Gary Locke’s Missed Opportunity

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to India earlier this month for a six-day tour focused on enhancing bilateral high-tech trade and cooperation. The first U.S. Cabinet officer to come to India since President Obama’s state visit last November, he brought with him representatives from 24 U.S. companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Westinghouse.  The trip resulted in an agreement on closer collaboration in the area of energy technology as well as an announcement about the further easing of U.S. export controls on India. As one senior U.S. official accompanying Locke stated: “We have agreed to an unprecedented level of technology transfers to India and we can go even further.” Judged by the usual standards of such trade missions, the visit was not unproductive. Yet by the time Locke’s sojourn ended, one had the feeling that he nonetheless missed a good opportunity to significantly advance the bilateral economic agenda.


Just how large a miss this was became clear a few days later, when Indian and Japanese Cabinet officials gathered in Tokyo to sign a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). This accord provides a stark counterpoise to Locke’s visit, exemplifying the imaginative initiatives that should have been on his brief. The Indian-Japanese pact not only eases the movement of goods but also the flow of services, capital and labor.  It promises to increase the value of bilateral trade 150 percent over the next few years and has been received with great enthusiasm by the Indian business community. Indeed, the agreement is an apt economic expression of the growing partnership that the two countries are forging in the geopolitical realm.

Indian trade diplomacy is on a tear. Just days after the deal with Tokyo, New Delhi signed a similar arrangement with Kuala Lumpur, which will further deepen India’s involvement in Southeast Asia’s dynamic economy. And Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has raised expectations that trade negotiations with the 27-nation European Union will soon be concluded.  India has also concluded free trade accords with South Korea, Thailand and the ten-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in recent years, and has launched bilateral trade negotiations with China and Canada.

Suggestions have been floated about crafting a U.S.-India free trade agreement (FTA), an idea that would certainly result in significant economic gains for both countries. Despite dramatic increases over the past decade, the bilateral economic relationship is far from achieving critical mass and will require purposeful nurturing to reach its full potential.  Trade and investments flows between the two countries remain a small fraction of the U.S.-China level, and China recently eclipsed the United States as India’s top trading partner. Indeed, it is a telling indicator that President Obama’s visit to India netted trade deals worth some $10 billion, while Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s trip just a month later resulted in $16 billion in business deals – this despite the increased diplomatic tensions that color India-China relations. Moreover, the two countries used the Wen visit to announce an ambitious effort to nearly double their trade in the next five years to $100 billion annually. For all of the spectacular improvement in U.S-India ties, India is still only the 14th largest trading partner for the United States and India remains a comparatively minor destination for U.S. investment flows.

So a far-reaching multi-dimensional U.S.-India FTA deserves an important spot on the bilateral agenda, though one must also admit the difficulties in forging one. Given that Washington and New Delhi are at loggerheads in the Doha Round negotiations, as well as the unpromising political climate in the United States regarding trade policy, the prospects for a broad-based bilateral FTA are not strong in the foreseeable future.  Moreover, the agricultural access issues that will need to be included are highly problematic for both sides. Consider, for example, that India’s negotiations with the European Union have lasted nearly four years and since the EU is not a large exporter of farm products, agricultural issues have not been the major obstacle in the EU-India FTA talks that they would be in an U.S.-India negotiation. At best, Washington and New Delhi should announce a commitment to signing such an accord by 2015, even if it is one whose provisions take effect over an extended period. An excellent opportunity to make such an announcement is in early April, when the next round of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue convenes in New Delhi.

But even as Washington and New Delhi hash out the terms of a broad-based FTA, trade officials should focus the bulk of their energies on an accord that promises a large payoff in the immediate term. A sweeping initiative aimed at capitalizing on mutual synergies in the area of high-technology trade would do just that.

The high-tech sector plays a critical – and largely complementary – role in the economies of both nations, and the United States has been a prominent factor in the spectacular development of the Indian IT sector. Yet overall bilateral trade in advanced technology products is surprisingly low and important synergies remain untapped. And unlike a more comprehensive FTA – entailing prolonged negotiations, unwieldy bargaining tradeoffs and protracted coalition-building at home – an arrangement with a limited but sharp focus on the innovation economy could likely be formulated relatively quickly, and its self-evident “win-win” features would override bureaucratic timidity and domestic opposition.

