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 President Pervez Musharraf speaking about Dr. AQ Khan's contribution to the Pakistani atomic bomb development:

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 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).

Hopewins 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 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 said...

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

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 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 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 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...

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...

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...

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.

Riaz Haq said...

#India, Long at Odds With #Pakistan, May Use #Nuclear First Strikes Against Neighbor

India may be reinterpreting its nuclear weapons doctrine, circumstantial evidence suggests, with potentially significant ramifications for the already tenuous nuclear balance in South Asia.

New assessments suggest that India is considering allowing for pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Pakistan’s arsenal in the event of a war. This would not formally change India’s nuclear doctrine, which bars it from launching a first strike, but would loosen its interpretation to deem pre-emptive strikes as defensive.

It would also change India’s likely targets, in the event of a war, to make a nuclear exchange more winnable and, therefore, more thinkable.

Analysts’ assessments, based on recent statements by senior Indian officials, are necessarily speculative. States with nuclear weapons often leave ambiguity in their doctrines to prevent adversaries from exploiting gaps in their proscriptions and to preserve flexibility. But signs of a strategic adjustment in India are mounting.

This comes against a backdrop of long-simmering tensions between India and Pakistan — including over state-sponsored terrorism and the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir — which have already led to several wars, the most recent in 1999.

The new interpretation would be a significant shift in India’s posture that could have far-reaching implications in the region, even if war never comes. Pakistan could feel compelled to expand its arsenal to better survive a pre-emptive strike, in turn setting off an Indian buildup.

This would be more than an arms race, said Vipin Narang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who studies nuclear powers.

“It’s very scary because all the ‘first-strike instability’ stuff is real,” Mr. Narang said, referring to a dynamic in which two nuclear adversaries both perceive a strong incentive to use their warheads first in a war. This is thought to make nuclear conflict more likely.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hints of a high-level Indian debate over the nuclear doctrine mounted with a recent memoir by Shivshankar Menon, India’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2014.

“There is a potential gray area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first” against a nuclear-armed adversary, Mr. Menon wrote.

India, he added, “might find it useful to strike first” against an adversary that appeared poised to launch or that “had declared it would certainly use its weapons” — most likely a veiled reference to Pakistan.

Mr. Narang presented the quotations, along with his interpretation, in Washington last week, during a major nuclear policy conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” he told a gathering of international government officials and policy experts.

Mr. Menon’s book, he said, “clearly carves out an exception for pre-emptive Indian first use in the very scenario that is most likely to occur in South Asia.”

The passage alone does not prove a policy shift. But in context alongside other developments, it suggests either that India has quietly widened its strategic options or that officials are hoping to stir up just enough ambiguity to deter its adversaries.

After Mr. Narang’s presentation generated attention in the South Asian news media, Mr. Menon told an Indian columnist, “India’s nuclear doctrine has far greater flexibility than it gets credit for.”

Mr. Menon declined an interview request for this article. When told what the article would say, he did not challenge its assertions. India’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Whether these signals indicate a real shift or a strategic feint, analysts believe they are intended to right a strategic imbalance that has been growing for almost a decade.

Riaz Haq said...

What if India hadn’t made friends with science?
D. Balasubramanian

Adita Joshi writes on how the indelible ink, used to identify voters, was first developed by Dr Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, way back in the 1940s for the CSIR in Calcutta. (On an aside, it is worth noting here that after he moved to Pakistan in 1951, he became the father of modern science and technology of that nation, establishing the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Pakistan CSIR, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and others. He was thus Colonial India’s gift to Pakistan).


Within a decade of independence, our food production tripled; small pox was eradicated; five IITs, two agricultural universities and one AIIMS were set up
Seventy-two years ago, colonial empires collapsed, and close to 80 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America became free nations. And each new nation had to plan for its future. Yet, among these 80, India was the lone nation that “made friends with science” as a policy for development. No other nation did so; it was unique and far-reaching!

