Indian subcontinent on the mercy of Pakistan's rational thinking? They have list of excuses to nuke India !!! Nuclear safety, nuclear stability and nuclear strategy in Pakistan. bit old but relevant A concise report of a visit by Landau Network - Centro Volta1 Landau Network, an Arms Control Italian institution that is regularly been consulted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, proposed to organize a visit to Pakistan, with the purpose of having a better understanding of the security problems concerning nuclear weapons and nuclear material, of the situation of nuclear scientists and experts, of the development of Pakistani nuclear strategy, of Pakistani approach to arms control and confidence building measures. More generally the idea was to have a better understanding of the prospects of nuclear disarmament in the Indian subcontinent. After September 11th Pakistan has been at the epicenter of the antiterrorist campaign and collaborated with the antiterrorist coalition. But the impact of the Afghan war has been profound on Pakistan, and such issues such as the presence of radical Islamic movements, the existence of a relevant support for the Talibans inside Pakistan and, at the same time, the continuing confrontation with India may have serious effects on the nuclear situation in Pakistan and in the subcontinent. This is the reason for the timing of this visit. The visit to Pakistan by Paolo Cotta-Ramusino and Maurizio Martellini of Landau Network was organized as follows. In Islamabad we had meetings (in chronological order) with the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) chaired by Dr. Pervaiz I. Cheema, The Foreign Office, where we were very kindly received by Hon. Abdul Sattar (Foreign Minister) and by Additional Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan, the Institute for Regional Studies (IRS), chaired by Brig. Bashir Ahmad, the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS), chaired by Min. Agha Shahi and directed by Dr. Shireen M. Mazari, the Foundation for Research on International Environment, National Development and Security (FRIENDS), chaired by General Mizra Aslam Beg, the Strategic Plan Division (SPD) of the Pakistani Army, where we were kindly received by the Director, General Khalid Kidwai and by Brig. Salik (Head of the Arms Control Division), the Foreign Service Academy Islamabad, with Amb. Niaz A. Naik, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) directed by Dr, Shahrukh Rafi Khan. One of us (PCR) later had meetings with some journalists in Lahore (Ejaz Haider, Khaled Ahmed, Abbas Rashid). Altogether the total number of people that participated in the meetings and talked to us was between 70 and 80. First of all we thank very much all our Pakistani friends for being so generous with their time and their efforts to make us understand the situation there. In particular we appreciated very much the fact that Foreign Minister Hon. A. Sattar and Gen.K. Kidwai took time from their very busy schedule to talk with us. Prof. A. Nayyar of SDPI and of Quaid-i-Azam University and Ms. Ayesha Inayat of SDPI, organized all our meetings and helped us to find our way in Islamabad. We are very happy to express to them our sincere gratitude. Also special thanks to Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Dr. Ejaz Haider. This visit has been suggested and encouraged by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and particularly by Secretary General Amb. G, Baldocci and by the General Direction for Asia and Oceania, that supported also part of the expenses. We want to thank in particular Min. I. Di Pace, Min. R. Miniero and Counc. R. Rosso. This report is part of a comprehensive case study for the General Direction of Political Affairs; warm thanks Professor of Theoretical-Mathematical Physics at the University of Milan, Secretary General of the Italian Union of Scientists for Disarmament (USPID) and Director of the Program in Science Technology and International Security of Landau Network – Centro Volta. Maurizio Martellini is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Universita’ dell’Insubria (Como), Secretary General of Landau Network Centro Volta and member of the Scientific Council of USPID. The Department of Physics of the University of Milan supported the expenses of one of us (PCR) and this support is gratefully acknowledged. We thank also the Italian Embassy, and particularly Amb. G. De Ceglie and Counc. G. Cutillo for their help in Islamabad. ........................................................................................................ Pakistani Motivation for Acquisition and Retention of Nuclear Weapons In all the meetings we participated in, it has been repeatedly stressed that the motivations for Pakistan to acquire nuclear weapons had to do almost exclusively with India's analogous decision and with the fact that India represents a security threat to Pakistan. Motivations based on prestige have been mentioned and denied, even though, on this point, we maintain legitimate doubts. It has been also stressed that India’s nuclear program predates the corresponding Pakistani program. India established the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948 while Pakistan established PAEC (Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission) in 1956, India tested a nuclear device in 1974, while Pakistan became nuclear capable around 1984 and tested its nuclear weapon only 17 days after India began its most recent series of nuclear tests in May 1998. It has also been said in the ISS meeting that Pakistan was ready to test years before 1998 (1984 has