The paper essentially upgrades Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal both quantitatively (from 60 weapons last year to 70-90 now) and qualitatively — from a uranium-base to a plutonium base.
“The fact that they are preparing nuclear-capable cruise missiles suggests their scientists have been able to miniaturize nuclear warheads by using plutonium,” Kristensen told TOI0n 1-9-2009. “They are shifting their nuclear base from uranium to plutonium… in a sense, they are turning a chapter.” Plutonium-based warheads are lighter and easier to handle. India’s nuclear arsenal is largely plutonium-based.
Kristensen said Pakistan’s weapons and deliver-systems could be assumed to be India-specific because Islamabad “has not declared any other adversary”.
During 1979 Iraq launched a nuclear weapons programme of its own. Although Iraq has signed the Non-proliferation Treaty, the Iraqis were reported to have bought a swimming pool reactor from France which would have enabled them to produce weapons-grade plutonium. However on 12th April 1979 the equipment for that reactor while stored in a ware house in a southern French port awaiting shipment was mysteriously blown up presumably by Israeli Agents.
Like Iraq Pakistan attempt to get a nuclear reprocessing plant from France for chemical separation of plutonium from spent fuel has been temporarily halted and it has come to light that Pakistan had also been buying components for a uranium enrichment facility. It may be also looking for clandestine means to acquire fissile material by sale or theft, so that it could be readily fabricated by Pakistan scientists in some kind of a crude explosive device.
Pakistan’s Islamic Bomb will have the following repercussions:-
1. Israel would be deterred from carrying out a full scale invasion and occupation of Arab countries.
2. A Nuclear reprisal by Israel to concerted Arab offensive would also be deterred.
3. Oil rich Arab states armed with nuclear weapons would be able to withstand American and other external threats and pressures.
4. The possibility of sub-national organizations like the Palestine Liberation Organization [P.L.O.] getting access to Islamic nuclear devices might create enormous uncertainty in the minds of Israelis which of course, would be advantage to the overall Arab cause.
5. A Pakistan nuclear weapons would not only deter India from considering a conventional attack on Pakistan, but it might even deter India from taking any retaliatory conventional action against Pakistan’s offensive moves, for instance in “Kashmir”.
6. Nuclearisation of Islam would strengthen the Islamic solidarity of Muslim populations all over the world, whether they are in Soviet, Central Asia, and Sin kiang, in the Indian sub-continent or elsewhere.
Pakistan has for long been considered a potential nuclear weapon power, and policy wise, it has kept out of not only the Non-proliferation Treaty, but also the partial test ban Treaty. As was to be expected, Pakistan always created an image of having linked its nuclear policy with that of India. It was easy for Pakistan leadership to convince the western world that for them keeping the option open was a justifiable reaction to India’s nuclear policy. For the United States and its allies this Pakistan reaction became a convenient leverage to apply pressure on India. The advocates of the Non-proliferation Treaty felt that if India were restrained both India and Pakistan would remain non-nuclear military powers.
Pakistan-Arab countries ambition was to build a nuclear bomb for Islam. A number of intelligence agencies had known about this for years, but first time that the Indian public heard about this development was taken when former foreign Minister Vajpayee quietly revealed in the Lok Sabha in March 1979 that India has verified through independent sources of its own that the Pakistan nuclear programme had acquired “non-peaceful” dimensions.
However, Saudi Arabia and Libya have been the major financial supporters of Pakistan in this venture. Both countries have a common though nor necessarily a shared interest in nuclearising the Arab world.
The other major development which nurtured the idea of an Islamic bomb was the global proliferation of nuclear technology, materials and components. Most of the components for the fabrication of fissile material are now available in the open market. Pakistan thro its nuclear scientists abroad and its convert industrial connections and the Arab through their oil and money connections have considerable leverage in the European nuclear markets to get access to the required materials.War is not the solution for peace.