Islamabad -A foreign strategic expert has said that Pakistan’s image in the world has improved due to its responsible stance on its nuclear programme, continuity of democratic process and smooth transition of power. “Pakistan’s image as a nuclear state has changed positively in the eyes of the world. Pakistan is a nuclear reality and it is now regarded as a responsible nuclear state,” said French strategic expert Bruno Gruselle during his visit to Pakistan concluding today.
He was sharing views at an interactive session organised by the Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad (SSII) headed by its Director General Dr Shireen Mazari.
Bruno, who is Research Fellow at the Foundation of Strategic Research in Paris, said that the paradox of nuclear weapons-that nuclear weapons bring fragile stability- was prevalent in South Asia. “This works to a large extent but this is dangerous because of the over confidence in both the sides about knowing each other. Usually this concept is prevalent across the world but in particular context of South Asia, it’s very troubling because both the side claim of having been in full knowledge of each other’s weakness. This could bring disastrous consequences,” he said.
Regarding Iranian nuclear programme, the expert believed that the US role in this regard was a major challenge to the country’s nuclear build-up. “You can test a nuclear weapon sanctioned by the US and cannot test one if opposed by it. You know, their (US) friends who agree with their agenda can conduct nuclear tests,” he said in an implied reference to discriminatory nuclear standards followed in the West.
Bruno said that smooth transition of power through democratic means and continuity of democratic process helped boost Pakistan’s image as a responsible nuclear power in the world. “Both military and the civilian sides in Pakistan take the nuclear security and safety very seriously,” he commented.
He also argued that Pakistan, after accomplishing its nuclear goals over a certain time period, had the option to sign CTBT, which would give the country an edge over India.
In her remarks, Dr Shireen Mazari agreed with this suggestion on CTBT saying that in case India, accomplished its nuclear designs and went to sign the CTBT first, it would compromise Pakistan’s position at the international forums.
She said that an out-of-box settlement on Pak-India nuclear row was unlikely due to the military’s role in this regard.
“Military calls the shots regarding foreign policy and defence build-up concerning India. We, the civilians, keep talking big outside the door which is never opened while military makes its plans inside that door.”
Dr Mazari said that external powers were exploiting the concept of fragile stability in Pakistan. She said that the European Union had interference in Iran’s nuclear programme because of NPT while it not for the EU or any country to interfere in Pakistan’s nuclear programme, she said.