A model for such an initiative exists in the 1997 Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which eliminated tariffs on a range of capital goods, intermediate inputs and final products in the information and communications technology sector. The agreement was negotiated by 29 original countries (then representing about 80 percent of the global IT trade). Although conducted under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, the agreement was formulated quickly outside of its normal (and cumbersome) negotiating process. The final agreement was quickly joined by other countries (including India) and currently has over 70 participants (collectively representing 97 percent of the global IT trade). The ITA is credited with spurring world trade in IT products, currently estimated at $4 trillion annually, and remains the only industry-specific comprehensive free trade agreement ever signed.

While the ITA is still in effect, its value has been significantly diluted by a series of technological developments in the period since its creation. Specifically, disputes have arisen among the signatories over how to apply the agreement to hundreds of new IT products that were not foreseen a decade ago and on addressing the issue of non-tariff barriers. Moreover, multi-party negotiations to update the ITA have been stalled for years.

In light of these problems, the United States and India should launch a bilateral effort to further liberalize trade and deepen engagement in the IT field or, even more one that covers the entire range of advanced technology products and services.  This agreement could then be opened to the participation of other like-minded countries.  Given the vital role of the high-tech sector in the American and Indian economies, not to mention the broader world economy, such an initiative would pay robust commercial dividends.  Additionally, with Washington and New Delhi at odds in the Doha Round talks, this initiative would have great political value, further solidifying the U.S.-India partnership and providing an important example of joint leadership in the global economy between developed and emerging nations.  Finally, it would be a good down payment on the Obama administration’s pledge to double U.S. exports over the next five years, as well as India’s effort to double its own trade levels.

An effort focused on crafting a bilateral free trade mechanism relevant to the advanced technology sectors would instill a level of momentum in bilateral ties that has been noticeably missing since George W. Bush left the White House. The Obama state visit succeeded in righting a relationship that had been adrift for the better part of two years.  But with the civilian nuclear accord now a done deal, officials in both governments are still searching for a bold, creative initiative capable of driving relations forward.  An exchange that occurred at the start of the Obama administration is instructive. In January 2009, Richard Boucher, then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, suggested to Shivshankar Menon, then India’s Foreign Secretary and now Prime Minister Singh’s National Security Advisor, that both capitals needed to find “the next big idea” to animate bilateral affairs. Menon concurred, noting that in the absence of something that captures the imagination “Indians were beginning to view the relationship with the U.S. as only about political-military and nuclear issues.”

Focusing on the high-tech agenda would be a very good way to stir imaginations in both countries. It would underscore the critical role that economic engagement has played in launching the new era in U.S.-India affairs.  Indeed, increased private-sector ties will be one key in securing the growth of broad-based, resilient relations over the long term, since they work to limit the risk that momentary political and diplomatic frictions could escalate and disrupt the overall bilateral partnership.

Dangerous Conspiracy behind Pak’s Indeterminate Nukes

By Bhaskar Roy

Indian Review of Global Affairs

Recently, leaked reports from U.S. government sources said Pakistan’s deployed nuclear warheads may have crossed 100, surpassing India’s estimated 60 -70 warheads, with Pakistan emerging as the 5th nuclear weapon power in the world.

paknukesThe Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), has claimed that the latest satellite imagery obtained by it shows that the fourth reactor at Khushab, Pakistan, is at an early stage of construction, and is nearly the same shape and size as the second and third reactors.

The Khushab complex planned to have four reactors.  The first was a heavy water reactor built in the 1990s and known as the Khushab Nuclear Complex-I or KNC-I.  The KNC-II, a plutonium producing reactor became operational in 1996.  It is estimated to produce 22 Kgs of plutonium per year.  The KNC-III, another plutonium reactor is scheduled to become operational this year, 2011.  The KNC-IV is now on the way, and construction work is going on well.  An expert on nuclear weapons proliferation was quoted recently as saying that the KNC-IV reiterates the point that Pakistan was determined to produce a lot of plutonium to make nuclear weapons far exceeding its need.

In addition, Pakistan has a reprocessing facility at the Pakistan Institute of Science and Technology (PINSTECH), and reports suggest other such facilities exist elsewhere in the country.

