Wednesday, October 7, 2015

US-Pakistan Civil Nuclear Deal On Obama-Sharif Summit Agenda?

"The Pakistani establishment, as we saw in 1998 with the nuclear test, does not view assistance -- even sizable assistance to their own entities -- as a trade-off for national security vis-a-vis India". US Ambassador Anne Patterson, September 23, 2009

Having failed to persuade, intimidate, bribe and sanction Pakistan to abandon its nuclear weapons program, there are credible reports that Washington is now ready to accept Pakistan as a legitimate nuclear weapons state in exchange for limiting the range of the country's ballistic missiles.

Washington is abuzz with the news of major think tank analyses and credible media reports indicating that the October 22, 2015 Obama-Sharif summit agenda includes US-Pakistan civil nuclear deal along the lines of India-US civilian nuclear deal.

According to a Washington Post report, the deal with Pakistan centers around a civilian nuclear agreement similar to the one the United States arrived at with India, in exchange for a Pakistani commitment that would "restrict its nuclear program to weapons and delivery systems that are appropriate to its actual defense needs against India's nuclear threat."

As part of such a deal,  the United States will support an eventual waiver for Pakistan by the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, of which the United States is a member. At U.S. urging, that group agreed to exempt India from rules that banned nuclear trade with countries that evaded the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This so-called “civil nuclear agreement” allowed India partial entry into the club of nuclear powers, in exchange for its willingness to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to its civilian program, according to the Washington Post's veteran columnist David Ignatius.

Prior to the Washington Post report, the Washington-based Stimson Center and the Carnegie Endowment think tanks published a 20,000-word essay on Pakistan’s nuclear program and diplomatic ambitions last week. Written by Toby Dalton and Michael Krepon and titled "Nuclear Mainstream", it recommends Pakistan to agree to meet five conditions for its nuclear mainstreaming:

(1) Shift from the full spectrum deterrence to strategic deterrence

(2) Limit production of tactical weapons or short range delivery weapons

3) Become amenable to talks on the fissile material cut off treaty (FMCT)

4) Delineate civil and military nuclear programs

5) Sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

Given Pakistan's growing energy needs,  the country will most likely engage with the United States to try and get a stamp of legitimacy from the NSG. However, the Washington Posts's Ignatius believes that such "negotiations would be slow and difficult, and it's not clear that Islamabad would be willing to accept the limitations that would be required." Meanwhile, the issue is being discussed quietly in the run-up to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington on October 22.

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses US-Pak Civil Nuclear Deal and other subjects with panelists Ali Hasan Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

NA-122 Poll Significance; Ghulam Ali's Indian... by ViewpointFromOverseas

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

US Must Accept Pakistan as Legitimate Nuclear Weapons State

Pakistan's Shaheen 3 Can Hit Deep Inside India and Israel

India-US Civilian Nuclear Deal 

Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb

Gen Kidwai on Pakistan 2nd Strike Capability and Nuclear Triad

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?


Anonymous said...

basically restricting Pakistan's missile range is in American interest so as to not be able to strike Israel. Also why no such condition was put for India?
Am sure this is just a ploy by Americans to give us a raw deal.

Anonymous said...

Americans are always trying to limit the capabilities of all countries except for its allies.
Pakistan should not fall for it.
India had to agree to iaea inspections for civil nuclear plants to secure this deal while for Pakistan they have put too many conditions.

Athar O. said...

Don't have the capability to hit Isreal with whom we have no direct panga anyway and we will give you all the goodies you times changed...

Riaz Haq said...

Moody's angers #India: Says it is among top 4 countries (#iraq, #Afghanistan, #Pakistan) with most terror incidents. …

"Now, in a report dated 6 October 2015 Moody's says “more than 60% of all (terrorist) incidents in 2013 were concentrated in just four countries. Iraq (24% of terrorist incidents, Pakistan 19%, Afghanistan 12% and India 5.8%.”
The report concedes that at 690 attacks, it translates into less than half attack per million of Indian population as opposed to the global average of 2.4 attacks per million but nevertheless has chosen to caution the world against India.
That the events of 2013 have been reported in 2015 speaks volumes about the rating agency’s efficiency and motives especially given the fact that it has deemed it fit to make India an unsafe investment destination in the eyes of foreign investors.
That India has been bracketed with terrorist hotbeds — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq — would rankle every patriotic Indian when the facts are to the contrary. Unlike these three nations, India does not harbor and nurture terrorists but like Israel is a victim of hostile neighbors’ designs. By Moody’s syllogism, even the US and the UK are terror states whereas the truth is they too are victims, actual or potential, of terrorist attacks.
The report sounds hollow, dubious and contrived coming as it does at a time when India has attracted the highest FDI and FIIs are still the movers and shakers of its bourses.
Terrorism indeed slows down growth and increases the cost of sovereign debts besides leaving its impact for a long time as the report says but these dire warnings apply to terrorists infested states and not to India whose new government at the center has been fairly successful in halting terrorists in their tracks.
True, India growth is slackening and as a direct fallout unemployment is increasing but these by no means are due to the fanciful perception that India is an unsafe destination. On the contrary, India shines as a beacon of hope and development with China running out of steam and a large part of Europe still in tatters due to a variety of reasons including the ill-conceived economic union it forged 15 years ago.
If the FDI is not pouring into India at a torrential pace, it is because the US and European companies have to first set their own houses in order.
Moody’s knew all these but blithely chose to release a report that is a non sequitur — its own statistics do not support its conclusions. The report is just plain mischievous."

r_sundar said...

IMO, the deal will have the most important clause (written in hidden ink) - Clamping the Haqqani network by Pakistan.
US has been unable to subdue them in Afghanistan -mainly because their bases are deep inside Pakistan, and is dragging our feet for too long in Afghanistan.

Will be interesting to see if Pakistan takes the deal.
My guess is, while the deal will be signed with great fan fare, neither US will provide Nuclear material nor Pakistan will clamp down on Haqqani's.

Riaz Haq said...

#US-#Pakistan nuclear deal: #India should see #America is no friend … via @dailyo_

The US has until now differentiated India’s case from that of Pakistan, declaring at various times that Pakistan was not eligible for an India-like deal. But the US has not used language that categorically ruled out a deal, which might explain why Pakistan has persevered in seeking one despite its well established delinquency in nuclear matters. In its calculation the great forbearance the US has historically shown towards Pakistan’s conduct in nuclear matters leaves open the possibility of securing a nuclear deal from the US to obtain parity with India.

The US, to recall, has not applied its nonproliferation laws to disrupt the long-standing China-Pakistan nuclear and missile nexus. Even now it has not opposed China’s decision to set up addition nuclear power plants in Pakistan in violation of its NSG commitments. It prevented the full exposure of the involvement of the Pakistani civil and military authorities in the AQ Khan proliferation scandal.

