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Pakistan’s new nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) opens up a dangerous new era

The Risks of Pakistan’s Sea-Based Nuclear Weaponshttps://thediplomat.com/2017/10/the-risks-of-pakistans-sea-based-nuclear-weapons/The Babur-3 opens a dangerous era for Pakistan’s nuclear forces.By Ankit Panda, October 13, 2017 Nine days into 2017, Pakistan carried out the first-ever flight test of the Babur-3, it’s new nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). A variant of the Babur-3 ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM), this SLCM will see Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent head to sea—probably initially aboard its Agosta 90B and Agosta 70 submarines, but eventually, perhaps even on board new Type 041 Yuan-class submarines Pakistan is expected to procure from China.

In a new article in the Fall 2017 issue of the Washington Quarterly, Christopher Clary and I examine some of the novel security challenges Pakistan may experience with its sea-based deterrent. It is already well known that Pakistan has outpaced it’s primary rival, India, in terms of its nuclear stockpile growth.

On land, low-yield systems, like the Nasr, have also raised concerns of a lower nuclear-use threshold in South Asia. The move to sea can have some positive effects on overall strategic stability; indeed, the perceived survivability of a sea-based deterrent can abate so-called “use-it-or-lose-it” pressures for Pakistan’s land-based forces. But the story doesn’t stop there.

Sea-based weapons can aggravate crisis stability concerns in the India-Pakistan dyad and present unique command-and-control challenges for Pakistan, which may be required to place these weapons at a higher level of readiness during peacetime. Finally, Pakistan’s internal security environment will remain a concern with a submarine-based deterrent. The threat of theft and sabotage may be greater in the case of Pakistan’s sea-based weapons than it is for its land-based forces. In aggregate, we argue that the sea-based deterrent may, on balance, prove detrimental to Pakistan’s security.

Pakistan, like other nuclear states, employs a range of physical and procedural safeguards to ensure that its nuclear weapons are only used in a crisis and a with a valid order from the country’s National Command Authority (NCA). The introduction of a nuclear-capable SLCM aboard its Agosta submarines would necessitate the erosion of some of these safeguards.

For instance, some physical safeguards that Pakistan is known to use for its land-based weapons — including partially dissembled storage, separation of triggers and pits, and de-mated storage — would be impractical at sea. Meanwhile, the experience of other nuclear states, like the United Kingdom, with sea-based deterrents suggests that sea-based nuclear weapons generally see fewer use impediments. Pakistan has long asserted that its nuclear command-and-control is highly centralized, but it remains doubtful that this would remain true for its small nuclear-capable submarine force in wartime or a crisis. The temptation to pre-delegate use authorization may be too great.

Leaving aside the command-and-control and safeguard concerns, sea-based weapons may seriously aggravate crisis stability, in other words, the temptation for India to attack first as a crisis begins. The theory behind a survivable sea-based second-strike capability is more compelling assuming a large submarine force capable of maintaining a continuous at-sea deterrent presence. Pakistan’s submarine force, by contrast, would likely employ a bastion model — meaning that their peacetime locations would be known and hence the submarines would be vulnerable to Indian conventional attack.

Similarly, Indian forces, unable to discriminate whether a detected Pakistani submarine in a crisis was fielding nuclear or conventional capabilities, would have to presume nuclear capability should the Babur-3 see deployment. All of this in turn not only would make Pakistan’s submarine force a prime early-crisis target for Indian forces, but also aggravate use-or-lose pressures for land-based forces.

Ultimately, even if India resisted attacking Pakistani submarines to avoid unintended escalatory pressures, it would at least see value in targeting the Very Low Frequency (VLF) radar facility established at Karachi in November 2016 that would allow Pakistan’s NCA to communicate with its at-sea deterrent in a crisis. This would require some confidence in New Delhi that Pakistan had not pre-delegated use authorization and that Islamabad’s sea-based weapons would still require the transmission of a use-authorization code from the NCA.

