Pakistan’s nuclear weapons: A Failure of Indian Intelligence ?

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by FOX80, Nov 30, 2013.

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  1. FOX80
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    FOX80 FULL MEMBER

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    When it comes to making sure no nuclear threat emanates to its nation, no other nation has done more than Israel. While Israel has had nuclear weapons for a long time though it neither denies not confirms it, it has made every effort possible to make sure none of its neighbors or state inimical to it acquires nuclear weapons. It attacked the Iraqi nuclear site in Osirak in a daring raid, it has used high tech viruses to set back Iranian nuclear program recently and remains committed and prepared to strike at Iran if need be.

    http://*********************/jh4cz/assets/wpid-Pakistan+Nuclear+Site.jpeg

    Compare this with Indian response to Pakistani attemptst o acquire nuclear weapons. After India conducted it first nuclear test, Pakistan decided it had to acquire nukes as well by hook or crook. Well it has been that way ever since and as famously said by their PM Bhutto, ready to eat grass if required. AQ Khan set out to collect technology and equipment to produce nukes in Pakistan. While it became open knowledge world wide of such attempts, there were no attempts by Indian security agencies to mount any counter operation to sabotage such attempts one way or the other by using diplomacy as well intelligence ops. The Siachen operation comes to mind as to how an intelligence operation preceded the actual operation that pre-empted a similar Pakistani move. Why did India fail to undertake intelligence operations to stop or sabotage Pakistani attempts?

    Israel, after the Osirak attack put together a plan to bomb Kahuta circa 1982. It required Indian bases for this and wanted a joint Indo-Israeli operation. But Indian leadership refused to make it look like a joint operation and also refused to provide Israel any bases to stage the attack. The reason was to not provoke Pakistan and start another war. Hardly becoming of a major power which had more to lose from a nuclear armed rogue neighbor than a short war if it did happen. Why did India not provide to Israel even bases for a unilateral strike? The same prime minister was in charge who so triumphantly won the 71 war against Pakistan and conducted India’s first nuclear test. Was it our intelligence agencies that failed us and didn’t advise the PM properly? Was it our armed forces that advised the PM against it for say lack of preparation for another war? Well highly doubt the armed forces were not ready as India had Siachen taken under its control and under Gen Sundarji organized the most massive exercise of the time which almost came to the brink of war.

    The Pakistanis, once they got the F-16s in the eighties immediately warned India of taking out Trombay if India in any way helps Israel or undertook a strike operation itself. Once this threat was conveyed, it completely put Indian leadership in a shell and allowed Pakistan a full decade of unimpeded time to develop the bomb culminating in the 98 tests.

    India’s lack of cohesive and sustained action to scuttle the Pakistani nuclear program and also the refusal to allow even the Israelis to undertake an operation didn’t make any sense. Today the bungling of that time is costing India dearly as Pakistan keeps wielding the nuclear threat and continues to sponsor and carry out terrorist activities while the risk averse politicians keep coming up with knee jerk reactions. But the question remains, was it a combined failure of Indian intelligence, diplomacy and political leadership or was it just the political leadership that failed or did our Intelligence did not have the wherewithal to undertake operations to finish off Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program ?
  2. faisal6309
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    faisal6309 SENIOR MEMBER

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    :omghaha:
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  3. Screambowl
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    Screambowl SENIOR MEMBER

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    Intelligence was not failed. They knew about the bomb grade Uranium enrichment in Pakistan, but our great Morarji Desai BY MISTAKENLY told the Zia ul Haq about the intelligence inputs. And ISI did rest of the Job. All plans were shattered to bomb their facilities.
  4. indoPunjabi
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    Indian politicians are good at lip service only. All words no action!
  5. hari sud
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    It is not only failure of India intelligence, it is failure of American intelligence too. The CIA and other American agencies for the last 10 years are trying to get a fix on Pakistani nuclear weapons. They tried to link their military and economic aid to knowing the exact fix, but did not get to that. Former Secretary of State Collin Powell admitted to that. US wished to bomb these sites to prevent Al Qaeda gaining any access to nuclear materials.

    The New York Times, even reported that the suitcase size weapon components are moved in pick-up trucks and vans to deceive the eyes and ears of the world, who wish to know more about location of these weapons.

    The last of an Indian agent inside the nuclear agent "Ek Tha Tiger" was discovered and jailed in nineties.

    Ajit Doval, Later Director of IB in India, was the last guy to physically get inside the Pakistan nuclear establishment, undetected.

