Double standards in nuke cooperation

By Fu Xiaoqiang (China Daily)

The civil nuclear cooperation agreement between Pakistan and Chinese companies has attracted wide attention, with some countries even questioning the legality of the deal.

The pact is however a routine development and is a sign of pragmatic cooperation that will in fact be closely supervised by the concerned international authorities.

The strategic cooperative endeavor is not intended at targeting any third party. China has been an important source of assistance to Pakistan in several fields and this cooperation is the result of comprehensive bilateral strategic relations based on mutual trust.

Energy shortage has restricted economic development in Pakistan. Building nuclear power stations is an important solution to this problem.
The first and second stage of construction of the Chashma Nuclear Power Station has already been completed due to this bilateral cooperation initiative.

Civil nuclear cooperation is the fruit of deepening bilateral ties and is not only a win-win choice for both nations but also contributes to the stability and prosperity of South Asia.

Chinese companies’ involvement in civil nuclear projects is a routine economic activity. The overall installed capacity of civil nuclear power in Pakistan will increase several-fold in the next decade, turning Pakistan into an important market for international nuclear power service suppliers.

In this context, China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) construction of two new nuclear reactors for Pakistan, which is being closely supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), should be deemed normal entrepreneurial behavior that does not breach China’s promise of nuclear non-proliferation as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

In fact, the US has already started talks with Pakistan about civil nuclear cooperation. Due to domestic political compulsions, the nuclear tycoons of the West cannot compete in Pakistan’s nuclear reactors market. This should not, however, be made into an excuse to stop other nations’ companies from initiating routine nuclear cooperation with Pakistan.

It is illogical to approach the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between China and Pakistan using double standards. To some extent, similar cooperation – between the US and India – has provided China and Pakistan with a practical model.

After signing a nuclear cooperation agreement with the US in 2006, India became free to accept civil nuclear fuel and core technologies from the US – as long as it separated its civil nuclear facilities from military ones – even though the country hadn’t signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

The IAEA council agreed to provide supervision guarantees to India after the US and India lobbied widely for the same in 2008. Forty-five members of the NSG reached agreement to lift restrictions on nuclear export to India later in the same year, after which the India-US cooperation entered a crucial stage. The US has reportedly sold nuclear material to India ever since, while Russia is helping India build more than 10 reactors.

Since it initiated large-scale nuclear cooperation with the US and Russia, it is groundless for India to complain about similar cooperation – on a much smaller scale – between Pakistan and China. It is India and the US that has opened the so-called nuclear Pandora’s box.

Their cooperation has, in some degree, removed obstacles for the Sino-Pakistan pact. Anybody nodding to the US and India has no reason to dissent to China and Pakistan now. The international community should abandon its ideological prejudice towards China and Pakistan.

Some Westerners think the civil nuclear cooperation between India and the US will certainly help improve the lives of ordinary Indian citizens simply because of their shared identity as free democratic countries.

In contrast, the deal between China and Pakistan, so-called non-democracies, must be evil and threatening, they aver. These double standards are a typical legacy of the Cold War era power politics. Any conclusion drawn from such a mentality deserves second thought. Read more of this post

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“The purpose of the Afghan war” is to stop the “return of the Caliphate” – UK General

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Listen from 4 mins on, especially at 5:35: “the high water mark of the last caliphate”.

A British general telling us which version of Islam is acceptable? This is an interview with UK General “Sir” Richard Dannatt.

Isnt it incredible how he tells us what the perversion of Islam is and isnt?! And how the caliphate is only (supposedly!) the asperation of “Al Qaeda”? This is the strategy of the kuffar – paint the caliphate as an al Qaeda project, paint Al Qaeda as the great terrorists, and so the caliphate becomes a form of extremism in itself.

The former head of the British army states that the objective for Britain and US in Afghanistan is preventing the establishment of a Caliphate that would expand from South Asia until it could threaten Europe at the Mediterreanean. It is perhaps the clearest explanation so far from a member of the military establishment in the UK about their fear of the establishment of the Khilafah since Tony Blair’s famous speech.