been suggested in the ISS meeting and 1987 has been written in a 1994-paper by Former Chief of the Army Staff, General Aslam Beg 2), but refrained from doing so. Additional Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan added in this respect that the international community underestimated the nuclear capabilities of Pakistan and believed that Pakistan, immediately after the Indian tests of May 1998, was not ready for its own nuclear test. As for the history of Pakistani nuclear program, it has been pointed out by Gen. Aslam Beg that by 1989 Pakistan had 6 devices and by 1991 it had 15 delivery systems, that the costs of the nuclear program in the period 75-89 has been of the order of 200 ml. US $. We recall that foreign assistance to Pakistan came, among other things, from a 137 MW Canadian power reactor, US maraging steel for encasing uranium cores, Flash X rays machines from the Swedish firm Scandiflash, computers from Norway and a complex assistance from China Opposition to Pakistani nuclear program seems rather weak, at least by looking at the group of people we met. In fact some previous opponents of the nuclear program seems now to accept and justify the decision of testing. As an example, at the meeting with IRS, the director Brig.(ret) Ahmad told us that he initially disagreed with the nuclear program, but he feels now that nuclear testing was a necessary step, and that further testing is not necessary any more. The argument here was that Pakistan had to show India and the rest of the world that it was able to match India’s nuclear capabilities.:s This last sentence was essentially agreed upon by most people we met.:Laie_79: There are of course people who believe that Pakistan (as well as India)should give up nuclear weapons as they require costly programs and provide basically no extra security. But a unilateral Pakistani nuclear disarmament was generally rejected and not even really discussed, since it appeared to lay outside the political reality. A different question was whether Pakistan could abandon nuclear weapons jointly with India.:twizt: The attitude here was more open; only once during our stay in Pakistan, one expert stated that Pakistan should retain nuclear weapons even if India decides to give up its nuclear capability. This opinion by ISS Director Dr. Shireen Mazari, was motivated on the basis of “security”, but there was no further elaboration. oh.....my peace loving indians:d_good_luck: On the contrary during our discussion with Gen. Kidwai of SPD it was stated that if India renounces the possession of Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan will follow suit. The general attitude in dealing with India has been that Pakistan is interested in discussing with India issues related to nuclear weapons and other security matters, but it will not do so to if the issue of Kashmir will be intentionally excluded from the agenda (see below the point “Kashmir”). Anyway, the prospect of removingnuclear weapons from the subcontinent did not appear a realistic perspective for the foreseeable future. One of the questions that were discussed few times was whether the Pakistani nuclear capability had to be seen as an Islamic Bomb. This point of view has been generally referred to be a prejudice/misconception present in the West and particularly in Israel. It has been pointed out few times that no Islamic alliance centred around Pakistani nuclear capability has been established or even proposed. Pakistani nuclear weapons are not seen as a nuclear guarantee by any other state (Islamic or not Islamic). Furthermore no support for Pakistan has been expressed by Islamic countries when sanctions were in force after the nuclear tests of May 1998. Finally Pakistan did not commit itself to the nuclear defence of any other country, be it Islamic or not Islamic. Leaving the issue of the Islamic bomb aside, there are nevertheless concerns relating the nuclear infrastructure and the nuclear experts with the spread of Islamic radicalism in Pakistan. :big_boss::s Nuclear Control and Nuclear Structure None of the people we discussed with had any doubt that nuclear materials and bombs are under tight control. There is a general agreement that no leak has ever been reported for any quantity (even grams) of Pakistani fissile materials. In fact no leak apparently happened, even though “the risk of nuclear proliferation has been in Pakistan for over 15 years” (Add. Secr. R.M Khan). Again there appear to be a general consensus that all nuclear weapons are under strict control, or, to use an expression by Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, under “ironclad” control. As a matter of caution, we would like to add that if and when nuclear weapons and nuclear materials are moved around into different locations, this poses a significant extra stress on the security system, requiring a tight control of multiple locations and means of transportation. So security may differ in ordinary times and in times of crisis. For instance reports have been made that after the beginning of US bombing of Afghanistan (different components of) nuclear weapons have been moved to (possibly 6) separate locations of the country. Conjectures were also made about transfers of nuclear weapons through Gilgit in Northern Pakistan. The exact amount of bombs and/or nuclear material was obviously not known by most of the people we met and those who know did not disclose any exact number. As a general reference we can consider the estimates of David Albright who says that the total amount of Pakistani fissile materials is roughly enough to produce 30-50 bombs. Gen Aslam Beg in the