Nukes could be hijacked by radicals: Pak scientist

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Novice, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Novice

    Novice Regular Member

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    Increasing radicalisation within Pakistan's military could lead to its nuclear weapons being hijacked by radical Islamists, a Pakistani scientist has warned.

    "Safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is of a major concern. The growing radicalisation within the military,
    given attacks on its own internal bases, could lead to these nuclear weapons being hijacked by radical Islamists," said Pervez Hoodbhoy, who was in London for the launch of his book 'Confronting the Bomb'.

    The nuclear physicist and defence analyst estimated Pakistan's arsenal to be similar to India's, at around 120-130 warheads.

    He was answering questions from members of the Indian Journalists' Association at the Indali Lounge in London on Thursday evening.

    "Earlier, such weapons were seen just as a means of deterrence. The most dangerous development is the increasing search for fissile material as a new dimension of tactical nuclear war has entered the picture. This means the number of weapons will steadily increase," he said.

    Hoodbhoy, who received his PhD in nuclear physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), stressed that the issue needs to be addressed for the sake of sub-continental as well as global security.

    "India and Pakistan have come close to nuclear war at least five times – in 1987, 1990, during Kargil (1999), after the attack on the Indian Parliament (2001) and the Mumbai attacks in 2008."

    "Given the history of nuclear tension, we can't afford to be passive on this issue. The fallout, from the blast itself to the radioactive effects, will be felt not just in the sub-continent but around the world," he said.

    Hoodbhoy's book 'Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani & Indian Scientists Speak Out', published by Oxford University Press and edited by him, is a compilation of essays by scientists from both sides of the border.

    It kicks off with the atomic age in India in 1974, followed by Pakistan and traces the furious nuclear race after the 1998 nuclear tests.

    "Pakistan started developing its nuclear weapons only because India embarked on it. India has remained primary enemy. But to some extent that perception is changing, with Gen Kayani (chief of Pakistani Army Staff) recently saying that Pakistan's major challenge is the enemy within."

    "So there seems to be a doctrinal shift within the army but Kayani himself is under attack within the forces," said Hoodbhoy, who admits receiving threats against his own life.

    "Jihadists still operate within Pakistan and the state's policy regarding Islamists has been a confused one," added Hoodbhoy, a visiting professor in the physics department at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

    He is known for speaking out against the Pak's nuclear establishment.

    He is now even sceptical of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology in India and Pakistan.

    "Whether electricity generated from nuclear sources is really efficient is a big question mark.

    "The construction of nuclear reactors is very expensive and should an accident similar to Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011 were to occur in India or Pakistan, both countries may not have the capacity to deal with it the same way," he added.

    Source: Nukes could be hijacked by radicals: Pak scientist - Hindustan Times
     
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  3. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    It is reality about which the world is worried.

    No bearded officer and soldiers in Nuclear command.

    Give them all to the Amirkhans for safe keeping.
     
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    What are the indications that such radicalization is occurring?
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    They can be easily hijacked when the govt is riding around in trucks/jeeps with them
     
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  6. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    Does fighting in the name of Allah declaring Jihad by a Uniformed Pakistani Soldier constitute Radicalization in your Opinion?
     
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  7. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Pakistan is not the nation which would have nukes...... I would strongly favor that they would surrender it to China and get security guarantee in return. but keeping Pakistan itself on an Atom Bomb isn't a good idea for them :nono:
     
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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    My question has more to do with the actual extent of radicalization within Pakistan's military, rather than examples. I thought there might be actual data on it somewhere, or credible estimates..
     
  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Very true, but a different matter than that of the extent of radicalization within Pakistan's military. Is the vulnerability of Paki nukes to hijack an actual unstated policy of the military establishment?
     
  10. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    @WG, has the US any contingency plans for securing Pak nukes in case all goes to hell in that godforsaken country?
     
  11. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    I will provide that.

    First I would like to know your answers on:

    1) What exactly constitutes Radicalization in this context?

    2) Any Symptoms of it?
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    @W.G.Ewald

    I would be more concerned about the govt giving nukes to radicals or other countries
    and claiming they were hijacked. A nuclear attack whether by Pakistan military or
    terrorists should get the same nuclear response.
     
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  13. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    A detonation of a Pak nuke whether by state or nonstate actors must evoke a nuclear blitzkrieg on Pakistan
     
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  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Pakistan's policy of state sponsored terror can not get the same lackidasical
    response when it comes to nukes.
     
  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    They don't tell that stuff and I would not have been cleared for such information, which must be highly classified. I would imagine US government tries to track the nukes. Seizing them would be an operation with multiple times the risk of the Abbottabad raid.
     
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  16. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    Agrees. But only CIA has that kind of capability. I hope for humanity's sake that they do have such plans in place:sad:
     
  17. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I had not thought about that option because it seems abysmally stupid to me. :-(
     
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  18. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    Thats because you don't have Pakistan as your neighbour. Try and swap places
     
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  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US is not under a direct threat of an attack from Pakistan like India. Pakistan
    missiles are still very primitive in range and delivery platforms. Pakistan has
    helped Iran and North Korea in their nuclear program so I wonder why anything
    would be done now by USA?
     
  20. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    My guess is that they must. But I can't assume they do because of Obama's conflicted postures re: Muslim countries, He just gave Morsi 20 F-16s and 500 M1 Abrams tanks, remember.
     
  21. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    God forbid a Pak nuke finds its way into taliban and detonate in Kabul.
     

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