Our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru declared: “The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.” For our growth and welfare as an independent, democratic nation, we chose science and technology as major instruments. A gallery of distinguished and patriotic scientists, technologists and thinkers were approached for advice, and their advice heeded. Within a decade of independence, our food production tripled; small pox was eradicated; harmonious sharing of the five Indus rivers with Pakistan was agreed upon; dams and waterways was built and five IITs, two agricultural universities and one AIIMS were set up. (Readers will surely add more). We reap the benefits of their advice to this day and have added more. What if we hadn’t?

Was India prepared for this daring initiative? As it turns out, modern (Baconian) science had already taken root in Colonial India since the mid 1700s. (In a forthcoming issue of the journal Indian Journal of History of Science, stories of about 35 successful Indian practitioners of ‘Western Science’ in colonial India will be highlighted). And many of its distinguished practitioners and their students were Indians in India. It was the meeting of minds of these scholars and the political leaders that made India modern.

It is now 70 years since Independence. How well has the practice of science transformed India? It is on this theme that the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) has come out with the book: “Indian Science: Transforming India — A look back on its 70-year journey; impact of science in independent India”. It has 11 stories, written in a lucid and non-jargonian fashion by Drs. Adita Joshi (biologist and educator), Dinesh Sharma (journalist and science writer), Kavita Tiwari (biotechnologist and writer) and Nissy Nevil (physicist and science policy consultant). These articles showcase how: (i) modern science is the key; (ii) large scale applications are possible which can transform the economy of a nation; (iii) community participation is vital for understanding, acceptance and practice, (iv) a sense of daring or challenging existing mores is important and (v) how a ready adaptation of ‘modern biology’, and its use for general welfare is appreciated even by rural populations.

Riaz Haq said...

Long-term Agricultural Growth in India, Pakistan,
and Bangladesh from1901/02 to 2001/02
Takashi Kurosaki

When we look at the
results for each decade, we find that the total value-added grew very little up to the Partition in all
three countries. Only in Pakistan during the 1900s and 1930s, the growth rate was positive and
statistically significant. When the whole pre-1947 period is taken, Y grew at 1.24% per annum in
Pakistan and at 0.37% in India, and it declined at 0.30% in Bangladesh, all of which were statistically
significant. After the Partition, Y increased in every decade in all three countries. The growth rates
were generally higher in Pakistan than in India and Bangladesh. When the whole post-1947 period is
taken, Y grew at 3.46% per annum in Pakistan, at 2.28% in India, and at 1.73% in Bangladesh. The
column “C.V.” in Table 1 shows how variable was the production around the fitted values in terms of
the coefficient of variation. The value-added was the most variable during the 1900s and 1910s but
was stabilized since then, possibly due to the development of irrigation. The stabilization of
agricultural production after the Partition is observed in all three countries.
Although these growth rates, except for the negative growth in the pre-1947 period in Bangladesh,
seem impressive, the growth performance became more moderate if we look at labor productivity,
which is a better measure for evaluating the welfare of population engaged in agriculture than the total
production measure. The long-term trends of Y/L (agricultural value-added per labor) are shown in
Figure 2,7 and parametrically-estimated growth rates are reported in the middle columns of Table 1.
Using growth rates of Y/L, the pre-Partition contrast across three countries become more clear-cut:
statistically-significant positive growth in Pakistan (+0.76%), insignificant growth in India, and
statistically-significant negative growth in Bangladesh (−0.62%). Since 1947, labor productivity grew
at statistically-significant growth rates in all three countries.
4.2 Contribution of land productivity improvement to agricultural growth

Riaz Haq said...

Doctors With(out) Borders: How Partition Affected Scientists in India and Pakistan
How did migration impact the professional networks in which scientists functioned? Did they continue academic discussions with their former colleagues on the other side of the border?

Consider the career of the chemist Salimuzzaman Siddiqui. Born near Lucknow in 1897, Siddiqui studied at the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (the forerunner of Aligarh Muslim University), learnt painting under Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta and did his doctoral research in Frankfurt. Returning to India, he conducted pioneering research on Rauwolfina serpentina and other indigenous plants with medicinal properties at the Unani Tibbia and Ayurvedic College in Delhi. He then caught the eye of scientist and technocrat S.S. Bhatnagar, the chief architect of the network of labs set up under India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In 1947 he was made director of the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL).