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On The Road To Armageddon

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Robert Singer:

For the last three days the most popular article on OpedNews, a tough progressive website, has been The Road to Armageddon:

“Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.

By the Honorable Paul Craig Roberts, scholar, academic, journalist and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.

The Road to Armageddon is a wildly popular story about the most popular story on the Washington Times website.

Roberts was surprised that the news report on “How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust?” was treated seriously.

Why is Paul Craig Roberts, and The Washington Times, a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression, reporting:

“A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,”

This is information deliberately announced publicly or leaked by a government or an intelligence agency to sow confusion and undermine credibility.

Let’s get real, what are these stories doing in the mainstream media 8½ years after the September 11 attacks?

Answer: They promote the erroneous controlled demolition theory on the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Former President George W. Bush’s comment, “Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories” aired on national television after the attacks of 9/11.

Google “9/11 conspiracy and you get 134,000,000 results.

Google “9/11 outrageous conspiracy you get 556,000 results.

There is a 9/11-truth movement in every major city in the United States.

9/11 conspiracy theories are allowed and even encouraged.

The 9/11 Truth Movement is the Cover for a Metaphysical Catechism (Test)

I’ll get right to the point, I have read the books and watched the documentaries on September 11 for three years and the 9/11 official story:

Nineteen fanatical Arab hijackers, masterminded by an evil genius named Osama bin Laden, crash airplanes into steel skyscrapers because they “hate our freedom to consume”. Inexplicably the jet fuel, which is basically kerosene that burns at about 400c, took on the qualities of an explosive demolition agent, vaporizing 70 tons of aircraft into a puff of smoke and causing 110-story buildings to collapse into a pile of rubble.

Is so stupid that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld didn’t really expect you to believe it.

A jet fuel fire brought down two of the tallest buildings in the world: Improbable, to say the least. [1]

Millions believe a LIHOP (Let it Happen on Purpose) version thanks to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911, because their brain tells them the U.S. government killed 3,000 American citizens to pass the Patriot Act, build up the military and invade Afghanistan and Iraq. [2]

Everyone else, after you point out the obvious (110 stories of steel and concrete collapsing at free fall speed), thinks about it for a New York Second and realizes the official story is ridiculous and couldn’t be true.

Then, they come to the false conclusion it was a MIHOP (Made it Happen on Purpose): Bush, Cheney, and the Neocons killed 3,000 Americans so they could pass the Patriot Act, build up the military and invade Afghanistan and Iraq, an inside job.
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A threat to the South Asian peace

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Ali Sukhanver:

The war against Pakistan’s nuclear program seems more vibrant and more violent and certainly more popular than the international war against terrorism. These two wars are being headed by two different countries separately; one is the super power of today and the other is aspiring to be the super power of tomorrow. The most interesting fact is that both these countries, the USA and India are apparently fighting on different fronts but inwardly they have the same target; same aim and the same object; the one and the only Pakistan. It is a very common feeling in Pakistan that the US policies and the Indian conspiracies have joined hands together, simply to weaken Pakistan. On one hand USA is showing its concern over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets and on the other hand India is encouraging and strengthening the extremist elements in Pakistan to proceed towards these assets. Ironically India has completely ignored the safety of its own nuclear program in its heat and haste and this nuclear program has become a security threat not only to all her neighbors but to the total peace in the South Asia. Neglecting the safety of its already existing nuclear arsenals, India is trying to add more to its nuclear strength by doing more pacts and by starting new nuclear plans.

According to the media reports, on December 7, 2009.an agreement was reached in Moscow between India and Russia, under which India would get four more nuclear reactors from Russia. At the same time, in New Delhi, a US Commercial Nuclear Mission told the media that, under the US-India nuclear deal, a minimum of 12 plants would be set up, with the work on them starting in 2010-2011. Some other nuclear agreements of the same type were also reported by the media; most important of them were between India and France, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Mongolia and Canada. According to many impartial analysts, it would have been much better if India had concentrated upon the safety of its already existing nuclear assets instead of doing new agreements in this respect. The Kaiga incident is the worst example of unsafe and insecure nuclear program of India. The Kaiga Nuclear plant is located near one of the biggest Indian naval bases, Project Seabird.

