The US administration, under any president be it the Watergate infamy Nixon or Lewinsky celebrity Clinton and Modi notoriety Obama, is scandalously popular for its frequent use of a process generally branded as stick and carrot approach that as a rule is workable on almost all countries but recurrently handy for taming and more accurately discrediting Pakistan while reassuring India. This instrument one day or the other will also be employed against India when it would fail to deliver positively on human rights abuses: Americans are beef eaters and one of them will be lynched in India someday.
According to a news item in the New York Times, the US is in a mood to explore a deal to keep a tight rein on Pakistan’s nuclear inventory during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the US. In all probability, a deliberately leaked news item blurts out that the Obama administration is exploring a deal with Pakistan that would limit the scope of Pakistan’s nuclear armory, which is considered as the fastest-growing arsenal in the world. In June this year, Toby Dalton and Michael Krepon, co-founder of Stimson Centre, had already paved the ground for reopening discussions on Pakistan’s nuclear programme while associating it with terrorism and proliferation.
Using the tool of stick, the American administration is once again speaking about by now the boring issue of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, one of the founders of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. For more than a decade, no talks between the US and Pakistan have taken place on the issue of proliferation by Pakistan but the issue of talks on the question of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons was reignited once again coinciding with the visit of Pakistani prime minister and his meeting with President Obama on October 22, 2015.
A dialogue is being held in advance of the arrival of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington as disclosed by the NYT. It is said to be focused on the American apprehension that Pakistan might be on the brink of deploying its smart tactical nuclear weapons, similar to the ones that the US deployed in Europe during the Cold War to deter an imminent invasion by the then rival Soviet Union. Interestingly, both the powers never got to use these weapons. Contrary, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are the product of three-time wars while in 1971 the country had to give up its major part as a result of the Indian onslaught and was compelled to develop nuclear weapons. More amusingly, what threat tactical nature nuclear weapons would pose to the mainland US has never been pointed out in the threat perception of the global power.
According to the NYT, these discussions are being led by Peter R. Lavoy, a long time intelligence expert on Pakistan’s nuclear programme who is now on the staff of the National Security Council and is well connected with Indian lobbyists.
The US media at the same time has also made it possible to be widely heard by both Pakistan and Indian public that when Nawaz Sharif comes to Washington on October 22, the ‘secret’ US-Pakistan talks, dealing with the country’s consideration of deploying tactical nuclear weapons by its army facing India, will be held and this is a life and death issue for India. Hype has been created that by using these smart weapons during a conventional war with India, Pakistan’s army would escalate an ordinary battle up to the nuclear level, potentially leading to an exchange of strategic nuclear weapons. Hence, the lives of millions could be at risk and in the worst case scenario an all-out nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would take place, causing incalculable loss of millions of lives. Modi may be very satisfied with what the American president is intending to do under his ‘apprehensions’ over the potential use of nuclear tactical weapons against India.
American outlook that the Sub-Continent is so heavily armed with nuclear weapons, yet far outside the non-proliferation regime, is in effect to bow down Pakistan not India to sign conventional and additional nuclear protocols. Limiting Pakistan and allowing India to hoodwink the IAEA and NSG protocols under the civil nuclear umbrella would not bring nuclear safety but may enhance the chances of a nuclear war with India.
Meanwhile, President Obama has ordered to halt the withdrawal of American military forces from Afghanistan, announcing that the US has decided to keep thousands of troops in the country through the end of his term in 2017 and indefinitely prolonging the American role in a war that has already lasted 15 years. America seems to fear Russian influence once again in Afghanistan after the later declared its support for President Asad of Syria. Since the US has lost hope to continue giving the stick of keeping terrorists alive in Fata and carrot of doling out money to Pakistan, therefore it is bringing the nuclear weapons rhetoric into play.
Changing global power politics presented by the burgeoning regional cooperation between Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran has indeed once again elicited the American game of using stick and carrot against Pakistan. One thing that is important to be realised is that Pakistan must refrain from taking money from Americans whether doled out through the INGOs or the American government in the name of Coalition Support Fund. This will indisputably become a force multiplier to checkmate frequent use of stick and carrot.