The majority of countries are currently putting pressure on Pakistan that it should not block negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) at the special Ad Hoc Committee – ‘Conference on Disarmament (CD)’ of the United Nations. The Fissile Material Cut-Off – which if negotiated – would ban the future production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons purposes. The CD is a particular platform of the UN that deals with arms control and disarmament affairs of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
CD has ten important issues related to WMD’s that it wants to resolve with the consent of all its members. Of the ten issues, CD has been successful in resolving two issues with mutual consensus of all its members. Firstly it banned the use of biological weapons in 1975 which was later termed as “Biological Weapons Conventions”. And secondly it banned the use of chemical weapons in 1997 referred to as ‘Chemical Weapons Convention”.
There are 65 members of CD including Pakistan and every member has a right to veto power. All countries have the right to halt the negotiations if the national interests of any member country is targeted. Without consent of any country the negotiation cannot move to the next stage. Presently, the negotiation of a ban on fissile material is continuing on the CD forum. Fissile material can be defined with respect two types of school of thoughts regarding banning on fissile material. The first one gives the idea of FMCT which means the ban on further and future production of nuclear material but does not talk about existing stockpile. All P-5 and other major countries including India are supporters of this thought. The second school of thought, led by Pakistan and also silence support from G-21 countries talks about Fissile Material Treaty (FMT), which means ban on further and future production as well as to dismantle the existing stockpiles. Pakistan’s concept of FMT is more relevant to American President Obama‘s mission “Nuclear Zero”. But there is no supporter of FMT except from G-21; all major countries have adopted dual and duplicitous policies.
The actual purpose of FMCT is to target Pakistan. Presently there are nine nuclear weapons states (NWS) in the world. Among these nine NWS the P-5 namely USA, Russia, UK, France and China have significant and sufficient quantity of nuclear material, and for this reason these countries have almost halted their further production of fissile materials.
However, on the other side the remaining four countries are producing fissile material continuously. At present India has twenty nuclear power plants and it is expanding its program after Agreement-123 with USA which it signed in 2005. According to Agreement-123 USA is obliged to provide nuclear technology and its fuel to India. India is portraying to world that it will use imported nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, but it is also a fact that India can use its indigenous uranium resource for military purposes.
Upon this backdrop, India has no objection with FMCT and indeed has expressed it support. Israel also continues producing fissile material production, but it has no concerns withFMCT. This is because firstly Israel has no nuclear rival in Middle East and secondly Israel is American’s baby. If at any time Israel is in need the USA will provide them all modern warfare technology. To make USA happy Israel is also in favor of FMCT.
At present Pakistan has roughly 70 to 80 nuclear weapons as well as sophisticated delivery system i.e. missiles and aircrafts. These nuclear weapons could be enough for nuclear deterrence stability between Indo-Pak contexts, thus if both rivals have same quality and quantity of nuclear weapons and other warfare technology. Stable nuclear deterrence occurs as both sides believe that if anyone initiates war its enemy could inflict the unacceptable damage. But if one rival achieves some advancement in its weapons quality, quantity and modern warfare technology and the other not, then this superiority can enhance the courage of superior rival and the threat of war would be accelerated.
In order to keep a stable nuclear deterrence, the quantity of nuclear weapons must be sufficient that can guarantee to inflict desirable damage to enemy by hitting almost all targets in its list. For this purpose, the quantity of nuclear weapons must fulfill following requirements (a) it should be protected from enemy’s first strike (b) Enemy could not destroy all nuclear missiles in the air through its Anti Ballistic Missiles (ABM) system, some nuclear missiles must be save from ABM system and inflict the unacceptable damage to enemy. (c) In the event of nuclear war, if some nuclear weapons are destroyed in enemy’s first strike and some are destroyed through ABM; the remaining numbers of nuclear weapons must be sufficient to hit all listed targets on enemy’s soil.
In this regards, if Pakistan is bounded by FMCT then its 70 to 80 nuclear weapons could be less for stable nuclear deterrence, because the major Indian warfare advancements are disturbing the stable nuclear deterrence in the region. Such as, (a) India has developed its ABM system and successfully tested it, which is main factor which has disturbed the deterrence stability in the region. (b) India is working on its nuclear submarine program in order to ensure its nuclear second strike capability and credibility. (c) In 2005, India did agreement-123 with USA for civil nuclear energy, which is also known as Indo-US nuclear deal. Through this deal India can enhance the quantity and quality of nuclear weapons. Recently US President Obama visited to India and gave his consent of inclusion to India in Export Control Regimes i.e. Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group (AU) and Wassenaar Arrangement (WA).
The inclusion of India in these four regimes would enable India to enhance its nuclear technology and nuclear weapons quantity and quality, missile technology, chemical and biological weapons and dual use items capabilities respectively. (d) India is working on deployment of its satellite system in space with the assistance of USA and Israel. Through this satellite system India will be enabled to get the capabilities of precise and accurate early warning system such as reconnaissance and surveillance of Pakistan’s forces maneuvers. (e) India has adopted precarious doctrine “Cold Start Doctrine” according to this doctrine India will attack on Pakistan in 72 to 96 hours and achieve its war objectives without crossing nuclear thresholds. (f) At his time India has twenty nuclear power plants, from which eight are not under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. These eight nuclear power plants are being totally used for military purposes, beside this, according to International Panel for Fissile Material (IPFM) 2010 report currently India has approximately 500 kilogram of plutonium for weapon purposes, enough for 100 nuclear weapons. India is also producing highly enrichment uranium (HEU) for nuclear submarine purpose. (g) Indian presence in Afghanistan and its anti-Pakistan activities are not a hidden story. Prior to this, Pakistan was facing threat from its eastern boarder, now facing from both boarders i.e. western and eastern boarder. Indian consulates are in Afghanistan creating anarchy in Pakistan on one side, meanwhile on the other side these consulates are trying to make Afghanistan powerful against Pakistan. (h) India has intention to work on ‘Blue Water Navy’. In future, during any crises or war India can do naval blocked of Pakistan through its blue water navy. Karachi and Gawadar ports are economic hubs of Pakistan. If India do naval blocked of economic hub of Pakistan, then it would be great loss for Pakistan. (i) According to 2010 report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India is number one arms importer of the world.
It is a strange phenomena that the world specifically the major powers are exporting their modern warfare technology and weapons to India and all these factors are disturbing nuclear deterrence stability in the South Asian region. On one side the major powers are playing the orchestra of nuclear disarmament and arms control, however on the other side these powers have adopted a dual and hypocratic policy regarding arms race and proliferation. If one were to do comparative analysis of warfare technology and weapons of Indo-Pak, then one thing is clear that India is far superior in terms of technology. This is because India has ABM system, nuclear submarine program and permission of entry into export control regime. Meanwhile on the other side Pakistan has no ABM system, nor nuclear submarine program. These two factors are deemed very important for nuclear deterrence stability.
At this time if the world pressurizes Pakistan in signing FMCT then it will be a big challenge for Pakistan’s security. Pakistan has given excellent proposal namely Fissile Material Treaty (FMT) alternative of FMCT. This means ‘all existing stockpile of fissile material should be disposed off as well as ban on future production of fissile material’. This proposal strongly reflects the Obama’s mission of ‘Nuclear Zero’. Due to insincere policies of big powers, the plan of disarmament has become only an idealistic theory. The orchestra playing by big powers that first they would take arms control measures (FMCT) and then take measures for disarmament is a thoughtful hypocratic policy and its only purpose is to target Pakistan. Until the world does not treat Pakistan and gives it its due rights, Pakistan must block FMCT, because it is need of time to oppose the FMCT.