Why Pakistan Went Nuclear ?

Pakistan has acted only in self-defence.

After India’s five nuclear explosion of May 11 and 13, Pakistan was left with no choice but to give a corresponding response to India's nuclear belligerency. The only choice left with the Pakistani nation was either to give  to India long cherished hegemonic ambitions in the region or stand up and fight against it. Thanks God, Pakistan has chosen the right path by conducting as many nuclear test explosions as India did.

Hindu Nationalists threat of aggression

 India’s Hindu nationalist leaders as Prime Minister Nawaz.Sharif  just said in his nationwide speech has shown by their consistent arrogant behaviour eversince India’s serial nuclear testing that they do not even deserve to be in possession of nuclear weapons. As soon as PrimeMinister Vajpaee declare India a nuclear state, BJP hardline leaders including the Party President K. Thakre, had started issuing aggressive statements over Kashmir, an issue which is integral to Pakistan’s territorial integrity and independence. In such circumstance how could Pakistan restrained itself? Only when it came to Kashmir the world community and western power were constantly asking Pakistan to exercise restrain and not respond in kind to India’s nuclear explosion. Pakistan did exercise restrain for  over two week. But during this despite Pakistan’s repeated asking the International community failed to impose  credible sanctions against India. Not just this it also failed to warn India against adopting and adventurist posture on Kashmir.What Pakistan has finally told the world when it comes to Kashmir, it can and will never give in.

After a long unbearable restrain.

Throughout the nuclear crisis that grip South Asia, Pakistan has behaved in a very responsible and democratic manner. Even though it was caught off guard by India, Pakistan could have gone ahead with nuclear testing in the initial days or within a week of India’s nuclear tests but Prime Minister  Nawaz Sharif acted on the advices of world leaders including President  Clinton. He kept on assuring and re-assuring  them that Pakistan would go by the will of the world community and the same time he stayed away from making any commitment to them about his government’s decision regarding nuclear test. That was something he could not, in the face of Hindu nationalist arrogance over Kashmir, which had suddenly come to the surface after Indian nuclear weapons declaration.

Act taken after a democratic debate.

Pakistan has, therefore, acted only in self-defence its nuclear act is not reckless nor is its leadership erratic – as India’s Hindu fundamentalists BJP leaders are.  It is still India which has blown the global nuclear arms control and non-proliferation regime into pieces, which has destroyed what the committee of nations had achieved after decades-long efforts – The CTBT, The NPT, the FMCT. Another important thing about Pakistan’s nuclear test is that it is an outcome of open public debate as expressed through the country’s print and electronic media in last two week. If some supported the nuclear testing many opposed it. The Gallop poll survey also estimated that the majority of countrymen were in favour of Pakistan giving a response in kind to Indian nuclear testing. Unlike Pakistan Indian nuclear tests were conducted in so secret a manner that only five top BJP  leaders were aware of it. It was an act that shocked  the world. Pakistan’s act in no way even surprises the world which has before it several examples of nuclear India belligerency against Pakistan especially BJP leaders daily offensive statements over Kashmir.

It is about time the world community especially leading western powers including United States realised Pakistan’s genuine security interests in South Asia and helped tackle the nuclear crisis in the region caused by India’s nuclear belligerency in a realistic manner.

Ishtiaq Ahmad