Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Terrorism Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
Subject: Pakistan's nuclear commerce
capitalist72    12/23/2003 10:12:02 AM THE NEW YORK TIMES, EDITORIAL Pakistan's Nuclear Commerce Published: December 23, 2003 The United States has again been given good reason to wonder whether Pakistan is the trustworthy ally it claims to be. Fresh evidence indicates that it has sold nuclear-weapons secrets to Iran, North Korea and perhaps other countries over the years. Pakistan's military ruler, , insists that he stopped such sales after seizing power four years ago. Yet just last year, American spy satellites detected a Pakistani plane picking up North Korean missile parts thought to be part of a swap for Pakistani nuclear technology. The Bush administration must demand stronger controls over Pakistan's nuclear labs, which seem to have been central to the transfers. General Musharraf, who narrowly escaped assassination last week, is a key to American policy in south-central Asia. The general supported America's war in Afghanistan and has helped arrest Al Qaeda fugitives in Pakistan. Yet it is not clear how fully he shares American objectives on fighting nuclear proliferation and international terrorism. During the 1980's and 90's, Pakistan, although closely allied with Washington, was virtually a rogue state. It shared nuclear bomb technology with Iran and North Korea, sponsored terrorism in Indian-ruled Kashmir and backed the Taliban government that sheltered Osama bin Laden. General Musharraf has changed some of these policies. But Washington must pressure him to do more. The latest evidence on nuclear exports came to light when Iran recently shared with international regulators information about its nuclear suppliers. Earlier this year, international inspectors found uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran that were identical to early Pakistani designs. The technology trail points to Pakistan's A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories, and several of its leading scientists have now been questioned. Three years ago, at Washington's urging, General Musharraf removed Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's own nuclear weapons program, as the laboratories' director. It is possible that nuclear technology exports continued, as the intercepted North Korean missile shipment suggests. The laboratories have allies in Pakistan's army and its powerful military intelligence agency. To ensure that nuclear exports are truly halted, General Musharraf must tighten government control over the laboratories. Washington should demand changes in other policies as well. General Musharraf's undermining of mainstream opposition parties has helped strengthen the Islamic parties that now rule areas along the Afghan border where Taliban recruiters openly operate. Containing Islamic extremism in Pakistan requires allowing mainstream opposition parties to function freely. General Musharraf is again pledging to stop terrorists crossing into Indian-controlled Kashmir. Such vows are easily made in December, when infiltration routes are blocked with snow. An effective crackdown requires reining in army leaders who use the Kashmir issue to win higher military budgets than Pakistan can afford and local commanders who wink at border-crossing militants. The Bush administration, which sees General Musharraf as a valuable ally against terrorism, has not pressured him to restore democracy. Betting American security on one man in a troubled country of 150 million is risky. A wiser course would be to hold General Musharraf to all of his promises, on nuclear exports, terrorist infiltration and restoring democracy.
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Sikman    RE:Pakistan's nuclear commerce   12/24/2003 3:57:14 AM
keep your friends close and your enemies closer. of course there comes a time when your enemies must be crushed, it not now than when?
Quote    Reply

capitalist72    RE:Pakistan's nuclear commerce - America needs to reevaluate its Pakistan policy   1/6/2004 11:21:46 PM
Sikman - I understand that America feels that there is no option but Perv(ez)Musharraf in Pakistan. But that policy, i.e. partnering with the military/ISI is a failure. It has directly/indirectly led to, among other things, nuclear proliferation to North Korea and Libya, a nuclear pact with Saudi Arabia, possibly Iran as well, the rise of the Taliban, direct support for the Al-Qaeda network of jihadist groups, and direct operations sponsorship of terror. Would America have suffered 9-11 if the Taliban were never in power in Afghanistan? What is the other option to supporting the military-intelligence complex that comprises indoctrinated Jihadis? Obviously current policy is failing. I think the Iraq option would be more successful, putting in place a democratically elected liberal government - there are many Pakistani liberals, they just have been ignored by the world powers.
Quote    Reply

evlstu    RE:Pakistan's nuclear commerce - America needs to reevaluate its Pakistan policy   1/7/2004 2:12:56 AM
Musharraf has the potential to be the Ataturk of Pakistan. As long as the US feels that it needs him in the war on terror, the longer that the US will try to hold back India. Once Pakistan isn't needed for the war on terror then there won't be anything or anyone to hold back India, except the nukes. If enough positive changes have taken place in Pakistan then the question will be moot. Of course, if something major happens, like say another attack on India's parliment, then all bets are off. It wouldn't suprise me if India invaded Pakistan and Pakistan doesn't have enough nukes to stop the Indian army. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Quote    Reply

Condor Legion    RE:Pakistan's nuclear commerce - America needs to reevaluate its Pakistan policy   1/7/2004 10:26:11 PM
...and to answer another question. 9/11 would still have happened even had the Taliban not controlled Afghanistan. al Qaida would just have found someplace else to hide and train. KNOCK KNOCK, CL.
Quote    Reply

capitalist72    RE:Pakistan's nuclear commerce - America needs to reevaluate its Pakistan policy   1/7/2004 11:26:29 PM
Ataturk was a committed secularist. Musharraf is not - he has been directly involved in fostering the Jihadi culture that Pakistan has today. Anything he has ever done against the Jihadis, he has been FORCED to do. Anyone can be forced into doing things. From today's DAWN newspaper (Pakistan's largest ELD). "In any case, while General Musharraf may have agreed to doff his beret, he has not undertaken to alter his mindset underneath it. Everything about him - his service in the Pakistan army, his training, his conditioned reactions, his instincts, his beliefs - makes him the Muslim soldier he is, not the secular democrat he now aspires to be. "
Quote    Reply

evlstu    RE:Pakistan's nuclear commerce - America needs to reevaluate its Pakistan policy   1/8/2004 2:03:57 AM
Perhaps, perhaps not. The REAL question about Musharraf is whether or not he truely believes in the jihaist cause(s) OR if he supported them in the past for his own political benefit?
Quote    Reply