International Affairs Opinion

West irks; What Pakistan can face

A strong wave of excitement was noticed among the Pakistanis after the life-enhancing news of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s acquittal erupted. Pakistanis in and out of the Pakistan were so enthusiastic about their hero and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program; they became so irrational and imprudent while commenting on his release. I do not dare to disagree with the people and their opinions in this regard; because after all odds and accusations he has played a key role in Pakistan Nuclear program and ultimately in acquiring Pakistan a status of Nuclear State. This is not these people but media that has eulogized him as National Hero and people started revering him so.

Demand of IAEA’s access to Dr. ASbdul Qadeer Khan:
However the apprehensions started hovering over; proved to be true; with the immediate reaction came after the court decided to release him from five years House arrest- it was from Britain [reference to the statement of a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office] who demanded Pakistani Government that International Atomic Energy Agency’s should be given access to him in order to seek information about nuclear proliferation activities, in particular the smuggling of nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea.

His release irked west and Britain, America and France took it as a matter of serious concern. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday voiced concern about his release who operated an alleged nuclear proliferation network.

“I am very much concerned and will have more to say about that,”

She was visiting Philippine President Gloria Arroyo.

State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan remained a “serious proliferation risk”. He said the United States was still trying to confirm Dr Khan’s official status.

French Foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said :

“We are obviously a little concerned by this decision,We hope that the proliferation activities of Mr Khan and his network in the past are absolutely over, We know what role Mr Khan and his network played in the spread worldwide of nuclear technology for military use. We hope that this release will not lead to the pursuit of these activities which are illegal, dangerous and very worrying for international security.”

Last month The U.S. State Department said it had imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and three private companies because of their involvement in Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s network. Reuters has quoted the names of The sanctioned individuals and companies listed by the State Department as:

Selim Alguadis, Kursad Zafer Cire, Muhammad Nasim ud Din, EKA Elektronik Kontrol Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., ETI Elektroteknik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Tradefin Engineering, Muhammad Farooq, Daniel Geiges, Paul Griffin, Peter Griffin, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Shamsul Bahrin bin Rukiban, Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, Gotthard Lerch, Gerhard Wisser and Shah Hakim Shahnazim Zain.

Despite the fact Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani has ruled out the idea of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s network recent activity in Nuclear proliferation; he said

the network of Khan had been demolished, and there was no need of any further information in the matter

American concerns observed when The State Department said it did not believe the network was currently operating but that countries must remain vigilant that it or similar entities did not become a a future source for sensitive nuclear information or equipment.

Questions about Pakistan’s nuclear Program:
Whole world has been criticizing the Pakistan’s nuclear program and the fear remains with the world that al-Qaeda or other jihadis will somehow gain control of one of the weapons, some of the highly enriched uranium that forms the core of a bomb or the technology to make a bomb. It is not that easy to take control of highly sensitive atomic arsenals in a country where all fingers are pointed towards it. Pakistan has been facing mounting concerns over the issue of security of Nuclear program and Pakistani governments kept on saying that Pakistan is capable enough to thwart all types of threats from inside or outside.

However while Pakistan is tagged as politically unstable, safe heavens for terrorists coupled with increased insurgency by the notorious terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in its tribal areas and freeing of Nuclear Scientist who have admitted his involvement in the Nuclear smuggling to other countries, suicide bombers destructing the peace in country, when seepage of extremist elements can not be stopped from a vulnerable neighbor Afghanistan; leaves an impression to the world that Pakistan is unable to protect its Nuclear assets.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s release will aggravate the concerns regarding the Nuclear proliferation in world. Defence analysts in Pakistan have been saying that United States wants to disarm Pakistan from its Nuclear weaponry thus started assisting India. The recent treaty between US and India will leave India exporting Nuclear technology to other countries for civil purposes and many Nuclear Suppliers Group [NSG] members will approve nuclear trade with India, further legitimize nuclear weapons.

Questions on integrity of Pakistan:
Another apprehension hat calls for preponderances is its ally status would be questioned with Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s release. I deem it not wise to agree with the San Fransisco’s Chronicle that says:

Pakistan’s reputation needs shoring up. Its fitful efforts to eradicate Taliban strongholds have led the American military to send missile-equipped drone planes to do the job. The Mumbai attacks in November that killed 179 people were launched from Pakistan and have left relations with India at the brink of war. The assassination of presidential contender Benazir Bhutto last year was an additional low point.