But religious tensions in post-Partition Delhi made daily life hazardous for Siddiqui. Issues were complicated further by the fact that his brother, the prominent Muslim League leader Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman, was now in Pakistan. This probably made Siddiqui a less palatable choice politically, and the offer of the directorship of NCL was withdrawn. Nevertheless, he continued work in Delhi until 1951, when he left for Pakistan at the invitation of Liaquat Ali Khan and became head of Pakistan’s CSIR.

Similarly, the name of Nazir Ahmed, a scientist who had done his PhD in physics in the Rutherford-led Cavendish Lab in Cambridge in the 1920s, is not widely known in India. Inevitably, given the fact that he went on to head the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, he is remembered primarily as a Pakistani scientist. But before that, he had had an (enduring) impact on science in undivided India. In the years after his return from England, Ahmed taught physics in Lahore, carried out research on cotton in Bombay, visited nuclear facilities in Allied countries along with eminent scientists and institution-builders Meghnad Saha and Bhatnagar towards the end of World War II, and played an important role in conceptualising the (Indian) CSIR.

Nor was the reverse scenario uncommon. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (1894-1955), mentioned twice above, was renowned not only for his leadership of the CSIR in the 1940s and 1950s but also for his research in colloidal and magnetochemistry. His too was a career built on either side of Partition (both in time and space). Bhatnagar’s formative years were spent in Lahore, where he got his high school and university-level education (at the Dyal Singh College and the Forman Christian College respectively). After a doctorate in London, he taught and conducted research for several years at the Punjab University in Lahore before he began his career as a technocrat in Delhi.

A product of the syncretic Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, he wrote the official song of the Benaras Hindu University (where he worked briefly) in Sanskritised Hindi. But it was his literary talent in and mastery of Urdu that attracted attention when he was a student. When his wife died in 1946, he produced a collection of Urdu poems in her memory. When Partition occurred, Bhatnagar stayed on in India, where his career graph was soaring, leaving behind friends, former students and a grand home in Lahore.

Riaz Haq said...

How #Israel's #Mossad broke into an #Iranian facility and stole half a ton of #nuclear files. Mossad agents broke into a warehouse in an industrial area in #Tehran, had 6 and 1/2 hours to finish the job before the morning shift arrived at 7 A.M. #Iran

An operation by the Mossad earlier this year to steal files relating to Iran's nuclear program was conducted on January 31, according to a report by the New York Times. Mossad operatives broke into a warehouse in an industrial area in Tehran and, according to the report, had six hours and 29 minutes to finish the job before the morning shift arrived at 7 A.M. During this limited time, they disabled the alarms, broke through two doors, burned open dozens of safes and fled the city with the documents.

The agents were carrying blowtorches that burned at some 2,000 degrees Celsius to cut through the safes, according to the Times,. The report suggests that Israel may have had help on the inside, since it says that the Mossad agents knew exactly which safes to break into – leaving many of the others untouched. At the end of the night, the agents fled with half a ton of secret materials, including 50,000 pages and 163 compact discs containing files, videos and plans.

The Iranians began storing the files at the warehouse after signing a landmark 2015 accord on its nuclear program with the United States, European powers, Russia and China. The deal gave the UN nuclear watchdog access to suspected nuclear sites in Iran.

Israel claims that after signing the agreement, the Iranian regime collected files from across the country about the nuclear program, storing them at the warehouse. The warehouse wasn't guarded around the clock so as to not arouse suspicion.

The report was based on briefings Israel gave Western media outlets last week and included details from the stolem documents, which were presented in April by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a prime time address.

The report further stated that Israeli officials said Tehran received help for its nuclear program from Pakistan and from other foreign experts.

Another report, from the Washington Post, says that Iran was on the verge of acquiring "key bombmaking technologies" when the program, code-named Project Amad, was halted some 15 years ago.

Riaz Haq said...

Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb

Book by Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State of the United States, 1994-2001.

Sharing excerpts from the book on his visit to Pakistan to convince Nawaz Sharif against nuclear tests.