As per details provided by the Indian newspapers, a few months back , the authorities hit the alarm button when the staff and workers at the Kaiga nuclear plant began to show above normal radiation levels. The investigators began to urgently comb the Kaiga nuclear complex for any signs of a radiation leak that could have exposed the staff to radioactivity. After the detailed examination of urine samples of more than 50 workers at the plant, they came to the conclusion that all the workers had used a particular water cooler. Surprisingly the cooler was locked and sealed and almost unapproachable to a common man. So the investigation team pointed out the hidden presence of someone who injected heavy water into the machine by using a pump. On the other hand, J .P Gupta, the director of the plant, denied there was any security lapse and said the effect of the contaminated water was minimal. Among those affected were contract laborers who are hired out locally. The statement of Mr.Gupta seems showing that the lives of ‘locally hired out’ labourers are not important and it is nothing to be worried about if such labourers are affected by the contaminated water. There is another part of his statement which has added more irony to the situation. He said, “Whoever did it perhaps knew doping the water cooler would not kill those who drank the water. It could have been intended to disrupt the plant’s functioning.”
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Training offer to Afghan Army

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Dr Raja M Khan:

On January 26-27, 2010, the NATO’s Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODs) held its meeting in Brussels. Sixty-two chiefs of defence staff attended it from NATO as well as other troops contributing countries. As a coalition partner in the global war on terror, the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, was also invited to participate in the meeting. During the meeting, General Kayani adequately highlighted the role played by Pakistan in the war on terror. Indeed, Pakistan lost over twenty five thousand innocent lives during last nine years, since the beginning of this war. The casualties of security forces of Pakistan are many times more than what the coalition and Afghans forces have collectively suffered in these years. General Kayani’s presentation on the Pakistan’s contribution indeed, removed the misperception of the NATO countries about the Pakistani role in the global war on terror. Sequel to this meeting General Kayani, briefed the foreign and domestic press about the outcome of the meeting in Rawalpindi. During the course of the meeting, he categorically said that, “We cannot wish for Afghanistan anything that we don’t wish for Pakistan.” Since Pakistanis desire peace, stability, and economic prosperity for their country, therefore, they ought to wish similar comforts for their brethrens of Afghanistan. Furthermore, three decades of war, factional fighting, and the internal instability in Afghanistan has brought us to the conclusion that, stability and peace in Pakistan is directly proportional to these factors in Afghanistan.
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Rigi met US, Indian envoys in Afghanistan before arrest

Sikander Shaheen:
ISLAMABAD – The presence of Jundullah’s top man Abdol Malek Rigi in Afghanistan, a day prior to his arrest, is seen as part of covert meetings between US and Indian diplomats with Taliban and some unidentified leaders.

This newspaper, earlier, first published a story on January 30 last and a subsequent story on February 7 that a series of covert meetings were taking place between US and Indian diplomats with Taliban leaders, however, the whereabouts and origins of these leaders could not be ascertained due to the lack of sufficient details and highly covert manner in which these meetings were arranged.

UN based sources in Afghanistan informed this scribe on Wednesday that they were frequently getting reports regarding the presence of top brass of some banned outfits including those jihadi outfits the chiefs of which had lucrative head-moneys and were involved in terrorist activities in this region. Although the exact details regarding the visits of Abdol Malek Rigi to Afghanistan at any specific venue are still required because of his “lack of facial familiarity and acquaintance” within the locals, yet his frequent covert visits remained under heated discussions in informed Afghan quarters lately.

The fact stands undisputed that CIA had very strong links with Jundullah and was actively backing its operations against Shiite Muslims in Iran as well as in different parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Stealthy visits of the banned militants in Afghanistan, off and on, have much to do with the incompetence of Afghan government and active collusion of US and India using Afghanistan as cross-border militancy card against Pakistan.

