Nuclear nightmare: Pak's arsenal will continue to grow

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Capt. Akbar, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Capt. Akbar

    Capt. Akbar Regular Member

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    This is the definitive study of the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme written by a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army who has worked in the Strategic Plans Division, the secretariat of that country's National Command Authority, and who has had unprecedented access its top personnel.

    Its title comes from the famous statement of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, undoubtedly the key architect of programme, who had famously declared that if India makes an atom bomb, then "even if we have feed on grass and leaves", Pakistan will follow suit.


    Khan, who has been on the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey (California), has provided rich detail and analysis of only of how the bomb was made, but has located his narrative the contemporary political developments that had a bearing on the programme. He shows how initially idea that Pakistan should have nuclear weapons was a minority view, with Bhutto being its main protagonist. But after the loss of East Pakistan and the Indian nuclear test of 1974, "the necessity nuclear weapons became a mainstream belief". The book is divided into five phases. Part I deals with the 1950s 1960s, when Pakistan was itself unstable and culminates in 1971, when a disastrous war led to the dismemberment of Pakistan.

    Part II begins with the Bhutto's presidency, which coincides with the laying of the foundations of the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme and the pressure of western anti- proliferation measures.

    Part III takes up the period when Pakistan was successfully able to weaponise its devices and acquire missiles for their delivery.

    Part IV takes up the post- nuclear test period, when Pakistan began to expand its arsenal and institutionalise command and control.

    Part V looks at the challenges Pakistan confronts and discusses the A. Q. Khan proliferation network and the maturing of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal.

    Feroz Hassan Khan has described in considerable detail the manner in which Pakistan set about acquiring the capabilities of making a bomb.

    This involved establishing the right bureaucratic structures, arranging for the finance, creating redundant networks to get equipment, designs, components, and so on. The principal source of technology was through European suppliers, with Germany being the most cooperative.

    He also takes you through the various stages in which Pakistani scientists designed their weapons and their various milestones, such as fabricating the explosive lens, the triggers and finally the cold test involving an entire device, minus the fissile material core, that was held in March 1983, and the date in 1995 when the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission ( PAEC) provided the design of a weapon that could be delivered by the Air Force.

    An interesting aspect of Khan's account is the description of the rivalry between A. Q. Khan and PAEC. Dr Khan is well- known around the world, but Munir Khan, on the contrary, was reserved and stayed away from the limelight. This rivalry was played out by their two parallel projects, each of which was able to evolve their own designed bombs, but, according to the writer, it is the PAEC that played the central role in fabricating the Pakistani bomb.

    The book's title comes from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's famous statement that if India makes an atom bomb, then " even if we have to feed on grass and leaves", Pakistan will follow suit

    THE most intriguing part of the Pakistani nuclear story is the assistance provided to it by China. It is now accepted by everyone - and Khan, too, acknowledges it - that in 1981 Beijing provided Islamabad with the design of one of its own early nuclear weapons along with 50 kilos of highly enriched uranium that would have been sufficient for two nuclear weapons. Indeed, the people who first revealed this - Danny B. Stillman and Thomas C. Reed - also claimed that China had tested a

    Pakistani- fabricated weapon in its own Lup Nor range in 1990.

    All Khan acknowledges is that " China's help was supplemental contribution to an ongoing effort". But just what was " supplemental" will probably always be a secret. But there can hardly be any doubt that from 1981 to 1998, Pakistan had a great deal of time to develop the sophisticated electronics and triggering devices that were able to make the basic Chinese design sophisticated. It may be recalled that US officials found the designs of a relatively simple nuclear weapon in a plastic bag with the stamp of A. Q. Khan's Islamabad tailor, in Libya.

    Subsequently, the details of a sophisticated lightweight device were found in the computers of A. Q. Khan's Swiss associates.

    The depressing epilogue of the book suggests that there is likely to be little restraints in the expansion of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal in the near future. Taken together with the stress that the Pakistani state is in, this is bad news indeed.

    Source: Nuclear nightmare: Book hints at disturbing conclusion that Pak's arsenal will continue to grow without restraint : North, News - India Today
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Allah hu akbar
     
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  4. jalsa

    jalsa Regular Member

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    Pakistan don't have a reliable delivery mechanism to use those nukes effectively, all their current nuclear-capable missiles can be intercepted.
     
  5. Black Blood

    Black Blood Tihar Jail Banned

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    Right on genius.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Pakistan's missiles thought they are called ballistic misssiles are not really ballistic
    missiles in the traditional sense. No 3 stage missile,none capable of reaching real
    ballistic missile speed and none going in the upper atmosphere in their trajectory.
     
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  7. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    the whole world ( = USA and Nato ) had better sit up and take notice - this is no longer an india-specific matter now the range and the destructive capability is somehting NATO has to take seriously into consideration -further nuke TOT from dragon - Nkorea MUST be penalised - and we had better put our heads together to do something about the arsenal before it become too big and accumulates bargaining power !
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Most of the threat is overblown a form of extortion for Pakistan-a revenue generator.
     
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  9. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    If the global consensus is that the nuclear threat is overblown, then technically the alleged 'threat' should cease to be relevant as a form of 'extortion'.
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The threat is used mostly for political reasons from what I have seen in the past.
    Pressure for NPT,FMCT etc.... terms of nuclear deal etc...
     
  11. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    I believe we have had this discussion before - I don't believe there is any official data from Pakistan on the top speed of its missiles or their exact trajectory after launch.

    I am sure the Americans and the Indians track the missile test launches as best they can, so at a government level this information is likely known by multiple nations, but I have yet to see a credible source report on the specifications of various Pakistani missiles that have been tested.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Shaheen according to US estimates can reach MACH 3-5 in Pakistan's arsenal but the trajectory
    is still lower atmosphere and it is 2 stage. Interestingly I have not heard any recent news in years
    of a Shaheen test.
     
  13. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    The nuclear threat is actually being exaggerated by the West to use against Pakistan and attempt to pressure Pakistan to join the NPT and FMCT, as well as to deny Pakistan greater access to global civilian nuclear trade under the NSG.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    There is also an economic angle the NSG monopoly does not view Pakistan offerning
    any money incentives to be given a deal. There are as many nuclear weapon states
    outside NPT as in it and as time goes by and more are on the non -NPT side the
    treaty loses it's relevance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  15. Black Blood

    Black Blood Tihar Jail Banned

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