Pakistan, 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/
Karachi 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/
‘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 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan 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.
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.
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
2.5 billion people, nukes and missiles. What could go wrong? By Joshua Berlinger, CNN January 5, 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 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.
Pakistan 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
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
Kashmir, climate change, and nuclear war, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Zia Mian , 7 Dec 16 In April 2016, speaking at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, which had brought together more than 50 government leaders, President Obama described what he saw as the three major nuclear weapons challenges. Along with difficulties in achieving further nuclear arsenal reductions by the United States and Russia and the problem of North Korea, President Obama listed Pakistan and India and the need, as he put it, for “making sure that as they develop military doctrine that they are not continually moving in the wrong direction.” The White House press secretary later explained that underlying the President’s concern about South Asia was “the risk that a conventional conflict between India and Pakistan could escalate to include the use of nuclear weapons.” It is a well-founded fear and one that has become more urgent as tensions between Pakistan and India have escalated.
As part of its efforts to pressure India into giving up Kashmir, Pakistan has backed Kashmiri insurgents and used Islamist militants to launch attacks across the Line of Control. ……
Frustration in the armies on both sides has led to furious, seemingly indiscriminate firing across the Line of Control. The scale of civilian casualties has led hundreds of people to flee their homes on both sides of the line; local villagers say it seems as “if a full-blown war is going on between India and Pakistan.”
Meanwhile many Kashmiris have turned to supporting groups resisting Indian rule and been met with repression from security forces………
It is not just attacks by Pakistan-backed militants on Indian forces in Kashmir and subsequent Indian reprisals that could escalate and tip the two countries into another major war. A related trigger would be an attack on an Indian city by Islamist militant groups, along the lines of the assault on Mumbai in November 2008 that claimed hundreds of casualties and was linked to intelligence agencies in Pakistan. ………
The climate-water conflict……
From tactical weapons to massive retaliation. India anticipates that Pakistan might use nuclear weapons against Indian conventional forces during a war. The Indian Army conducted a massive military exercise in April 2016 in the Rajasthan Desert bordering Pakistan, involving tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers, and 30,000 soldiers who practiced what they would do if attacked with nuclear weapons on the battlefield. An Indian Army spokesman told the media that “our policy has been always that we will never use nuclear weapons first. But if we are attacked, we need to gather ourselves and fight through it. The simulation is about doing exactly that.” This was not the first such exercise.
Indian nuclear doctrine also calls for massive retaliation directed at Pakistani cities, and Pakistan has threatened to respond in kind. In 2003, India’s cabinet declared nuclear weapons “will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere… [N]uclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage.” According to Admiral Vijay Shankar, a former head of Indian strategic nuclear forces, such retaliation would involve nuclear attacks on Pakistan’s cities.
General Kidwai from Pakistan describes such Indian threats as “bluster and blunder,” since they “are not taking into account the balance of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, which hopefully not, but has the potential to go back and give the same kind of dose to the other side.” This seems an explicit suggestion of Pakistan planning to target Indian cities with nuclear weapons in retaliation of Indian nuclear attacks on Pakistani cities.
From regional war to great power war. Time is not on our side. The failure to settle the Kashmir dispute despite the passage of 70 years has already triggered three wars. While Pakistan clings grimly to its claims on Kashmir, India seems less inclined to compromise as it grows in economic and military power. Adding to this will be the inevitable pressures from climate change over the coming decades on the Himalayan glaciers, the monsoons, and ground water in the Indus Basin, which will lead to reduced and less reliable access to water in an already water-stressed region, at a time of rapidly growing demand. These drivers have already started to overlap, and conflicts over land, people, blood, and water may become one.
Once initiated, possibly even by the actions of a small militant group, a Pakistan-India conflict may well escalate into a larger war and then bring in allied outside powers, as happened in Europe in World War I.
Pakistan is building ever closer military and economic ties to China; India is becoming a strategic partner of the United States. These alliances with great powers may give policy makers in Pakistan and Indian confidence in escalating a conflict and issuing nuclear threats during a crisis. Because of the increasingly tense and militarized nature of the rivalry between China and the United States, a South Asian conflict that draws them in could escalate into a potentially far more destructive war.
Given these risks, forestalling crises and possible war in South Asia should be a priority. The long history of failures to find a path to peace for Kashmir through United Nations resolutions and bilateral Pakistan-India agreements seems to have sapped the will to try to address the dispute directly. Preventing a South Asian war from becoming nuclear war will require progress on banning the bomb. http://thebulletin.org/kashmir-climate-change-and-nuclear-war10261
Terror-Plagued Pakistan Just Turned On Another Nuclear Reactor, Daily Caller ANDREW FOLLETT, Energy and Science Reporter , 18 Oct 16
A report posted to 38 North on Thursday estimates that North Korea could be in possession of roughly 20 atomic bombs by the end of the year. Its [DPRK] ability to field an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States is still a long way off – perhaps 5 to 10 years, but likely doable if the program is unconstrained,” the report reads.
