The Pakistani paranoia about India is manifest in many forms, all based on its own ‘figment of imagination’, far unrelated to reality. The country is overtaken constantly by a perceived fear of India breaking it up even when its leaders, civilian and military, declare with pride that it is a well-fortified nuclear nation that cannot be defeated by the ‘enemy’ on its eastern border. Now Pakistan has come up with the allegation that India has built a subterranean nuclear city where it is manufacturing the ‘bomb’, a thermonuclear one at that.
The claim is based on a write up in a US publication which, while exaggerating India’s nuclear programme, has not spoken of an ‘underground nuclear city’ that Pakistan says does exist. According to the Pakistani narrative, it is from this hidden city in Karnataka that India is expected to attack Pakistan. It certainly provides material for writing a thriller. Maybe, some Pakistanis are already working on it with the concluding part showing India being wiped out by the God-fearing Pakistani jehadis!
The Indian government has rejected the Pakistani allegation. But knowing the ways of the rogue state called Pakistan, it will be unwise to treat the matter as nothing more than a sick joke. The noise with which Pakistan has broadcast the news could be a precursor to a similar attempt by Pakistan and then declare that it was left with no alternative but to following the Indian lead.
Because of its low credibility and respect among the comity of nations, the Pakistani allegation against India has not attracted much attention. But that will not bother the Rawalpindi Shura, which runs the defence, foreign and nuclear policies of the land of the pure. They will use it as an excuse to go ahead with their plan to actually enlarge their nuclear facilities beyond the glare of the world or the nuclear proliferation regime.
The Chinese have assured all help to Pakistan to increase its nuclear stockpile, already larger than India’s. In clear violation of the NPT, China has agreed to supply fuel and other materials to Pakistan without anything being subjected to international inspection.
The Pakistanis have a habit of shouting from house tops about India’s nuclear programme while hoping that the world has forgotten its own N- Wal-Mart run by a rogue scientist with the connivance of the Rawalpindi Shura. The heightened Chinese support has enabled Pakistani leaders to issue threats of unleashing their nuclear bombs. India is not the only recipient of this threat. Recently, the defence minister of Pakistan threatened to nuke Israel.
Aware of the fact that the US is worried about the safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons, Pakistan seeks to deflect attention from this crucial aspect by claiming that it is the Indian nuclear weapons that need better protection, not its nukes hidden in bunkers under the hills and deserts and supervised by an army full of religious and hate-mongering fanatics.
According to nuclear experts and commentators on strategic affairs, Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing nuclear programme which includes making weapons for military use. In addition, Pakistan can bank on its ‘all weather’ friend China to deploy more of them.
Pakistan has in its armoury short-range nuclear tipped missiles for attacking Indian border towns and has refused to consider ‘no first use’ policy to betray its real intentions. Pakistan quotes India to justify stockpiling of its large nuclear arsenal while refusing to see that India faces a dual nuclear threat from China and Pakistan.
These days mere possession of nuclear weapons does not guarantee safety of a nation. At the same time it does not eliminate the horrors of a ‘nuclear winter’, a devastation of unimaginable scale. Much of the world wants elimination of nuclear weapons. Pakistan makes no effort to hide its craze for more and more nuclear weapons. The country’s leadership dreads the idea of India outstripping the Pakistani nuclear inventory.
India has to be ready at all times to face a twin attack from China and Pakistan. It is for experts to decide whether the so-called Cold Start theory will help India face the dual dangers better and effectively. What has to be kept in mind is that there can be no letup in India’s military preparedness with the two unfriendly neighbours deciding to adopt a more aggressive and threatening posture.
Some in India continue to press for continuous restraint in reacting to the many provocations from China and Pakistan. That may be an admirable stance but has only seen the two countries stepping up propaganda and rhetoric against India when not issuing direct threat.
India need not talk the language of war and conflict that the Chinese and the Pakistanis seem to love so much. But that should not prevent India from a stern response whenever either offers unsolicited advice or levies baseless allegations with the sole purpose of vitiating an already charged atmosphere.
Some peaceniks appear to think that China will not go beyond the rhetoric against India. As for Pakistan, they assume that the land of the pure where citizens claim to be physically capable of taking on the ‘coward’ Indians has no plans to launch a full-scale military attack on India. There can be no basis for such naïve assumptions in view of the troubled relations with the two countries, both willing to consider improving relations with India only on their terms. They want Indian territories they covet but it will be extremely unwise to believe that they would not demand something more and, thus, continue with hostility.
If Pakistan has to be dealt with sternly, India cannot unilaterally accept its terms. Similarly, no progress should be expected in efforts to improve relations with China as long as it displays arrogance towards India and pursues aggressive policies, in tandem with Pakistan or on its own.
Chinese have been hypocritical in questioning India’s nuclear programme when their own nuclear programme is designed to establish military superiority in the world, pushing the US and Russia behind them. The Chinese use their monetary clout to establish spheres of influence, especially in areas around India where they are unable to penetrate deep.