Disruptive tactics

It has tolerated Pakistan’s disruptive tactics at Geneva on fissile material control negotiations. While expressing concern about South Asia being a nuclear flashpoint, it has not rebuked Pakistan for periodically threatening India with nuclear arms. The US government has officially ignored American reports that Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal to potentially become the third largest holder of nuclear weapons. Pakistan has been spared sanctions that the US has robustly imposed on Iran and even Russia.

The US’s over-indulgence of Pakistan is difficult to explain. Pakistan’s terrorist affiliations are well known. The US itself has been a victim of these on its own soil and in Afghanistan. Six of its nationals were killed in the Mumbai terrorist carnage in 2008. Many Pakistanbased jihadi groups are on the UN list of terrorist entities. Osama bin Laden was given refuge in Pakistan. India has long argued that its nuclear capability gave Pakistan a sense of immunity in conducting terrorist acts against us, without the US taking cognisance of this fact and acting to curb Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and its irresponsible nuclear threats, not as a gesture to us but in pursuance of its own nonproliferation commitments.

According to the Washington Post report, the underlying US reasoning for a nuclear deal to Pakistan is astonishing. In return for an NSG waiver, Pakistan will be asked to restrict its nuclear programme to weapons and delivery systems that are appropriate to its actual defence needs against India’s nuclear threat, and not to deploy missiles beyond a certain range.

Nuclear threat

This implies that India poses a nuclear threat to Pakistan — not the other way round — and that Pakistan is justified in possessing weapons and delivery systems to counter India. In other words, India’s security is not of concern to the US, despite our so-called strategic partnership. The US is willing to legitimise Pakistan’s nuclear and delivery capabilities so long as India alone is the target. Pakistan has always maintained that its nuclear and delivery capability is India centric. It has sought an India-Pakistan strategic balance, omitting from the equation the China factor that India has to contend with. China, we know, opposes India’s NSG entry without Pakistan. It seems the US might be willing to accommodate both China and Pakistan if the latter limited its nuclear threat to India. Why the US would want to offer a nuclear deal to Sharif when the real reins of power in Pakistan are in the hands of army chief General Raheel Sharif and Pakistan’s nuclear programme is under military, not civilian, control, is puzzling.

r_sundar said...

Its no puzzle to me. As I reiterated before, this deal while being signed, will never be implemented, because of hidden clauses that will never be discussed in the open. I don't think US is foolish enough to believe that Pakistan will keep any of its words, considering the previous track record.

Riaz Haq said...

Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar on Sunday said that the government would be able to overcome the energy crisis by early 2018 by adding 10,000 megawatts more electricity to the national grid.

“Currently we are facing a shortfall of about 5,000 MW of electricity whereas energy projects of 24,000 MW are under process and some of them will start generating 10,000MW by the end of year 2017 or early 2018,” he said while addressing a ceremony organized by Old Hailians Association here.

The remaining projects of 14,000MW, he said, would start adding electricity to the system by 2020 which would help boost economic activity and industrialisation in the country.

The minister said two mega hydro power projects, Dasu and Diamir Bhasha dams, were also in progress, which would not only help overcome the energy crisis but also store water for irrigation purpose.

“Diamir Bhasha Dam will have the capacity of 1.3 trillion cubic feet water,” he added. Ishaq Dar said the government was also working on civil nuclear energy projects, which would add 1,000MW electricity to the system in next seven years. He said that before the year 2013, the country was on the verge of becoming a defaulter as the foreign exchange reserves had gone down to below $8billion and no international monetary institution was ready to lend money to it.

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after coming to power, worked hard to bring the country out of the financial crisis, he added.

“Within a short span of two years, the country has made immense progress as the energy crisis has considerably eased, forex reserves have touched $20 billion mark, a record in the country’s history, fiscal deficit has come down from 8.8 percent to 5 percent, and inflation rate has reduced from above 10 percent to record 1.3 percent.”

Moreover, the minister said, the tax to GDP ratio had also increased from 9 percent to 11 percent and revenue growth rate also surged from 3 percent to 15 percent. Now the world renowned fiscal institutions were praising Pakistan for its amazing economic development and had rated its economy as stable, he added.

Dar said if Pakistan continued its journey on the road to progress which it had witnessed during previous two years, it would become the world’s 18th major economy in 17 years.

He said that the PML-N was strictly implementing its manifesto announced during the 2013 general election, in which it had vowed to steer the country out of four crises.

“The country was facing 4 E challenges ( Economy, Energy, Education and Extremism) at the time the PML-N government came into power, which have now been overcome due to its prudent policies,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

The United States will discuss concerns about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal during a visit to Washington next week by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the White House said on Thursday.

The News York Times reported on Thursday that the Obama administration was concerned that Pakistan might be on the verge of deploying a small tactical nuclear weapon that would be harder to protect from falling into hands of militants.

The paper said the administration was also seeking to prevent Pakistan deploying missiles that could reach beyond its main foe India, and was thus exploring a possible deal to limit the Pakistani arsenal that could involve relaxing restrictions on access to nuclear technology.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest played down the prospect of an agreement when asked if there was a serious effort to reach a deal with Pakistan on nuclear technology in the run-up to Sharif visit, which is expected to start on Tuesday.

"I would not be overly excited about the prospects of reaching the kind of agreement that is being speculated about publicly," he told a regular news briefing, adding that it was "not likely to come to fruition next week.

"But the United States and Pakistan are regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security. And I would anticipate that dialogue would include conversations between the leaders of our two countries."

Earnest added that the administration was confident the Pakistani government was "well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal" and that "Pakistan has a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance and the high priority that the world places on nuclear security."

Riaz Haq said...

No #nuke deal, say #US, #Pakistan as #NawazSharif arrives in Washington - The Hindu …

While Pakistan has always sought a deal similar to the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal, recent reports that the U.S. is negotiating a restriction of its nuclear programme has triggered a domestic reaction

Ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s three-day tour of the United States, both countries ruled out the possibility of a nuclear deal between them, but Pakistan went a step further to emphasise that they were not even discussing any such deal. Mr. Sharif arrives in the U.S. on Tuesday.

“No "deal" is being discussed between the two countries. Nor has the U.S. made any demand on Pakistan,” Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in Islamabad on Monday, which appeared to be not in accord with the White House view on the issue. A White House spokesman said a deal would “not come to fruition” during the visit, but nuclear security remained a topic of conversation between the two countries.

“About the sort of reports that the United States and Pakistan were planning a [civil nuclear deal]…. I would significantly reduce your expectations about that occurring on Thursday," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. Mr Sharif and Mr Obama will meet on Thursday.

Mr. Earnest had said last week that the U.S. and Pakistan were “regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security,” and the topic would figure in conversations between the leaders.

The idea of a U.S.-Pakistan civil nuclear deal, which will allow Pakistan access to civilian nuclear technology and material in a regulated manner in exchange of more transparency and restriction in its nuclear pogramme, has been around for a while. A recent newspaper article said such a deal was under discussion, drawing strong opposition from India, which reminded the U.S. of Pakistan’s bad non-proliferation track record.

