A Pakistani perspective on nuclear eradication

By Sidra Ajaib Kayani 

It is often reiterated by officials in Pakistan that it would take positively to any serious time bound move towards global nuclear elimination by the major nuclear weapon states. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Zamir Akran stated that “Pakistan is committed to the vision for nuclear weapons free world.” This is also Pakistan’s long held stance, that the best approach to reduce further nuclear spread is disarmament.

Pakistan also maintains their policy like of other nuclear states that they would diminishing their arms stockpiles if the major nuclear forces descend their reliance on nuclear weapons by reducing number of their arsenals. This implies that any disarmament initiative would turn into a sensible prospect if it spells out, not only as a quick jump to nil, but a planned strategy to logically lower down the numbers. It is said that France and Britain can place the pattern because presently, these two states have the least explanation to hold their atomic weapon stockpiles. An arrangement which, in the wake of lessening Washington and Moscow, would ultimately brought France and Britain as the next to the table which would further prepare grounds for the other four nuclear weapon states: China, India, Israel, and Pakistan to take out their stockpiles, alongside the remaining weapons of major power, in the third phase.

Now, the point of concern here is that, is it precise to get the momentum, because Pakistan like states who developed their nuclear arsenals in wake of conflicts, demand measures, first to eradicate those root cause, to sincerely bring those states on the same page. Pakistan’s has recorded efforts for disarmament, which give it little understanding of the genuineness of Western forces, when they desired nuclear dispenses. One principle explanations behind Pakistan’s distrust is that Pakistan has observed US arrangements for multilateral bargains with the purpose of denying a capacity to some, while making it accessible to others. When Pakistan started its nuclear program, the only cost Pakistan had to pay, was the detonation of its relations with United States. US imposed sanctions to prevent Pakistan from developing nuclear weapons. In 1970s when Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, US sought to get help from Pakistan to defeat Soviet Union and for that purpose, US lifted the imposed sanctions. After the Soviet Union withdrawal from Afghanistan and the job was done, US imposed the lifted sanctions ones again.

Another layer of sanctions was imposed after Pakistan nuclear tests in 1998, but for the another time, was lifted those sanctions to seek Pakistan help after the 9/11 incident. However, on the other side, US nuclear agreement with India, reinforce the stance of Pakistan along with many others that disarmament is far reaching in this world and US is only using this notion to get their national interests. There is a thinking dominate in the minds of Pakistanis decision makers, that US along with other powers will continue moving the objectives of the Global Zero posts mid play. There is a need to play fairly. As far as Pakistan is concerned, Pakistan would not opt any of decision, in which its stops its alternative, especially as far as other nuclear states keep their nuclear weapons operational. US non-serious attitude towards taking any disarmament initiative is resulting, the lost of their proposal “Global Zero” credibility. There is a need to build confidence of nuclear states that they are not targeting by someone others “self serving” objectives. US have to demonstrate this, if they are loyal in its proposal. On the other hand, when it is talked about the broader spectrum of Asia, Pakistan is concerned about the arm race of two of its neighboring states India and China. Their competitions would ultimately impact on its security lines and consequently, Pakistan will leave with no choice, except to spend its huge economic resources to ensure minimal credible deterrence against India. Another threat lies in the collaboration of India, US and Japan against China. In the situation like this, there would be crucial for Pakistan to clear its position.

However, any serious move towards disarmament would help Pakistan to get out of the mentioned threats. Pakistan is willing to end its disputes and conflicts on the both the edge of its borders. Further, in the long run it would be significant for Pakistan to open up its passage in between South Asia and central Asian states. As far as disarmament in case of Pakistan is concerned, it is least important that how Pakistan reacts on the move, but the most important is in what time Pakistan would ask to disarm. Presently, when Pakistan is copying up both the internal as well as external threats, any disarmament move will not attract Pakistan. There is need to first address the burning issues, only reduction of its threats would lead Pakistan towards the bold step like nuclear elimination.

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Sidra Ajaib Kayani

Sidra Ajaib Kayani is a researcher at the Strategic Vision Institute and can be reached at her email [email protected]. Ms. Sidra Ajaib Kayani holds a Master's degree in Defense and Diplomatic Studies from Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Currently, she is enrolled as a MPhil student at National Defense University in Islamabad. Her area of research includes Nuclear Studies, Arms Race, Nuclear Safety and Security, Nuclear Terrorism, Disarmament, Global Zero.

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