Just recently, the arrests of three top leaders of Taliban by Pakistani authorities were not welcomed by Afghanistan and India at all, and soon after these arrests that had been termed by Pakistani authorities as a major breakthrough in combating militancy, voices were heard from New Delhi and Kabul that the pertinent development was a major blow to ‘peace efforts’ and arrested brass was presumably willing for talks with Afghanistan government! This policy of cribbing from both these states reflects the malice on part of Afghanistan that blindly follows the dictates of US and its cronies to avail of every bid that undermines Pakistan’s dignity. Read more of this post

First Squadron of JF-17 Thunder inducted in PAF

JF-17-Thunder

Another major milestone was achieved when the first Squadron of JF-17 Thunder formally joined fighter aircraft fleet of Pakistan Air Force on Thursday.

A ceremony for the formal induction of JF-17 Thunder aircraft was held at one of the PAF’s operational bases. Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was chief guest on the occasion.

The Chief of the Air Staff addressing the Airmen congratulated the nation and the PAF personnel on the momentous occasion.

“The formal induction of JF-17 aircraft in the PAF is in line with our resolve to face all challenges with poise and self-confidence. The PAF has invested in the force multipliers like the Air-to-Air refuellers, UAVs and AEW&C aircraft to enhance our capacity and capability to undertake complex operations,” he said.

“These new state-of-the-art inductions make it imperative that we train hard and prepare well to induct and integrate the new systems professionally and safely. The achievements of PAF leave no doubt in my mind that we are immensely capable and, as a team, can set and achieve still higher standards”.


“We are a peaceful nation with no aggressive designs and want to maintain peace with honour in our region. We are inducting new systems to keep pace with technology and maintain credible conventional balance of force, without which peace cannot be ensured in South Asia,” he said.

He said that the JF-17 would be put through its paces in the forthcoming Exercise Hi-Mark 2010.

The ‘JF-17 Thunder’ has the capability to undertake entire spectrum of offensive as well as defensive missions. By joining the elite ranks of PAF, the JF-17 would not only enhance the combat readiness of PAF but also form its back-bone in future.

The ceremony culminated when an A-5-III fighter led three JF-17 Thunder aircraft in a flypast following which a single JF-17 performed aerobatics over the venue.

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NATO Expansion, Missile Deployments And Russia’s New Military Doctrine

Developments related to military and security matters in Europe and Asia have been numerous this month and condensed into less than a week of meetings, statements and initiatives on issues ranging from missile shield deployments to the unparalleled escalation of the world’s largest war and from a new security system for Europe to a new Russian military doctrine.

A full generation after the end of the Cold War and almost that long since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the past week’s events are evocative of another decade and another century. Twenty or more years ago war in Afghanistan and controversial missile placements in Europe were current news in a bipolar world.

Twenty years afterward, with no Soviet Union, no Warsaw Pact and a greatly diminished and truncated Russia, the United States and NATO have militarized Europe to an unprecedented degree – in fact subordinating almost the entire continent under a Washington-dominated military bloc – and have launched the most extensive combat offensive in South Asia in what is already the longest war in the world.

Of 44 nations in Europe and the Caucasus (excluding microstates and the NATO pseudo-state of Kosovo), only six – Belarus, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova, Russia and Serbia – have escaped having their citizens conscripted by NATO for deployment to the Afghan war front. That number will soon shrink yet further.

Of those 44 countries, only two – Cyprus and Russia – are not members of NATO or its Partnership for Peace transitional program and Cyprus is under intense pressure to join the second.

On February 4 and 5 all 28 NATO defense chiefs met for two days of deliberations in Istanbul, Turkey which concentrated on the war in Afghanistan, the bloc’s military deployment in Kosovo and accelerated plans for expanding a world-wide interceptor missile system to Eastern Europe and the Middle East. That gathering followed by eight days a two-day meeting of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels which included 63 military chiefs from NATO nations and 35 Troop Contributing Nations, as the bloc designates them, including the top military commanders of Israel and Pakistan. That conference focused on the Afghan war and NATO’s new Strategic Concept to be officially formalized at an Alliance summit later this year.