Incidentally, in 2008, the then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had welcomed such a deal. After the conclusion of the Indo-U.S. 123 Agreement, he had told a press conference in Washington: “In respect of civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S., we would like to encourage civil nuclear cooperation — its full use of nuclear energy — as we believe every country has its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

Strategic affairs expert Stephen P Cohen feels India should support a deal with Pakistan and Pakistan must restrict its nuclear programme. "The question is what limits Pakistan agree to on its own programme, something to be negotiated with Pak. But with India as a participant in everyone's calculations, I would imagine that this is vital to India. The problem is that India and Pakistan seem to be guided by different theories of nuclear arms racing, but it is not in the interest of either to engage in an open-ended nuclear arms race. But "more is enough” seems to be the Pak philosophy,” he said.

While Pakistan has always sought a deal similar to the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal, recent reports that the Obama administration is negotiating a restriction of its nuclear programme has triggered a domestic reaction, forcing the government to harden its posturing. “History is a testimony to the fact that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepts no demand from any state,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

Riaz Haq said...

"Pakistan has built an infrastructure near border areas to launch a quickest response to Indian aggression ... usage of such low-yield nuclear weapons would make it difficult for India to launch a war against Pakistan," Chaudhury was quoted as saying at a briefing meant only for Pakistani reporters, as the nuclear issue took centerstage.

Riaz Haq said...

Gen Talat Masood Op Ed:

Pakistan maintains that the Taliban are a reality with a substantial following and the Afghan government has to find ways of accommodating them in the power structure. There is a genuine realisation both within the civil and military elite that it is in Pakistan’s vital interest that a peaceful resolution to the Afghanistan conflict is reached. Pakistan has got itself so intractably involved in the quagmire that is Afghanistan that despite sincere efforts in pursuit of peace, it still comes under severe criticism from the Afghan government and civil society. Apart from doing incalculable damage to Pakistan’s economy, internal stability and national cohesion, the Afghan fallout has soiled its reputation. Of course, Pakistan itself is partly to blame for this predicament, having blindly jumped into supporting the Afghan jihad against the Soviets in the late 1970s and then supporting the Taliban government in the 1990s, and later failing to prevent them from carving sanctuaries in certain parts of Fata and Balochistan. But that is history. Pakistan’s current leadership, ever since President Ashraf Ghani took over, has been keen to establish a durable and mutually beneficial relationship. Progress, however, has been slow and the temporary seizure of Kunduz by the Taliban has made matters worse. Surely, the prime minister will seek US support in allaying Afghanistan’s misgivings and reiterate his government’s commitment to make sincere efforts in securing peace.

Nawaz Sharif is also going to draw President Obama’s attention to India’s involvement in Balochistan, Fata and Karachi. In all likelihood, Washington’s response will be that this matter is taken up bilaterally with the Indian leadership.

The prime minister would be raising the issue of Pakistan’s inclusion in Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other international export control regimes. If this concession is extended to India, it should be similarly relaxed for Pakistan, as its energy deficit is even greater. Moreover, Pakistan is of the view that acceptance of India to the NSG will allow it to divert its indigenous production and build stocks at a faster pace. The chances of this request materialising in the near future, however, are slim going by the statement of the State Department that such a proposal is premature. Lobbies opposed to Pakistan try to keep memories of the AQ Khan episode alive despite our efforts at strengthening the nuclear safety and security regime.

President Obama is likely to press Pakistan on agreeing to the commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut off Treaty. Pakistan finds it unacceptable to cap its enrichment programme until it has built sufficient stocks to match India’s growing inventory. On the one hand, the US is counselling nuclear restraint to Pakistan and on the other, selling state-of-the-art conventional weapons to India! The West should know by now that sanctions or the threat of sanctions have not worked in the past and are unlikely to make any significant difference this time either. Facilitating India to build its fissile material stocks is part of the broader US strategy to countervail China’s growing power at the regional level, but this has greater relevance for Pakistan’s security.

The US is also expected to raise its concern regarding Pakistan’s development of short-range missiles that it justifies as a riposte to the Cold Start doctrine. Although the military establishment has tried to assure the US that its nuclear assets are safe and secure, the US continues to raise the issue, being fearful of the general security situation in the region.

Riaz Haq said...

White House: US Set to Sell 8 New F-16 Fighter Jets to #Pakistan in Bid to Bolster Partnership. #Obama #NawazSharif

The Obama administration is preparing to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, senior American officials said, an overture intended to bolster a tenuous partnership despite persistent concerns about Islamabad’s ties to elements of the Taliban and quickly expanding nuclear arsenal.

The decision comes ahead of President Obama’s meeting on Thursday with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which is to be dominated by the president’s decision to extend the American troop presence in Afghanistan and a quiet effort to get Mr. Sharif to halt the deployment of a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons.

But Mr. Obama, like President George W. Bush before him, is trying to balance pressure on Pakistan with signs that Washington still considers it a vital ally. Congress was notified just days ago about the proposed sale of the additional fighters, although it is not clear if the White House plans to announce the sale of the aircraft during the visit.

Continue reading the main story

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The Federation of American Scientists, a leading American group that monitors the spread of nuclear weapons, published a report on Wednesday that shows that Pakistan has expanded its arsenal to 110 to 130 warheads, up from a range of 90 to 110 four years ago.

While those figures show a steady but expected increase, the group estimated that by 2025 the figure would rise to 220 to 250 warheads. That would make Pakistan the world’s fifth-largest nuclear power, behind the United States, Russia, China and France, but ahead of Britain, which is shrinking its arsenal.

It is the nature, not the size, of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal that tops Mr. Obama’s agenda. Over the past two weeks, officials in Washington have said they are exploring whether a deal might be possible to halt the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons that American experts fear are vulnerable to being launched without authorization, or stolen, on the battlefield. Until earlier this week Pakistani officials had said nothing about the program, although the foreign secretary, Aizaz Chadhary, told reporters in Islamabad on Tuesday that the country had built “low-yield nuclear weapons” to counter India, according to the Dawn, a major daily newspaper in Pakistan.

It is unlikely that either side will talk publicly about nuclear weapons on Thursday, but Mr. Obama plans to raise the issue at length, according to administration officials. Selling Pakistan more arms, however, is an issue that is often discussed more publicly to signal that Pakistan is acting in its role as a “major non-NATO ally,” a designation Mr. Bush bestowed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The new aircraft, whose sale could be blocked by Congress, would add to Pakistan’s already sizable force of fighter jets — it has more than 70 F-16s and dozens of French and Chinese attack aircraft. But perhaps of equal importance to supporters and critics alike is the symbolic value of the sale to an ally whose relationship with the United States has been marked by long stretches of acrimony in recent years.

Riaz Haq said...

White House: US Set to Sell 8 New F-16 Fighter Jets to #Pakistan in Bid to Bolster Partnership. #Obama #NawazSharif

The Obama administration is preparing to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, senior American officials said, an overture intended to bolster a tenuous partnership despite persistent concerns about Islamabad’s ties to elements of the Taliban and quickly expanding nuclear arsenal.