The Khushab complex also has a tritium production facility, an element that boosts the yield of a nuclear weapon.  Pakistan’s original fissile material facility remains at Kahuta.  This is a gas centrifuge, producing highly enriched uranium (HEU), estimated to produce 100 Kgs of fissile material a year.  Several other uranium enrichment facilities reportedly exist, including one at Golra Sharif, 15 Kms from Islamabad.

Kahuta was the traditional center of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.  Such centers have reportedly spread, to ensure that targeting one does not cripple Pakistan’s capabilities.

Pakistan has two types of delivery vehicles – the F-16 aircraft earlier provided by the US, and a variety of surface-to-surface missiles acquired from China and North Korea initially, and later developed in Pakistan using these designs and components.

The first nuclear weapon capable missile, the M-II with a range of 290 Kms, was acquired from China in 1991-92.  This was followed by the Nadong acquired from North Korea.  The main missiles ready are the Hatf-III (Gaznavi) with a range of 300-400 Kms; the solid fuel-IV (Shaheen), with a range over 450 Kms; and the liquid fuel Hatf-V  (Ghauri) with an approximate range of 1,300 Kms.  The solid fuel Hatf-VI (Shaheen-2), with a range of 2,000 Kms may have already been deployed or soon to be deployed.  The ground based cruise missile (Babur), and the air launched Ra’ad, with ranges around  320 Kms are under development. (see Congressional Research  Service Report, of January 13, 2011).

The above gives a glimpse of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and delivery system.  From the available information, Pakistan’s declaration of maintaining a minimum credible deterrence against India becomes questionable.  How much is still not minimum with more than 100 deployed warheads and ballistic missiles with upto a range of 2000 Kms covering most of India?  Pakistan’s current weapons stockpile is more than is required for its stated deterrence, and a doctrine which includes “first use”, as against India’s 60 to 70 warheads and declared doctrine of ‘no first use”.  Its nuclear weapons build up activities and development of long range ballistic missiles and airborne cruise missiles, suggests an ambition much beyond India.  So, what is Pakistan’s ambition that its burgeoning nuclear arsenal is going to serve?

It is well known that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons achievement is not indigenous.  It had, on the one hand, active foreign assistance which is still continuing.  It also acquired technology and know-how through its own efforts and that of a friendly country.  On the other hand, the United States and several western countries winked and looked away while blatant proliferation was indulged in by Pakistan, China and North Korea.  That is how Pakistan has emerged as the 5th largest nuclear weapons state in the world, and its activities suggest that it may surpass the U.K. and France in another decade.  Operationalization of KNC-III and KNC-IV will ensure that.

The West or NATO led by the U.S. failed to recognize those activities because of narrow geopolitical objectives.  During the cold war, the US-Pakistan-China axis evolved to counter the Soviet Union, and India was perceived as a Soviet ally.  Post cold war, the deep antipathy towards India remained for quite some time in Washington.  One cannot say with full confidence that the whole of Washington has moved away from the Pakistan appeasing line because of its current engagement in the region.

In parallel, in spite of several run-ins with China last year, the U.S. may not be keen to further antagonise China because of huge economic interests.  Militarily, the US, especially the Pentagon, is looking at Beijing more in bilateral terms (which includes the Asia Pacific region).

The history of China-Pakistan nuclear and missile cooperation is well known and needs no repetition.  The Pakistan establishment, especially the military is elated with China’s power and assistance.  It believes that it now stands toe-to-toe with India.

China created nuclear Pakistan to counter India, but the Pakistanis are unable to understand that China has used Pakistan all along.  Neither Islamabad nor the GHQ in Rawalpindi have ever stopped to objectively assess how little economic assistance they have received from China over the years.  Today China, with $2.8 trillion foreign exchange reserve, is not doing anything for Pakistan to extricate it from its economic hole.  When Pakistan suffered its worst ever floods, China did pathetically little, given its economic power.  Its investment in Pakistan is basically in the mining area which is to its own interest and in infrastructure like the Gwadar port which will serve China’s interest.  The trade imbalance between the two tells the story.  Pakistan’s economy is kept  afloat  by the U.S. and  the west.  Pakistan hardly realises that China is driving it to become a military nation, a fact which is beginning to worry most countries.  The Pakistani people will ignore this at their own peril.

