Cornered Pakistan resorts to nuclear sabre-rattling
Pakistan is in the habit of ratcheting up its nuclear threat whenever India pushes it to a corner. In the fast developing scenario, or deteriorating Indo-Pak relations since the Uri attack about 12 days ago, Pak leaders seem to have lost their sense of responsibility.
This could be seen in the statement made by Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, to a TV channel on Monday night. According to Indian media reports that appeared on Thursday, the minister is quoted to have told Samaa in an interview that “if our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India).” He further said that the tactical weapons and (nuclear) programs developed were for Pakistan’s protection; “we have not kept the devices that we have as showpieces.” Asif had gone on a similar rant in an earlier interview with another private Pak channel Geo TV.
What is to be noted in Pak defence minister’s tirade is his nuclear invocation to bring India to its knees. Surely, he must be harbouring the vision of how the US had dealt a death blow to Japan in 1945 to end the World War II with two nuclear warheads. The first ever use of nuclear weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima is still a grim reminder to the world how destructive the atomic armaments are. Since their first use, many countries have developed various weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. But no country except North Korea which boasts of having a nuclear arsenal openly threatens another country with nuclear annihilation.
US and its allies call North Korea a rogue nation for charting a destructive path. Still, the reclusive leaders of that country keep issuing nuclear threats to neighbouring countries and the US. Pakistani leaders’ oft-repeated nuke threats – Asif’s is the strongest so far – make that country a deserving candidate to put in the League of Rogue Nations.
One could easily dismiss the minister’s rant as a ploy to overawe Indians and reassure Pakistanis that they have tactical nuclear weapons advantage to inflict heavy losses on their arch enemy. But the very fact that Pak military-civilian leadership raises the bogey of nuclear war when it is cornered shows how insecure it feels and its itchiness to secure a dubious distinction of being the second country in the world to use a nuclear weapon. If the major powers are concerned about non-use of weapons of mass destruction, they should act on Pakistan’s threats to nuke India.
The US had waged a war against Saddam Hussain’s Iraq claiming he was developing weapons of mass destruction which were a threat to American security interests and global peace. Here is American ally Pakistan that has gone on record — not one time but several times – that it won’t hesitate to drop nuclear bombs on India. What is the Obama administration’s response to Pakistan’s nuclear posturing now?