Pakistan is Capable of Protecting its Nuclear Weapons: US Report
October 04, 2021
According to a report by a prestigious US think tank, Pakistan is capable of repelling any ‘jihadi’ attempt to seize power and of protecting its nuclear weapons.According to the Brookings report, “The Agonizing Problem of Pakistan’s Nukes,” the Taliban victory in Afghanistan has emboldened militants in Pakistan, raising fears of a resurgence of militant activity in the country.The fear now includes the possibility that jihadis in Pakistan, fresh from the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, will try to seize power at home.
“Of course, trying is not the same as succeeding. If history is any guide, Pakistan’s professional military would almost certainly respond, and would almost certainly succeed in the long run,” the author, Marvin Kalb, adds.
However, even a failed attempt, according to the report, could reopen “the floodgates of a new round of domestic warfare between the government and extremist gangs.”According to the Brookings report, a resurgent insurgency would “leave Pakistan shaken by political and economic uncertainty.The report then moves on to another risk that Pakistan has repeatedly warned against: instability in South Asia increases the likelihood of a nuclear conflict in the region. This argument is used by Pakistan to strengthen its demand for international arbitration to resolve the Kashmir and other disputes in India.The Kashmir dispute is not mentioned in the Brookings report, but it acknowledges that “when Pakistan is shaken, so is India, its less than neighbourly rival and nuclear competitor.Returning to the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, the report claims that the development has elevated the threat of aterrorist regime in Pakistan “from a fear to a strategic challenge that no American president can afford to ignore.
According to the report, Pakistan’s political and military leaders have assured a succession of “anxious (American) presidents” that this will not happen because the country is strong enough to fight back against the militants.According to the report, Pakistan’s security establishment has always kept a close eye on various terrorist groups operating in the country.
Pakistani officials tell their American counterparts that “whether it is Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, or Tehreek-i-Labaik, (they are) constantly under our constant surveillance, checked and rechecked.Despite such assurances, the US remains concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, according to the report.Ever since May 1998, when Pakistan first began testing nuclear weapons, American presidents have been haunted by the fear that Pakistan’s stockpile of nukes would fall into the wrong hands.According to the report,serious questions have been raised about America’s embarrassing proclivity to look the other way” since the recent debacle in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s alleged role in it.