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Pakistan not to accept one-sided nuclear restrictions

Updated Sep 22, 2016 08:13am


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UNITED NATIONS: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has informed world leaders that his country will not accept one-sided restrictions on its nuclear programme, as international media continued to speculate over whether or not Pakistan and India were moving towards a war.

“The prime minister has reiterated Pakistan’s stance; one-sided restraint will not work. India’s cold start doctrine should also be contained,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi told a news briefing in New York.

“Any restriction has to be bilateral. We told the US to use their influence on India to make them do what you ask us to do,” said Ms Lodhi when asked if US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the prime minister to consider ‘nuclear restraint’ when the two leaders met in New York on Monday.

A US State Department press release said that Mr Sharif and Secretary Kerry “stressed the need for restraint in nuclear weapons programmes”.

No indicators yet to suggest war with India is imminent, says foreign secretary

The Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons came under the spotlight this week when reports in the media suggested that India might launch air strikes on alleged terrorists inside Pakistan. The reports claimed that India began “seriously considering” the option after a militant attack on a military base in India-held Kashmir killed 17 soldiers.

Some commentators suggested that the so-called “cold-start doctrine”, that is, hitting Pakistani installations before Pakistan retaliates to an Indian military strike, gave India a strategic advantage over Pakistan. But others warned that Pakistan had countered the advantage by developing tactical nuclear weapons.

Michael Kugelman, a South Asian affairs expert at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington, reminded India that it might be premature to point the finger at Pakistan.

“One can’t rule out the possibility that Kashmiri militants, seeking revenge for the brutal tactics of the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, pulled off the operation,” he wrote.

He warned that “despite full-throated pleas from some Indian hawks” to launch air strikes inside Pakistan, “it is not an option, thanks to the nuclear weapons issue”.

He warned that “even punitive measures short of all-out war — such as targeted air strikes on terrorist facilities — would be prohibitively risky”.

But in an interview to the Indian media, another US scholar, Christine Fair of the Georgetown University, said that India shouldn’t exercise restraint fearing nuclear reprisal from Pakistan.

Ms Fair, who is an expert on India-Pakistan relations, argued that India’s nuclear arsenal should “give it immunity and impunity” to launch punitive strikes. “If Indian troops transgress into a populated city like Sialkot or Lahore, Pakistan will suffer more fatalities than on Indian troops. Therefore, this battlefield calculation gives India a lot of wriggle room to retaliate than to exercise restraint,” she said.

However, Ajai Shukla, a former Indian army colonel who is now the strategic affairs editor of the Business Standard, told CNN that India was “not strategically prepared” to launch an attack.

“One also cannot ignore the fact that Pakistan has the 11th biggest army in the world,” he said. “We’re in a symmetrical relationship. The consequences of any form of attack are far worse than people realise.”

The question that everybody at Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and Dr Lodhi’s news briefing wanted answered was: are India and Pakistan going to war?

Mr Chaudhry told the reporters that so far he had seen “no indicators” to suggest that a war was imminent. He claimed that India was encouraging such rumours to divert attention from the atrocities it was committing in held Kashmir.

The foreign secretary advised the Pakistani media not to see Tuesday’s telephonic conversation between Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and the prime minister as “anything more than what it was, a routine consultation between civil and military leaderships”.

Mr Chaudhry said that while US President Barack Obama did not mention the Kashmir issue in his speech, Pakistan had kept the American side fully informed about the developments in the Valley.

“We believe that the US has a responsibility [to defuse the situation] and should play its role. We will keep asking US until they play that role; when and how, only they can decide,” he said.

Published in Dawn September 22nd, 2016


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Comments (27) Closed

Samajhdar Indian Sep 22, 2016 09:46am

You should listen to the UN reply by Indian envoy already - ( not Sushma Swaraj )

Desi Dimag Sep 22, 2016 09:56am

@Samajhdar Indian What a perfect reply by India.

MSal Sep 22, 2016 11:04am

I think Indians don't realize this warmongering will not bring any good to them. There so called economy will be vanished in minutes. Nobody will come to India for years.

All Pakistan is asking give Kashmirs a right to decide their own fate. They don't realize even with all its might, British empire couldn't keep Kashmir with force.

M.EMADD Sep 22, 2016 11:14am

Both the counties are just going back and forth in their attacks. There are no clear winners here since both appear like squabbling siblings who can benefit from detention by Uncle Sam.

D.K. PAMNANI Sep 22, 2016 11:41am

Wait for reply of our External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj.

Kamal Pasha. Sep 22, 2016 11:52am

God forbids, insainity will insinerate the whole South Asia

fk Sep 22, 2016 12:21pm

Just compare in other fields also.See the indian side and pakistan....

Santosh Sep 22, 2016 12:57pm

Both attention starved countries vying with each other for global attention....

Pakistani Sep 22, 2016 01:10pm

Mr. Modi is a very talented politician and has purposefully escalated the situation. All the world leaders are meeting in New York and the India / Pakistan issue is now a hot topic. With the threat of a nuclear war looming, Mr. Modi wants world leaders specially America to pressurize Pakistan into giving up Kashmir issue. Due to lack of wisdom and leadership in Pakistani politicians, we are cornered.

M.Saeed Sep 22, 2016 01:14pm

@Desi Dimag : Did you also see what IHK leadership say about the two sides of speeches?

