A report by a reputable US think-tank has claimed that Pakistan is powerful enough to repel any militant attempt to seize power and that Pakistan’s nukes are in safe hands as they are capable of protecting nuclear weapons.
The Brookings report by the name ‘The Agonising Problem of Pakistan’s Nukes’ explained that the Taliban victory in Afghanistan had emboldened and inspired the militants in Pakistan provoking fears of a resurgence of militant activities in the unclearly equipped country.
The report claimed, “The fear now includes the possibility that jihadis in Pakistan, freshly inspired by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, might try to seize power at home.”
The author of the report Marvin Kalb added, “Trying, of course, is not the same as succeeding. If history is a reliable guide, Pakistan’s professional military would almost certainly respond, and in time probably succeed.”
However, the report warned that even the minutest fault in the action could lead to “the floodgates of a new round of domestic warfare between the government and extremist gangs.”
The Brookings report warned that a resurgent insurgency would “leave Pakistan again shaken by political and economic uncertainty.”
The report then turned to another worst possibility that Pakistan also has often warned against the increasing possibility of a nuclear conflict in South Asia due to the instability in the region. Pakistan has used this argument quite often to strengthen its demand for international arbitration to settle the IIOJK issue and other disputes with India.
The Brookings report did not name the Kashmir dispute but it acknowledged the fact that “when Pakistan is shaken, so too is India, its less than neighborly rival and nuclear competitor.”
Going back to the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, the report claimed that the development has increased the possibility of a ‘terrorist regime’ in Pakistan “from a fear into a strategic challenge that no American president can afford to ignore.”
The report also noted that Pakistan’s political and military leaders had assured a succession of “anxious (American) presidents” that this cannot happen as the country is strong enough to fight back the militants.
The report also stated that Pakistan’s security establishment has always closely watched various terrorist groups operating in the country.
Pakistani officials have told their American counterparts that every member of the Haqqani network, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-i-Labaik were under authorities’ surveillance and are repeatedly been checked and rechecked.
Pakistani custodian of the nukes had said, “We keep a close eye on everything, even the madrassas, where more than 2 million students are more likely studying sharia law than economics or history. We know who these terrorists are and what they’re doing, and we’re ready to take immediate action.”
Despite such assurances, the report claimed that the United States continued to suspect a threat to Pakistan’s nukes. The report added, “Ever since May 1998, when Pakistan first began testing nuclear weapons, American presidents have been haunted by the fear that Pakistan’s stockpile of nukes would fall into the wrong hands.”
The report also argued that since the recent debacle in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s alleged role in it “serious questions have been raised about America’s embarrassing predisposition to look the other way.”