Clinton telephoned Sharif, the Pakistani PM, to whet his appetite for the planes, huge amounts of financial aid, and a prize certain to appeal to Sharif—an invitation for him to make an official visit to Washington.

“You can almost hear the guy wringing his hands and sweating,” Clinton said after hanging up.

Still, we had to keep trying. Our best chance was an emergency dose of face-to-face diplomacy. It was decided that I would fly to Pakistan and make the case to Nawaz Sharif.

On arrival in Islamabad, we had about an hour to freshen up at a hotel before our first official meeting, which was with the foreign minister, Gohar Ayub Khan, and the foreign secretary (the senior civil servant in the ministry), Shamshad Ahmad.

When we got to the foreign ministry, we found that the Pakistani civilian leaders had finally figured out how to handle our visit, and the result was a bracing experience. My two hosts rolled their eyes, mumbled imprecations under their breath, and constantly interrupted.

They accused the United States of having turned a blind eye to the BJP’s preparations for the test.

As for the carrots I had brought, the Pakistanis gave me a version of the reaction I had gotten from General Wahid five years earlier.

Offers of Pressler relief and delivery of “those rotting and virtually obsolete air- planes,” said Gohar Ayub, were “shoddy rugs you’ve tried to sell us before.” The Pakistani people, he added, “would mock us if we accepted your offer. They will take to the streets in protest.”

I replied that Pakistanis were more likely to protest if they didn’t have jobs.

Gohar Ayub and Shamshad Ahmad waved the point aside. The two Pakistani officials were dismissive. The current burst of international outrage against India would dissipate rapidly, they predicted.

We set off with police escort, sirens blaring, to General Karamat’s headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Karamat, who was soft-spoken and self-confident, did not waste time on polemics.

He heard us out and acknowledged the validity of at least some of our arguments, especially those concerning the danger that, by testing, Pakistan would land itself, as he put it, “in the doghouse alongside India.”

His govt was still “wrestling” with the question of what to do he said, which sounded like a euphemism for civilian dithering. There was more in the way Karamat talked about his political leadership, a subtle but discernible undertone of long-suffering patience bordering on scorn

For example, he noted pointedly “speculation” that Pakistan was looking for some sort of American security guarantee, presumably a promise that the US would come to Pakistan’s defense if it was attacked by India, in exchange for not testing.

“You may hear such a suggestion later,” Karamat added, perhaps referring to our upcoming meeting with Nawaz Sharif.

I should not take such hints seri- ously, he said, since they reflected the panic of the politicians. Pakistan would look out for its own defense.

What Pakistan needed from the United States was a new, more solid relationship in which there was no “arm- twisting” or “forcing us into corners.”

By stressing this point, Karamat made clear that our arguments against testing did not impress him.

Riaz Haq said...

Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb

Book by Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State of the United States, 1994-2001.

Sharing excerpts from the book on his visit to Pakistan to convince Nawaz Sharif against nuclear tests.

I shared a car back to Islamabad with Bruce Riedel and Tom Simons to meet Nawaz Sharif.

What we got from the Prime Minister was a Hamlet act, convincing in its own way—that is, I think he was genuinely feeling torn—but rather pathetic.

On this occasion Nawaz Sharif seemed nearly paralyzed with exhaustion, anguish, and fear. He was—literally, just as Clinton had sensed during their phone call—wringing his hands. He had yet to make up his mind, he kept telling us. Left to his own judgment, he would not test.

His position was “awkward.” His government didn’t want to engage in “tit-for-tat exchanges” or “act irresponsibly.” The Indian leaders who had set off the explosion were “madmen” and he didn’t want “madly to follow suit.”

But pressure was “mounting by the hour” from all sides, including from the opposition led by his predecessor and would-be successor, Benazir Bhutto. “I am an elected official, and I cannot ignore popular sentiment.”

Sharif was worried that India would not only get away with what it had done but profit from it as well. When international anger receded, the sanctions would melt away, and the BJP would parlay India’s new status as a declared nuclear weapons state into a permanent seat on UN SC.

