A nuclear future is what benefits Pakistan, not a nuclear deal. Pakistan should carry on the way it is, without desiring one.
Recently, a senior US official told Congress that United States engaged Pakistan regarding discussions on the country’s low-yield tactile nuclear weapons. While earlier Pakistan was not interested in discussing her nuclear assets, it would seem that the situation has now changed. Apparently, Pakistan is willing to engage with the US on discussing shorter-range nuclear weapons, possibly to reach a civil nuclear deal which may mimic that of India’s. Of course the United States made it clear over and over again, that such a deal may not ever exist for Pakistan. At any rate, a nuclear deal between Pakistan and the States will benefit everyone except Pakistan. Under any circumstance, if a nuclear deal is reached between the two countries, it will only bind Pakistan and be severely unbalanced, hardly helping Pakistan with her goal. Even still, Pakistan’s desire for an agreement lives and for several reasons.
Pakistan’s primary reason for a nuclear deal is to pursue a nuclear future. India’s nuclear deal allows the US to share nuclear technology in order for India to develop her own civil nuclear technology. India also managed a Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver, with US’ help, allowing nuclear trade with at least a dozen countries. India is not required to lower production of nuclear weapons, they can pretty much do whatever they want. The only condition is to keep the civil and military nuclear facilities separate. Everything mentioned above allows India to advance without a boundary and that is something of concern to Pakistan, and hence wishes for something similar so to proceed with development freely. Another reason why Pakistan would want a nuclear deal is the fact that the country is energy-starved. Pakistan seeks fissile material for her civil nuclear projects, and that material could easily be available following a nuclear deal. Pakistan has not been able to get a deal even though her nuclear facilities fall under International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) safeguards – India’s don’t. Finally, while India has a waiver from the NSG, it still isn’t a member but is expected to become one in the coming years. If India becomes a member, Pakistan fears that it never will, given the fact that a veto from just one country can block membership and of course, it is safe to assume that India will always veto Pakistan’s inclusion.
For a nuclear future, on par with that of India’s (in the coming years), Pakistan needs to have a deal almost if not exactly the same as that of India. The United States may even talk of a deal, but the first condition that follows is for Pakistan to curb the development of its nuclear arsenal, which of course is not a possibility at this stage. The most desirable will be a safe nuclear future where Pakistan is admitted into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Currently, for some reason, Pakistan is going for quantity and producing as many nuclear weapons as possible. According to certain reports, Pakistan may even be the third or fifth-largest in the world when it comes to the number of nuclear warheads by 2025. Pakistan should stop spending huge amounts of money on defense; a fifth of Pakistan’s annual budget goes into defense spending. Pakistan should develop and acquire capabilities enough to defend the country from an attack of all kinds, and perhaps even defeat the perpetrator. A careful strategic and defensive evaluation will lead Pakistan to understand exactly what it needs to achieve that. Pakistan should focus on achieving just that, and then pause until there is a new, much stronger development. Pakistan, should basically carry on the way it is, since so far, the country has done just fine developing a nuclear future for herself. At this point, Pakistan should not under any circumstance engage in talks with the United States or any other country for that matter on anything nuclear, because any possible deal will basically cripple Pakistan, and by the time realization hits, it will already be too late.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.