But as the global community reacts to Pyongyang, an analysis from IHS Jane’s reveals that Pakistan may also be increasing its nuclear stockpiles, building a new uranium enrichment complex. “The area of interest is approximately 1.2 hectares and is located within the secure area of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), in the southwestern part of the complex,” the analysis states.
“Roughly rectangular in shape and approximately 140 x 80 meters, the new structure is surrounded by scrubland and trees that provide an additional measure of security on the ground,” IHS Jane reports.
The report is based on satellite surveillance of the site, located in the town of Kahuta, roughly 30 kilometers east of Islamabad. “It is sited within an established centrifuge facility, has strong security and shows some of the structural features of a possible new uranium enrichment facility. This makes it a strong candidate for a new centrifuge facility,” said Karl Dewey, an analyst with IHS Jane’s, according to the Indian Express.
If true, this development could cause problems for Pakistan’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
It is difficult to see how these actions are consistent with the principles of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a group of responsible nuclear exporters which Pakistan is seeking to join,” Ian Stewart, head of Project Alpha at King’s College London, told the Indian Express.
Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test in 1998 and is believed to be in possession of roughly 120 nuclear weapons. The country relies on three commercial nuclear power plants and plans to construct 32 additional plants by 2050.
What happens if India and Pakistan both fire nuclear warheads at each other? http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/what-happens-if-india-and-pakistan-both-fire-nuclear-warheads-each-other-50604
If India and Pakistan detonated 100 nuclear warheads, over 21 million people will die immediately, and half the world’s ozone layer would be destroyed, September 29, 2016 – By Abheet Singh Sethi, 30 Sept 16
If India and Pakistan fought a war detonating 100 nuclear warheads (around half of their combined arsenal), each equivalent to a 15-kiloton Hiroshima bomb, more than 21 million people will be directly killed, about half the world’s protective ozone layer would be destroyed, and a “nuclear winter” would cripple monsoons and agriculture worldwide.
As the Indian Army considers armed options, and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP urges a nuclear attack, even as the Pakistan Defence Minister threatens to “annihilate” India in return, the following projections, made by researchers from three US universities in 2007, are a reminder of the costs of nuclear war.
According to the study by researchers from Rutgers University, University of Colorado-Boulder and University of California, Los Angeles, about 21 million people – half the death toll of World War II – would perish within the first week from blast effects, burns and acute radiation in India and Pakistan.
This death toll would be 2,221 times the number of civilians and security forces killed by terrorists in India over nine years to 2015, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of South Asia Terrorism Portal data.
Another two billion people worldwide would face risks of severe starvation due to the climatic effects of the nuclear-weapon use in the subcontinent, according to a 2013 assessment by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a global federation of physicians. Continue reading
Pakistan threatens to DESTROY India with nuclear bomb as atomic enemies edge to the brink of war https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1883306/pakistan-threatens-to-destroy-india-with-nuclear-bomb-as-atomic-enemies-edge-to-the-brink-of-war/ Tensions have risen dramatically between the nuclear-armed neighbours BY SARA KAMOUNI 30th September 2016,
Nuclear threat not acceptable, US tells Pakistan, http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nuclear-threat-not-acceptable-us-tells-pakistan/article9170042.ece VARGHESE K. GEORGE, 1 Oct 16 The United States has conveyed to Pakistan that nuclear threats are not acceptable, a senior State Department official who did not want to be named, said. The message was conveyed to Pakistan after its defence minister said twice in the span of a week that his country could use tactical nuclear weapons against India.
“We made that clear to them. Repeatedly,” the official said when asked whether the U.S has conveyed to Pakistan that no nuclear capable country is expected to threaten anyone with the use of nukes. “We haven’t kept the devices that we have just as showpieces. But if our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India),” the defence minister of Pakistan had said.
“It is very concerning, it is a serious thing,” the U.S official said, adding that the U.S has been urging both countries to “pull back and deescalate.” “At the same time we have made it very clear that what happened in the Indian arm base (Uri) is an act of cross border terrorism,” the official added.
The U.S is concerned about the safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons otherwise also, the official said. “The safety of these weapons is always a concern for us. So we are always monitoring it, regardless of what they said on this particular occasion,” he said.