idea as it would have curtailed international aid Pakistan was receiving due to the ongoing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he added.

"We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984 but then President General Zia had opposed the move," Dawn quoted the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme as saying.

General Zia was of the opinion that the world would stop military aid if Pakistan opted for the nuclear test, Khan added. He also said that Pakistan was able to target New Dehli from Kahuta, a city in Pakistan's Punjab, in five minutes.

"Without my services Pakistan would never have been the first Muslim nuclear nation. We were able to achieve the capability under very tough circumstances, but we did it," said Khan while addressing a gathering on the occasion of Youm-i-Takbeer(the day Pakistan became a nuclear power state).

Referring to the treatment meted out to him during Musharraf's era, Khan said nuclear scientists in the country have not been given the respect that they deserve.

"We are facing the worst against our services to the country's nuclear programme," he added.

Abdul Qadeer Khan was at the centre of a massive global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004.

In a series of dramatic developments, he was accused by then army chief and president Pervez Musharraf of running a rogue proliferation network for nuclear material. Shortly after Musharraf's announcement, a recorded confession by Khan was aired in which he took sole responsibility for all the nuclear proliferation that had been revealed.

Riaz Haq said...

Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors
Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck
War & Peace: Media and War

Based on the relations between the United States and France and Pakistan, we predicted that propaganda would exist in the American media that portrays the powerful nuclear technology of France significantly more positively than that of Pakistan. We will analyze specific examples of such propaganda based on a methodical process as described below.

Case Study #1: Social Proof, Societal Norms, Similarity, and Dehumanization

Studying media coverage of Pakistan’s nuclear achievement, it becomes clear that a certain amount of propaganda was used to make Pakistan appear threatening. The fact that Pakistan developed the technology was not what shaped the articles, but rather how this information was presented to the reader. In a sense, the propagandists were looking to turn Pakistan into an enemy of sorts, a country to be feared, instead of embraced.

One method used to by propagandists to create an enemy is through the technique of social proof. One way in which we process information is by observing what other people are doing that are similar to us or linking them to social norms. "When we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct" (Cialdini 106). Since it is almost impossible for the common American to be an expert in nuclear cause and effects, he looks to what others say as a means to form his opinion. This allows him to be persuade to an ideology not of his own. Furthermore, it is possible to rely on past stereotypes as form of linking one idea to another group.

For example, articles that took such an approach attempted to use a subset of social proof, where one casts the enemy by declaring it to be a friend of an already established enemy. For instance, in order to persuade the American public to think of Pakistan in such terms, media will link Pakistan to historically defined United States enemies such Libya, Iran, Iraq and the former Soviet Union. This tactic plays on the principle of social proof in which people look for justifications to quickly form their beliefs. Thus, linking to a country America already has shared beliefs about quickly allows one to associate and project the existing beliefs on the new group, which in this case is Pakistan.

An article in the Washington Post took such an approach by starting with a quote from the Iranian Foreign Minister, congratulating Pakistan. "From all over the world, Muslims are happy that Pakistan has this capability," the Minister was quoted at the start of the article (Moore and Khan A19). By beginning with this quote, the article ensured a link would be established between Iran and Pakistan, playing off the propaganda theory of similarity, in which we fundamentally like people who are similar to us and share our beliefs, values, and ideas. Therefore, an object deemed as bad or dissimilar will make all associated objects bad as well and allows the media to use social proof and similarity to create an enemy as friend of enemy. Arguably, the presentation of this quote may be deemed important factually for the development of the article, but the placement of the quote right at the start of the article strongly suggest propagandistic intentions.

To strengthen the feel of Pakistan as a friend of the enemy, the article continues to use the dissimilar tactic or hatred through association by further linking Pakistan with Syria Libya:

At the same time, the prospect that Pakistan could share its nuclear technology with other Islamic states, or serve as their protector, concerns many Western analysts, who fear that nuclear materials and technology may fall into the hands of countries the West has branded sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria and Libya (Moore and Khan A19).

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts from a right-wing Hindu publication on the history of water issues between India and Pakistan:

Following the partition of the sub-continent, India and Pakistan signed a "standstill agreement" on 18 December 1947 which guaranteed to maintain water supplies at the level of allocation in the pre-partition days. However, on 1 April 1948, India without any warning cut off supplies to Pakistan from both Ferozepur and Gurdaspur. The action was contrary to the letter and the spirit of the international law covering interstate river waters. The Barcelona Convention of 1921 on interstate river waters to which India was a signatory disallowed every State to stop or alter the course of a river which flowing through its own territories went into a neighbouring country and also forbade to use its waters in such a way as to imperil the lands in the neighbouring State or to impede their adequate use by the lower riparians. But India as the upper riparian of the Indus rivers was in a position of strength. India could deflect the Beas into the Sutlej above Bhakra or divert the Ravi into the Beas at Madhopur. It could construct a dam on Wular lake in the Kashmir valley and dry up the river Jhelum. A headwork on the Chenab at Dhiangarh, north of Jammu, could deflect the Chenab from its natural course into Pakistan. The major projects of the Bhakra, Pong and Thein dams then in the offing, if completed, could drain off the rivers of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi.