FRIENDS meeting made some reference to keeping (in the future) the total number of devices between 75 and 90 just to readdress the conventional balance vis a vis India, that possesses an army three times as big as Pakistan, an air-force five times as big as Pakistan and a navy six times as big as Pakistan. The bombs have been declared by Gen. Musharraf to be in a "disassembled state", meaning probably that the fission core is kept separately from the non nuclear (ignition) components. Nevertheless, according to General Kidwai of SPD, the bombs can be assembled "very quickly". The same General Kidwai stated that Pakistan has "ground and air capability for the delivery of nuclear weapons". This apparently means that bombs/warheads can be delivered by airplanes and/or missiles. Gen. Kidwai said explicitly that nuclear artillery is not part, at the moment, of the Pakistani nuclear programs. According to the same Gen. Kidwai, there are now no such things as PALs (Permissive Action Links) to prevent unauthorized use of nuclear weapons. It has been pointed out by some participants in the IPRI meeting that keeping the weapons in an unassembled state makes PALs unnecessary. In fact, it has been said, again in the IPRI meeting, that the emplacement of PALs would be needed only if the weapons themselves are assembled and, as a consequence, the emplacement of PALs could be interpreted as a sign that Pakistan is moving towards a quicker nuclear reaction capability. According to Foreign Minister Sattar there was the possibility that a group of Pakistani officials may visit the US to discuss issues concerning such issues as PALs and control of nuclear devices. There is some grey area here, according to us. PALs do not exist, but, at the same time, weapons can be assembled "very quickly" and so also the reaction in a situation of crisis can be relatively "very quick". This raises some important questions about the effective control of nuclear weapons in moments of crisis. This is an important area in which, according to us, international cooperation with nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states could be developed. The impression is that an offer of cooperation to technically improve security and safeguards of nuclear materials and nuclear weapons can be and probably will be positively considered by Pakistan, provided that some obvious conditions are met, such as the protection of classified data and the absence of intrusive activities. General Kidwai stated further that the safe control of nuclear weapons is guaranteed by a "3-men rule", namely any procedure involving nuclear weapons requires the concurrent decision by 3 persons. (any guess who are those 3 person?? one i know Hu Jintao ) This has been contrasted to the 2-men rule that apparently exists in various US nuclear operations :blum3:. In the US though,multiple devices to prevent unauthorized use are ubiquitous and, most of them, quite sophisticated. In February 2000 the Strategic Plan Division (SPD) has been established in order to improve the control of nuclear operations. As explained by Gen. Kidwai and Brig. Salik of SPD, the SPD itself acts as a secretariatfor the National Command Authority (NCA) headed by the Head of the Government that deals with all aspects of Nuclear weapons. More precisely the NCA is a "military-political-scientific forum" assisting the Head of Government in all nuclear matters. Here follows a brief description of the structure of NCA. The NCA is divided into two committees the Employment Control Committee (that supervises the employment policy and the possible actual use of nuclear weapons) whose Deputy-chair is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Development Control Committee that supervises the nuclear development program, whose Deputy Chair is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). In both committees it is understood that the chairman is the Head of the Government. Besides the Chairman and the Deputy-chair, the members of the Employment Control Committee are: the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior, the CJCSC, the Services Chiefs and the Director of SPD who has the role of Secretary of the Committee. Other people can be invited according to specific needs. Besides the Chairman and the Deputy-chair, the members of the Development Control Committee are: the Services Chiefs, the Heads of concerned strategic organizations (such as the Scientists), the Director of SPD who has the role of Secretary of the Committee, the Services Strategic Forces (for the operational control). As the names suggest the Development Control Committee deals specifically with the planning and development of nuclear forces, while the employment Control Committee deals with what can be defined broadly as "nuclear strategy" including targeting policy and the conduct of nuclear operations. The issue of Pakistani nuclear strategy is discussed below as a separate point. Gen. Kidwai stated that practically all (99%) of the nuclear decisions pertain to the Head of Government and that no “delegation of authority concerning nuclear weapons is planned”. After 1998, the management of nuclear weapons, with the establishment of NCA and SPD became a "transparent institutionalised capability". This has also the purpose of "reassuring the world that everything is under control". The SPD itself has 35 officers7 and is divided into 4 directorates: 1. Operations and planning, 2. Strategic weapons, 3. Arms Control and Disarmament (headed now by Brig. Salik), 4. C4-I2-S-R which stands for Command-Control-Communications-Computer-Intelligence-Information-Surveillance-Reconnaissance.