Six persons died here Tuesday due to a cylinder explosion in nuclear power plant, leaving the area permeated with poisonous gas that was evacuated later. Due to suffocation in the area, the authorities evacuated area in the radius of 14 kilometers of the place of incidence. The incidence occurred 40 kilometers away from here during maintenance work.
The Atomic Energy Commission has blocked all the roads to and from the nuclear facility. Responding to the news reports, government spokesman issued clarification that the incidence was gas leakage from the Heavy Water Plant rather than the nuclear plant.
There are two theories – one, the official one that it was a leak; and the other, an unofficial one that it was an American attack. The official version puts the death toll at one, the unofficial is higher. Both, the versions are troublesome!
If official one is to be believed, then it means that the Nuke plant does not have adequate safety measures and it could be an issue going forward. If the cylinders had done more damage than they did? If this part is not completely safe, what is the guarantee that others are safe?
If the unofficial one is true – then it means many things. One, and this is most disturbing – that US has concluded that the threat from US Nuke plant has reached a level that is unacceptable to it and that there is little political leverage it has now (or in other words, Mushy’s days are numbered!!). This is the last step that US will take in Pakistan and that is why this is serious!
Also along with this news comes the release of curbs on AQ Khan. His arrest was obviously a political ploy by Musharraf but it had kept the talk of proliferation under the rug for some years. This may have factored in the threat levels for the US.
It is my worry that this region is becoming more and more unstable! Iran may be readying to take some action also. If this was an attack on Pakistan, then its ominous indications will not be missed by Iran. So, what will Iran do when its Nukes are threatened? Attack Israel. And Pakistan will have a tougher time with a political establishment that isnt entirely above board (Zardari seemed good and honest until sometime.. but he seems to be doing some somersaults!). Also, Taliban hasn’t really gone away and are making a comeback. Will they bring grief to Pakistan? Quite possible.
Now, the final and the most disturbing piece – China! These guys are having the Olympics and from the looks of it, they will have their issues with the Tibetans and some countries in Europe and West will feel slighted by the tantrums that Chinese throw and the attitude they display!
An unstable Pakistan; a slighted (arrogant and abusive) China; a calculating Iran and a messy Iraq… while India goes to elections next year (where the Commies will raise the ante and the BJP will surely retaliate – so some mess can be expected). What can be expected then?