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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bursting the Myth of Islamic Bomb

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Two significant events—the fall of East Pakistan in 1971 and India’s nuclear weapons test in 1974—led to the beginning of Pakistan’s nuclear program. Therefore, acquiring nuclear weapons as soon as possible had become vital to Pakistan’s existence. Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in Chagai, Balochistan, in 1998, under Nawaz Sharif’s administration. It signaled to the world that it had proudly joined the exclusive nuclear club. Later it faced backlash by the west which termed its nuclear weapon as “Islamic Bomb.”

Islamic Bomb

Pakistan was relentlessly targeted because of its nuclear capabilities once it became a nuclear state. Newspapers in the West started calling Pakistan’s atomic weapon an “Islamic bomb” in 1979. They used the Islamic revolution in Iran and the religiously inspired mujahedeen in Afghanistan as examples. This remark implies that this nuclear weapon transcended national boundaries and impacted the Islamic world.

In other words, it was believed that one Muslim country would lend its bomb to another because Islamophobia spread everywhere like a cancer. These tendencies, however, were untrue since Pakistan’s nuclear goal was a nationalistic security program, not a religious one. India and Israel increased their propaganda, false claims, exaggeration, and jingoism against the fictitious pan-Islamic nuclear danger

For instance, Menachem Begin, the prime minister of Israel, wrote to Margaret Thatcher, her British equivalent, warning her of the enormous threat the Islamic bomb represented to the entire world. Thatcher responded wisely and candidly. She stated that none of the data at our disposal pointed to a plan to move material that may be used to make weapons from Pakistan to other Islamic countries or organizations. In other words, the Islamic bomb was more of a propaganda piece than a real proliferation or security problem.

Western narrative against the bomb

Western politicians and academia have also supported this paranoid attitude and anti-Pakistan propaganda. Several puzzling stories and studies demonstrate how genuinely paranoid and malevolent the West was.

For instance, a US think tank claimed in an article that many Pakistanis supported the Taliban and that the weapons may end up in their hands. Other stories questioned Pakistan and said that Bin Laden might be looking for nuclear weapons. Given the benefit of hindsight, the authors of such absurd papers need to feel embarrassed for their untrue assertions.

The idea that extremists will somehow attack a site containing Pakistani nuclear weapons and steal the weapons is absurd. This kind of fictionalization may be effective in films, but it is unattainable in everyday life. Pakistan is among those nations that store their nuclear bombs dismantled and separated from their delivery systems.

Joe Biden’s statement against Pakistan

Joe Biden, the US president, recently made disparaging statements about Pakistan. He called it “one of the most dangerous nations in the world.” Also said that Pakistan had nuclear weapons “without any cohesion.” Perhaps Mr. Biden should be informed by his team—who generally end up correcting his mistake. America is the only country to have ever deployed nuclear weapons in a conflict, and it has spent 92% of its history since 1776 engaged in conflict.

As a result, the US is the most dangerous nation on earth. I believe that the president’s repugnant remarks are a part of a wider, more nefarious plan to get Pakistan to give up its nuclear weapons. It is a plan that has been in motion since 1999.

Pakistan’s nuclear posture

Islamabad reaffirmed that one of its nuclear postures was Credible Minimum Deterrence (CMD), which is a more defensive posture intended to maintain enough atomic weapons to dissuade an opponent. Institutions like Pakistan’s competent Strategic Plans Division (SPD), established in 1999, were still there, but their performance had improved.

The National Command Authority (NCA) was formally founded in 2000. It has the authority over the use of nuclear weapons in Pakistan. In addition, the formulation of policies, their deployment, research and development, training exercises, and operational command and control are all important. The NCA is made up of the most senior civilian and military officials, including the prime minister and chief of armed forces.

The SPD, which reports to the NCA, is in charge of maintaining a specialized squad to guard Pakistan’s nuclear weapons physically. The SPD is led by a serving three-star general, while its force is led by a serving two-star general (SPD force). The NTI Nuclear Security Index’s numerous publications have taken into account Pakistan’s advancements and accomplishments in nuclear security.

According to the most recent study from 2020, Pakistan has made the most significant improvements in the list of nations with material theft. Additionally, it recognizes the country’s +25-point improvement in Security and Control Measures as the second-largest improvement for any government since the index’s inception.

Why not a Zionist bomb or a Hindu Bomb?

I believe the question must be why nuclear-armed nations like Israel, India, and the US are not targeted despite having a history of political scandals, both nuclear-related and not. Imagine the labeling of Israel’s bomb as a Jewish or Zionist bomb or India’s weapon as a “Hindu bomb” (particularly after Modi’s arrival). The hypocritical mainstream media would criticize anybody who invoked such names as being anti-Semitic or racist.

In the past 20 years, 200 kg of uranium has been stolen from India, contributing to the country’s theft and unlawful sale of nuclear and radioactive material. Nearly 9 kilograms of depleted uranium was found in 2016 by Indian police. Authorities recently detained two guys in May 2021 when they attempted to sell about 7 kg of uranium. Then, on June 4, 2021, India detained seven guys for having about 6.4 kilograms of uranium in unlawful possession.

This indicates that neither the government is fully adhering to international obligations of nuclear safety and security, such as UN resolution 1540, nor that India’s uranium deposits and nuclear facilities are secure, given that theft has grown frequent. The more outrageous feature of this carelessness is how little foreign media has objected to these events. All hell would have broken loose in Pakistan if even a tiny percentage of this type of theft had occurred here in Pakistan.

India’s internal security situation is not great, as well. Numerous armed separatist movements exist in India, including those in places like Kashmir, Punjab (Khalistan), Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam, Bodoland, and others. It has an ongoing border dispute with China that occasionally has resulted in violence in recent years.  

Western Hypocrisy

Additionally, Pakistan has outperformed India in the categories of “Theft: Secure Materials” and “Sabotage: Protect facilities.” Pakistan is ranked 33 and India is ranked 38, respectively, in the most recent NTI Nuclear Security Index report (2020). However, Pakistan consistently receives criticism, while India is absolved of any responsibility.

In my perspective, the US and Israel are involved in a larger plot to get rid of our nuclear weapons. They use the propaganda of the Islamic bomb against Pakistan. Iraq, Iran, Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, Libya, North Korea, and Pakistan were all eliminated or are in the process of being neutralized if they posed a danger to Israel or US objectives.

The IMF and other institutions will be used by the world’s elites to take advantage of Pakistan’s current severe economic and political difficulties. This propaganda won’t cease despite Pakistan’s strict security measures surrounding its nuclear weapons. The West’s ultimate goal is to see Pakistan achieve nuclear disarmament.

The US president’s remarks were therefore planned, deliberate, and strategically timed. No matter how uncompromising, Pakistan must become unbreakable in the face of these plots. The most significant warning sign for Pakistan to never give up its nuclear arsenal is Ukraine. Let’s reconfirm that we will never give up our nuclear weapons, even if we have to eat grass. As Bhutto famously said, Pakistan will make its atomic bomb even if its citizens have to eat grass.

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The author is a graduate in International Relations from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro. He is fascinated by the constantly changing world and wants to explore the causes and ramifications of contemporary state interactions.

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