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Marshall Islands: Dark side of the boom

By Usman Ali Khan

Interestingly, far in the Pacific Ocean a legal campaign has been launched against nuclear players especially UK, India and Pakistan this week in a David versus Goliath battle to achieve the goal of a “nuclear free universe”. Significant, as it has rung the trigger across the world as it also pursued a lawsuit against the main player U.S. who carried out 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958. The Marshall Islands is appealing to the US Supreme Court after its case against the country was dismissed by a US federal court last year.

Such travails will be meaningful when actions will have more weight than just a paper speech. Seeking legacy on climate policy and increasing number on nuclear items that is the kind of adaptation being seen since global-zero-theater came in.

The envision elevating Pakistan’s struggle in the region shows that it is fighting for what it believes is the only solution in terms of peace and prosperity keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

In this Marshall Islands curt, Pakistan at all has nothing to do with the island’s dying breadfruit crop and rising sea levels which are affecting lives and economic growth. But for all this diplomatic acumen has been trapped in for propaganda again.

But add to this problem, the islands were explored by the Spanish in the 16th century and were named for a British captain in 1788. Thank God Pakistan not existed at that time!

Germany unsuccessfully attempted to colonize the islands in 1885. Again where Pakistan was!

Japan claimed them in 1914, but after several battles during World War II, the U.S. (United States) seized them from the Japanese. Thanks to Almighty that Pakistan didn’t have diplomatic channels with these elites at that time!

In 1947, the UN made the island group, along with the Mariana and Caroline archipelagos, a U.S. trust territory. The U.S. drops the bomb and now Pakistan is facing the heat after years.

More interestingly, the government based in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro, said “by not stopping the nuclear arms race, the countries continued to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – even if the treaty has not been signed by countries such as India and Pakistan”. But they have missed the role of biggies who have been continuously digging hole in these treaties!

The primary purpose of Pakistan to acquire nuclear weapons is for its survival and national security interests. Since the attainment for Pakistan is security driven, it cannot be coerced into giving up its nuclear weapons until and unless India remains nuclear. 

Further, Pakistan is not a party to NPT and it’s not alone in the Marshal Islands lawsuit, there are five states which are parties to the NPT but all the heads are towards Pakistan which is there for peace alone. 

As an epilogue, over the rest of the years, nuclear issues would dominate globally if a just and fair approach would not be adopted. An attempt to strengthen and expand the world’s premier arms-control treaty ended in failure here because of the double play as presented in this Lawsuit against Pakistan. “Arms Control Today” reported in May 2012 that yearly funding for U.S. nuclear weapons activities totals nearly 31 billion dollars. Can you get your head round that? 

At Last – Tony de Brum, foreign minister of the Marshall Islands very rightly said at the United Nations in April.

 “Moreover, the NPT itself is not a lightswitch to be turned on and off at convenience — States must be held to full accountability for violations of the Treaty or in abusing withdrawal provisions — a matter of concern for every nation, and the wider global community that defines us all,” 

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Usman Ali Khan

Usman Ali Khan is a Researcher at the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

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