The Indus water Treaty was signed at Karachi on 19 September, 1960 by Prime Minister Nehru and President Ayub Khan. Under the agreement India promised to supply waters to Pakistan for the payment of expenses for operating the Madhopur and Ferozepur head works and their carrier channels, and also to contribute Rupees 100 crore for construction of replacement headworks to Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s founding fathers set Pakistan up to fail by Nisid Hajari

....however exaggerated Pakistan’s fears may be now, Indian leaders bear great responsibility for creating them in the first place. Their resistance to the very idea of Pakistan made the 1947 partition of the subcontinent far bitterer than it needed to be. Within hours of independence, huge sectarian massacres had broken out on both sides of the border; anywhere from 200,000 to a million people would ultimately lose their lives in the slaughter. Pakistan reeled under a tidal wave of refugees, its economy and its government paralyzed and half-formed. Out of that crucible emerged a not-unreasonable conviction that larger, more powerful India hoped to strangle the infant Pakistan in its cradle — an anxiety that Pakistan, as the perpetually weaker party, has never entirely been able to shake.

Then as now, Indian leaders swore that they sought only brotherhood and amity between their two nations, and that Muslims in both should live free of fear. They responded to charges of warmongering by invoking their fealty to Mohandas K. Gandhi — the “saint of truth and nonviolence,” in the words of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In fact, Nehru, and Gandhi himself — the sainted “Mahatma,” or “great soul” — helped breed the fears that still haunt Pakistan today.

There’s little question, for instance, that Gandhi’s leadership of the Indian nationalist movement in the 1930s and 1940s contributed to Muslim alienation and the desire for an independent homeland. He introduced religion into a freedom movement that had until then been the province of secular lawyers and intellectuals, couching his appeals to India’s masses in largely Hindu terms. (“His Hindu nationalism spoils everything,” Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote of Gandhi’s early years as a rabble-rouser.) Even as Gandhi’s Indian National Congress party claimed to speak for all citizens, its membership remained more than 90 percent Hindu.

Muslims, who formed a little under a quarter of the 400 million citizens of pre-independence India, could judge from Congress’s electoral victories in the 1930s what life would look like if the party took over from the British: Hindus would control Parliament and the bureaucracy, the courts and the schools; they’d favor their co-religionists with jobs, contracts, and political favors. The louder Gandhi and Nehru derided the idea of creating a separate state for Muslims, the more necessary one seemed.

Ironically, Gandhi may have done the most damage at what is normally considered his moment of triumph — the waning months of British rule. When the first pre-Partition riots between Hindus and Muslims broke out in Calcutta in August 1946, exactly one year before independence, he endorsed the idea that thugs loyal to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, the country’s dominant Muslim party, had deliberately provoked the killings. The truth is hardly so clear-cut: It appears more likely that both sides geared up for violence during scheduled pro-Pakistan demonstrations, and initial clashes quickly spiraled out of control.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s founding fathers set Pakistan up to fail by Nisid Hajari...contd

Two months later, after lurid reports emerged of a massacre of Hindus in the remote district of Noakhali in far eastern Bengal, Gandhi fueled Hindu hysteria rather than tamping it down. Nearing 80 by then, his political ideas outdated and his instincts dulled by years of adulation, he remained the most influential figure in the country. His evening prayer addresses were quoted and heeded widely. While some Congress figures presented over-hyped casualty counts for the massacre — party chief J.B. Kripalani estimated a death toll in the millions, though the final tally ended up less than 200 — Gandhi focused on wildly exaggerated claims that marauders had raped tens of thousands of Hindu women. Controversially, he advised the latter to “suffocate themselves or … bite their tongues to end their lives” rather than allow themselves to be raped.

Within weeks, local Congress politicians in the nearby state of Bihar were leading ugly rallies calling for Hindus to avenge the women of Noakhali. According to New York Times reporter George Jones, in their foaming outrage “it became rather difficult to differentiate” between the vicious sectarianism of Congress and radical Hindu groups like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose cadres had begun drilling with weapons to prevent the Partition of India. Huge mobs formed in Bihar — where Hindus outnumbered Muslims 7 to 1 — and spread across the monsoon-soaked countryside.Huge mobs formed in Bihar — where Hindus outnumbered Muslims 7 to 1 — and spread across the monsoon-soaked countryside. In a fortnight of killing, they slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslims. The pogroms virtually eliminated any hope of compromise between Congress and the League.

Equally troubling was the moral cover the Mahatma granted his longtime followers Nehru and “Sardar” Vallabhbhai Patel — a Gujarati strongman much admired by Modi, who also hails from Gujarat and who served as the state’s chief minister for over a decade. Echoing Gandhi’s injunction against pushing anyone into Pakistan against their wishes, Nehru and Patel insisted that the huge provinces of Punjab and Bengal be split into Muslim and non-Muslim halves, with the latter areas remaining with India.

Jinnah rightly argued that such a division would cause chaos. Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were inextricably mixed in the Punjab, with the latter in particular spread across both sides of the proposed border. Sikh leaders vowed not to allow their community to be split in half. They helped set off the chain of Partition riots in August 1947 by targeting and trying to drive out Muslims from India’s half of the province, in part to make room for their Sikh brethren relocating from the other side.

Jinnah also correctly predicted that a too-weak Pakistan, stripped of the great port and industrial center of Calcutta, would be deeply insecure. Fixated on building up its own military capabilities and undermining India’s, it would be a source of endless instability in the region. Yet Nehru and Patel wanted it to be even weaker. They contested every last phone and fighter jet in the division of colonial assets and gloated that Jinnah’s rump state would soon beg to reunite with India.