By Shaun Gregory
It’s a nightmare scenario: al Qaeda militants gain control of a Pakistani nuclear weapon, either through a base assault, theft or a rogue commander’s cooperation, possibly in the event of hostilities with nuclear-armed neighbour India. Militants could seize control of a Hatf-9 system — essentially a rocket launcher on a truck. Militants could attack a base, seize a warhead or its core materials and then escape. Rogue commanders could, in a conflict with India, hand over codes and weapons to militants or cooperate with them. The more mercenary types might simply sell them.
[A] The learned Professor, Shaun Gregory, attempts to juxtapose a scenario taken right out of the early era of the ‘Cold War’ to suggest a possible South Asia nuclear event, without outlining the copious literature that proved the inoperability of this misplaced Spielberg type Western concept (Davy Crocket type tactical nuclear warfighting syatems) – under all possible conditions other than in the movies!
[B] Considering the deeply implanted belief, in no little way generated by Richard Armitage’s threat to bomb Pakistan back into the Stone Age, in the military leadership that the US has plans to eliminate Pakistan’s nuclear assets, it is highly unlikely that they would store any part of the nuclear arsenal near a base that is open to US personnel. On the contrary all nuclear assets have been secreted away to deny access not only to the militant fundamentalist groups but more so from the US Special Forces. Western media’s persistence in repeatedly drawing attention to a fictitious nuclear weapons depository in proximity to PNS Mehran is suspiciously motivated.
[C] The major worry, conspicuously absent from the Western Media offensive, is the strong possibility that the on-going fundamentalist attack on Pakistan, where a significant portion of the military is deeply penetrated by Islamic radicals, may result in the take-over of the State by these fundamentalists. The conversion of the State from a democracy (Sic!) to an Islamic Fundamentalist Emirate would place all assets – military and nuclear under the direct control of this new dispensation, which would really create a catastrophic nuclear environment.