    CIA may have agents and informers inside Pakistani nuclear establishment. That we would never know.

    For India, there is only one way out. Keep your nuclear deterrence at sea, hidden in nuclear submarines. As long as Pakistanis know that a devastating blow is coming their way, they are less likely to attempt use of nuclear weapons or even try nuclear blackmail.
  6. bloo
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    It was definitely a political failure.
  7. akshay gehlot
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    RAW did fantastic but it was STUPID Morarji Desai who ruined it
  8. [Bregs]
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    India was helpless because of no 2 reasons:

    1. Moraji desai spilled the beans and acted in a strange foolish manner

    2. Pakistan nuclear weapon programme was tacitly ignored by US because of Pakistan's helpful role in Afghanistan during that ti me
  9. xyxmt
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    xyxmt SENIOR MEMBER

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    I have no comments but i am :rofl:
  10. Dash
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    I dont know if that was an intelligence failure, but our test was termed as a intelligence failure for many agencies across the world!!!..
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  11. DESERT FIGHTER
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    Too much bollywood movies!?!
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  12. DESERT FIGHTER
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    Pakistan was ready for cold test even in 1981 !!!!!!!



    .............


    1998... WINGS OVER CHAGAI!

    Wings Over Chagai - A Story of Israel's Threat to Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal

    By: RMS Azam

    This article was written to mark the Fourth Anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests of May 1998.

    WINGS OVER CHAGAI


    The Role of the Pakistan Air Force during the
    May 1998 Nuclear Tests

    After the Israeli attack on Iraq’s under-construction French-built nuclear Osirak-type reactor, Tammuz-I, south of Baghdad on 7 June 1981, Pakistan felt that it would be the next target of an Israeli misadventure. The Israeli Air Force (IDF/AF) had, at first, explored the possibility of such a plan and, later, put together operational plans for a possible air strike against Kahuta in the 1980s using satellite photo and intelligence information provided by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). These operational plans are still kept updated in the Headquarters of the IDF/AF and pilots of some specially assigned IDF/AF F-16 and F-15 squadrons are given special training exercises to carry out mock attacks on Kahuta. So much so that a full-scale mock-up of the Kahuta facility was built in the southern Negev Desert for the IDF/AF pilots to train on.

    The Kahuta plan was made concurrently with the plan to attack Osirak using the same pilots of the Iraq mission, if it went through successfully. The Israelis planned to either use Indian airbases or fly non-stop from Israel to Kahuta while refuelling their aircraft using airborne tankers. Israeli Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft would jam Pakistani air defence radar while the Israelis took out Kahuta - or at least attempted to do so.

    To this effect, India had played its part in cajoling and trying to convince Israel to carry this ill-advised plan through. However, Israel was insisting on using Indian air bases but India was reluctant to allow them such a facility for fear of sparking of another Indo-Pak war. According to a paper published by the Australian Institute for National Strategic Studies, “Israeli interest in destroying Pakistan’s Kahuta reactor to scuttle the "Islamic bomb" was blocked by India's refusal to grant landing and refueling rights to Israeli warplanes in 1982.” India wanted to see Kahuta gone but did not want to face the blame or the retaliation nor bear any responsibility. Israel, on its part wanted it to be seen as a joint Indo-Israeli strike so that responsibility could be shared. The Reagan Administration was against this plan, not out of any love for Pakistan’s nuclear programme, but because at that time it was busy fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and considered Pakistan a key ally in the conflict. It informed Israel and India that it could not support such a plan. This plan, therefore, never materialized and was indefinitely postponed, and rightly so, after Pakistan reminded the Israelis that they were not the Iraqis and the Pakistan Air Force was not the Iraqi Air Force. Through indirect channels, Pakistan had also conveyed the message to Israel, if Kahuta was attacked, Pakistan would lay waste to Dimona, Israel’s nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert.