I laid out all that we could do for Pakistan, although this time I tried to personalize the list a bit more. Clinton told me 2 days before that he would use Sharif’s visit to Washington and Clinton’s own to Pak to “dramatize” the world’s gratitude if Sharif refrains from testing.

This point aroused the first flicker of interest I’d seen. Nawaz Sharif asked if Clinton would promise to skip India on his trip and come only to Pakistan. There was no way I could promise that.

All I could tell Nawaz Sharif was that Clinton would “recalibrate the length and character” of the stops he made in New Delhi and Islamabad to reflect that Pakistan was in favor with the United States while India was not.

Sharif looked more miserable than ever.

Toward the end of the meeting, Sharif asked everyone but me to wait outside. Shamshad seemed miffed. He glanced nervously over his shoulder as he left.
When we were alone I gave the PM a written note from Secretary Albright urging him to hold firm against those clamoring to test.

The note warned about the economic damage, to say nothing of the military danger, Pakistan faced from an escalating competition with India. Sharif read the note intently, folded the paper, put his head in his hands for a moment, then looked at me with desperation in his eyes.

At issue, he said, was his own survival. “How can I take your advice if I’m out of office?” If he did as we wanted, the next time I came to Islamabad, I'd find myself dealing not with a clean-shaven moderate like himself but with an Islamic fundamentalist “who has a long beard.”

He concluded by reiterating he had not made up his mind about testing. “If a final decision had been reached I'd be in a much calmer state of mind. Believe me when I tell you that my heart is with you. I appreciate & would even privately agree with what you're advising us to do.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #Uranium exploration in Bannu, Kohat approved. The country is investing heavily for the development of #nuclear #medicine and radiation therapy hospitals and equipment including the #cancer fighting centres.- Pakistan - DAWN.COM

The government has approved work for exploration of uranium in Bannu basin and Kohat plateau at an estimated cost of Rs926.03 million and allocated Rs200m for Atomic Energy Commission’s project in the budget for fiscal year 2020-21.

The country is investing heavily for the development of nuclear medicines and radiation-related hospitals and equipment including the cancer fighting centres.

Currently, there are 18 ongoing development projects of the commission and Rs23.09bn has been allocated for these projects in the new budget. None of the projects have any foreign funding, either in the shape of grants or loans.

These projects include uranium exploration in the Dera Ghazi Khan area of Punjab for which Rs140m has been allocated in the budget though the project’s total cost is Rs794.9m.

For the cancer hospital NORI Islamabad, which is expected to be completed by the end of June 2021, Rs1.23bn has been allocated. For each of the Bahawalpur Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Oncology (BINO) and Karachi Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, Rs125m has been allocated in the federal budget.

Government plans to invest heavily in nuclear medicines

Similarly, Rs280m has been allocated for Gilgit Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy and Rs500m for Gujranwala Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy. Both the centres are expected to become operational next year.

As the country is also investing in the nuclear power projects, Rs18bn has been allocated for units 1 and 2 of the Karachi coastal power projects and Rs1.5bn has been allocated for the research reactor-3 of 10 megawatts.

The 3D printing facility being established in Islamabad has been allocated Rs97.43m in 2020-21.

However, only Rs10m has been allocated for nuclear fuel enrichment plant and Rs21m for the nuclear power fuel testing project in the next budget, indicating that work has been stalled or slowed down at these projects.

Other projects, where the pace of work has apparently slowed down, includes the fuel fabrication plant and the seamless tube plant for which the government has allocated Rs42m and Rs32m, respectively.

The new development budget has allocated Rs100m for studies related to the development of nuclear power plants and Rs140m for survey of mineral resources.

There are two development projects for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), including the establishment of national radiological emergency coordination centre in Karachi, Islamabad and Mianwali, with the final allocation of Rs199.18m. The other PNRA project is related to enhancing the capacity of the regulator for oversight against vulnerabilities of cyber threats with the allocation of Rs150m.

Riaz Haq said...

In "The Way of the Knife", Mark Mazzetti says the CIA proposed using Blackwater to kill Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan in 2001 during a meeting with Dick Cheney.

Blackwater's Erik Prince said in an interview with Vanity Fair, "If it went bad, we weren't expecting the chief station, the ambassador or anyone to bail us out".

