Tag Archives: Ban Ki-moon

Pakistan’s rush for more bombs – why?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Excerpts;

….. In the military’s mind, the Americans are now a threat, equal to or larger than India. They are also considered more of an adversary than even the TTP jihadists who have killed thousands of Pakistani troops and civilians. While the Salala incident was allowed to inflame public opinion, the gory video-taped executions of Pakistani soldiers by the TTP were played down. A further indication is that the LeT/JuD is back in favor (with a mammoth anti-US and anti-India rally scheduled in Karachi next month). Pakistani animosity rises as it sees America tightly embracing India, and standing in the way of a Pakistan-friendly government in Kabul. Once again “strategic defiance” is gaining ground, albeit not through the regional compact suggested by General Mirza Aslam Beg in the early 1990s.

This attitudinal shift has created two strong non-India reasons that favour ramping up bomb production.

First, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are seen to be threatened by America. This perception has been reinforced by the large amount of attention given to the issue in the US mainstream press, and by war-gaming exercises in US military institutes. Thus, redundancy is considered desirable — an American attempt to seize or destroy all warheads would have smaller chances of success if Pakistan had more.

But such an attack is improbable. It is difficult to imagine any circumstances — except possibly the most extreme — in which the US would risk going to war against another nuclear state. Even if Pakistan had just a handful of weapons, no outside power could accurately know the coordinates of the mobile units on which they are located. It is said that an extensive network of underground tunnels exists within which they can be freely moved. Additionally, overground ones are moved from place to place periodically in unmarked trucks. Mobile dummies and decoys can hugely compound difficulties. Moreover, even if a nuclear location was exactly known, it would surely be heavily guarded. This implies many casualties when intruding troops are engaged, thus making a secret bin-Laden type operation impossible.

The second – and perhaps more important — reason for the accelerated nuclear development is left unstated: nukes act as insurance against things going too far wrong. Like North Korea, Pakistan knows that, no matter what, international financial donors will feel compelled to keep pumping in funds. Else a collapsing system may be unable to prevent some of its hundred-plus Hiroshima-sized nukes from disappearing into the darkness.

This insurance could become increasingly important as Pakistan moves deeper into political isolation and economic difficulties mount. Even today, load-shedding and fuel shortages routinely shut down industries and transport for long stretches, imports far exceed exports, inflation is at the double-digit level, foreign direct investment is negligible because of concerns over physical security, tax collection remains minimal, and corruption remains unchecked. An African country like Somalia or Congo would have sunk under this weight long ago.

To conclude: throwing a spanner in the works at the CD (Geneva) may well be popular as an act of defiance. Indeed, many in Pakistan — like Hamid Gul and Imran Khan — derive delicious satisfaction from spiting the world in such ways. But this is not wise for a state that perpetually hovers at the edge of bankruptcy, and which derives most of its worker remittances and export earnings from the very countries it delights in mocking.

To read complete article »  The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/328922/pakistans-rush-for-more-bombs–why/

Appeal to Ban Ki-moon

I am a senior citizen and writer from Pakistan – an active member of United Nations and hereby appeal to your honour drawing your immediate personal attention towards an important matter meant to safeguard a vital part suffering from environmental & human disaster which is imminent in the shape of untimely sad demise of Indus delta – once the sixth largest in the world.

Unfortunately, our elected President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani in addition to previous army dictator and racist General (r) Musharraf and previous elected Prime Minister M. Nawaz Sharif all were obviously not interested to save the Indus delta from unnatural death. Nevertheless, the former Prime Minister Ms Benazir Bhutto had announced decision of her govt for proposed Port at Keti Bunder to save the delta but her government’s successor M. Nawaz not only abandoned the project but shifted the money of Project, for construction of the Motor Highway (Lahore-Rawalpindi) in his native province, Punjab.

The United Nations and all international Commissions on Human Rights are fully aware about the environmental and human disaster throughout the world and striving hard to safeguard affected areas. On the contrary, our rulers are bent upon to destroy the delta by neglecting its basic requirements of survival in order to retain their political gains in Punjab. Sorry to say they have, obviously, no concern to the unnatural sad demise of Indus delta and its extensive formidable affects on the people of Sindh.

No regular release of fresh water for several years despite at least 10MAF downstream Kotri guaranteed in “Water Accord – 1991” to save the delta, with pending survey to determine exact amount of water for release, were not allowed to implement even after 19 years the Accord was signed, resulting in mass migration of one million people from the delta, tremendous increase in poverty and unemployment, ruination of eco-system including flora and fauna, degradation of land, formidable sea intrusion resulting in inundating of 2.6 million acres of land, considerable reduction in export of sea food and much more.

After a long period of 15 years signing the Accord, the federal government conducted a study in 2005 through International Panel of Experts (IPEs) that recommended 25MAF for the released annually downstream Kotri whereas IUCN – an international reputed organisation, separately conducted survey which recommended 35MAF water release downstream Kotri but nothing implemented yet.

The Sindh Government in its official briefing to the visiting Senate Committee on Water headed by Senator Lashkari Raisani a few months ago said: “If the situation remained unchanged, centuries-old historical city of Thatta and Badin in Sindh would disappear within next 20 years whereas sea intrusion is inundating 80 acres of land per day.”

Nevertheless, Punjab still wants to build controversial Kalabagh dam despite three out of four provincial assemblies have already passed about 10 resolutions against its construction. The dam is bound to turn Sindh into desert despite the fact about 1500 dams have been decommissioned through out world, to protect the environment. As per new definition of the Indus delta, 80 per cent of present of Sindh covered as delta area, therefore, the ruination of the delta would also ruin the whole Sindh.

It is requested to your honour and also all Commissions on Human Rights to immediately intervene and concentrate their efforts to save Indus delta from man-made environmental & human disaster for which our present and future generations would not forgive us for centuries to come.

Mohammad Khan Sial,

Karachi, Sindh

Courtesy:>> Statesmam , 21-08-2010

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More on Kalabagh dam >> BBC urdu