Although China is a signatory to all non-proliferation regimes, it has been contravening them with impunity.  With its new found economic and military power it believes that it can do very much what it likes.
It is no secret that Pakistan continues to receive active assistance from China for its plutonium route.  It has also received technology to reduce the size of its nuclear warheads, and plutonium is, therefore, important.  The China-Pak alliance mainly targets India.  In the last two years or so China has made several assertive and aggressive moves against India.  Beijing is being extremely irresponsible, because Pakistan ultimately may not follow exactly the script written by China.  That is the emerging threat to the entire international community.
How secure is Pakistan’s nuclear asset?   The US, at the very highest level, have periodically certified that those are secure.  True, after the revelations of the A.Q. Khan Proliferation network, steps were taken to establish multi-layer security.  But the Americans agree that vulnerabilities exist, as stated by former Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Maples in March, 2009.

How secure is secure in a volatile state like Pakistan with rising radical Islamism, with several factions fighting against the state?  The former IAEA Director General Mohammad EL Baradei had also expressed the fear that a radical regime could take over power in Pakistan, thereby acquiring control of the nuclear weapons.
It  must not be forgotten that A.Q. Khan and at least two of his nuclear scientist colleagues were in touch with Ossama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda group between 1988 and 2001/2.  Intelligence reports say the Khan-Ossama meeting was facilitated by the ISI in a safe-house of the organization, and Khan was also flown to Afghanistan in an ISI helicopter.  Recent reports suggest that the Al Qaeda has been seeking fissile material and technology.

One can never be too sure that more A.Q. Khans are not sleeping inside Pakistan’s nuclear establishment.  Even the real brain behind Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, the low profile Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, had close friends among Islamists.  One cannot help but ask the question why Pakistan refused steadfastly to given access to the USA and the IAEA to question Khan.  Could Khan reveal names of his kind still inside the nuclear establishment and the involvement of the army in   the net-work?

The international community must ponder on the recent developments in Pakistan.  Take the case of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.  He was killed by his own body guard because of his anti-Islamist and secular disposition.  Most  lawyers and the public declined to protest against Taseer’s killer, save a few in the media who are waging a lonely battle against the Islamists.

Fearless, liberal member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Sherry Rehman, had to withdraw her bill on Blasphemy Amendment law under pressure from the party and Prime Minister Yusaf Raja Gilani.  The government succumbed to the threat from the Islamists.  The banned terrorist organization, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) can gather  20,000 people on the streets with a click of their fingers.  The LET remains banned in Pakistan in name only.

In all this, the Pakistan army remained silent.  It is well known that the government cannot move one inch in issues related to security and foreign policy without the army’s clearance.  So, what was the army’s role in the government giving way to the Islamists?  It may be recalled that radical Islamism was brought to the fore by the Pakistani army, especially Gen. and President Zia-ul-Haq.  The Islamist groups remain assets of the army in Afghanistan and in the operations against India.

The silence of the international community over Pakistan’s rapid accumulation of nuclear weapons, and China’s assistance, is confounding.  The obvious answer is Pakistan’s importance in combating extremists and militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though it is evident whatever Pakistan has done in fighting terrorism has been done under pressure.

Imagine a man like Zia-ul-Haq, becoming the Chief of the army and, in a coup, takes over the government. With such a huge nuclear arsenal which is still growing, Pakistan will not remain India-centric.  It will move against the Christian west with the U.S. as the central target. 9/11 may look like a school play compared to what they can do.  This may be an extreme scenario.  More likely is the possibility of fissile material with dirty bomb technology falling in the hands of the jehadis across the region. Jehadis have among them highly educated technology savvy members.

The U.S. and the west remain short sighted and narrowly focussed, refusing to acknowledge and address a growing threat of dimensions never seen before.  The U.S. must accept that the billions of dollars it is pumping into Pakistan for development is not feeding the hungry but fattening the war machine of Pakistan.

(The article originally appeared at USINPAC and IRGA are content partners.)