Finally, a major cause for concern with Pakistan’s move to the sea with its nuclear forces comes from its ongoing struggle with various radical Islamic militant groups. Here, Pakistan is somewhat unique among nuclear possessor states. While militants have mostly targeted soft targets in urban centers, the Pakistani military has endured major attacks as well. In particular, Pakistan has endured attacks and infiltration attempts at sensitive military and naval sites, some associated with its nuclear program. Then-Defense Minister Khawaja Asif acknowledged that Pakistan Navy insiders even abetted Al Qaeda attackers in the 2014 PNS Zulfiquarattack. (Similar reports surfaced around the time of the 2011 PNS Mehran attacks, too.)

Militants with an eye on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons may find no better targets than sea-based systems with fewer physical safeguards. Moreover, the locations of these weapons would be well-known in peacetime, unlike Pakistan’s land-based weapons. The Pakistan Naval Dockyard in Karachi or the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara — the two known sites capable of hosting Pakistani submarines — are thus prime for attack, infiltration, and even insider risks. While many of the above risks raised by the Babur-3 are far from unique to Pakistan, no other nuclear state faces a similar level of internal militancy.

The Babur-3‘s introduction presents a classic at-sea deterrent dilemma for Pakistan. It can choose to have its presumed second-strike capability either totally secure or readily usable in wartime. For a range of reasons, Pakistan can be expected to opt for the latter option. This will require real compromises on nuclear weapons security that expose Pakistan’s sea-based deterrent to theft and unauthorized use. Combined with the crisis stability implications and the more mundane concerns rising from costs, a sea-based leg to Pakistan’s nuclear forces appears to be, on balance, a net negative for its overall security.

Ankit Panda is a senior editor at The Diplomat, where he writes on international security, politics, economics, and culture. He tweets at @nktpnd. The above essay is based on a longer Washington Quarterly article written with Christopher Clary [PDF] that appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of the journal.

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October 14, 2017 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Donald Trump: USA ready to act militarily against North Korea: Merkel calls for de-escalation of the rhetoric

Donald Trump says US military solutions ‘locked and loaded’ against North.  Korea.news.com.au , AUGUST 12, 2017 US PRESIDENT Donald Trump says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will “regret it and regret it fast” if he attacks the US air bases in Guam or any of America’s allies.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Germany, Pakistan, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No answer in sight, to North Korea’s march toward nuclear capability

As US military flexes, North Korea marches toward nuclear capability http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/02/politics/us-north-korea-military-posturing/ By Zachary Cohen and Brad Lendon, CNN June 2, 2017 

Story highlights

  • North Korea testing missiles at unprecedented rate
  • US shows of force just make North Korea more angry

How much damage can North Korea’s weapons do?

At this point, the pattern is familiar.

One week, North Korea fires off a ballistic missile, then US B-1 bombers stretch their wings over South Korea. The next, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees another missile test, and two US Navy aircraft carriers show their might in waters off the Korean Peninsula.
This merry-go-round of military flexing in the Pacific has become the norm.
But as the US stacks more and more firepower in North Korea’s backyard, Pyongyang marches closer to nuclear capability — and analysts say there is little the world’s strongest military can do about it.And with most estimates putting Kim’s unpredictable regime three to five years away from achieving its nuclear ambitions, the US is simply running out of time.
“There is no amount of military pressure alone that will compel Kim Jong Un to volunteer to eliminate his nuclear and missile programs,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
After two decades of sticking largely to the same ineffective playbook, the course is unlikely to change without a drastic shift in policy from an outside nation.
“The likely outcome will be similar to prior efforts,” predicted Robert Ross, a Boston College professor and China policy expert. “North Korea will call our bluff, the US will draw back from using military force, and North Korea will continue to develop their nuclear program.”…..
[Here CNN gives  a detailed timelineof events]……
How the Kim dynasty has shaped North Korea

