Pak defence analyst proposes joint nuclear power plants on Indo-Pak border
NISAR AHMED THOKAR
Islamabad Feb 14: Eminent academic and defense analyst of Pakistan Dr Shireen Mazari has suggested that Pakistan should propose joint civil nuclear power plants to India along the border of the two countries as a security confidence building measure.
While addressing a seminar on emerging nuclear scenario at the Institute of Policy Studies here she said, “Initiative would not only help in meeting energy crisis in both countries but will also prove the best deterrence for two nuclear powers.”
She said the demands from Pakistan and India to sign NPT were “untenable” as the two nuclear states would not give up their capabilities. She suggested proactive diplomacy and concerted effort for an additional protocol to the treaty that would recognize the two nations as nuclear weapon state parties.
Dr Marazi said: “Nuclear arms control and disarmament area has always been premised on two parallel tracks one being the US-favored discriminatory approach embodied earlier in non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and now taking shape of fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) and the other non-discriminatory approach manifested in international agreements like CTBT and certain IAEA initiatives.”
Referring to the most recent and third nuclear test by North Korea, she said that such actions could be taken with almost impunity because the most significant treaty in the current international setting with respect to nuclear power, NPT was being undermined by its proponents.
In this respect she highlighted and criticized Indo-US nuclear deal for which special waivers were sought by the US from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in violation of all sets of existing international laws on the subject. She said following the precedent set by US, France and Britain too have signed such deals with India in contravention of their NPT obligations. She termed this “dialectic of discriminatory non-proliferation regime” as first major trend on nuclear scenario with questions of safety of nuclear power generation as the second and the discourse of nuclear disarmament as third major trend.
On FMCT, she said that Pakistan could not afford to agree to it because no other nation except Pakistan would suffer if it comes in operation. She lauded the policy of the government of Pakistan for consistently resisting “yet another discriminatory measure” in the field of nuclear energy. She reminded that Pakistan is not the only country dissatisfied with the proposed draft, “There were twenty abstentions too” with expressed concerns on its various aspects.
“Even if we are told that we have been isolated, we should keep on insisting for safeguarding our interests”, she stressed while adding that “Pakistan should keep on striving for ‘criteria-based’ and not ‘country-specific’ international standards”.
She presented a survey of safety and security measures that Pakistan had in place for its nuclear assets and underscored that as opposed to other nuclear power states there was no incident of nuclear theft or proliferation recorded from Pakistan. She also rebutted the oft-quoted allegation that Pakistan was behind North Korean nuclear technology saying that North Korea’s first nuclear test exploded a device based on plutonium in 2006 while Pakistan’s nuclear program was uranium based.
On Pakistan’s response to the emerging regional and global situation, she said that the country had missed some opportunities yet it had used its options quite fairly to maintain deterrence and credibility. Recently tested Nasr missile with 60 KM range was a “necessary as well as well-timed move” and demonstrates that Pakistan has acquired the technology and capability to counter India’s ‘cold start’ and ‘second strike’. Contrary to what some US sections perceive, Nasr was not a battlefield weapon and does not signal a shift from deterrence towards war mode”, she said.
She also saw the development of Pakistan’s own cruise missiles as ‘critical’ in view of India’s development of missile defense capability. She iterated that Pakistan should stick to its principles of “minimum credible deterrence” and “strategic restraint” and continue acting responsibly but more cautiously and wisely.
“Those present in the seminar thought that it could have been an option but keeping in view the response and behavior of India over already launched confidence building measures and its approach towards Pakistan, it was almost bound to get a cold Indian shoulder like other Pakistani suggestions for lasting peace in the region,” the IPS chairman said in a statement.
“It was also observed that confidence-building mechanisms including trade couldn’t work until real progress was made on the core issue of Kashmir,” the statement added.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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