    Pakistan, however, was not taking any chances. Soon after the Osirak raid in 1981, then President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan directed PAF Air Headquarters (AHQ) to make contingency plans for a possible Israeli attack on Kahuta. In lieu thereof, the PAF Chief of Air Staff issued an Air Tasking Order to the Air Officer Commanding of the Air Defence Command to take suitable measures for the air defence of Kahuta and prepare a contingency plan for a retaliatory PAF strike on Dimona, in case Kahuta was attacked. As a follow-up to this directive, a special Operations Room was established at AHQ, Chaklala to oversee the task of defending Pakistan’s strategic nuclear facilities at Kahuta and Karachi. A study of the air defence ground environment of Kahuta was carried out and gaps and weaknesses in the air defences were filled and strengthened. On 10 July 1982, a special contingency plan was issued. In the event of an Israeli attack on Pakistan's strategic installations, plans were drawn up for a retaliatory Pakistani strike on Dimona. The strike would be carried out by Mirage III/Vs. When Pakistan received 40 General Dynamics Block F-16A/Bs from the US from 15 January 1983 onwards, this new weapons system too was incorporated in Pakistan’s contingency plan to carry out retaliatory strikes on Dimona.

    In the backdrop of the above scenario, it was, therefore, not surprising that in the aftermath of the Indian nuclear tests of 13 May 1998, Pakistan felt that there was a strong possibility of a joint Indo-Israeli strike against Pakistan's nuclear installations. The PAF had an essential role to play in defending Pakistan's strategic installations and airspace to thwart any such plan. The tensions were so high that a PAF F-16 flying low over the Ras Koh test site in the Chagai District of Balochistan on the eve of the Pakistani nuclear tests was, for a moment, mistaken by the personnel on the ground, to be an Israeli warplane. The incident sparked off a diplomatic squabble between Pakistan and Israel, with the Israeli Ambassador in Washington D.C. denying the existence of any such plan.

    Then Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, Ahmed Kamal told CNN that Pakistan had reliable information about Indian intentions to launch air strikes against Pakistan's nuclear test facilities. Kamal told CNN that if India strikes, Pakistan's response would be "massive" and would "bode ill for peace."

    "We're involved in this threat and in making sure that it does not arise because if it does, the world must understand that Pakistan is ready, that it will react, that the reaction will be massive and dissuasive, and that it would lead us into a situation which would bode ill for peace and security, not only in the region, but beyond," Kamal said.

    As soon as the decision to conduct the nuclear tests had been taken, the PAF was ordered to assume air defence duties over Chagai and the strategic nuclear installations of Pakistan, including Kahuta, Nilore, Fatehjung, Chashma, Khushab and Karachi.

    Operation Bedaar ’98: PAF Squadron Roles during Chagai

    The PAF operations for the defence of Pakistan’s strategic nuclear installations during the May 1998 nuclear tests were codenamed “Operation Bedaar ’98” by the PAF.

    This was a unique operation in which all four PAF command sector Headquarters (HQ) were involved, namely:

    (a) HQ NORSEC (Northern Sector) based at PAF Chaklala (Rawalpindi, Punjab) and falling under the control of the Northern Air Command (NAC) at Peshawar;

    (b) HQ CENSEC (Central Sector) under the Central Air Command (CAC) and both based at PAF Sargodha (Punjab);

    (c) HQ WESSEC (Western Sector) based at PAF Base Samungli (Quetta, Balochistan) also falling under the command of CAC; and

    (d) HQ SOUSEC (Southern Sector) based at PAF Faisal (Karachi, Sindh) and falling under the control of the Southern Air Command (SAC), also based at Karachi.

    No. 6 Air Transport Squadron (ATS) Squadron, equipped with C-130 “Hercules” medium-lift tactical transport aircraft and based at PAF Base Chaklala, commanded by Group Captain Sarfraz Ahmad Khan, extended the necessary logistical support to the rest of the PAF squadrons that were being redeployed for air defence alert (ADA) duties. The Squadron carried a total of 12,66,615 lbs. loads in 71 separate sorties during the nuclear tests.

    No. 7 Tactical Attack (TA) Squadron, equipped with ex-Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Mirage III EAs having recently undergone Retrofit of Strike Element (ROSE I) upgrades at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra and based at PAF Base Masroor (Karachi, Sindh), commanded by Wg. Cdr. Shahid Mahmood were moved to PAF Base Shabaz (Jacobabad, Balochistan) for day-night ADA duties. This squadron is now due to be transformed into a multi-role squadron following the ROSE upgrades and after being equipped with new radar.

    The PAF’s elite No. 9 Multi-Role (MR) Squadron “Griffins” (falling under No. 34 Wing led by Grp. Capt. Shahid Shigri), equipped with F-16As, commanded by Wg. Cdr. Azher Hasan, was deployed at PAF Samungli (Quetta, Balochistan) on 27 May 1998 to provide night-time air defence cover to the nuclear test sites at Ras Koh and Kharan.