K Subramanyam and the Indo-US Relationship

K Subramanyam

On 2 Feb, K Subramanyam, often referred to as the Bhishma Pitamaha of the Indian Strategic community passed away. During his years of published writing, Subbu’s views and analyses swung from a consistent but measured anti-American stance to one favoring a joint US-India approach on most world strategic issues. This extraordinary u-turn was another measure of the greatness of the man – that in a changed world he was capable of changing his views and his conclusions on Grand Strategy. Many thinkers his age plodded on in their furrows, too inflexible or too frightened to change their outlook and their explanations on how the world conducted its affairs.

In the 1970s, much of what the U.S. did to apparently win the Cold War hurt India, and of course Subbu deeply. A great deal had to do with arming Pakistan, but Subbu was alone, raising a voice in panic alarm in the eighties as he saw Islamabad moving towards a bomb capability , unheeded by his own colleagues. He saw the U.S. as complicit as much as he saw the consequences of Pakistani state irresponsibility, once they had the bomb under their belt. His computer-like mind was never at a loss for precedents, incidents and promises that the U.S. had made, often going back a quarter century, to prove Washington’s unbroken anti-India stance. This cold blooded accuracy won him respect among his American critics because they saw they confronted facts and not sentiment.

All his disapproval changed in a few short years after the end of the Cold War and when the India-US relationship re-began, after both sides acknowledged how bad it had been. When Bush went out of his way to remove India’s technological isolation with the nuclear deal, Subbu saw that it signaled a seminal change in India’s status – a lift for India to help it on its way to a possible great power status. It wasn’t that Subbu had no sentiment; he did- even on behalf of his ungrateful countrymen who thought that lack of gratitude signaled high statesmanship.

Subbu soon pieced the new jig-saw puzzle together. There were many pieces to fit in. One was the Manmohan Singh reforms that jetted India into the 9% growth league and the possibility of greatness. A second was the huge, rich and successful Indian Diaspora who, by denying themselves luxuries, had clawed their way to becoming the richest ethnic community in the US, almost all of them as technological professionals. A third was Cancun, where Subbu saw the outlines of the next technological revolution which the world was demanding – to simultaneously live well, and yet not pollute the Earth. The fourth and final one was that which brought all these pieces smoothly together – The removal of the technological isolation would enable the brilliant Indians in the U.S. to be part of the next alternate energy revolution. The great final pieces of innovation would take place in the US, with India as the research supporting base. The resultant prosperity would halt the U.S. economic decline, and propel India forwards, even possibly past China, with the two democracies joined together in mutual success. What, Subbu would ask, was the alternative to the Democracies deciding how the world should be run?

When Subbu made his pronouncements, after careful analysis, the audience always presumed that it would, and must be brilliant. Few realized, what intellectual honesty was required for a man in his late seventies to make the U-turn that he did. But the ideas that Subbu came up with were worth the courage and clear headedness that he put into his U-turn, tyres smoking. As the world is challenged by the possibility of a rising but autocratic power, calling itself a Republic, it is well that the democracies and the real Republics, independently analyze their way into mutuality.

Notes on the Great Indian Exodus

The Indian-American Diaspora in the United States has historically evoked mixed feelings in India, running the gamut from envy, to resentment to admiration.  Now, apparently, it is the Diaspora that feels a mixture of envy resentment and admiration every time they come home to a rapidly changing India.  Even as one ponders over this improbable turn of the dice, news items such as this about the rising tide of illegal migration from India into the United States make one wonder whether moffusil India is yet to get the memo…that the green pastures of the West are gradually turning brown. Or, are people willing to sell all their worldly belongings and put life and limb at risk in their efforts to get out because the green pastures back home are still so illusory, and seemingly ephemeral?

Reading these news reports, it’s almost as if people from different states have devised different routes to migration. The above report mentions that most of the migrants are Sikhs, who, once caught, ask for political asylum citing religious persecution back in India. Of course, the very nature of illegal immigration is such that there is no way to verify these claims and they might well be from any country in the South Asian region. This would also explain why India was cited as one of eight countries that had refused to take back illegal immigrants in a Congressional Bill that sought to sanction such countries. Statistics from the DoJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review show that, from 2006 to 2009,on an average, a thousand Indians have applied for asylum every year. Whilst 450 were granted asylum in 2006,the authorities seemed to have wised up since then, with the number of approvals seeing a precipitous decline.