The decision comes ahead of President Obama’s meeting on Thursday with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which is to be dominated by the president’s decision to extend the American troop presence in Afghanistan and a quiet effort to get Mr. Sharif to halt the deployment of a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons.

But Mr. Obama, like President George W. Bush before him, is trying to balance pressure on Pakistan with signs that Washington still considers it a vital ally. Congress was notified just days ago about the proposed sale of the additional fighters, although it is not clear if the White House plans to announce the sale of the aircraft during the visit.

The Federation of American Scientists, a leading American group that monitors the spread of nuclear weapons, published a report on Wednesday that shows that Pakistan has expanded its arsenal to 110 to 130 warheads, up from a range of 90 to 110 four years ago.

While those figures show a steady but expected increase, the group estimated that by 2025 the figure would rise to 220 to 250 warheads. That would make Pakistan the world’s fifth-largest nuclear power, behind the United States, Russia, China and France, but ahead of Britain, which is shrinking its arsenal.

It is the nature, not the size, of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal that tops Mr. Obama’s agenda. Over the past two weeks, officials in Washington have said they are exploring whether a deal might be possible to halt the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons that American experts fear are vulnerable to being launched without authorization, or stolen, on the battlefield. Until earlier this week Pakistani officials had said nothing about the program, although the foreign secretary, Aizaz Chadhary, told reporters in Islamabad on Tuesday that the country had built “low-yield nuclear weapons” to counter India, according to the Dawn, a major daily newspaper in Pakistan.

It is unlikely that either side will talk publicly about nuclear weapons on Thursday, but Mr. Obama plans to raise the issue at length, according to administration officials. Selling Pakistan more arms, however, is an issue that is often discussed more publicly to signal that Pakistan is acting in its role as a “major non-NATO ally,” a designation Mr. Bush bestowed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The new aircraft, whose sale could be blocked by Congress, would add to Pakistan’s already sizable force of fighter jets — it has more than 70 F-16s and dozens of French and Chinese attack aircraft. But perhaps of equal importance to supporters and critics alike is the symbolic value of the sale to an ally whose relationship with the United States has been marked by long stretches of acrimony in recent years.

Much of the tension has arisen from Pakistan’s ties to elements of the Taliban, especially the Haqqani Network, which is linked to Al Qaeda and is seen by American commanders as the most deadly faction of the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan. In recent years, numerous American officials have publicly and privately complained about the support to the Haqqanis provided by Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence.

Riaz Haq said...

#Obama Calls for Closer #US Ties with #Pakistan in meeting with #NawazSharif PM talks 70 years of Pak-US ties …

U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants to deepen ties with Pakistan during a meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House.

"Obviously the United States and Pakistan have a long standing relationship, work and cooperate on a whole host of issues," said Obama. "We are looking forward to using this meeting as an opportunity to further deepen the relationship between the United States and Pakistan."

Sharif noted the depth of bilateral ties, saying, "the Pakistan-America relations stand over 70 years, and it is my endeavor to further strengthen and solidify this relationship."

Peace talks

Obama was expected to press Sharif to revive peace talks between Kabul and Afghanistan's former hardline Islamist rulers who have continued a relentless insurgency since being overthrown by U.S. forces in late 2001 for sheltering al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Obama announced last week that he plans to keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016, breaking his long-stated pledge to bring nearly all U.S. forces out of the country by the end of next year.

The administration has also pressured Islamabad to crack down on other radical Islamic groups such as the Haqqani network, which is based in Pakistan.

Nuclear stockpile

Obama was also expected to try to convince Sharif to agree to limit the scope of Pakistan's nuclear weapons stockpile. A new report published Thursday by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that Pakistan's arsenal could expand from a current estimate of 130 warheads to 250 warheads within the next decade, making Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear weapons state behind the United States, Russia, China and France.

The two leaders last met at the Oval Office in October of 2013.

Riaz Haq said...

#Obama meeting with #Pakistan's leader yields accords on #education, #energy via @usatoday

President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went into their White House meeting Thursday with the situation in Afghanistan and nuclear security high on the agenda. They came out of the meeting with accords on clean energy and education.

The two countries said that they would cooperate on new efforts to help Pakistan keep up with a demand for electricity expected to double over 15 years, including a $250 million loan guarantee for transmission and distribution. And they pledged to cooperate on a girls education initiative, in which U.S. Agency for International Development will spend $70 million to provide access to schooling for 200,000 Pakistani girls. Pakistan previously promised to double its education spending and allow more opportunities for girls.

There were no announcements on counterterrorism efforts, nuclear security, arms sales or other issues.

"For good reason, the counterterrorism linkage gets a lot of attention," White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said. "But for the president, our approach to deepening those relationships is broader than just the counterterrorism."

U.S. officials have long suspected Pakistan of supporting groups with links to the Afghan Taliban, but the White House said Thursday that Pakistani efforts to crack down have had a "significant impact."

"They've targeted terrorist sanctuaries and have restored government control to parts of Pakistan that have previously been safe havens for terrorists," Schultz said.

Sharif's visit to the Oval Office — his first in two years — comes a week after Obama reversed plans to drawn down U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which shares an often lawless border with Pakistan that's long been a haven for terrorists and extremists. Obama now says at least 5,500 troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2017 to stabilize an increasingly volatile security environment..

Another area of concern: Nuclear security. A new report Thursday by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Pakistan has increased its nuclear arsenal to as many as 130 warheads, a number that could double over the next decade as it jockeys with regional rival India.

State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that there was "a lot to talk about."

"We’re going to continue to hold regular discussions with Pakistan on a range of issues to include nuclear security," he said Wednesday. "And Pakistan, I would note, is engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues. I’d also note that they have a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance of nuclear security."

Riaz Haq said...