China’s role

Diplomatic pressure is just as unlikely to cause either North Korea or the US to back down, experts say.
US President Donald Trump has often cited China, North Korea’s longtime ally, as a key player in reining in North Korea’s quest to have long-range nuclear missiles.
Earlier this year, Beijing called on Pyongyang to suspend its nuclear and missile testing while calling on the US to stop military exercises on and near the Korean Peninsula, which North Korea sees as a threat to its sovereignty.
But since then, the military merry-go-round has spun faster. North Korea is testing missiles at an unprecedented rate — once a week — while there have been five B-1 bomber flights, just one of US military’s shows of force, since April 1.
Economic sanctions, which would need to be backed and enforced by China, don’t seem to be the answer, the analysts say.
China is wary of implementing sanctions on Pyongyang that would risk economic collapse in North Korea.
“The irony here is, if China amped up economic pressure on North Korea, it might lead to a collapse — which would mean more refugees even if a military conflict doesn’t take place,” said Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning DC think tank.
It is unlikely China would be compelled to implement any sort of meaningful sanctions that stray from the status-quo when North Korea’s missiles do not pose an immediate threat to them, Cheng said.
“China’s priority is avoiding war on its border and it won’t sacrifice that to help US deal with North Korea’s nuclear program,” Ross told CNN. “Trump continues to rely on China and may be very frustrated by their inability to deliver.”

North Korea shows no sign of budging

Displays of US military power have only succeeded in escalating the situation — making the chances of Pyongyang giving up its missile program, which it sees as a deterrent to a military first strike from the US, very slim, according to Ross.
Statements from Pyongyang seem to bear that out.
“On May 29, the US imperialists committed a grave military provocation by letting a formation of infamous B-1B nuclear strategic bombers fly over south Korea once again to stage a nuclear bomb dropping drill,” said a statement from North Korea’s state-run media outlet KCNA. “The gangster-like US imperialists are making all the more desperate in their moves to ignite a nuclear war despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK,” it said.
Mount, the Center for American Progress analyst, says the fact that the US hasn’t given North Korea any “red lines” it cannot cross means the Kim regime has no reason to stop moving ahead with its nuclear missile program.
“Deterrence requires clear communication to work effectively,” Mount said.
The Trump administration “seems to stake its credibility on North Korea refraining from developing an ICBM, without sending a strong signal to deter it from doing so. It’s the worst of both worlds,” he said.

The countdown is underway

Further complicating the situation is the unpredictable nature of the Kim regime — as well as a shrinking window of time before North Korea is able to develop a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the US. “At some level we are going to be facing an unprecedented situation” if they are able to develop nuclear capabilities, said Cheng.
An additional concern for the US is the idea that Pyongyang is not simply interested in developing these missile capabilities for deterrence purposes as they have also long expressed a desire to “re-unify the Korean Peninsula” under their flag, according to Cheng.
“This is a regime that’s done a lot of things that are pretty out there and when you look at all of that one can’t be sure what they would do if they had nuclear capable ballistic missiles,” he said, adding that an invasion of South Korea could be possible if the North “thinks they can get away with it.”
The analysts see little hope for any resolution, diplomatic or military.
“Do we have a solution?” asked Cheng. “Probably not, but we haven’t had one for a long time.”

June 3, 2017 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

In Pakistan, 2000 schools go solar

http://www.ecowatch.com/pakistan-schools-go-solar-2360991261.html , 17 Apr 17, About 20,000 schools in the province of Punjab in Pakistan will convert to solar power, according to government officials.

Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif reviewed the progress of the “Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme” to install solar rooftop systems on the area’s schools at a recent meeting.

The project will kick off in Southern Punjab schools and expand in phases across the province, according to a local report.

The Asian Development Bank and France’s AFD Bank are backing the program, Cleantechnica reported. This is the first program of its kind in the country.

In Pakistan, nearly half of all residents are not connected to the national grid. Residents who are connected to the grid regularly experience rolling blackouts and power outages. And the problem is only expected to get worse in the coming years.

Renewable resources can help mitigate this growing energy crisis. Pakistan happens to be rich in solar, as the Express Tribune described:

“With eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, the climatic conditions in Pakistan are ideal for solar power generation. According to studies, Pakistan has 2.9 million megawatts of solar energy potential besides photovoltaic opportunities.

“According to figures provided by FAKT, Pakistan spends about $12 billion annually on the import of crude oil. Of this, 70 percent oil is used in generating power, which currently costs us Rs18 per unit. Shifting to solar energy can help reduce electricity costs down to Rs 6-8 per unit.”

Solar energy has made great strides in Pakistan in recent years. In February 2016, its parliament became the first national assembly in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy. The legislative body, known as the Majlis-e-Shoora, is in the capital city of Islamabad.