    No. 11 MR Squadron "Arrows" (No. 34 Wing), equipped with F-16A/Bs commanded by Gp. Capt. Akhtar H. Bukhari was moved to PAF Shabaz for day-night ADA duties on 24 May 1998.

    No. 14 MR Squadron “The Tail Choppers”, equipped with F-7P aircraft and based at PAF Sargodha, commanded by Wg. Cdr. M. Jamshaid Khan, was deployed at PAF Base Chaklala for the point defence of KRL, Kahuta; PINSTECH, Nilore and NDC, Fatehjung.

    No. 17 Air Superiority (AS) Squadron "Tigers" (falling under No. 31 Wing led by Grp. Capt. Rashid Hasan Bukhari), then equipped with F-6 aircraft and commanded by Wg. Cdr. Muhammad Jamil Memon carried out standing day-time Combat Air Patrol (CAP) missions from its parent base, PAF Base Samungli and its Forward Operational Bases (FOBs), PAF Bases Shahbaz and Sukker (Sindh) respectively. No. 17 Squadron was re-quipped with F-7PG aircraft from China on 27 March 2002.

    No. 23 Squadron "Talons" (No. 31 Wing), then equipped with F-6 aircraft and based at PAF Base Samungli, commanded by Wg. Cdr. Ghulam Mustafa Abbasi was deployed at PAF Base Sukker for about a week for day-time ADA duties. Members of the Squadron who participated in the ADA duties included Wg. Cdr. Irfan Idrees, Sqn. Ldr. Khan Maqbool, Flt. Lt. Anwer Karim, Flt. Lt. S. Atta, Flt. Lt. Waqas Moshin, Flt. Lt. Zeeshan Saeed, Flt. Lt. Aamir Shaukat, Flt. Lt. Ali Asher, Flt. Lt. Nadeem Afzal and Flt. Lt. Nasir Jamal. No. 23 Squadron is also scheduled to be re-quipped with F-7PG aircraft from China later this year.

    At PAF Base Samungli, F-6 aircraft belonging to the re-equipped No. 25 MR Squadron (now a SAGEM-upgraded Mirage V EF (ROSE II) squadron) and which were being kept in reduced flying status (hot storage) by the Field Maintenance Unit (FMU) at the Base were also activated and made operational in a day’s notice for emergency back-up if the need arose.

    No. 314 Ground Combateers Wing of the PAF, located at PAF Samungli was tasked with providing enhanced ground security cover to the F-16s of Nos. 9 and 11 Squadrons deployed at the Base.

    No. 481 Control & Reporting Centre (CRC) based at PAF Base, Lahore, along with seven Mobile Pulse-Doppler Radar (MPDR), was deployed at designated sites till the exercise was called off on 1 June 1998. No. 482 CRC based at PAF Base Malir (Karachi) deployed its MPDR-45 radar in the Sukker area at short notice on 21 May 1998. The radar handled a number of CAP missions that were launched to counter any aerial threat to the nuclear installations. No. 484 CRC based at PAF Chaklala remained on usual alert for the point defence of Kahuta. No. 486 CRC based at PAF Chaklala since November 1985 has been exclusive assigned to the task of defending Pakistan’s nuclear installations. It deployed its MPDR-90P radar at Pasni, Balochistan at short notice to detect any attack approaching from the sea. No. 403, a mobile Squadron based at PAF Base, Lahore and equipped with TPS-43G high altitude surveillance radar also participated in Bedaar’98. No. 408 Squadron based at PAF Malir, (near Karachi) and equipped with FPS-20A high-altitude long range static radar and TPS-43G high altitude radar successfully controlled a number of hot CAP mission and intercepted US Navy aircraft flying close to Pakistan’s 12 nautical mile wide territorial sea. Incidentally, this was the same squadron that participated in the several joint PAF/USN exercises called "Inspired Alert" between 1994 and 1997 in which the Squadron had experienced an opportunity to intercept aircraft like the F-14s and F-18s. No. 410 Squadron equipped with TPS-43G radar provided round-the-clock operations and controlled 26 high altitude CAPS during Operation Bedaar’98. No. 4091 Squadron based at Kirana Hills near Sargodha and equipped with Siemens MPDR-90 low-level static radar located at a height of 1,600 feet, provided a surveillance capability for the point defence of Sargodha Air Base and the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) with its ability to detect aircraft flying at low level at extended ranges.