FACT SHEET: The United States And #Pakistan – Announcing New Partnership To Advance Girls #Education

Today, the United Strates and Pakistan pledged a new partnership to further adolescent girls’ education in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan, as announced by Prime Minister Sharif in Oslo in July, will double spending for education in Pakistan, from two to four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2018 and increase girls’ enrollment in school. This will support improving girls’ access to education. The government will also increase the provision of female teachers and necessary physical factors such as boundary walls and adequate toilets in girls’ schools. In addition, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is committing $70 million and will work jointly with the Government of Pakistan and other partners to help educate and empower more than 200,000 additional adolescent girls across Pakistan by:

Bridging the Schooling Gap in Conflict and Disaster-Affected Areas through the construction and rehabilitation of schools, and by providing access to basic education for adolescent girls in internally displaced or conflict-affected communities.
Improving the Teaching and Learning Environment through improved reading instruction and materials and community mobilization to create a culture of reading.
Engaging Civil Society and Communities through small grants for innovative activities to address barriers, improve equitable access to quality education, and build local capacity to improve adolescent girls’ education and empowerment.
Building Skills for School and Beyond by providing training, scholarships, and internships for adolescent girls that create paths to higher education, entrepreneurship, and employment.
Providing Scholarships for girls to attend a year of high school in the United States and live with a host family.
Build a Foundation of English Language Skills for underrepresented 13- to 18-year-olds through two-year programs of after-school classes and intensive immersion activities.
Create Economic Opportunities through skill building and training, securing income and employment for girls, and expanding the skilled labor force with public and private partners.
Champion the Cause of Adolescent Girls’ Education and Affect Social Change by promoting public-private partnerships with public and civil society leaders in Pakistan.
Expand Education and Career Options by bringing underprivileged Pakistani high school girls to top U.S. universities to explore a wide range of professions.
Investing in girls’ education will help the many adolescent girls in Pakistan who still face barriers to education from an early age due to poverty, cultural norms, violence, insecurity, and geographic isolation. Girls are less likely to enter primary schools than boys, and face barriers to accessing and completing their education through each stage of the education system. Empowering girls and ensuring them access to quality education has long-term, transformational benefits for their future, for their families and communities, and for Pakistan’s economic prosperity overall. We count on Pakistan’s commitment to achieve the education targets laid out in the global Sustainable Development Goals and Education for All-Framework for Action.

Riaz Haq said...

White House FACT SHEET: US-#Pakistan Augmented Joint Action Plan for Trade and Investment. #Obama #NawazSharif

The United States and Pakistan have a mutual interest in expanding bilateral trade and investment. The United States is Pakistan’s largest export destination and one of the largest sources of investment in Pakistan. The Augmented Plan builds on the successful implementation of the Joint Action Plan on Trade and Investment and adds the following components:

Organizing Trade Missions and Business Delegations
The Department of Commerce will facilitate private sector engagement through its International Buyer Program and Special American Business Internship Program and explore opportunities for high-level trade missions to the United States.

Expanding Utilization of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences)
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will enhance current outreach and training efforts to boost GSP utilization. USTR is prepared to assist the Government of Pakistan in identifying and petitioning for additional GSP tariff lines and to obtain eligibility for exports of goods under newly GSP-eligible travel goods tariff lines.

Strengthening the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) Sector
The United States will help upgrade the capabilities of the ready-made garments (RMG) sector through support of vocational centers dedicated to RMG and improvements in industry labor conditions. U.S. assistance will also help scale-up Pakistan’s International Labor Organization (ILO)-International Labor Standards (ILS) Textile program and support the launch of an ILO “Better Work Program.” Also, the United States will support an investment event in New York to highlight opportunities in Pakistan’s RMG industry and other sectors.

Making the Business Opportunity Conference a Regularly Scheduled Event
The Business Opportunities Conferences (BOCs) will become a regularly scheduled event overseen by a standing bi-national committee responsible for its organization.

Women’s Economic Empowerment
Through the Memorandum of Understanding on Women’s Empowerment, use the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to integrate women entrepreneurs into all aspects of our bilateral trade and investment agenda, including business-to-business events, agriculture, GSP outreach, labor, and entrepreneurship.

Facilitating Pakistan Becoming an Observer in the U.S.-Central Asia TIFA
The United States will sponsor Pakistan’s admission as an Observer to the six-nation U.S.-Central Asia (CA) TIFA, to be formalized during the CA TIFA Council meeting in November 2015 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, if desired.

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
The United States will support Pakistan’s efforts to ratify and implement the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), including through technical assistance provided to Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue and other governmental and industry representatives of the National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee.

WTO Agreement on Government Procurement
To enhance Pakistan’s access to U.S. and other government procurement markets, the United States will support Pakistan’s accession to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (AGP) through the provision of technical assistance, particularly with regard to bringing Pakistan’s government procurement laws and regulations into conformity with AGP eligibility standards.

Future Procurement Opportunities
The Department of Commerce and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will assist Pakistan in building its capacity in sanitary, safety, and other standards required of U.S. Government procurements. Pakistani vendors will also be eligible to bid on select Department of Defense procurement opportunities that are in direct support of operations in Afghanistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#NawazSharif says #India's hostile actions, statemets and arms buildup compel #Pakistan countermeasures via @Reuters

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday Pakistan would be forced to take "countermeasures" to deter against any attacks, given a major arms buildup by neighboring India and its refusal to resume talks over Kashmir.

"While refusing dialogue, India is engaged in a major arms buildup, regrettably with the active assistance of several powers," Sharif said in a speech to the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington.

"It has adopted dangerous military doctrines. This will compel Pakistan to take several countermeasures to preserve credible deterrence."

Sharif charged that a "cancellation" of talks between the nuclear-armed countries had been followed by increased ceasefire violations by India across the Line of Control dividing Pakistani and Indian Kashmir.

He said there had also been "a stream of hostile statements by the Indian political and military leadership."

Sharif, who held talks with President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday, said there was a need to resume dialogue with India and urged the United States to be more understanding of Pakistan's position in the interests of regional stability.

"I believe a close review of some of the existing assumptions and analysis and greater attention to Pakistan's views and interests would be useful in enabling Washington to play a constructive role in averting the ever present danger of escalation and promoting stability in South Asia," he said.

Sharif did not define "countermeasures," but on Thursday, Obama urged Pakistan to avoid developments in its nuclear weapons program that could increase risks and instability.

Washington, which like Russia is major arms supplier to India, has been concerned about Pakistan's development of new nuclear weapons, including small tactical nuclear weapons.

It had been trying to persuade Sharif to make a unilateral declaration of "restraint" on nuclear development, but Pakistani officials said Islamabad will not accept limits to its weapons program and argued that smaller tactical nuclear weapons are needed to deter a sudden attack by India.

Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed in July to revive talks, but escalating tensions over Kashmir, which both countries claim in full but rule only in part, derailed the plans.

Earlier on Friday, India's foreign ministry spokesman welcomed Pakistan's pledge in a joint statement with the United States on Thursday to fight militant groups Delhi suspects of attacking Indian targets, but ruled out any third-party mediation to end the Kashmir dispute.

The spokesman, Vikas Swarup, said India "remains open" to talks between the two countries' national security advisers.

Mark Toner, a U.S. State Department spokesman, told a regular Washington news briefing that Pakistan's tensions with India needed to be addressed and this would be best done "through continued dialogue between the two countries."

In Thursday's statement, the United States and Pakistan expressed their commitment to the Afghan peace process and called on Taliban leaders to enter direct talks with Kabul, which have stalled since inaugural discussions in Pakistan in July.

On Friday, Sharif said he had told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Pakistan was prepared to help revive the talks. But he added: "We cannot bring the Taliban to the table and be asked to kill them at the same time."

