Once again, the Western propaganda industry is barking up the wrong tree. In other words, they are keeping hold of the old tendency of beating around the bush. Apprehension is vis-à-vis the unjustified claims wherein Pakistan is indicted for probable nukes proliferation to Saudi Arabia in future. It has long been alleged that in return for bankrolling the Pakistani nuclear weapons project, Saudi Arabia has a covert claim on some of those weapons in time of need.
In the similar vein, such factious claims are also put forward by a person who just named his book, “Pakistan-China Nexus,” in order to attract readers and didn’t do the courtesy of comprehending it in the whole book except one line in concluding remarks. Yes! Mark Fitzpatrick says, “It is not a new story, of course…a Saudi belief that it could obtain nuclear weapons from Pakistan at any time, and reported intelligence that Pakistan has prepared nuclear weapons for delivery to Saudi Arabia. The first part is probably true: The Saudis helped to finance Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme and believe that they were given a promise that the weapons would be used to defend the Saudi kingdom if need be. The second part is probably false: I doubt that Pakistan is ready to send nuclearweapons to Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s reputation suffered greatly the last time theyassisted other countries with nuclear weapons technology (i.e., the sales by A.Q. Khan, with some governmental support or at least acquiescence, to North Korea, Iran and Libya).”
Now, let us have some perspective here both practical as well as theoretical! First, Pakistan’s foreign secretary ruled out sharing nuclear weapons with Saudi Arabia. He said that any such speculations are “unfounded and baseless.” According to him, the sole purpose of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is the safeguard of Pakistan national security and Pakistan will not sell or transfer weapons or advanced technology. Second, Zachary Keck of National Interest comprehended the puzzle with rationality. According to him, the existence of a Saudi-Pakistan nuclear pact is based almost entirely on speculation. Moreover, like the alleged Saddam-AQ nuclear nexus, the notion that Pakistan would supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons defies common sense.
After toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003, however, the U.S. gained extensive access to Iraqi documents and nuclear scientists, and conducted a large investigation into the history of Saddam’s nuclear-weapons program. None of what they found appears to have corroborated Khilewi’s claims about Saudi funding and scientific training. Nonetheless, he continues to be cited by reports claiming that there is a secret Pakistani-Saudi nuclearpact. On the other hand, theoretically, it is the guardian of the norms of non-proliferation regime, who are violating the essence of their promises agreed by signing Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). By blessing India with NSG waiver, United States herself violated the Article One of NPT. Pakistan, on the opposite, Pakistan despite being a non-NPT state is fulfilling her promises kept in Resolution 1540 and its all reactors are working under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Even in comparison to India, Pakistan case is much stronger no matter which yardstick is to be used.
Hence in these critical hours when Pakistan has somehow managed to bring Washington on table for civil nuclear cooperation, there is no way that Pakistan would even think about violating international set norms by proliferating nukes to Saudi Arabia.
— The writer is Research Associate at Strategic Vision Institute, Islamabad.
Pakistan, on the Firing Line | Adeel Mukhtar Mirza