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P.R. Chari


By Brij Mohan Kaushik  and O.N. Mehrotra
Sopan Publishing House, New Delhi, 1980, pp. xii 228, price not stated.

VOLUME V NUMBER 1 July/August 1980

A central vision illumines this book: Pakistan intends to assemble a nuclear arsenal, but does not have present capa­bility to do so. Eventually it will. India should, therefore, devise a policy to keep its competition with Pakistan below the nuclear threshold. The authors make three major points: First, Pakistan's nuclear policy has been reactive to nuclear developments in India. Both Pakistan and India, for ins­tance, supported an end to nuclear tes­ting in the United Nations. But Pakistan did not ratify its acceptance of the Par­tial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), and its hesitancy was largely occasioned by the bomb debate which started in India after China's first nuclear explosion in Octo­ber 1964. A clearer instance of Pakistan's reactive nuclear policy was during the U.N. debate on the Non- Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan's argument then, which still continues, was that it would join the Treaty if India did. Needless to empha­size, in not signing the Treaty India was largely motivated by the perceived nuc­lear threat from China. More recently, Pakistan's call for a nuclear-free zone in South Asia was mooted after the Pokha­ran test, and was clearly directed to em­barrass India. The authors' second conclusion is that Pakistan wants a national bomb. Its Islamic content is at best marginal. This point is well taken. Pakistan is unlikely to risk a possible nuclear counter-attack, western sanctions, and general world opprobium by placing its nuclear armoury, when produced, at the disposal of the Islamic bloc to serve general Islamic causes. Pakistan has stressed the Islamic character of its bomb to derive politico-military advantages. These are identified as achieving a leader­ship position in the Islamic bloc, obtain­ing financial resources from oil-rich Arab states, insulating its nuclear wea­pons programme by diffusing the criti­cism of the anti-proliferationists through the entire Islamic bloc, and widening the bomb's geo-political significance by imbuing it with an anti-Zionist flavour. The last two reasons are quite percep­tive. The last contention made by the authors is that major technological con­straints inhibit Pakistan's nuclear ex­plosion programme. Pakistan is pursuing both the plutonium and uranium routes to the bomb. But Pakistan's two atomic reactors—the 5MW research reactor at Nelore, and 137 MW power reactor near Karachi—are both under safeguards. Pakistan does not have any heavy water plant or fuel fabrication Plant at present: its efforts to seek plutonium separation ...


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