Pakistan has an unhealthy obsession with its nuclear weapons and India is here to cure it

Pakistan has a phenomenal obsession with nuclear weapons, the ‘atom bomb’. Elected representatives and other members of the military establishment have been seen brandishing the Pakistani nuclear arsenal over the past decades. Recently, bound by habit, Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor on Saturday described Kashmir as a “nuclear flashpoint”. Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood has also made similar provoking comments. On many Pakistani television shows pertaining to conflict with India, the nuclear weapons, the ‘atom bomb’, have a special standing and shall compulsorily be discussed. From news anchors to experts, they all have expressed the desire to give India a piece of that atom bomb. The Pakistani atom bomb has so many hopes weighing on it that it has become a household name and the assertion of Pakistan’s nuclear prowess has become the answer to nearly every Pakistani problem.

As Pakistan is left red faced after the UNSC decided not to censure India regarding legislative developments in two newly created union territories, Pakistan is fast running out of options to soothe out the internal anti-India uproar. Nonetheless, staying on course Pakistani establishment has against banked upon their long standing strategy of nuclear war blackmail to pressure the international community against India. Pakistan has been using nuclear blackmail to subvert international community and mainly India from acting against its unprovoked aggression in the region. Lack luster policies to address this nuclear war threats by Pakistan provided the necessary fuel for Pakistan to establish itself as a safe haven for terrorists.

To deal with this threat, India has also hinted at dropping the ‘No first use’ nuclear doctrine and has marked the severity of the situation created by Pakistan with its everyday nuclear war threats. The recents comments made by Defence minister of India, Rajnath Singh have essentially turned the tables around for Pakistan and has, in a way, called out the ‘nuclear’ bluff of the rogue nation. In a tweet, Rajnath Singh stated that while so far India has been committed to ‘No First Use’ in terms of nuclear weapons, depending on the circumstances this might change in future.

Nuclear weapons are theoretically meant to be the last resort for any country, a deterrent against major conflict and practically, those nukes are meant to be stored in secret facilities forever. However, pragmatism evades the nationalist Pakistani psyche. Unable to match India’s conventional war capability, the Pakistani establishment has always taken refuge behind ‘nuclear blackmail’ and subverted international actions against it for its terror exporting policy.

In 1987, during large scale mobilization of Indian security forces under then General K Sundarji for war game ‘Operation Brasstacks’ in the Rajasthan deserts, saw then Pakistani president Zia-ul-Haq mobilizing Pakistani army and Air force in response to India, it was only in January 1987 in an interview given by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, to journalist Kuldip Nayar had said “Nobody can undo Pakistan… We are here to stay. Be clear that we shall use the bomb if our existence is threatened.” The war exercise took place between November 1986 and March 1987.

In 1999, during the Kargil war, then US president Bill Clinton had also snubbed Nawaz Sharif who was on an official tour to gain support of the Unites States against India. Former US deputy secretary of State Strobe Talbott recounts the sequence of events in his book ‘Engaging India-Diplomacy, Democracy and the Bomb.’

“Clinton came as close as I had ever seen to blowing up in a Meeting with a foreign leader” and told Sharif: “If I were the Indian Prime Minister, I would never do that. I would be crazy to do it. It would be nuclear blackmail. If you proceed with this line, I will have no leverage with them. If I tell you what you think you want me to say, I will be stripped of all influence with the Indians”

Earlier, in the wake of Balakot airstrikes by Indian Air Force on terror establishments in Pakistan, exiled Pakistani dictator Musharraf had also warned the rogue nation of wielding the nuclear sword. Addressing a press conference in UAE, Musharraf had said: “Indian and Pakistan relations have again reached a dangerous level. They will be no nuclear attack. If we would attack India with one atomic bomb, then the neighboring country could finish us by attacking with 20 bombs. Then the only solution is that we should first attack them with 50 atom bombs so that they cannot hit us with 20 bombs. Are you ready to first launch an attack with 50 bombs.” That these critical issues are time and again discussed on TV news shows and press conferences explains a lot about the state of the collective Pakistani psyche, and the country’s disproportionate dependence on its nuclear bombs to further its geopolitical agenda.

As Pakistanis nuclear bluff gets called out by India, this major strategic shift in balance is poised to favor India and deter Pakistan from violent adventurism in India, which was earlier dealt with softly but the recent change in Indian paradigm is poised to be followed with firm reciprocal action by India. With options running out in its proxy war against India, the Pakistani administration seems to be upping the ante and has accelerated  anti-Hindu propaganda in Pakistan in a bid to not only churn up hate against India and Hindus but also to legitimize any military offensive or terror attacks planned for the future by the rogue state.

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