One of the world’s largest solar farms is currently under construction in Punjab. Developers of the 1,000-megawatt Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur have already added hundreds of megawatts of energy to the national grid.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Increased risk of an accidental nuclear weapons exchange between India and Pakistan

Nuclear roulette BY EDITORIAL THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE  https://tribune.com.pk/story/1377625/nuclear-roulette/ , 8 Apr 17, A mutually agreed nuclear disarmament treaty between India and Pakistan has never been on the cards and is never likely to be. Both maintain a nuclear arsenal and both have the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons anywhere within the territory of the other. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) is indeed assured. Neither state presents a nuclear threat face to any other enemy. Given the oscillating volatility of both states it is unsurprising that the nuclear cards get a periodic shuffle, and India under Modi has moved into an altogether more martial phase with threat levels, nuclear and conventional, rising accordingly. Analysts and observers are of a uniform opinion — the place a nuclear exchange is most likely to happen accidentally, as in a reactive event rather than a first-strike assault — is between India and Pakistan, and India is likely in that event to be the state that pushes the button first.
Reports are in circulation that India may consider revising its no first strike policy, allowing its ‘nuclear establishment’ to conduct pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan in the event of a war.

The environment of managed instability along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary has heated up in the last year. In addition to cross-border shelling there have been movements of armour and heavy artillery on both sides. India has claimed to have raided into Pakistan — without providing substantive evidence of such — and any shift in the position regarding nuclear doctrines is going to do nothing for strategic restraint in the region.

 Why this latest upping of the ante is irresponsible and dangerous is that it adds another layer of uncertainty. For all the sabre-rattling by India there is little real possibility of the pot boiling over, and now would be an opportune time if ever there was one to explore moderate and peaceful outcomes, create confidence-building measures, propose a halt to the arrests of each other’s innocent but wandering fisherpeople — and there seems little doubt that Pakistan would be willing to consider all of that as part of a composite dialogue, but no. Instead India plays the pre-emptive strike card and raises further human rights concerns in Kashmir. Let us be blunt. Act your age, India. Grow up. And stop throwing your toys around the (nuclear) playpen.

April 8, 2017 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pakistan’s policies on nuclear weapons

How Pakistan Is Planning to Fight a Nuclear War, National Interest, Kyle Mizokami, 26 Mar 17, Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

 The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization……..

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually, which on top of the existing stockpile meant Pakistan could quickly become the third-largest nuclear power in the world. Other observers, however, believe Pakistan can only develop another forty to fifty warheads in the near future.

Pakistani nuclear weapons are under control of the military’s Strategic Plans Division, and are primarily stored in Punjab Province, far from the northwest frontier and the Taliban. Ten thousand Pakistani troops and intelligence personnel from the SPD guard the weapons. Pakistan claims that the weapons are only armed by the appropriate code at the last moment, preventing a “rogue nuke” scenario.

Pakistani nuclear doctrine appears to be to deter what it considers an economically, politically and militarily stronger India. The nuclear standoff is exacerbated by the traditional animosity between the two countries, the several wars the two countries have fought, and events such as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which were directed by Pakistan. Unlike neighboring India and China, Pakistan does not have a “no first use” doctrine, and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons, particularly low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, to offset India’s advantage in conventional forces.http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-pakistan-planning-fight-nuclear-war-19897

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pakistan and India have agreed to extend their bilateral nuclear safety agreement

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-pakistanflag-indiaPakistan, India extend nuclear safety agreement, By Our Correspondent, Express Tribune, February 21, 2017 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have agreed to extend their bilateral agreement on reducing the risk from accidents relating to nuclear weapons in a move suggesting the two rivals are still mindful of nuclear dangers despite currently strained ties.

The key agreement was extended for the next five years (2017-2022), said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Tuesday.

The agreement came into force in 2007. It was subsequently extended for a period of five years in 2012. The accord is part of the nuclear confidence building measures agreed between Pakistan and India. The aimed of the agreement is to promote a stable environment of peace and security between the two countries, reads the official handout.