    No. 541 Squadron, a mobile Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) squadron based at PAF Chaklala, and equipped with Crotale 2000 performed its duties for the point defence of Kahuta. No. 904 Squadron, based at Murree and equipped with MPDR-90S radar provided both independent and hooked-up mode operations with No. 486 CRC by providing early warning on low and medium level ingressing aircraft towards the national vital points from Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir. No. 451 Squadron, a mobile SAM squadron based at PAF Chaklala, and equipped with the Crotale 2000 SAM system provided air defence to the Kahuta and Nilore area. No. 454 Squadron, a mobile SAM squadron based PAF Chaklala, and equipped with the Crotale 2000 SAM system provided air defence cover to the national vital points. No. 455 Squadron, a mobile SAM squadron, deployed in the Kilo area and equipped with the Crotale 4000 SAM system provided air defence cover to the national vital points. No. 242 Squadron, a mobile SAM squadron, based at PAF Base Rafiqui, and equipped with the French Mistral SAM system provided air defence cover to PAF air bases. No.471 Squadron, a SAM squadron, based at PAF Chaklala and equipped with the Black Arrow (Chinese Red Flag II) high-altitude SAM system provided day-night air defence coverage upto 80,000 feet over the Kahuta, Nilore and Fatehjung area.

    It was felt that a joint Indo-Israeli attack could target not only Pakistan's nuclear installations but the nuclear test sites at Ras Koh and Kharan as well. According to intelligence reports, US and Indian intelligence did not know about the Kharan Desert site, which came as a total surprise to them. To counter any high-level threat emanating from the west or south-west, a TPS-43G high level radar had been permanently deployed in the Quetta area since October 1982. The same radar was, therefore, used to provide surveillance on all flying aircraft in the Chagai area.

    Dalbandin Airfield had an important role to play during Pakistan’s May 1998 nuclear tests. In fact, two names gained prominence around the world during the tests: (i) Chagai Hills and (ii) Dalbandin airfield. Dalbandin is located among sand dunes some 30 km south-east of the Chagai Hills near the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border. The Koh Khambaran Massif in the Ras Koh Mountain Range, the site of Pakistan's nuclear test, lies south of the Chagai Hills and Dalbandin.

    The airfield at Dalbandin was constructed in 1935 to serve as a satellite for Samungli Air Base at Quetta. During the Second World War, it was made operational by the Royal Air Force in order to counter a possible Russian invasion through Iran and Afghanistan. During the 1970s, Dalbandin remained a disused airfield. Although the airstrip is visible from extremely high altitude, pilots making landing approaches often find the airstrip disappearing from view, with sand dunes and sand collected on the runway obscuring it - like a natural camouflage. Dust storms are frequent and cause delays in take-off and landing schedules. The airfield was taken over by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 1985, it received a major face-lift and overhaul, which provided modern navigational aids, air traffic control facilities, a passenger terminal and a paved runway. There are regularly scheduled Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) services to the airport. While not a military facility, this airfield is available to the PAF for emergency landing and recovery of aircraft during peacetime and wartime. During May 1998, Dalbandin air field became the centre of activity for all personnel, military and civilian, flying to and from the nuclear tests sites to the rest of the country.

    The nuclear devices were themselves flown in semi-knocked down (SKD) sub-assembly form on two flights of PAF C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft from PAF Chaklala in northern Punjab to Dalbandin airfield, escorted even within Pakistani airspace by four PAF F-16As armed with air-to-air missiles. At the same time, PAF F-7P air defence fighters, also armed with air-to-air missiles, were on CAP guarding the aerial frontiers of Pakistan against intruders. Both the nuclear devices (the bomb mechanism, the HMX explosive shields and casing) and the fissile material (the highly enriched uranium components) were divided into separate consignments and flown on separate flights of the Hercules. The PAEC did not want to put all its nuclear eggs in one basket in case something adverse was to happen to the aircraft. The security of the devices and the fissile material was so strict that that PAF F-16 escort pilots had been secretly given standing orders that in the unlikely event of the C-130 being hijacked or flown outside of Pakistani airspace, they were to shoot down the aircraft before it left Pakistan’s airspace. The F-16s were ordered to escort the C-130s to the Dalbandin airfield in Balochistan with their radio communications equipment turned off so that no orders, in the interim, could be conveyed to them to act otherwise. They were also ordered to ignore any orders to the contrary that got through to them during the duration of the flight even if such orders seemingly originated from Air Headquarters.