The commander of all 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, attended both two-day meetings. Pentagon chief Robert Gates presided over the second and “Afghanistan and missile defense are examples of the new priorities that Gates wants NATO to focus on.” [1]

As indicated by the number of Chiefs of Defense Staff in attendance at the Brussels meetings – 63 – NATO’s reach has been extended far beyond Europe and North America over the past decade. Troops serving under the bloc’s command in Afghanistan come from every inhabited continent, the Middle East and Oceania: Australia has the largest non-member contingent with over 1,500 soldiers, and other non-European nations like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates have troops in Afghanistan or on the way there.

On the day the Istanbul NATO defense ministers meeting began Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that he had granted the Obama administration’s request to base U.S. interceptor missiles in his nation, following by five weeks the news that U.S. Patriot anti-ballistic missiles would be stationed in a part of Poland a half hour drive from Russia’s westernmost border.

The next day, February 5, which marked two months since the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the U.S. and Russia regulating the reduction of nuclear weapons and delivery systems expired, [2] the Russian Interfax news agency announced that “President Dmitry Medvedev has endorsed Russia’s military doctrine and basic principles of its nuclear deterrence policy in the period up to 2020….” [3]

The same source cited Security Council Deputy Secretary and former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Yury Baluyevsky commenting on the new doctrine: “It is planned to develop the ground, sea, and aerial components of the nuclear triad….Russia needs to guarantee its consistent democratic development using such a stability guarantor as nuclear weapons, as a form of strategic deterrence….Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only if its very existence as a state is endangered.” [4]

Commentary in the Indian daily The Hindu specified that “The doctrine details 11 external military threats to Russia, seven of which are traced to the West. NATO´s eastward expansion and its push for a global role are identified as the number one threat to Russia.”

The feature added: “The U.S. is the source of other top threats listed in the doctrine even though the country is never mentioned in the document. These include attempts to destabilise countries and regions and undermine strategic stability; military build-ups in neighbouring states and seas; the creation and deployment of strategic missile defences, as well as the militarisation of outer space and deployment of high-precision non-nuclear strategic systems.”

Regarding the timing of the authorization of Russia’s new military strategy, the report connected it with recent U.S. missile shield decisions and the START talks between Washington and Moscow still dragging on.

“The new defence doctrine was signed into law and published a day after Romania announced plans to deploy U.S. interceptor missiles as part of a global missile shield fiercely opposed by Russia. Earlier reports said the Kremlin had been holding back the doctrine, prepared last year, because it did not want to jeopardise talks with the U.S. on a new nuclear arms pact that are still going on.” [5]

A similar observation was made in a report from China’s Xinhua News Agency:

“Analysts say the Romanian decision came at a crucial moment when Washington and Moscow are about to sign a successor document to the expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1). Therefore, the move may upset the thawing Russia-U.S. relations and put their bilateral ties to test.” [6]

The new Russian Military Doctrine (in Russian at http://news.kremlin.ru/ref_notes/461) listed under the heading of “Main external threats of war” the following concerns, with the most pressing first: Read more of this post

Yemen and The Militarization of Strategic Waterways: The New Great Game

Securing US Control over Socotra Island and the Gulf of Aden


By Michel Chossudovsky:

“Whoever attains maritime supremacy in the Indian Ocean would be a prominent player on the international scene.” (US Navy Geostrategist Rear Admiral Alfred Thayus Mahan (1840-1914))

The Yemeni archipelago of Socotra in the Indian Ocean is located some 80 kilometres off the Horn of Africa and 380 kilometres South of the Yemeni coastline. The islands of Socotra are a wildlife reserve recognized by (UNESCO), as a World Natural Heritage Site.

Socotra is at the crossroads of the strategic naval waterways of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (See map below). It is of crucial importance to the US military.
MAP 1

Among Washington’s strategic objectives is the militarization of major sea ways. This strategic waterway links the Mediterranean to South Asia and the Far East, through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

It is a major transit route for oil tankers. A large share of China’s industrial exports to Western Europe transits through this strategic waterway. Maritime trade from East and Southern Africa to Western Europe also transits within proximity of Socotra (Suqutra), through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. (see map below). A military base in Socotra could be used to oversee the movement of vessels including war ships in an out of the Gulf of Aden.