Washington must take stock of its erratic and undependable ally. During his campaign, President Obama said he wouldn’t hesitate to attack terrorists on Pakistan’s soil, and in his first week in office, he followed through by permitting a drone attack on terrorist camps despite Pakistani protests. Even “smart power” and gentle diplomacy have their limits.

Pakistan has been close ally in war on terror after 9/11 and sacrificed in the name of war alot. Serious resurgence has started in its tribal areas and US Drones are attacking even in Pakistani territory. Pakistan’s position against terrorism and extremism of any kind is unflinching despite heavy cost it is paying today in terms of loss of precious civilian military lives and setback to the economy. That has resulted in antagonistic and hostile feeling within messes that government is involved in killing its own people. Special envoys to Pakistan from US has been asking for “Do more”. And the military aids and assistance have been associated with the Do More policy. A democratic government is answerable but still has its limits thus Dr. Qadeer’s release would be a great question mark on the Pakistan’s role as a faithful ally in war on terror.

In scenario where he has been allegedly involve in Nuclear proliferation; even he admitted in front of world on National TV [regardless of the fact he later said he was pressurized and forced to say that by Musharraf regime] his movement is not easy as free citizen therefore Foreign Office spokesman said that the Government will provide all requisite security to Dr. A.Q. Khan. Pakistani government would hardly be able to bear any incident; for me his House arrest was for his security.

Pakistan is committed to Non-Proliferation:
Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state has reiterated its commitment to the objective of non-proliferation. The foreign office spokesman said:

Pakistan has dismantled the nuclear black market network and no individual associated with it enjoys any official status nor has access to any strategic facility. “We have investigated the matter and shared relevant findings with the IAEA, which has appreciated our cooperation”

This bears a clear message to international community that his acquittal has no serious connections in nuclear proliferation anymore.

Internal Pressures:
Furthermore Senate Election are going to be held on March 4, 2009. It is foreseen that the long March announced by the Lawyers as a part of their movement for the restoration of judiciary can forge serious influence upon the results of upcoming Senate elections. While Pakistan Muslim League-N, a coalition party with PPP government has decided to mobilize its workers for the support of lawyers’ long march. PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is also expected to address some of the gatherings. Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan has said:

“Around 50,000 members of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf will take part in the long march and stay with lawyers to stage a sit-in on the Constitution Avenue till the restoration of all deposed judges, including Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,”

The support for the lawyers movement within messes is increased with the few of failed policies of Government of not controlling inflation, corruption, terrorism in tribal areas last but not the least its promise of removing 17th amendment. Government has strenuous pressures from lawyers, a center province floundering and its coalition parties. In such circumstances governments takes decisions that help them to regain popularity among public.

Thus t was ripe time for the government of Pakistan to release Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan to win support and divert the attention of masses towards Dr. Abdul Qadeer. According to the sources the of Pakistan had reached a secret deal after which Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared nuclear scientist a free citizen of Pakistan. Ahmed Mukhtar has said that International community should not have concern over his release because his release was a result of deal and he would not be addressing issues like Nuclear proliferation.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer’s release has serious threats within Pakistan and outside. However As a responsible nuclear State, Pakistan took all necessary measures to promote the goals of non-proliferation, Pakistan has also extended its fullest cooperation to the international community in this regard. However it is weighed that access to Dr. Qadeer for interrogation by IAEA would be rising demand in coming days.

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times


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  • This is a critically balanced and intelligent article about Pakistan. Excellent job. My hope is that the whole world reads it. Western countries need to quickly come to grips with this one reality: They must stop making Pakistan their scapegoat.

  • Pakistan also needs to be diplomatically more effective for its stand of releasing Dr. Qadeer..