    On 30 May 1998, when Pakistan sixth nuclear device shook the ground in the Kharan Desert, Operation Bedaar '98 had accomplished its mission - that of deterring any misadventure by either India or Israel to strike at Pakistan's nuclear infrastructure.

    But how real was the possibility of a joint or unilateral Israeli or Indian raid on Pakistan's nuclear installations during May 1998? The answer is that we really don't know. The threat is of such a nature that it can neither be overestimated nor underestimated. Overestimation may lead to minor diplomatic embarrassment, but underestimation will surely lead to catastrophe for Pakistan. So Pakistan prefers to overestimate the threat and pay the price of minor diplomatic embarrassment rather than underestimate it and face the prospective annihilation. This is not to say that the threat was never there during May 1998. Pakistan preferred to be safe rather than sorry. Furthermore, there is concrete evidence that India and Israeli have been planning exactly such an operation to neutralize Pakistan's nuclear capability. It is only the PAF and the risk of nuclear retaliation that is holding them back.

    According to an Indian official, Subramaniam Swamy, a former member of the Hindu fundamentalist and extremist Bharati Janata Party (BJP) that rules India today, Israel in 1982 asked him to sound out other Indian leaders to see if India would grant Israeli warplanes landing and refueling rights were they to undertake an Osirak-type raid against the Kahuta nuclear reactor in Pakistan. India refused, probably for a combination of reasons. As one expert on South Asia speculated:

    "First, the Kahuta facility is well-protected and is thus a hard target to destroy. Second and more important, India expects that any first strike by India against Kahuta would be swiftly followed by a Pakistani attack against India's nuclear facilities. Such an exchange would leave India worse off, since any potential deterrent capability against China would thereby be eliminated. Finally, India would be wary of launching such an attack against Pakistan as it would cause not only great death and destruction to Pakistan, but could blow radioactive fall-out back over India. Such an attack against Pakistan would also alienate the Muslim Middle Eastern states whose amity India has assiduously cultivated."

    In a meeting in Paris in July 1985, senior Israeli diplomats and a personal envoy of the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reportedly examined the option in detail. As an incentive, Israel held out an offer to cooperate with India on military intelligence, defence production and transfer or technology. Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli Defence Minister, reportedly pinned a lot of hope on that meeting. But India, which had not yet forged diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, ultimately rejected the proposal, ostensibly because of the fear of possible nuclear retaliation by Pakistan and for fear of a possible backlash by Islamic states, including an oil embargo against it by the Muslim member-states of OPEC.

    In 1991, India and Pakistan signed a treaty pledging that neither would preemptively attack the nuclear facilities of the other. However, as India’s and Pakistan’s animosity grows, this treaty has been rendered toothless and is unlikely to be adhered to by either side.

    In the early 1990s, reports surfaced in London claiming Israel had repeatedly tried to pressure India into launching a joint strike on Pakistan's nuclear weapons development plant at Kahuta. The reports claimed Israeli and Indian pilots would be aided by detailed satellite photographs of Kahuta provided by convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

    According to a report in The Washington Times, citing US officials, Pakistan’s then Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed had notified the US government and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that Israeli and Indian warplanes, equipped with long-range refueling gear and operating out of India, had planned to attack Pakistani nuclear facilities at dawn on Thursday, 28 May 1998.

    It is possible that for Kahuta, the Israelis will use F-15 Strike Eagles to carry out the actual attack with F-16s providing air cover - a reversal of the roles in the operation against Osirak. Furthermore, it is almost certain that if Israel ever attempted to take out Pakistan’s nuclear weapons facilities, Kahuta will not be the only target and it is highly likely that the Plutonium Reactor at Khushab and the National Development Complex (NDC) at Fatehjung, among others, will be additional targets high on the priority list of the Israelis.

    Senior Israeli military intelligence officials had, of course, dismissed the notion that any kind of attack was being contemplated against Pakistan. Pakistan and India "are coming out of the closet and they are trying to drag us with them," one senior intelligence official said. "We have nothing to do with it. They are trying to force us into being a party in this. "The official also maintained that Pakistan's infamous espionage and counter-espionage agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was acting on "faulty intelligence." The Israelis maintained that the misinformation may have been propaganda fed to them from some other body, the Iranians perhaps. "They took it seriously. They could have believed it, but they did the responsible thing and checked it out with the Americans," the official said. Not that the Americans could be trusted, given the fact that it was the United States which has supplied all the information and satellite photos of Pakistan's nuclear installations to both Israel and India.

    The assessment in Israel is that it does not believe that Pakistan sees the Jewish State as its enemy - not directly and at least not in the short-run. Israeli intelligence officials also do not believe that Pakistan has transferred nuclear or missile technology to nuclear-wannabe Iran. Moreover, they have no proof that Pakistan is or intends to engage in any nuclear cooperation with any other country. An Israeli defence analyst commented to this effect, "Pakistan will not transfer nuclear know-how to any other Muslim country, not out of fear of Israel, but because that would diminish its own importance in the Islamic World. Today, Pakistan is the Islamic world's sole nuclear power, if there are two, Pakistan's position would be reduced. So it is using its nuclear prowess not only as a deterrent against its enemies but also to bolster its relationship with its strategic friends".

    Shai Feldman, Director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel once stated, "I am certain that the Pakistanis have enough trouble on their hands and would refrain from doing something that would actually increase Israel's incentive to cooperate with India. Why would they buy another enemy when the situation is as bad as it is?" Feldman said. "They are not stupid, and they probably know that if we had any evidence of transfer of technology to one of our adversaries then Israel would react and it wouldn't be very pleasant," he added.

    And vice versa, Mr. Feldman.



    How safe are Pakistan’s nuclear assets
    By Shahid R. Siddiqi
    Sunday, 14 Feb, 2010 | 01:00 AM PST |

    INDIA’S explosion of its nuclear device in 1974 drew only a customary “show of concern” from the western powers. But Pakistan’s nuclear programmeme, initiated in response to the Indian acquisition of nuclear weapons, evoked immediate and “serious concern” from the same quarters. Ever since, Pakistan has been under immense pressure to scrap its programm while the Indians remain uncensored.

    That western attitude was discriminatory can also be seen by the religious colour it gave to Pakistan’s bomb by calling it an ‘Islamic bomb’. One has never heard of the Israeli bomb being called a ‘Jewish Bomb’, or the Indian bomb a ‘Hindu Bomb’, or the American and British bomb a ‘Christian Bomb’ or the Soviet bomb a ‘Communist’ (or an ‘Atheist) Bomb’. The West simply used Pakistan’s bomb to make Islam synonymous with aggression and make its nuclear programme a legitimate target, knowing full well that it merely served a defensive purpose and was not even remotely associated with Islam.

    With India going nuclear soon after playing a crucial role in dismembering Pakistan in 1971 and enjoying an overwhelming conventional military superiority over Pakistan in the ratio of 4:1, a resource strapped Pakistan was pushed to the wall. Left with no other choice but to develop a nuclear deterrent to ward off future Indian threats, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declared: “Pakistanis will eat grass but make a nuclear bomb”. And sure enough, they did it. Soon, however, both he and the nuclear programme were to become non-grata. Amid intense pressure, sanctions and vilification campaign, Henry Kissinger personally delivered to a defiant Bhutto the American threat: “give up your nuclear programme or else we will make a horrible example of you’.

    And a horrible example was made of Bhutto for his defiance. But he had enabled Pakistan to become the 7th nuclear power in the world. This served Pakistan well. India was kept at bay despite temptations for military adventurism. Although there has never been real peace in South Asia, at least there has been no war since 1971.

    Ignoring its security perspective, Pakistan’s western ‘friends’ refused to admit it to their exclusive nuclear club, though expediency made them ignore its ‘crime’ when it suited their purpose. But driven by identical geo-strategic interests in their respective regions and seeing Pakistan as an obstacle to their designs, Israel and India missed no opportunity to malign or subvert Pakistan’s programme.

    Due to its defiance of Indian diktat, Pakistan is for India an obstruction in its quest for domination of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Israel’s apprehension of Pakistan’s military prowess is rooted in the strength Pakistan indirectly provides to Arab states with whom Israel has remained in a state of conflict. Conscious that several Arab states look up to Pakistan for military support in the event of threat to their security from Israel, it is unsettling for Israel to see a nuclear armed Pakistan.

    Israel can also not overlook the fact that Pakistan’s military is a match to its own. The PAF pilots surprised Israeli Air Force, when flying mostly Russian aircraft they shot down several relatively superior Israeli aircraft in air combat in the 1973 Arab-Israel war, shattering the invincibility myth of Israeli pilots who believed themselves to be too superior in skill and technology. The Pakistanis happened to be assigned to Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces on training missions when the war broke out and, unknown to the Israelis then, they incognito undertook combat missions.