Riaz Haq said...


In 1980, India and Israel collaborated a joint attack against Pakistan's nuclear plant in Kahuta. The nuclear program was still in the embryonic state. Plus there were no F-16 aircrafts with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to counter such a strike. A squadron of Israeli aircraft...

The timing of Khan’s outpourings could not have been worse. Reagan was due in Beijing. The aid package to Pakistan was up for renewal on Capitol Hill. In New Delhi, too, there was anger at Khan and at the US. The talk was that Washington had betrayed India’s secret plans to strike at Pakistan’s nuclear project. K. Subrahmanyam, chairman of India’s joint intelligence committee, picked over the Khan interviews. “We knew we were being challenged by Islamabad,” Subrahmanyam recalled. “Our intelligence people also had evidence of the Pakistan air force increasing their levels of readiness, further proof, if any more were needed, that our covert intentions to hit Kahuta were not secret any more.”

But what made India’s joint intelligence committee livid was that it had been sitting on the plan to strike KRL for a year. A committee of soldiers and intelligence people had first come together to discuss what became known as “the Osirak contingency” in 1981, after Lieutenant General Krishnaswami Sundarji had published his Pakistan war-gaming manual. Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had consented and placed Air Marshal Dilbagh Singh, chief of air staff, in charge of the operation. He had ordered Indian Air Force Jaguar squadrons to practice low-level flying, simulating runs with 2,000-lb bombs.

In February 1983, with the strike plan at an advanced stage, Indian military officials had travelled secretly to Israel, which had a common interest in eliminating Khan, to buy electronic warfare equipment to neutralize Kahuta’s air defenses. On 25 February 1983, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had accused Pakistan of “covertly attempting to make nuclear weapons,” and three days later, Raja Ramanna, director of India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Center, had revealed that India, too, was developing a uranium enrichment facility. Suspecting something was brewing, the ISI sent a message to their Indian intelligence counterparts in RAW that autumn, and as a result Munir Ahmed Khan of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission met Dr. Ramanna at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna. He warned Ramanna that if India were to strike at Kahuta, Pakistan would hit India’s nuclear facilities at Trombay. It lay downwind from the teeming Indian city of Mumbai and an attack would result in the release of “massive amounts of radiation to a large populated area, causing a disaster.”

— Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark: "Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the global nuclear weapons conspiracy", Walker Books, 2010.

Riaz Haq said...

When Pakistan feared Israel, India would attack its nuclear weapon sites - The Week

( Brig Feroz Hasan) Khan ( in his book Eating Grass) referred to purported plans by India and Israel to attack Pakistan's nuclear facilities, most notably the uranium enrichment and research facility at Kahuta in the early 1980s.

"... Pakistani intelligence picked up leads of Israeli and Indian intelligence collaboration and discovered that the Indian Air Force had begun planning a strike on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. India conducted a feasibility study on an Osirak-type attack against Pakistan at its Combat College, and the Indian Air Force conducted a series of exercises related to this study, some of which used top-of-the-line Jaguar aircraft. Meanwhile, Israel offered a new proposal that would accomplish New Delhi’s goals. Under this new plan, Israeli planes would take off from an Indian Air Force base in Jamnagar, refuel at a satellite airfield somewhere in northern India, and in the final stage, the planes would track the Himalayas to avoid early radar detection before penetrating Pakistani airspace,” Khan wrote in his book.

Khan claimed then prime minister Indira Gandhi had cleared the operation, but the US government, under president Ronald Reagan, warned India and Israel to back off. Khan wrote Indira Gandhi abandoned plans to attack Kahuta in 1982 and 1984.

In a post on his websitein November 2016, eminent strategic analyst Bharat Karnad appeared to corroborate the claims by (Brig Feroz Hasan) Khan. Karnad wrote the plan for the attack on Kahuta in 1982 involved Israeli F-16 fighters carrying bombs and F-15 air superiority aircraft providing air defence to the attacking aircraft. Karnad claimed the Israeli aircraft would launch from Udhampur. Karnad wrote the information about the operation came from retired Israeli major-general Aharon Yaariv, who told him "Indira Gandhi had first approved of an Israeli strike on the Pakistani uranium enrichment centrifuge complex in Kahuta in 1982 with Indian help but called off the raid just before it got under way."

