Last year, Asif Ali Zardari announced Pakistan was abandoning its “First Use Nuke policy”. Which meant that Pakistan would not use the Nukes first on India. Although Pakistan’s “Defense Analysts” and past ISI and Pak Army personnel have kept on the rhetoric of using these Nukes right away.
Now, the reason why Zardari make that announcement comes out. Pakistan is now ready with the Second Strike Nuclear Capability.
It seems that the work on it started right after 9-11 on the insistence of Musharraf, because given the US poster, he worried that they may hit the Nukes along the way if Pakistan did not bend as they wanted. So, the Nukes were dispersed and buried deep. The formal procedures include some possible hard and deeply buried storage and launch facilities, road-mobile missiles, air defenses around strategic sites, and concealment measures.
Now, that also raises questions on another situation. If the Nukes are dispersed and therefore, the Nuke administration is more decentralized, then the chances and possibility of their effective takeover becomes higher. Specially, in situations that Pakistan finds itself right now as Taliban has started taking the territory over.
So, while Consolidation of Nukes in Pakistan make them vulnerable to the “India threat”; Dispersal of Nukes make them vulnerable to the “Taliban threat”. So, now that Pakistan has already committed itself to deal with the “India threat” as opposed to the “Taliban threat” the question will remain whether they made a smart choice? I, personally, don’t think so. But time will tell.
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