“The [Indian] Ocean is a major sea lane connecting the Middle East, East Asia and Africa with Europe and the Americas. It has four crucial access waterways facilitating international maritime trade, that is the Suez Canal in Egypt, Bab-el-Mandeb (bordering Djibouti and Yemen), Straits of Hormuz (bordering Iran and Oman), and Straits of Malacca (bordering Indonesia and Malaysia). These ‘chokepoints’ are critical to world oil trade as huge amounts of oil pass through them.” (Amjed Jaaved, A new hot-spot of rivalry, Pakistan Observer, July 1, 2009)
MAP 2

Sea Power

From a military standpoint, the Socotra archipelago is at a strategic maritime crossroads. Morever, the archipelago extends over a relatively large maritime area at the Eastern exit of the Gulf of Aden, from the island of Abd al Kuri, to the main island of Socotra. (See map 1 above) This maritime area of international transit lies in Yemeni territorial waters. The objective of the US is to police the entire Gulf of Aden seaway from the Yemeni to Somalian coastline. (See map 1).

Socotra is some 3000 km from the US naval base of Diego Garcia, which is among America’s largest overseas military facilities.

The Socotra Military Base

On January 2nd, 2010, President Saleh and General David Petraeus, Commander of the US Central Command met for high level discussions behind closed doors.

The Saleh-Petraeus meeting was casually presented by the media as a timely response to the foiled Detroit Christmas bomb attack on Northwest flight 253. It had apparently been scheduled on an ad hoc basis as a means to coordinating counter-terrorism initiatives directed against “Al Qaeda in Yemen”, including “the use [of] American drones and missiles on Yemen lands.”

Several reports, however, confirmed that the Saleh-Petraeus meetings were intent upon redefining US military involvement in Yemen including the establishment of a full-fledged military base on the island of Socotra. Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh was reported to have “surrendered Socotra for Americans who would set up a military base, pointing out that U.S. officials and the Yemeni government agreed to set up a military base in Socotra to counter pirates and al-Qaeda.” (Fars News. January 19, 2010) Read more of this post

Lecturing Pak to accept Indian domination

Dr Raja Muhammad Khan | Following the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, the people of Pakistan remained apprehensive about its role and future designs in South and Southwest Asia. Majority of analysts believe that the US has a long-term broad based agenda of regional domination with the intent to contain the rising Chinese influence and a resurgent Russia. Besides, it intends to dominate the natural resources of Central Asia and Caspian region to either deny the region to China and Russia or establish its own subsequent control there.Apart from these bigger agendas, the bulk of the Pakistani masses have been concerned about three legitimate consternations, which seriously threaten the safety and security of Pakistan. The first is the threat to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal from none other than the United States. The second concern is about the growing US interest in procuring land in Pakistan and use of Pakistani air bases for the drone attacks in FATA. The third issue, which even gravely bothers Pakistan’s security, is the unprecedented Indian involvement in Afghanistan, which also is likely to have a direct linkage with United States.

In order to address the Pakistani concerns, US high officials have made extraordinarily visits to Pakistan in last few months. These visitors include; Richard Hallbrook, Admiral Michael Mullen, General David Howell Petraeus, and the US secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The last and very infrequent visitor was the Secretary of Defence, Robert M. Gates. Prior to his visit of Pakistan, Mr. Gates had visited India. In New Delhi, the Secretary audaciously supported the Indian viewpoint in regional politics and tried to convey to Pakistan that India is regional power and other states including Pakistan will have to accept its hegemony. While replying to a question regarding the possibility of future terrorist attacks in Indian soil and its likely response, Mr. Gates categorically said, “It is not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience will be limited, were there to be further attacks”. The statement harked back the memories of the period of President George W. Bush, whose only pictogram is present in the Obama’s cabinet in the form of Robert Gates, the former Director of CIA.

Secretary Gates’ statement has three undertones; first; Pakistan is responsible for terrorist attacks. Second; the US will support India to launch an offensive against Pakistan in case of any terrorist act, which even may be India’s own stage-managed drama like; an attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001, Samjhauta Express bombings of Feburary-2007 and Mumbai attack of November 2008. Third; any act of none-state actors, who may be from any country, religion or ideology can trigger war between India and Pakistan.

