Pakistan single handedly is bearing the burden of uprooting international terrorism aimed at bringing lasting peace in terror-stricken region since the very start of previous decade. In the ongoing anti-terror campaign, Pakistan’s financial losses have surpassed USD 118 billion and human casualties have mounted to over one lac. But instead of extolling Islamabad’s effort, an incessant propaganda campaign is being witnessed in international press every now and then.
In a recent deplorable article, former head of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security Rahmatullah Nabil spitted venom against Pakistan’s nuclear programme and intelligence agencies. The self-proclaimed defence analyst biasedly prophesied falling out of the Pakistani nukes into the hands of miscreants. The article was published in “The New York Times”. The Afghan official questioned safety of Islamabad’s nukes, emphasized on growing terror activities in Pakistan and hurled allegations such as army using banned outfits for regional goals. Nabil’s reckless arguments stand parallel to the ground realities.
As a matter of fact, it is worth mentioning that Pakistan’s security arrangements for its nuclear arsenal are considered second to none. The country is continuously upgrading its nuclear security system in lines with the rapidly changing geopolitical and geostrategic situation. These weapons are ostensibly kept separate from their delivery systems in order to avoid any hapless incident.
The anxiety about accidental launch of nukes has been addressed by linking nukes with code lock device ‘Adaptation of Permissive Action Links’ (PALs). In this pretext, at least consent of three members is required for a nuclear strike. So, the argument of accidental launch seems implausible.
The responsibility to ensure foolproof security for fissile material lies on army’s Strategic Plans Division and thus far, not even a single incident has been reported pertaining to mishandling or mismanagement of fissile material within country’s premises. Similarly, state-of-art technology and highly trained armed forces are deployed for protection of nuclear facilities. Recently, a British online newspaper “The Independent” ranked Pakistan’s Special Service Group (SSG) eighth most elite force in the world.
Pakistan has ratified standards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under which country’s nuclear power plants are currently functioning. The White House has acknowledged improvement in safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets in following words.
“Pakistan is engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues and is working to ensure its strategic export controls are in line with international standards”.
So, those analysts who continuously express concerns over security of Pakistan’s nukes are living in a delusional world.
Nabil, while stressing on soaring terrorism, purposefully turns a blind eye towards a country situated in Afghanistan’s south-east where security situation has improved significantly in the past three years. Nabil should be apprised that Swat had been liberated by Pakistan’s armed forces under Operation Rah-e-Raast. There exists no safe havens of terrorists in country’s mountainous and tribal region anymore. Several commanders among over 3,000 terrorists have either been killed or nabbed under Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
In the meantime, ongoing Radd-ul-Fassad is aimed at indiscriminate elimination of residual/latent threat of terrorism, consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders. As a result of this vigorous military campaign, remnant terrorists have fled to safe havens in Afghanistan; a state where recurrence of ISIS is being witnessed.
Owing to above mentioned military offensives, a marked drop in terror incidents have been observed in Pakistan at time when menace is on rise in other countries including the developed EU’s states. The improvement in security situation is being acclaimed by leading security watchdogs. The report of the ‘Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016’ stated 45pc fewer attacks and 38pc fewer deaths in Pakistan during 2015 than the previous year. The terror-related attacks were further chopped off by 27pc in 2016 indicating Pakistan’s commitment to obliterate menace of terrorism for once and all. Pakistan has initiated fencing its border with Afghanistan in a bid to halt cross-border terrorists’ movement but so far, Kabul has not taken a single step which shows its commitment for peace.
Nabil accused Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies of using ‘terrorist networks to advance their regional goals’ but sealed his lips on arrest of Indian RAW’s spy and in-service naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who was tasked to target CPEC projects and to fuel insurgency in Pakistan’s Balochistan. Afghan author also forgot to mention RAW-NDS nexus aimed at destabilizing Pakistan. Former US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, during a debate on Afghanistan at the Cameron University in Oklahoma, overtly confessed to usage of Afghan soil by India to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan.
The routine of blaming Islamabad for every ill-happening in Afghanistan has become obsolete. Kabul must abandon Indian rhetoric and should stop acting as New Delhi’s puppet if Ghani-led Afghan government is serious in bringing lasting peace and stability in the region.