'The Bomb' or more or better weapons no panacea for Pak's existential problems: Expert

Islamabad, Feb 5(ANI): Even if Pakistan surpasses India in the nuclear weapon number-game, this feat will neither make Pakistan "more secure" nor will it make the nation "more capable of facing current existential challenges", a Pakistani nuclear physicist and political-defence analyst has pointed out.

"Pakistan's basic security problems lie within its borders: growing internal discord and militancy, a collapsing economy, and a belief among most citizens that the state cannot govern effectively," Pervez Hoodbhoy, who teaches nuclear and particle physics in Islamabad and Lahore, wrote in The Express Tribune.

He noted that these are deep and serious problems that "cannot be solved by more or better weapons", therefore the only way forward lies in "building a sustainable and active democracy, an economy for peace rather than war, a federation in which provincial grievances can be effectively resolved, elimination of the feudal order and creating a tolerant society that respects the rule of law."

Pakistanis have long imagined "the Bomb" as a panacea for all ills, said Hoodbhoy, adding that it became axiomatic that, in addition to providing total security, the Bomb would give help them take Kashmir, give Pakistan international visibility, create national pride and elevate the country's technological status.

But these promises proved empty, he said, as the Bomb did nothing to bring Kashmiri liberation closer.

"Pakistan's strategy for confronting India- secret jihad by Islamic fighters protected by Pakistan's nuclear umbrella- backfired terribly after Kargil and nearly turned Pakistan into an international pariah," the professor pointed out.

"More importantly, today's hydra-headed militancy is owed to the Kashmiri and Afghan mujahideen who avenged their betrayal by Pakistan's army and politicians by turning their guns against their former sponsors and trainers," he added.

Hoodbhoy said the perception that the Bomb could protect Pakistan, its people or its armed forces was a "lie", which rather helped bring the country to the present 'grievously troubled situation' and offers no way out.

"It is time for Pakistan to drop its illogical opposition to the Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty which, incidentally, would impact India far more than Pakistan. We need fewer bombs on both sides, not more," he concluded. (ANI)

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