Pakistani Sep 22, 2016 01:16pm

Christina Fair is not an expert on anything other than bashing and abusing Pakistan. She is an American and has no stake on whether how many people in India or Pakistan die.

Other than that, those who are actually experts as well as soldiers from both sides no that escalation of tension will be catastrophic (for both countries).

So calmer heads should prevail, despite unnecessary jingoism.

Please approve this comment.

shakil Sep 22, 2016 01:32pm

Pakistan had to develop nuclear technology because India already had done so, and India is constantly at an undeclared war against the much smaller Pakistan. Now it is an act of great discrimination as per international law to allow one country to have nuclear weapons but to deny its victim the right to have one. The demand of justice is that Pakistan should be allowed membership in the NSG.

Rawal Jogi Sep 22, 2016 01:41pm

Pakistan should understand India is bidding for the time and after 5 years the economic differential between the two will be too much.Pakistan has to be Economically strong to pursue

SB Sep 22, 2016 02:01pm

Why no one is asking India..Only Pakistan is targeted

Maxx Sep 22, 2016 02:04pm

@fk This is a myth Indians are led to believe by their media. Check the SME, LSM, Banking, Manufacturing, Media, Agri, Agro based, nuclear power, wind energy, petroleum industry, bikes and motor vehicles, chemicals, house appliances, stocks and brokerage, everything is made/present here in Pakistan...I am excluding hundreds here.

I think is the Indian media which gives a doctored picture of Pakistan, as a country having no industry. BTW Pakistan ranks 24th in the world in GDP, purchasing power parity, ranks in top 4 in per capita charity donations, with Rs. 650 billion and more donated yearly. Ranks in top 2-10 in milk production, in wheat, cotton, other agri related products. India ranks 136 th in per capita GDP, just 10-12% ahead of Pak.

S KUMAR Sep 22, 2016 03:36pm

@shakil - The US is always against any country developing nuclear weapons and always calls for restraints . So this is nothing new . The NPT itself is discriminatory which india does not agree and hence suffered sanctions for a long time. But , china and pakistan together used the NSG oppurtunity to make NPT legitimate and relevant again bcos of blocking india .There should always be uniform nuclear policy against discrimination and not for every convenient occassion. Other wise it becomes a unclear policy .

Sriram Sep 22, 2016 03:34pm

India has been a stable secular democratic country with complete freedom of expression. The world recognized it

Dr.Arshad Sep 22, 2016 03:36pm

@Maxx ...You are right.By keeping the Indian people ignorant about its neighbours especially Pakistan,Indian politicians can only hope to gain short term advantage.Yes,Pakistan has come a long way given its size and resources.The remarkable thing is that unlike Bangladesh it can't be bullied and pushed around.

Dr.Arshad Sep 22, 2016 03:45pm

@Sriram ...Then why not give Kashmiris the right of self determination? India's credentials as democratic republic will become more impeccable by listening to their demands.

Dr.Arshad Sep 22, 2016 03:48pm

@Rawal Jogi ...True.But history teaches us otherwise.A bankrupt Germany after WW1 destroyed world's two economic super powers GB and France and since then they have not been able to regain their lost glory!

sana-1 Sep 22, 2016 03:50pm

@D.K. PAMNANI If your side was so confident then they should have spoken first, but they waited for us to make their speech...this shows who's more confident!

sana-1 Sep 22, 2016 03:58pm

Controlling Nuclear program? Not happening, even US knows this very very well! And surgical strikes? forget about it....We are not Nepal, or Myanmar, you can make as many plans as you want, its not a Bollywood movie that you can have a perfect ending, its a war, someone starts it and someone else end it!

Babar-I-Azam Sep 22, 2016 04:05pm

@Sriram - tell that to the dalits & minorities!

BJP hawks & like minded Media outlets need to tone down the rhetoric on Kashmir and look to handle the issue sensibly - addressing the Kashmiri rights and stop all kinds of genocide..

We in South Asia are behaving exactly how the old Empire require us to be, for sure rising economies but infants in diplomacy and world politics! Needing "a guardian" (US) to help steer us through self inflicted conflicts....

Shahid Sep 22, 2016 04:44pm

@shakil 'Demand of justice' in partitian of India ala 1947 was: 'Muslim majority areas go to Pakistan'. District of Hoshiarpur was Muslim majority district. Was justice delivered in that case? That injustice has been hurting the whole region since then and is the root of misery that you see even today. It is worth remembering that in this lopsided world, justice is very selective. That is why one must prepare well in case deprivation of justice is engineered b/c that is the only course for graceful survival.

Karim Sep 22, 2016 05:13pm

@Maxx GDP per capita is a useless figure. It favors contries with small population. You wouldn't find single economic power in 1 to 10. US ranks 18th, China 113 , India 158 and Pakistan 170. GDP PPP is the figure you should be looking at . India ranks 3 and Pakistan 25. For a country 6 times bigger than us, it has 10 times our GDP. China's GDP is three times bugger than India, i.e 30 times our GDP.

roflmao Sep 22, 2016 05:17pm

@MSal Our so called economy is 8 times bigger than yours. You shouldn't be mocking it. Secondly, referendum has no meaning 70 years after the conflict when demographics have been changed on both sides.

Zak Sep 23, 2016 03:07am

@Desi Dimag Michael Kugelman, a South Asian affairs expert "One can’t rule out the possibility that Kashmiri militants, seeking revenge for the brutal tactics of the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, pulled off the operation,” he wrote.