The other case that hit the headlines was that of the Tri-valley University scam. From all accounts, there were students who enrolled in good faith as well as those who were willingly party to the scam. With 20,000 H1-B visas reserved for those who have a masters or a higher degree from American institutions, one may well see an increase in scams such as this.

For the Indian government, handling student issues is a headache, especially since the missions are under staffed and barely able to cope with normal consular duties. This is even as the media turns the continuing saga into a pot boiler. There is the cruel step-mother in the form of the U.S. government, the over-protective father personified in the Indian government, and then there are the hapless students and their guardians, shouting from the rooftops about their mistreatment by the stepmother and abandonment by the father despite protestations to the contrary.  Even though the media frenzy has resulted in some positive developments, this promises to be a long drawn out affair as the various cases wind their way through the judicial process. One wonders if there is any coordination between the nodal Ministries of External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs, and Human Resource Development. In the case of the students returning from Australia after the student related troubles there last year, the Human Resource Development Ministry has now been tasked with recovering the balance of the fees due to the students who have cut short their education in Australia after the change in the Australian government policies.

It goes without saying that the great Indian exodus continues largely because of the abysmal failure of successive governments to provide adequate education and generate employment opportunities to the youth. Since that state of affairs is unlikely to change any time soon, the only advice one can give the government is to create posts in its missions abroad specifically to deal with Indian student affairs!

Endpiece: All this is even as there is by all accounts, a reverse migration of professionals taking place from the United States to India, with some predicting as many as 100,000 returning over the next ten years.  Whilst this can’t be confirmed independently,t he U.S. Census Bureau does show a decline in both permanent residency and citizenship figures from India.


Pakistan’s Unsafe Nuclear Warheads

Increasing urban terrorism and uncontrollable radical extremism in the tribal areas in NWFP-Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA in Pakistan’s north-west have led to internal instability in Pakistan. The ongoing crisis can be attributed to the resurgence of fundamentalist forces and the Army’s inability to fight them effectively. Consequently, the world faces the spectre of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorist organisations. The assassination of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, by a specially selected bodyguard has led to speculation that perhaps the loyalty of some security guards of Pakistan’s nuclear warheads could also be subverted by Jihadi elements.

The possession of nuclear weapons by Islamist fundamentalist terrorists will pose a grave danger to international security. The Al Qaeda has declared war on the United States (US) and it allies, and Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri are known to have made attempts to buy nuclear warheads. Among Pakistan’s neighbouring countries, India will be particularly vulnerable if hard-line LeT or JeM terrorists and their Al Qaeda and Taliban brothers ever lay their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear warheads. India is one of the nations that the Al Qaeda has named as an enemy. Being a contiguous land neighbour, it is also easier to target, even if sophisticated delivery systems like ballistic missiles are not available.

There is a possibility that an Islamist fundamentalist regime might overthrow the civilian government with support from a radicalised faction of the army. In such an eventuality, the U.S. and its allies may justifiably form another ‘coalition of the willing’ to bomb the nuclear warhead storage sites in Pakistan from the air. The coalition forces could employ cruise missiles and fighter-bombers from stand-off ranges to physically destroy the warheads with deep penetration bombs. A non-kinetic option that employs high-energy microwaves to “fry” the electronic circuitry of the nuclear warheads may also be considered.

The clear and present danger, however, and one that continues to be underestimated, is from nuclear terrorism. Terrorist organisations may assemble radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) – ‘dirty bombs’ in which high explosives (RDX or TNT) are used to blow up and scatter uranium or other radioactive materials over a densely populated area, or to pollute a major water source. Crude RDDs do not require a very high degree of technological sophistication and can be assembled quite easily.

Contingency plans must be debated, analysed, approved, rehearsed and readied for execution to meet unforeseen eventualities. Maximum cooperation must be extended by the nuclear weapons states (NWS) to Pakistan by way of technology, intelligence and training to help Pakistan to secure its own nuclear warheads. While the world waits with bated breath for the crisis in Pakistan to blow over, the government of Pakistan would do well to ensure that all possible measures are adopted to further enhance the safety and security of the country’s nuclear warheads and delivery means.

(The writer is Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi.)