    Besides i agree with you for thwarting West for making Pakistan their scapegoat

  • President agha Hassan Syed inperson signed in for above mentioned Article. here I would say that please change this concept of using word WEST,regarding the issue of Dr kadeer.
    Because word WEST covers the entire west starts from bulgaria the eropean union frontiers and that west goes upto Usa,so point is this that only Usa ans uk can be blamed for all the Qadir mess,but not the france and Germany and other european union countries,so when ever you want to say the pains of USa and UK then be precise about that and use other word but not WEST.
    This I have mentioned for all the media elements and also for the literate community.
    So Long sweetie editor Rubab saleem and
    my best appreciations for your work.
    Keep my letters of appreciation preserved in your
    personal record for future recommendations.
    President Agha Hassan Syed

  • I don’t know whether i am the right person to comment…but still the question raised by the US State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid as Khan to be a ‘Proliferation Risk’ is serious matter of concern.Whatever the interim government says like ‘dismantling’ of the networks of Khan or the statement by the foreign ministry of Pakistan that they have investigated Khan’s past proliferation, shared its finding with the UN nuclear watchdogs and prevention of similar incident to happen again is a big question to rest of the world. However if we can hardly rely on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement that international concern about the freedom of Khan “would be taken care of”. However this assurances will be proved to the world with the passage and time.Till then we should watch the game….and pray for Pakistan!

  • Daily Times wrote in its editorial here\story_8-2-2009_pg3_1
    The “freedom” of Dr Khan could be a political device. Everyone in Pakistan says he is a “national hero” because he is the man who nuclear-tipped the intense India-driven nationalism in Pakistan and gave the Pakistani nation the feeling of being equal to India. The opposition parties have been calling for his elevation to the post of the president, competing with a far less favourable comment made by the late chairperson of the PPP, Ms Benazir Bhutto. One can say that today two deposed personalities, Dr Khan and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ride the crest of public acclaim; and the government may have “freed” Dr Khan to reduce the pressure Justice Chaudhry may bring on it with his Long March.

  • Hello Madame editor journal n presse pakistan,
    Not my onnglais bien good,but Agha said to
    ecric kommentaire,
    Me no politique persone but Iknow Agha say right.
    France no probleme avec pakistan,
    probleme pakistan with etats uni America for nuclaire doctor.
    merci beacoup(Thank you very very much)
    bn journee (have a good day)
    Abwar (bye bye)
    Gina Agha Hassan Fontany Frnce Paris

  • Oh my God,
    you here?very indifferent!!!!I dont believe you write english.
    I love your english.
    You Know you completed your coment in one line hehehehe
    best way to avoid the subject,but I am happy you respected pakistani female journalist Madam Rubabs efforts.
    ok see yeu later let me coment some thing.
    This is difficult issue beyond our reach,So I can say pakistani nation should respect their hereos.
    Pakistan will rise the very day they realise to whom they have to respect and to whom they have to reject.
    todate all are on boom their who are supposedto be ousted.
    very very sorryful situation.
    Ok.This came in my mind hopefully its near to the subject above.
    Lets see if editor posts this means ok!!!!!other wise GOKAY hehehe
    Sarrah Rahmani from LA

  • Update: The government is considering filing of an appeal against the verdict of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) declaring detained nuclear scientist Dr A. Q. Khan a ‘free citizen’, government sources told Dawn on Sunday.

    The statement of the Foreign minister ” government reserved the right to file an appeal against the court’s decision.
    ” substantiates the government’s intention to challenge the decision of Dr Khan’s release apparently to meet the concerns of the US and the UK.

  • Hi Rubab, Unbelieveable you are so young and so cute and you run a complete news paper?????Bravo
    Thanks for asking for the comment.
    I would only say my colleague Sarra Rehmanie said perfecct in one sentence that those nations who dont repect accept and recognise their national heroes gets destroyed.
    that is really pathatic that your nation is falling fast and they yet not know who are out there to save them and there generations.
    Only PAiM leadership President Agha Hassan Syed and Deputy President Jamal takkko are born to put that nation on the straight and right path.
    And to say about the man Q.Khan crisis that he is also hero of the nation,and if hed had made nuclear sins ie selling nuclear to iran libya then he should be put to fair court trial with solid evidences and let court decide.But keeping him in house arrest for so long years without trials is injust.
    Thanks Rubab.I wish you more courage and strenght to fight against injustice.PAIM respects you like any thing.
    With Respect
    Mohinee Jabeen
    Asevp PAIM
    in Europe deployed on work
    by my office of Australia.
    I am in management departtment
    of a foreign mission based
    in Australia and
    I am Asevp PAIM