Sharif did not elaborate, but was apparently referring to U.S. calls for Pakistan to crack down on Taliban sanctuaries within Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#US-#Pakistan bonhomie angers #India. #Delhi objects to ref to "strategic stability" in joint statement. TheHindu …

External Affairs Ministry says offer of F-16 fighter jets will affect regional stability in South Asia.

ndia on Friday took exception to the American appreciation for Pakistan’s anti-terror operations and the American pledge to provide eight F-16 aircraft to the Pakistan Air Force.

At a weekly press conference, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup, said: “Our reservations about providing such platforms [F-16] to Pakistan are well known and all countries are aware of India’s position in such cases.” He said supply of such strategic platforms to Pakistan could not help South Asia, especially in view of reports that Pakistan had acquired tactical and miniaturised battlefield nuclear weapons.

The joint statement issued at the end of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington DC has been criticised in Indian policy circles as it entrusts Pakistan with maintaining “strategic stability” in South Asia. Experts have argued that the American decision-makers have misread Pakistani commitment to strategic stability in South Asia, especially since gifting the F-16 jets will further embolden Pakistan’s reckless nuclear establishment. “Pakistan is already the largest owner of nuclear weapons in South Asia. It is a known beneficiary of a clandestine nuclear programme. How can strategic stability in South Asia be maintained by gifting fighter jets to a country which has violated all norms of regional peace and stability,” asked Ajay Lele of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

That apart, India has also expressed reservations about the support President Barack Obama has extended to securing finances for the Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams in Gilgit Baltistan which India believes cannot be built because of it is in an area under “illegal occupation of Pakistan.” The joint statement repeatedly referred to Pakistan’s need to deal with issues arising out of water and energy issues and both sides have also joined hands for researching on water to help Pakistan.

The joint statement was dissected critically by India which finds the Obama-Sharif call for dialogue on Kashmir an irritant. That apart, India has been surprised by the description of “terrorism as of mutual concern” between India and Pakistan.

“The Pakistan Prime Minister has agreed to act on the Haqqani Network, which is in keeping with the promise made by the United States in the joint statement of January 25, 2015 in New Delhi,” the spokesperson said, hinting at the fact that the Obama-Sharif joint statement makes a contradictory point by conceding Pakistani role in promoting terrorism. Mr. Sharif who promised to act on the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) reaffirmed in the US that “Pakistan’s territory will not be used against any other country.”

India, however, maintains that the fighter aircraft promised to Pakistan will not immediately be handed over to the Pakistan Air Force and the U.S. Congress will examine the proposal carefully.

Riaz Haq said...

Lack of knowledge and wrongly constructed narratives are a source of misconceptions about Pakistan’s nuclear energy program, which has been running safely for the last four decades.

Contrary to the myth, currently thirty countries in the world use nuclear power and twenty-three of them are planning to expand. Even resource rich countries like UAE and Qatar are going to use nuclear energy. Despite the Fukushima accident, Japan has resumed nuclear energy production and there is a global nuclear energy renaissance. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that the world’s nuclear power generating capacity is projected to continue to grow by 2030. Interestingly, all this is happening or going to happen in Asia and China, India, Korea, etc. which are leading the trend.

There is a common misconception that China’s ACP-1000 nuclear reactor design is very new and has never been tested before, and indeed Pakistan is going to test them for the first time. The fact is that ACP-1000 is a product of an evolutionary process of existing and long-tested pressurized water reactors from around the world.

It is important to see the nuclear accidents elsewhere in proper context. For instance, in case of Chernobyl the operators experimented increasing the plant’s output without thorough analysis and research. What they did not realize was that nuclear power plants are not meant for experiments. Such experiments are done on research reactors and that too with a great care. Therefore, it is incorrect to associate such a stupid practice to that of Pakistan’s impeccable operating and regulatory record. Likewise, Chernobyl was a different RBMK design (Light-water Graphite Reactor) and ACP1000 is PWR. We cannot compare apples to oranges.

Some particular people have lead an effort to create a misconception that Pakistan’s emergency plans regarding power plants either do not exist or are not executable. After interacting with both the operators and regulator of nuclear energy in Pakistan, I have learned that the business of operating and regulating is taken very seriously and no stone is left unturned in ensuring the ‘enactment of this seriousness’.

As a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan is member of all important international nuclear safety and security conventions such as Convention on Nuclear Safety, Convention on Early Notification of a nuclear Accident, Convention on Assistance in Case of Nuclear Accident or a Radiological Emergency, Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear material and Code of Conduct on Safety and Security of Radiation Sources. Pakistan has taken all these obligations despite adverse discrimination against it in the global nuclear order because it is a proactive state whose good practices in safety and nuclear regulatory mechanism are recognized and appreciated.

The skill and qualification of the staff of PAEC and PNRA is internationally recognized. Their staff is part of international missions for conducting reviews and assessments of the regulatory framework and plant operations such as World Association of Nuclear Operators, IRRS, OSART and IPSART, etc. The IAEA invites Pakistan’s to its expert missions for the development and capacity building of its other member States. International peer reviews of PNRA and PAEC also recognized the knowledge level, skill and abilities of their staff.

Riaz Haq said...

The #India-#Pakistan Nuclear Nightmare. Tactical Nukes, Intolerance, #BJP #Kashmir

Persuading Pakistan to rein in its nuclear weapons program should be an international priority. The major world powers spent two years negotiating an agreement to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which doesn’t have a single nuclear weapon. Yet there has been no comparable investment of effort in Pakistan, which, along with India, has so far refused to consider any limits at all.

The Obama administration has begun to address this complicated issue with greater urgency and imagination, even though the odds of success seem small. The recent meeting at the White House on Oct. 22 between President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan appears to have gone nowhere. Yet it would be wrong not to keep trying, especially at a time of heightened tensions between Pakistan and India over Kashmir and terrorism.

What’s new about the administration’s approach is that instead of treating the situation as essentially hopeless, it is now casting about for the elements of a possible deal in which each side would get something it wants. For the West, that means restraint by Pakistan and greater compliance with international rules for halting the spread of nuclear technology. For Pakistan, that means some acceptance in the family of nuclear powers and access to technology.

At the moment, Pakistan is a pariah in the nuclear sphere to all but China; it has been punished internationally ever since it followed India’s example and tested a weapon in 1998. Pakistan has done itself no favors by refusing to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and by giving nuclear know-how to bad actors like North Korea. Yet, it is seeking treatment equal to that given to India by the West.

For decades, India was also penalized for developing nuclear weapons. But attitudes shifted in 2008 when the United States, seeking better relations with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as a counterweight to China, gave India a pass and signed a generous nuclear cooperation deal that allowed New Delhi to buy American nuclear energy technology.


Such moves would undoubtedly be in Pakistan’s long-term interest. It cannot provide adequate services for its citizens because it spends about 25 percent of its budget on defense. Pakistan’s army, whose chief of staff is due to visit Washington this month, says it needs still more nuclear weapons to counter India’s conventional arsenal.