“It is premised on the recognition that the nuclear dimension of the security environment of the two countries adds to their responsibility for avoidance of conflict,” the statement added.

The agreement provides for immediate exchange of information between the two countries in the event of any accident relating to nuclear weapons, under their respective jurisdiction and control, which could create the risk of radioactive fallout, with adverse consequences for both sides, or create the risk of an outbreak of a nuclear war…….https://tribune.com.pk/story/1334606/pakistan-india-extend-nuclear-safety-agreement/

February 22, 2017 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Pakistan’s most renowned nuclear physicist says solar power is better for Pakistan

flag-pakistanKarachi is unsafe with nuclear, solar better Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistan’s most renowned nuclear physicist, discusses the prospects of solar power, Chinese nuclear reactors and hopes and fears he has for Pakistan’s energy future., Eco Business,  By Zofeen T. Ebrahim, 20 Feb 17,  “………More nuclear plants don’t make economic sense to me. We are going for nuclear electricity because the Chinese badly want to sell their reactors to Pakistan – we are China’s only customer for nuclear power plants. China has loaned Pakistan 80 per cent of the amount needed for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants (KANUPP)…..

After the tsunami initiated disaster at the plants in Fukushima, it became clear that having nuclear plants near any city was a bad idea. If something ever goes wrong with KANUPP, what will happen to Karachi defies the imagination. Fukushima was a small town of 80,000 disciplined people.

Karachi has 22 million people most of whom feel no twinge when going through a red light. Evacuating them in any disciplined manner would be impossible. And evacuate to where? A catastrophic disaster doesn’t have to be caused by a tsunami – an act of terrorism, sabotage, earthquakes, or operator error (as happened at Chernobyl in 1986) could all take us down that path…….

The global nuclear industry obviously aims to make safer reactors. But the problem is that no one can foresee all the ways in which things could go wrong. The fuel contained in a typical reactor core has more than a thousand atom bombs’ worth of fissile material.

And, even though a reactor cannot blow up in the same way as a bomb, it can release thousands of times more radioactivity than was released by the bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As far as our options go, Pakistan does not make nuclear power reactors. These are beyond our technological capability. Making bombs is far easier and obviously we are making lots of them……

Climate change can be better fought by concentrating on solar and wind power, making more efficient electricity grids, and by cutting down on wastage. Also, if one looks into the carbon cost of making nuclear plants, the savings due to cheap nuclear fuel are much less.

How about if we use thorium fission reactors, or is this still an academic discussion?

PH: India has been planning on doing this for 40 years. There’s still no electricity being produced by thorium fuelled reactors. In any case, it’s not an option for Pakistan because we don’t have thorium deposits and do not have the capacity to make our own nuclear power plants. http://www.eco-business.com/news/karachi-is-unsafe-with-nuclear-solar-better/

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Pakistan, renewable | Leave a comment

Pakistan demands that India bring its nuclear programme under International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA)’s safeguards

‘Pakistan wants India’s entire nuclear programme under IAEA safeguards’  http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/02/07/pakistan-wants-indias-entire-nuclear-programme-under-iaea-safeguards/ February 07, 2017 ISLAMABADPakistan wants India to bring its entire civilian nuclear programme under the safeguards laid out by the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA), a statement quoting Director General Disarmament at the Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar said.

Akhtar was speaking at a round-table discussion in Islamabad on Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), organised to prepare for the upcoming Conference on Disarmament (CD).

“It is incumbent on us to stand up for our own interest. We want an assurance that India’s whole three stage nuclear power programme would be under safeguards,” said Akhtar. “Pakistan will not agree to FMCT until it gets the assurance from India.”

He said negotiating a treaty that only bans future production of fissile material without taking into account the existing stockpiles would freeze “the existing asymmetries”.

The DG Disarmament was of the opinion that India has been given “discriminatory waivers”, which add to Pakistan’s security concerns.

He said that eight of the Indian reactors, its fast breeder programme and approximately five tonnes of reactor-grade plutonium were included in the safeguards of dictated by the IAEA.

The FMCT would put Pakistan at a permanent disadvantage and undermine its security interests, Akhtar added.     There is a fear that the reactors not mandated by the safeguards might be used clandestinely for plutonium production and the existing stockpiles might be diverted to a military programme at a subsequent stage, the DG said.