In his meetings with the civilian and military leadership, which also include off the record lecture cum debates and later during a selective media interaction, the visiting US Secretary of Defence tried to elucidate the U.S stance on Pakistani concerns. The Defence Secretary made it clear that, “The United States does not covet a single inch of Pakistani soil. We seek no military bases here and we have no desire to control Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.” Mr. Gates also declared these concerns as tainted perceptions and nothing more than cynicism, spread by “same enemies threatening both Pakistan and the US within the context of terrorism” and are creating dissection in the Pak-US relationship.

Regarding the Indian involvement in Afghanistan and its covert activities for the promotion of terrorism in Pakistan, the visiting dignitary expressed the view that, since either country has its concern about the other’s involvement in Afghanistan, therefore, back channel discussion should act as a forum. Debate during these meets should be transparent, while taking into account each other’s concerns. We regard the Secretary Gates commitments, but how can we ignore the ground realities. On more than one occasion, the US officials have confirmed that they have been using some of Pakistani air bases for air attacks on Afghanistan and are still using at least two of them for drone attacks in Pakistan. The US State Department also proclaims a tacit approval of drone attack against terrorists from the Government of Pakistan. Surely, this is an overt use of Pakistani soil rather a covert one.

The US may have no intention to establish military bases in Pakistan, but the people of Pakistan would like to know about the likely uses of hundreds of acres of land, purchased by the United States in Islamabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Karachi. This is coupled with enhanced strength of US nationals in Islamabad, Lahore, and elsewhere in Pakistan in the guise of diplomats. More so, U.S nationals have been permitted to hire hundreds of houses and were issued licences of prohibited bore weapons. Police and intelligence agencies have tried to arrest quite a few of them in Islamabad and Lahore, while carrying such weapons, but the authorities had to set them free on the orders of Interior Ministry. Does the US really need such an armed diplomatic corps in Pakistan, or else, another East India Company is in the making? Acquiring land on three strategic locations by the US gives out many speculations about its future designs. Veiled in the guise of security staff to the US embassy, there is presence of hundreds of the Blackwater personnel in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and may be elsewhere in Pakistan. Amazingly, our Interior Minister is constantly denying the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan, a truth accepted by the US Defence Secretary during his recent tour. What is not understood is why we try to be more loyal to the US than its own nationals are. Being a Pakistani national, Mr. Malik could have the courage to accept their presence as Ex, if not Blackwater. The masses would also like to know why their heavy luggage, either sealed in wooden or tin boxes, were allowed to pass through the airports without legal formalities of screening during immigration.Concerning Pakistan’s nuclear programme, how we can believe the wordings of Robert Gates, when on a fortnightly basis we receive a new version of threat and US contingency to control it, about our nuclear programme. Apart from its think tanks, and powerful media, US officials have expressed their reservations regarding the safety and security of Pakistani nukes. After having known the effective command and control system, being exercised through National Command Authority (NCA) and Strategic Plans Division (SPD), should the US and others not trust once for all that Pakistani nukes are as safe and secure as the ones with the P-5 countries. Had there been any nuclear theft case in Pakistan like India, where three such cases took place in 2009 only? Besides U.S itself being the first nuclear proliferator, India has been involved in the proliferation of nuclear material and technology to and from many countries. Nevertheless, the international community and the U.S have never pointed a finger towards it. They mistakenly expect that Pakistan would give them access to its nuclear weapons. It is indeed a hard-earned capability by the Pakistani nation, never to be compromised at any cost.

It is very unfair to believe that, America, being an occupying power in Afghanistan, is unaware of Indian activities against Pakistan, while making use of that soil. In most of the cases, the militants use Indian and even Western origin weapons against Pakistani security forces in FATA as well as in Balochistan. At the official level, Pakistan has provided evidence of Indian involvement in these terrorist activities to the US as well as to India. Therefore, Roberts Gates’ over-generalization cannot absolve him from the reality. As the sole super power, US should adopt an unbiased approach while dealing with the nuclear-armed neighbours of South Asia. Moreover, the US needs to be more judicious, while matching its deeds with its words and commitments.

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