The competition with India, which is adding to its own nuclear arsenal, is a losing game, and countries like China, a Pakistan ally, should be pushing Pakistan to accept that. Meanwhile, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has done nothing to engage Islamabad on security issues, and he also bears responsibility for current tensions. The nuclear arms race in South Asia, which is growing more intense, demands far greater international attention.

Riaz Haq said...

A Nuclear Arsenal in #Pakistan, #India and Far Beyond

NY Times Op Ed by Nadeem Hotiana

“The Pakistan Nuclear Nightmare” (editorial, Nov. 8) portrayed Pakistan as a country irresponsibly building its nuclear arsenal. We disagree.

Pakistan was not the first to introduce nuclear weapons in South Asia; India was. Recent public reports confirm that India continues to grow its nuclear program by testing missiles with longer ranges, working on coming fissile material production facilities, and investing in a nuclear triad that inevitably requires a larger nuclear arsenal.

India also propounds war-fighting doctrines while being ascendant as one of the world’s largest importer of military hardware. A special waiver for India for nuclear trade is another destabilizing step.

Pakistan has for decades offered proposals to India for nuclear restraint, including a strategic restraint regime that could address concerns raised in the editorial.

As late as September, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan made fresh proposals for peace in South Asia in his speech at the United Nations. Sadly, India has refused to engage.

Peace can be better served by focusing the world’s attention on India’s lack of constructive response to Pakistan’s proposals, its investment in destabilizing technologies and its aggressive posturing.

Riaz Haq said...

This #Pakistan #nuclear missile, Shaheen III with 2,750 Km, can hit targets anywhere in #India. #Nukes #Missiles …

Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Friday (Dec 11), the military said, two days after the government confirmed it would resume high-level peace talks with arch-rival India.

The military said it had fired a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads within a range of 2,750km.

Shaheen-III has a maximum range of 2,750 kilometers (1, 700 miles).

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system.

Pakistan became a declared nuclear power in 1998.

The test was witnessed by senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces, Scientists and Engineers of Strategic Organisations. He said Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region for which nuclear deterrence would further strengthen strategic stability in South Asia.

It may be noted here that the Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II missiles were test-fired in Pakistan a year ago.

India and Pakistan are longtime foes engaged in a regional arms race, stemming from a conflict dating back to Britain's partitioning of its Indian protectorate into what now are India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Riaz Haq said...

Civil nuclear deal helps #Pakistan overcome energy crisis: #China Daily. #loadshedding via @ePakistanToday

China’s civil nuclear power support to Pakistan is meant to help the time-tested friend to overcome its energy crisis, said Chinese scholar in an article published in China Daily.

While setting aside the misperception and unfounded allegations in regard to Sino-Pak nuclear deal, an associate professor at Peking University’s School of International Studies said that some vested interest groups were pointing a finger at China over the two-country cooperation in nuclear field issue.

He clarified that the sale of nuclear reactors to Pakistan was part of their long-term nuclear cooperation agreements reached in the late 1980s. Chinese companies joined Pakistani side to build a nuclear plant at Chashma in 1991, he said. By 2000, the first reactor at Chashma was ready to generate electricity. Five years later, Chinese companies began building Chashma 2, which is scheduled to be operational next year.

China and Pakistan both assert that the proposed sale is not only in line with the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) rules, but it is also transparent and peaceful in nature. It has already been clarified officially that the “China-Pakistan cooperation on civilian nuclear energy is consistent with the two countries’ respective international obligations, and is for peaceful purposes and subject to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguard and supervision”.

The article further said: “India, seen as a long-time foe of Pakistan, seems to be using diplomacy to block the Sino-Pakistani deal, even though it signed a similar deal with the US in 2006. Most China-baiters, particularly in the US, allege Chashma 3 and 4 violate NSG guidelines, which prohibit nuclear states from exporting nuclear technology and materials to non-nuclear states which, like Pakistan, are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and have not adopted IAEA safeguards for nuclear establishments.”

Ever since China joined the NSG in 2004, some critics have been saying it has to fulfill its non-proliferation commitment and comply with the group’s rules and guidelines. And because Chashma 3 and 4 were initiated after 2004, they have to be approved by NSG, most probably by seeking an “exemption” solution from its 46 member states as the US-Indian nuclear deal did in 2008.

Non-proliferation proponents have expressed concern over the Sino-Pakistani nuclear deal. But some doubt whether it could be blocked like the 2006 US-Indian nuclear deal was for setting “a dangerous precedent”, because if Washington opposes it openly, it would face charges of exercising “hypocrisy” in non-proliferation.

Ashley Tellis, a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment, who as part of the George W Bush administration played a key role in negotiating the nuclear deal with India, draws a line between the US-Indian and Sino-Pakistani nuclear deals, saying the latter is not the outcome of a public debate in Washington or in NSG. But the fact is that “integrity” of the shattered global non-proliferation regime was already breached when India, which is outside NPT, NSG and other non-proliferation regimes, was “exempted” and the US-Indian nuclear deal was allowed to go ahead.

Pakistan faces severe electricity shortage leading to economic difficulties. The BBC, citing Pakistani government sources, said Pakistan faced an energy shortfall of 3,668 MW per day. Expanding the nuclear energy industry is one way Pakistan can meet its electricity shortfall, which in turn causes social unrest and extremism. At present, nuclear power comprises just 2.34 per cent of Pakistan’s total energy generation, it said.

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...

A Global #Nuclear Winter: Avoiding the Unthinkable in #India and #Pakistan - FPIF

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over the disputed province in the past six decades and came within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear exchange in 1999. Both countries are on a crash program to produce nuclear weapons, and between them they have enough explosive power to not only kill more than 20 million of their own people, but also to devastate the world’s ozone layer and throw the Northern Hemisphere into a nuclear winter — with a catastrophic impact on agriculture worldwide.

According to studies done at Rutgers, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of California-Los Angeles, if both countries detonated 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs, it would generate between 1 and 5 million tons of smoke. Within 10 days, that would drive temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere down to levels too cold for wheat production in much of Canada and Russia. The resulting 10 percent drop in rainfall — especially in Asian locales that rely monsoons — would exhaust worldwide food supplies, leading to the starvation of up to 100 million or more people.

Aside from the food crisis, a nuclear war in South Asia would destroy between 25 to 70 percent of the Northern Hemisphere’s ozone layer, resulting in a massive increase in dangerous ultraviolent radiation.


In an interview with the German newspaper Deutsche Welle, Gregory Koblentz of the Council on Foreign Relations warned that if a “commander of a forward-deployed nuclear armed unit finds himself in a ‘use it or lose it’ situation and about to be overrun, he might decided to launch his weapons.”

The second dangerous development is the “Cold Start” strategy by India that would send Indian troops across the border to a depth of 30 kilometers in the advent of a terrorist attack like the 1999 Kargill incident in Kashmir, the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, or the 2008 attack on Mumbai that killed 166 people.

Since the Indian army is more than twice the size of Pakistan’s, there would be little that Pakistanis could do to stop such an invasion other than using battlefield nukes. India would then be faced with either accepting defeat or responding.