“Pakistan should not be asked to agree to something that is not in its strategic interest. We have to factor into consideration possible actions by India that could undermine credibility of our nuclear deterrence,” he added.

February 8, 2017 Posted by | India, Pakistan, safety | Leave a comment

Pakistan test-fires nuclear missile capable of hitting multiple targets,

http://zeenews.india.com/asia/pakistan-test-fires-nuclear-missile-capable-of-hitting-multiple-targets_1970284.html
 January 24, 2017 Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday “successfully” test-fired its second indigenously-developed nuclear-capable missile, Ababeel, with a range of 2,200 km and capable of “engaging multiple targets with high precision”. The test firing comes two weeks after the launch of submarine-fired Babar III, that Indian analysts dubbed as fake.

In an apparent reference to India, Pakistan Military spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said: “The development of the Ababeel weapon system was aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.”

The missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. “The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system,” Maj Gen Ghafoor said in a statement.

“Ababeel is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has the capability to engage multiple targets with high precision, defeating the enemy’s hostile radars,” it added.

On January 8, Pakistan conducted its first successful test fire of submarine launched cruise missile Babur III having a range of 450 km. The missile was fired from an underwater, mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy.

The Babur weapons system incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy, according to ISPR. It has been described as a low flying, terrain hugging missile, which carries certain stealth features and is capable of carrying various types of warheads.

January 25, 2017 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China criticises India’s nuclear weaponry, says Pakistan should have the same nuclear “privileges”

Pak should have privileges as India in nuclear development: Chinese state media   Hindustan Times,  Jan 05, 2017 India has “broken” UN limits on nuclear arms and long-range missiles and Pakistan should also be accorded the same “privilege”, state-run Chinese media said on Thursday as it criticised New Delhi for carrying out Agni-4 and 5 missile tests whose range covers the Chinese mainland.

“India has broken the UN’s limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile,” the ruling Communist Party-run tabloid Global Times said in its editorial.

“The US and some Western countries have also bent the rules on its nuclear plans. New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members,” it said.

………At this time, Pakistan should have those privileges in nuclear development that India has,” it said, indicating that China which shared all-weather ties with Islamabad will back it if it develops long-range missiles.

“In general, it is not difficult for India to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles which can cover the whole world. If the UN Security Council has no objection over this, let it be. The range of Pakistan’s nuclear missiles will also see an increase. If the world can adapt to these, China should too,” it said.

The references to violation of UN rules by the daily were significant as the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying while reacting to India’s Agni-5 missile test said on December 27 that ”on whether India can develop this ballistic missile that can carry nuclear weapons, I think relevant resolutions of the UNSC have clear rules”. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pak-should-have-privileges-as-india-in-nuclear-development-chinese-state-media/story-ac8Oad5ab7abln3mfzNlcM.html

January 6, 2017 Posted by | China, India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Would India and Pakistan go to nuclear war?

missiles s korea museum2.5 billion people, nukes and missiles. What could go wrong? By Joshua Berlinger, CNN January 5, 2017 

Story highlights

January 6, 2017 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The very real danger of India-Pakistan War In 2017

India-Pakistan War In 2017? Nuclear Neighbors Still Locked In Conflict Approaching New Year http://www.ibtimes.com/india-pakistan-war-2017-nuclear-neighbors-still-locked-conflict-approaching-new-year-2467636 BY  @JASONLEMIERE ON 12/30/16 As much of the world focuses on the growing hostilities between the United States and Russia as well as the war in Syria heading into 2017, it would be easy to forget about an ongoing conflict between two nuclear-armed neighbors.

For Indian and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since becoming independent states in 1947, 2016 was a year of drastically deteriorating relations. And as they prepare to welcome in the new year, the two countries continue to be locked in an exchange of fire along the border separating the disputed region of Kashmir.

A ceasefire agreement signed between the two countries in Kashmir in 2003 has been rendered effectively redundant. That was evident just this week when India claimed that the Pakistani army engaged in heavy fire targeting Indian positions across the Line of Control, killing one civilian. India made clear it would retaliate strongly.