    After successfully destroying Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, Israelis planned a similar attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities at Kahuta in collusion with India in the 1980s. Using satellite pictures and intelligence information, Israel reportedly built a full-scale mock-up of Kahuta facility in the Negev Desert where pilots of F-16 and F-15 squadrons practised mock attacks.
    According to ‘The Asian Age’, journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark stated in their book ‘Deception: Pakistan, the US and the Global Weapons Conspiracy’, that Israeli Air Force was to launch an air attack on Kahuta in mid-1980s from Jamnagar airfield in Gujarat (India). The book claims that “in March 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed off (on) the Israeli-led operation bringing India, Pakistan and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration”.
    Another report claims that Israel also planned an air strike directly out of Israel. After midway and midair refueling, Israeli warplanes planned to shoot down a commercial airline’s flight over Indian Ocean that flew into Islamabad early morning, fly in a tight formation to appear as one large aircraft on radar screens preventing detection, use the drowned airliner’s call sign to enter Islamabad’s air space, knock out Kahuta and fly out to Jammu to refuel and exit.
    According to reliable reports in mid-1980s this mission was actually launched one night. But the Israelis were in for a big surprise. They discovered that Pakistan Air Force had already sounded an alert and had taken to the skies in anticipation of this attack. The mission had to be hurriedly aborted.
    Pakistan reminded the Israelis that Pakistan was no Iraq and that PAF was no Iraqi Air Force. Pakistan is reported to have conveyed that an attack on Kahuta would force Pakistan to lay waste to Dimona, Israel’s nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert. India was also warned that Islamabad would attack Trombay if Kahuta facilities were hit.

    The above quoted book claims that “Prime Minister Indira Gandhi eventually aborted the operation despite protests from military planners in New Delhi and Jerusalem.”

    McNair’s paper #41 published by USAF Air University (India Thwarts Israeli Destruction of Pakistan's "Islamic Bomb") also confirmed this plan. It said, “Israeli interest in destroying Pakistan’s Kahuta reactor to scuttle the "Islamic bomb" was blocked by India's refusal to grant landing and refueling rights to Israeli warplanes in 1982.” Clearly India wanted to see Kahuta gone but did not want to face retaliation at the hands of the PAF. Israel, on its part wanted this to be a joint Indo-Israeli strike to avoid being solely held responsible.

    The Reagan administration also hesitated to support the plan because Pakistan’s distraction at that juncture would have hurt American interests in Afghanistan, when Pakistan was steering the Afghan resistance against the Soviets.

    Although plans to hit Kahuta were shelved, the diatribe against Pakistan’s nuclear programme continued unabated. Israel used its control over the American political establishment and western media to create hysteria. India worked extensively to promote paranoia, branding Pakistan’s programme as unsafe, insecure and a threat to peace. The fact is otherwise. It is technically sounder, safer and more secure than that of India and has ensured absence of war in the region.

    The US invasion of Afghanistan provided another opening for Indo-Israeli nexus to target Pakistan’s strategic assets. This time the strategy was to present Pakistan as an unstable state, incapable of defending itself against religious extremist insurgents, creating the spectre of Islamabad and its nuclear assets falling in their hands. Suggestions are being floated that Pakistan being at risk of succumbing to extremists, its nuclear assets should be disabled, seized or forcibly taken out by the US. Alternatively, an international agency should take them over for safe keeping.

    Pakistan has determinedly thwarted the terrorist threat and foiled this grand conspiracy. Pakistan has made it clear that it would act decisively against any attempt by any quarter to harm its nuclear assets. But if the game is taken to the next level, the consequences would be disastrous for the region.

    The Indo-Israeli nexus is losing initiative. But as long as the American umbrella is available Afghanistan will remain a playground for mischief mongers. It is now up to the US to walk its talk and prove its claim that it wants to see a secure and stable Pakistan. It must pull the plug on conspiracies to destabilize Pakistan.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
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  13. Aeronaut
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    Aeronaut ADMINISTRATOR

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    And Pakistan had warned India in advance, of a punitive response against ITS nuclear reactor, should India try any silly billies. Pakistan Air Force too had operational plans to bomb the Indian reactor and had maintained operational capability to deliver just what was asked of it.
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  14. Hashshāshīn
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    Hashshāshīn FULL MEMBER

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    No, India knew, as did the US. But what could India do? There was no way they could've gone into Pakistan on their own. They needed US assistance, but US needed Pakistan for the war against Soviets in Afg.