A strategy of pulling India into an alliance against China was dreamed up during the administration of George W. Bush, but it was Obama’s “Asia Pivot” that signed and sealed the deal. With it went a quid pro quo: If India would abandon its traditional neutrality, the Americans would turn a blind eye to Kashmir.

As a sweetener, the U.S. agreed to bypass the global nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow India to buy uranium on the world market, something New Delhi had been banned from doing since it detonated a nuclear bomb in 1974 using fuel it had cribbed from U.S.-supplied nuclear reactors. In any case, because neither India nor Pakistan is a party to the treaty, both should be barred from buying uranium. In India’s case, the U.S. has waived that restriction.

The so-called 1-2-3 Agreement requires India to use any nuclear fuel it purchases in its civilian reactors, but frees it up to use its meager domestic supplies on its nuclear weapons program. India has since built two enormous nuclear production sites at Challakere and near Mysore, where, rumor has it, it is producing a hydrogen bomb. Both sites are off limits to international inspectors.

In 2008, when the Obama administration indicated it was interested in pursuing the 1-2-3 Agreement, then Pakistani Foreign minister Khurshid Kusuni warned that the deal would undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty and lead to a nuclear arms race in Asia. That is exactly what has come to pass. The only countries currently adding to their nuclear arsenals are Pakistan, India, China, and North Korea.

Riaz Haq said...

Strategic Insights : Is #Pakistan close to a #nuclear deal with the #US?: #India … via @TOIOpinion

Many signs portend yes. In the waning days of the Obama administration, talk grew in Washington, D.C. of the US offering the same nuclear deal to Pakistan as it had offered India. The White House never seemed to categorically deny those rumours.

Pakistan has always held the keys to Kabul, and has played its cards expertly. The seeming about-face against the Taliban post 9-11; the double game played with the Americans, one foot in their camp, the other planted firmly in the Afghani Talibani; all of this has led to the Taliban coming to the cusp of capturing Kabul, with the Yanks receiving the same hiding that the Russkies and the Pommies haven’t as yet forgotten.


But how can one secure against a security guard who turns turtle. The Yanks must have their own folks in the Strategic Plains Division and other centralized Pakistani nuclear establishments. After all, a hundred million can pay for a lot of outsized American salaries. But the Pakistanis have pulled a fast one with the deployment of their tactical nukes, the little Nasrs.
No Yank can control their use, for the operational control lies with about 300 Pakistani military field commanders. One goes rogue and a dirty bomb could go off in Indianapolis in short order. No wonder Nikki Haley, a key member of Trump’s foreign policy team, is now crying herself hoarse to mediate between Pakistan and India. Her express aim: Islamabad, you ditch your tacticals, India you yours. Washington’s interest must always be protected.
Pakistan is happy with the mediation. But not happy enough. It has left the Americans out of talks with the Afghan Taliban, cozying up instead to the Chinese and the Russkies. What is the Russian interest in Kabul? They are not even contiguous with Afghanistan any more. And the Chinese? Well, wherever the Pakistanis are, can the Chinese be far behind. And not even a leaf can fall anywhere in Asia now without the assent of the Chinese.
America is alarmed. Ever the brinkman, Pakistan is up to its old tricks. One overriding purpose drives it: Treat us as India’s equal. Memo from Islamabad to Washington: We know you are screwed in Afghanistan. We will get you out safely as long as we get the same nuclear deal as India has got.
The Yanks seem to have got the message. Pakistani nuclear delegations visit Washington regularly now. One is there right now meeting with American experts. Nikki Haley was perhaps just the portend of things to come. Any day, you might have an announcement of a nuclear deal for Pakistan.
Poor India. What has it been doing all this while. It has alienated the Russkies so much that they are now selling arms to Islamabad for the first time ever. Has India’s foreign policy establishment been sleeping at the wheel? Or will they be able to pull a rabbit out of their hat? The plot thickens.

Riaz Haq said...

Civil nuclear energy: Kasuri says China agreed to sign accord with Pakistan way back in 2003

The former foreign minister emphasized the need for internal unity if Pakistan was to ensure meaningful progress in the field of foreign policy

ISLAMABAD: Former foreign minister Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has revealed that China agreed to sign an agreement with Pakistan way back in 2003 in the field of civil nuclear energy before joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) while the United States declined to cooperate with Pakistan for the same in the face of AQ Khan affair. The Chinese continued their cooperation and facilitated in establishing many nuclear power plants in Pakistan.

The former foreign minister emphasized the need for internal unity if Pakistan was to ensure meaningful progress in the field of foreign policy.

“In the current state of disunity and lack of direction in Pakistan, no country, friend or foe, knows how or who to deal with in Pakistan. This is a very dangerous situation and cannot be allowed to continue. It is the primary duty of all the stakeholders in Pakistan to bring this to an end.”

Mian Kasuri was addressing a ceremony at the Government College University, Lahore, where he was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in international relations and diplomacy, promoting Pakistan’s relations with major world capitals and neighbours and for his efforts to promote regional peace and connectivity.

The former foreign minister, who served the country from November 2002 to Nov 2007, also disclosed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Pakistan to continue the dialogue for Kashmir dispute’s resolution under the famous four-point formula that was mooted in his tenure as foreign minister.

He expressed his happiness at the fact that the recent book, ‘In Pursuit of Peace’ by former Indian ambassador to Pakistan and negotiator for backchannel talks during PM Manmohan Singh’s tenure Ambassador S K Lambah, had comprehensively confirmed that what Mian Kasuri had said in his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’ published much earlier that Pakistan and India had agreed to resolve all the outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.

Kasuri expressed his pleasant surprise at Lambah’s revelation that Modi asked him to continue the dialogue in 2014 on the same four-point formula. The former foreign minister said that he was aware that because of the negativity engendered by Hindutva supporters under the Modi government, the relationship between the two countries had become exceedingly tense.

PM Modi, Kasuri said, cannot rule India forever. Even at the best of times, he was able to secure about 37% of the total votes with an overwhelming majority voting for parties who are, by and large, opposed to the current policies of the BJP government on Muslims, Kashmir and Pakistan.

“There was no guarantee that Modi would not change his extremist policies, either before or after elections. After all, Modi had paid a surprise visit to Lahore in December 2015 to meet former PM Nawaz Sharif,” Mian Kasuri said.

Besides India, he said, during his tenure, exceptionally close relationship was forged between Pakistan and Bangladesh and he remained in a close personal relationship with his counterpart, Morshed Khan.

He also made sure to cultivate close relationship with PM Khalida Zia and the then opposition leader and current PM, Hasina Wajed.

Similarly, close ties were developed with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Mian Khurshid Kasuri went on to describe the success of the government at that time in establishing close relationship with the US and China, at the same time. A broad-based Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States was formalised, which aimed to promote cooperation in different fields, including economic development, science and technology, education, energy, agriculture, and a regular strategic dialogue.