The News vs. The News on nukes

Dec 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Jang, The News

Nasr missile test image from The News (Jang) website

Is the government threatening the security of the country by cutting development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme? Or is the government improving the security of the country by investing in a modern nuclear weapons programme? According to The News (Jang Group) the answer is yes to both.

In Monday’s copy of The News, Ansar Abbasi warns that Pakistan’s nuclear programme is not a top priority of the present regime, and that because nuclear development has not been funded properly, it “has been stopped”. According to Abbasi, an “informed source, who has been one of the top nuclear managers of Pakistan’s nuclear programme” (his initials wouldn’t happen to be AQK, would they?) explained that because of the policies of the present government, our nuclear programme is experiencing “technical roll back”.

This is a particularly interesting situation to be in since in May of this year, The News reported that Pakistan under the present government is on path to become the 4th largest nuclear state and is quickly outpacing other nations in both number of warheads and technology.

Former UN weapons inspector David Albright, reported that Pakistan appears to be building a fourth plutonium reactor at the Khushab complex, and is expanding plutonium separation capabilities at another site.

Another report, from a US think tank, says Pakistan now has 70 to 90 nuclear warheads, more than its rival India. This puts Pakistan on track to command the world’s fourth-largest nuclear weapons arsenal by the end of the decade.

The evidence suggests that Pakistan is trying to develop a second-strike nuclear capability. Pakistan has tested cruise and other missiles that can carry strategic warheads from land or even from submarines.

That hardly sounds like the defence policy of a government that is turning a blind eye to security. In fact, The News reported advancements in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme in April also when the military successfully tested the Nasr, a ballistic missile of Hatf series, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead can hit targets up to 60 km.

Strategic planners term the test a ‘new and very significant development’ since the missile falls in the category of tactical nuclear weapons. “This is a low-yield battlefield deterrent, capable of deterring and inflicting punishment on mechanised forces like armed brigades and divisions,” said an expert in the field of missile technology. “This takes care of the Indian Army’s obsession with finding space for limited war under the nuclear umbrella.”

Addressing the gathering at the undisclosed location, DG SPD Kidwai said the test was a very important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum. He said in the hierarchy of military operations, the Nasr Weapon System now provided Pakistan with short-range missile capability in addition to the already available medium- and long-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its inventory.

The president and prime minister have congratulated the scientists and engineers for their outstanding success and warmly appreciated the successful test.

In November of this year, Ansar Abbasi himself reported that ‘Pakistan’s nuclear programme has made some extraordinary progress by developing one of the world’s smartest nuclear tactical devices’.

The defence budget increased 15.3 per cent in 2009, in 2010 saw a 17 per cent additional increase, and in 2011 ballooned by an additional 12 per cent. Since taking power, the PPP-led coalition government has increased defence spending by at least 44 per cent over the budgets under the previous regime.

Is Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme threatened by budget cuts made by the present regime? Years’ worth of reporting by Jang/Geo provide ample evidence that successive governments including the present one have dedicated a vast amount of resources to the nuclear weapons programme that have yielded great advancement in both the number of warheads as well as advanced tactical technologies. In trying to accuse the PPP of weakening Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Ansar Abbasi only exposes his own lack of credibility.

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  1. How conveniently The News International Forget this:) ‘Musharraf passed atomic information to US’ Ali Masood Syed Wednesday, November 18, 2009
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=25634&Cat=13&dt=11/18/2009 LAHORE: Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has expressed his firm conviction that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had transferred very sensitive information relating to Pakistan’s atomic programme to the US. Dr Khan said he was ready to record the facts before the court of law.Talking to this correspondent he confirmed the contents of the recent Washington Post story and said these were drawn from the copy of his letter, which he addressed to his wife and handed over to his daughter Dr Dina Khan in 2004 as a precautionary measure when she was leaving for Dubai. The letter had ultimately landed at Musharraf’s table after being recovered from the baggage of his daughter. Musharraf referred to the letter in his book also and now it has appeared in the press, Dr Khan said. He said on the orders of the dictator, humiliating search operations were carried out in his residence and all documents, personal diaries and family photos were confiscated. The computerised national identity cards were returned after several written requests. He confirmed the observations of columnist Jabbar Mirza that Musharraf was hell bent upon handing him over to the US. In this connection, Dr Khan said, the then-prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali had himself confided that he was under severe pressure to sign his exit order, which he refused after taking the federal cabinet into confidence. He said Musharraf kept a C-130 plane ready to fulfil his nefarious designs. Dr Khan questioned what type of justice it was that the truth was made secret for countrymen while it was transferred to the US. The nation must know that national secrets were handed over to Washington by the former president who was an American stooge, he said. He said the nation knew well who its well-wisher was. He said one-sided action was taken against him during the Musharraf regime and a deliberate and well-calculated policy was implemented to brand him a culprit. It may be recalled that the letter published by the Washington Post leads to information, which proves that China helped Pakistan in the initial stages of Pakistan’s atomic programme. On the contrary, Dr Khan had started mutual cooperation by briefing the Chinese officials with regard to the European centrifuges. The letter leads to the conviction that every thing was done for the mutual interest. The letter discloses that uranium hexafluoride (UF6) was procured in return for invertors, valve flow metres, pressure gauges and other machines. After being self sufficient in 1982, Pakistan offered to return the same but the Chinese were gracious enough having asked to retain them as gift. The letter that appeared in the Washington Post is also significant because therein Dr Khan had quoted people who were alive as against accusations that he always referred to the people who were dead. He told this correspondent that a comprehensive strategy against him and Pakistan’s atomic programme had been drawn at a secret meeting between Musharraf and former CIA director George Tenet at a hotel in New York on Sept 24, 2003. It was the meeting which both of them in their books had referred to. It is interesting that many assertions made by them are conflicting with one another. Musharraf claimed to have recognised the Pakistani P-1 Centrifuge design shown by George and told him that it was the same manufactured under Dr Khan’s supervision. Dr Khan said these sketches were sealed in 1982-83 and at that time Musharraf had no access even up to the threshold of Kahuta plant. Khan demanded inquiry and trial against Musharraf and his coterie. It is an open secret that Musharraf had deep-rooted contacts with Israel and God knows how many secrets he had transferred to them. He said under a planned policy the former president had transferred all responsibility over his shoulders, which he was not going to deny. But, he demanded to expose his confessional statement secured under duress or to record his statement afresh so that real facts might be revealed. Dr Khan said he was a resident of Bhopal in India and had opted to migrate to Pakistan, dedicated his life to the country and pledged to serve Ummah. How could a person with such plans become a traitor? It may be recalled that Dr Khan had always been a sour in the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some European countries because he had openly stated why atomic programme in Muslim world was condemned when European nations were carrying forward jointly the same. Why Pakistan was not allowed to sign atomic agreements when the US had been doing the same. He had a clear vision that atomic program should be aimed at maintaining balance of power in the world and doing away with one-sided persecutions. However, under the current circumstances he had been devoting solely to issues pertaining to health, education and other developmental projects.

  2. Confusion of Ansar Abbasi knows no boundaries:) Jang Group/GEO TV Confusion: Ansar Abbasi “Hates” Musharraf & Shaheen Sehbai Loves Musharraf. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/11/jang-groupgeo-tv-confusion-ansar-abbasi.html

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