Khan claimed the fear of possible Israeli attacks had led Pakistan to upgrade security at Kahuta and the Karachi nuclear power plant, with the Pakistan Air Force beginning combat air patrols over the areas.

In 1988, India, under Rajiv Gandhi, and Pakistan, under Benazir Bhutto, announced an agreement prohibiting attacks on each other's nuclear installations. Every year on January 1, the two nations have exchanged lists of their nuclear installations as part of their adherence to the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities.

Riaz Haq said...

Solidifying India-Israel relations with miltech quid pro quo; 1982 Indo-Israeli plans for Kahuta strike
Posted on November 14, 2016 by Bharat Karnad

A year later, I was reporting on the Israeli military advance into Beirut where I met with the Israeli army chief Moshe Dayan’s legendary MilIntel head from the 1956 Sinai Operations, retired Major General Aharon Yaariv then in Reserve and called up for duty, at the Kiryat Shimona kibbutz just this side of the Israeli border. It was Yaariv who told me over breakfast the story of how Indira Gandhi had first approved of an Israeli strike on the Pakistani uranium enrichment centrifuge complex in Kahuta in 1982 with Indian help but called off the raid just before it got underway.

The Israelis who had taken out Saddam Hussein’s Osiraq military reactor in Baghdad in June 1981 had planned the attack, according to Yaariv, thus: A sortie of six IsAF F-16s and like number of F-15s flying combat air patrol (CAP) were to come in from Haifa over the southern Arabian Sea into Jamnagar where the crews would rest up for a couple of days, and tie-up last minute, minor, changes in the flight and mission plans. The IsAF strike and CAP aircraft would then take off from Jamnagar, fly over central India and into Udhampur where previously IsAF C-17s would have landed with a cargo of deep penetration and detonation weapons for use on Kahuta targets. The Israelis had warned GOI that their aircraft would fly with Israeli roundels and entirely unmasked because, as Yaariv put it, they didn’t trust the Indians, who would be the principal beneficiaries, to not claim that it was a solely Israeli initiative in which India had no role whatsoever. “We wanted India to be fully involved and implicated and to share in the responsibility for the mission”, he told me, even though the IsAF could have carried out the entire operation all by itself using aerial refuelers as was done on the strike on the PLO HQ outside Tunis (over 1,500 miles away) in 1985. The plans were thereafter for the Israeli F-16-F-15 complement to top off their tanks, upload the special heavy ordnance on fuselage points and take off, flying in the lee of the mountains to avoid Pakistani radar detection, before coming into the open for the final bomb run over target — two F-16s at a time drooping their loads and egressing as the F-15s circled overhead to take care of any interference by PAF air defence aircraft. The attacks completed the F-16s would continue flying west, out of Pakistani airspace, before dipping southwards and returning to home base. The IsAF aircraft breaking out into the open from the mountain shadows would not have afforded PAF and Pakistani RBS-70 anti-aircraft guns (ex-Sweden) enough time to erect and fire away. (Wrote about it first in the Sunday Observer in the mid 1980s.)

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan tests home-grown cruise missile with longer range.#Nuclear capable #Babur #cruise #missile tested on Tuesday has a range of more than 900 kilometers (560 miles), twice the distance of an earlier version of the same model.

Pakistan’s military test-fired a home-grown Babur cruise missile on Tuesday that has a range of more than 900 kilometers (560 miles), twice the distance of an earlier missile of the same model, a statement said.

The missile’s extended range further enhances nuclear-armed Pakistan’s military capability.

Pakistan and neighbor India, which also has a nuclear arsenal, have a volatile relationship, having fought three wars against each other. The military buildup of both countries is closely watched by a nervous international community as India and Pakistan have come dangerously close to a fourth war at least twice over the last two decades.

The missile, dubbed the Babur Cruise Missile 1B, is domestically developed, said the military statement. An earlier version had the limited capacity to travel just 450 kilometers (280 miles).