The latest spike in tensions between India and Pakistan began when an Indian army base in Kashmir was attacked on Sept. 18, killing 19. India claimed that the attack was carried out by militants hailing from Pakistan and retaliated by carrying out what it called “surgical strikes” on a terrorist stronghold on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control. Pakistan vigorously disputed that version of events.

Pakistan also claimed this week that India was violating a 1947 United Nations Security Council Resolution on Kashmir by attempting to change the demography of Kashmir through the settling of non-locals in the region.

Escalating fears yet further, India successfully tested Monday its most powerful nuclear-capable missile.

December 30, 2016 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Fake story” prompted Pakistan to issue a nuclear warning to Israel

flag-pakistanPakistan issues nuclear warning to Israel in response to ‘fake news’ story Israeli Ministry of Defence forced to point out initial story ‘completely fictitious’, The Independent Matt Broomfield  @hashtagbroom  25 Dec 16, The Defence Minister of Pakistan has issued a reminder to Israel of his country’s nuclear capability, in apparent response to a false news story.
Khawaja Muhammad Asif said in a tweet: “Israeli [Defence Minister] threatens nuclear retaliation presuming [Pakistani] role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”

Pakistan has remained relatively neutral in the Syrian civil war, though they have placed themselves on the side of the Assad regime, with their Foreign Secretary saying the world’s sixth-largest country is “against foreign military intervention in Syria.”

But a fake story published on the website AWDnews falsely suggested that Pakistan planned to “send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to fight against Islamic State”.

The anonymously-authored story then features an apparently invented quote from former Israeli defence minister Moshe Yaalon, who resigned in May this year, sayig: “If, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria… we will destroy them with a nuclear attack.”

It is this story, which also includes a fabricated quote from the Pakistani Foreign Minister, which seemingly prompted Mr Asif’s tweet. The Israeli Ministry of Defence replied with a tweet of its own, pointing out the story was “completely fictitious”……. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pakistan-israel-nuclear-warning-fake-news-story-response-islamabad-syria-a7494961.html 

 

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

The climate-water conflict – climate change increases risk of nuclear war

climate-doomsday

Kashmir, climate change, and nuclear war, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Zia Mian , 7 Dec 16 “……..The climate-water conflict. Along with the risks of war triggered by an escalation along the Line of Control in Kashmir or by attacks on Indian cities by Islamist militants backed by Pakistan, a new source of conflict between Pakistan and India has emerged, also centered on Kashmir. It is a struggle over access to and control over the water in the rivers that start as snow and glacial meltwater in the Himalayas and pass through Kashmir on their way to Pakistan as the Indus River Basin, ending in the Arabian Sea.

The Indus River and its tributaries are central to Pakistan’s water supply, food supply, and electricity production, and India relies on some of the same water. Under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, Pakistan has control over the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab Rivers, and India manages the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi rivers until they cross into Pakistan and all merge into the Indus River. The treaty was established in part because of conflicts over water between the two countries following independence in 1947, including an Indian decision in 1948 to block some of the water flowing into Pakistan during the first India-Pakistan war over Kashmir.

As water demand in both countries has grown to meet the needs of rapidly growing populations and increased agriculture and industrial use, large hydroelectric dams have been constructed, and renewed disputes are testing the Indus Waters Treaty. A 2011 United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee report assessed that “water may prove to be a source of instability in South Asia [as] new demands for the use of the river flows from irrigation and hydroelectric power are fueling tensions between India and Pakistan. A breakdown in the [Indus Water] treaty’s utility in resolving water conflicts could have serious ramifications for regional stability.” The report concluded grimly that “the United States cannot expect this region to continue to avoid ‘water wars’ in perpetuity.”………

Pakistan’s government, nationalist and militant organizations, and right-wing media frequently now present India’s construction of dams in Kashmir as a pressing national security threat and one that may call for extreme responses. An editorial in one leading urdu-language Pakistani newspaper in 2011 declared “Pakistan should convey to India that a war is possible on the issue of water and this time war will be a nuclear one.” ………http://thebulletin.org/kashmir-climate-change-and-nuclear-war10261

December 9, 2016 Posted by | climate change, India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment