The American targeting of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and their
development continues unabated. The latest attack is on Pakistan’s
development of the Nasr missile in the Hatf short range ballistic
missile (SRBM) series.
The new attack manifests itself in a provocative report published by
Foreign Policy magazine, which is part of the Washington Post Company.
Badly argued and primarily conjectural, American nuclear expert Tom
Hundley attacks Pakistan’s plan to develop what is known as tactical
battlefield nuclear weapon in a report titled,
“Pakistan’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea to develop battlefield nukes” (5 September 2012).
Mr. Hundley’s report is alarmist rather than factual. As a follow up,
a group of American nuclear experts landed in Islamabad this week,
representing two think tanks: Stimson Center and Carnegie, in a visit
designed to meet pro-US lobbyists in Pakistan to develop a narrative
supportive of American policy goals with regards to Pakistani nuclear
Project For Pakistan In 21st Century, an independent Islamabad-based
research group, releases a policy brief titled, Why Hatf IX (Nasr) Is
Essential For Pakistan’s Deterrence Posture & Doctrine.
Authored by eminent Pakistani defense and nuclear expert Dr. Shireen
M. Mazari, this Policy Brief bolsters Pakistan’s policy position by
explaining the rationale behind developing battlefield nuclear weapons.
The arguments listed in the brief strike at the alarmism that Washington
seeks to create around Pakistani nuclear plans. While attempting to
explain the thinking of Pakistani policymakers, Dr. Mazari inadvertently
shows the responsible and sophisticated nuclear security thinking of
the Pakistani nuclear establishment.
At the same time, the Brief proposes that Pakistan offer India a
Strategic Nuclear Dialogue designed to reduce nuclear risk that includes
what the author describes as Confidence & Security Building
Measures [CSBMs] in the nuclear area. The paper lists Pakistani nuclear
risk reduction ideas shared with India over a decade without a positive
Indian response, and suggests a way forward for Islamabad and New Delhi.
About the Author: Shireen M. Mazari, PhD, is a
Pakistani political scientist and a prominent geostrategist, currently
serving as Vice President for foreign and security affairs of Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaaf [Pakistan Movement of Justice]. She is the former
director-general of Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies [IISS]. For
information on how to reach reach, use email@example.com