Pakistan Needs Its Own Nuclear Deal

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  1. pkd
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    pkd FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan Needs Its Own Nuclear Deal

    Such a pact could finally offer the right set of carrots to ensure Islamabad's counterterror cooperation
    By C. CHRISTINE FAIR

    Pakistan terrifies the United States because it is a unique nexus of nuclear proliferation and Islamist militancy. But with success in Afghanistan elusive, Washington needs Islamabad more than ever, and vice versa. The two countries have never been able to achieve a durable relationship based on mutual trust. That could be fixed, however, if the U.S. were willing to consider a radical new approach: a policy centered on a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal.

    Nuclear cooperation could deliver results where billions of dollars of American aid have failed. Pakistan has long benefited from Washington's largess—including more than $15 billion in aid and lucrative reimbursements since 9/11—while only marginally delivering on U.S. expectations. Islamabad has refused to work against the Afghan Taliban and homegrown terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, or provide Washington access to A.Q. Khan to verify that his nuclear black markets have been dismantled.

    Pakistan has bristled at U.S. attempts to tie better behavior to security assistance, such as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation. That law provides for $7.5 billion in civilian aid. But it conditions unspecified amounts of security assistance on Pakistan's continued cooperation with Washington to dismantle nuclear supply networks such as Khan's. And it demands a sustained commitment to combat terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba

    More so than conventional weapons or large sums of cash, a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of U.S. intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism. This deal would confer acceptance to Islamabad's nuclear weapon program and reward it for the improvements in nuclear security that it has made since 2002. In the long shadow of A.Q. Khan and continued uncertainty about the status of his networks, it is easy to forget that Pakistan has established a Strategic Plans Division that has done much to improve safety of the country's nuclear assets.

    In exchange for fundamental recognition of its nuclear status and civilian assistance, Pakistan would have to meet two criteria. First, Pakistan would have to provide the kind of access and cooperation on nuclear suppliers' networks identified in the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation. Second, Pakistan would have to demonstrate sustained and verifiable commitment in combating all terrorist groups on its soil, including those groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba that Pakistan often calls "freedom fighters" acting on behalf of Kashmir and India's Muslims.

    Such a civilian nuclear deal could achieve the goals that Kerry-Lugar-Berman could not because it would offer Pakistan benefits that it actually values and which only the United States can meaningfully confer. Finding means of addressing these joint concerns is critical to U.S. international and regional interests. Pakistan currently operates on the assumption that its possession of nuclear weapons confers a degree of protection against American or Indian attempts to crack down on Pakistan's home-grown terror groups. Ample experience has shown that "jihad under the nuclear umbrella" is a reliable means to secure Islamabad's interests against a larger and more powerful set of adversaries.

    In the future Pakistan is likely to become more reliant, not less, on nuclear-protected jihad to secure its interests. Pakistan's fears of India are chronic and are likely to deepen as India continues its ascent on the world stage. Despite India's past restraint, a militant attack in India remains one of the most likely precipitants of an Indo-Pakistan war. The specter of further nuclear proliferation to states or non-state actors remains a serious concern.

    That's where a civilian nuclear deal between the U.S. and Pakistan could prove so important. The U.S. is currently limited in its ability to shore up Pakistan's confidence against India because Islamabad fears that Washington, perhaps working with India or Israel, seeks to dismantle Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Fundamentally, Pakistan believes the U.S. rejects its status as a nuclear-armed state, whereas Washington has accepted and even supported the other two states that have acquired nuclear weapons outside of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Israel and India. With a civilian nuclear deal, Washington can trade the nuclear acceptance Pakistan craves for the cooperation the U.S. needs.

    A nuclear deal will not be an easy sale either in Washington or in Islamabad. Details of the India-U.S. deal are still being negotiated more than five years after the idea was initially floated. A deal with Islamabad will be even more protracted because of A.Q. Khan's activities and the clout of domestic lobbies in Washington. It is possible that even this deal may not provide Pakistan adequate incentives to eliminate terror groups or provide access to persons like A.Q. Khan.

    Yet there is value in putting this on the table now. Ties between Washington and Islamabad have never been more strained, yet are critical to key interests of both states. Washington needs a plan that is as bold and as the challenges that Pakistan presents

    Pakistan Needs Its Own Nuclear Deal - WSJ.com
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
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  2. jagjitnatt
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    jagjitnatt SENIOR MEMBER

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    Right now, this looks highly unlikely to happen. Pakistan needs to gain the confidence of the US and also the rest of the world. It will take some time. Also image of Pakistan's nuclear programme were tarnished after the AQ Khan incident.

    But if conditions get better in Pak, surely with time, Pakistan will get the green signal.
  3. pak-yes
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    pak-yes SENIOR MEMBER

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    Nah we don't need a nuclear deal from US.if only our leaders were a little sincere we could had easily persuaded China for a similar Nuclear Deal.
  4. Creder
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    Creder SENIOR MEMBER

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    US didnt give us nukes, and we sure as hell dont expect nor need the US to provide us with a civilan program.

    Our nuclear program is mature and advanced enough to deter any foreign threat. A civilian nuclear deal, which might come sooner than expected because of the US-India deal, will most likely come from china.
  5. mjnaushad
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    mjnaushad SENIOR MEMBER

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    Never say NO to knowledge. They are not going to give us so easily but still if they do we should not refuse.
  6. Creder
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    Creder SENIOR MEMBER

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    yeah id say go read up on all help US has offered to pakistan in these past fifty years.

    Lol you think they'll just give this stuff to you as a gift ? :whistle:
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