ISAS Brief No. 140 – Date: 18 November 2009 by Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed
With the assault on the office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Peshawar on 13 November 2009, which left at least 20 people dead, including 10 ISI officials, the Taliban-Al Qaeda nexus has once again demonstrated that it is capable of hitting the supposedly well-guarded targets representing the power and authority of the state. A few weeks earlier, they were able to deceive the guards at the entry of the citadel of the Pakistan army, the General Headquarters, in Rawalpindi. On that occasion, more than 40 people were taken hostage, of whom 37 were rescued due to a daring operation by the commandos of the elite Special Services Group.
The Head Office of the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore was bombed in October this year. A similar attack took place in 2008. Since 2007, attacks have been launched on military, air force and naval personnel and officials. On the other hand, the media also reported that some terrorists had tried to enter the restricted area where the nuclear facilities are located, but they were stopped at the outer security ring. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
I am used to shaking my head in disbelief at the popular theory that Americans got rid of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto because Bhutto was pursuing a policy of nuclearisation and Pan-Islamism that threatened American interests in Middle East. Yet the strange similarities between what went on in Pakistan in the early summer of 1977 and the events in Iran this summer has given me reason to pause. As many other people have now begun to say it openly, it will not be out of place to dwell on the similarities between the agitation against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the agitation taking place against Ahmadinejad.
It’s Yet Another Pakistani Nuclear Anniversary Today
Eleven years ago a million Pakistanis danced in the streets after six nuclear weapons had been successfully tested. They had been told that making nuclear bombs was the biggest thing a country could do; Pakistan was now a great country. But this week’s North Korean nuclear test gave rock-solid proof that it was a lie.
North Korea is a country that no one admires. It is unknown for scientific achievement, has little electricity or fuel, food and medicine are scarce, corruption is ubiquitous, and its people live in terribly humiliating conditions under a vicious, dynastic dictatorship. In a famine some years ago, North Korea lost nearly 800,000 people. And it has an enormous prison population of 200,000 that is subjected to systematic torture and abuse. Continue reading
By R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sometime next year, at a tightly guarded site south of its capital, Pakistan will be ready to start churning out a new stream of plutonium for its nuclear arsenal, which will eventually include warheads for ballistic missiles and cruise missiles capable of being launched from ships, submarines or aircraft.
About 1,000 miles to the southwest, engineers in India are designing cruise missiles to carry nuclear warheads, relying partly on Russian missile-design assistance. Continue reading
Filed under India, Pakistan, USA
Did Bibi Box Obama In?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
On Sept. 20, 2002, as the War Party was beating the drum for preventive war on Iraq, lest we wake up to “a mushroom cloud over an American city,” The Wall Street Journal introduced an eminent voice to confirm that, yes, Saddam was driving straight for an atomic bomb.
“This is a dictator who is … feverishly trying to acquire nuclear weapons,” wrote Bibi Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel.
“Saddam’s nuclear program has changed. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country — and Iraq is a very big country. Even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of mass death. … Continue reading
France and Pakistan have agreed to co-operate on civilian nuclear power, officials said, with Islamabad calling the move a “significant development”.
But there is confusion over the deal reached by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Pakistani counterpart.
Pakistani officials said Mr Sarkozy had undertaken to supply Pakistan with “civilian nuclear technology”.
But the Elysee Palace said France had agreed only to co-operate in the field of “nuclear safety”. Continue reading
By Kapil Komireddi
Pakistanis must act to save their country. But Washington also must help safeguard its nuclear arsenal.
Writing From Lahore, Pakistan — Pakistan is still finding it difficult to accept that the forces it once created and nurtured, with a view toward influencing Afghanistan and crushing India in Kashmir, have now turned against their masters. Powerful elements within the Pakistan army still see the Taliban as an asset, which seems to account for their reluctance to move decisively in the Swat Valley or redeploy forces from the eastern border with India. Continue reading