February 6, 2004
PAKISTAN'S 'NUCLEAR BOMBSHELL' EVOKES
** Pakistani scientist's
sale of nuclear technology is "a wake-up call to the world."
** Pakistani papers cite
need for greater safeguards, fear international attempts to "roll
back" the country's nuclear program.
** Dr. Khan's confession
isn't enough; Pakistan "must come clean on the flow of know-how."
Pakistan acting 'like a rogue state'-- Reacting to news that "the father of the
Islamic bomb," Dr. A.Q. Khan, had sold nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and
North Korea, global observers labeled Pakistan an "irresponsible nuclear
state" and a "proliferator on a par with Pyongyang." India's pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer
argued that nuclear-armed "Pakistan is emerging as a failed state"
and this "does not augur well for world peace." Western papers concluded that the
"reservoir of money-hungry fanatic scientists" is larger than thought
and that Khan's activities brought "the global nightmare of 'rogue'
nuclear scientists" aiding terrorists "several steps closer to
reality." The West erred in
thinking the proliferation risk "emanated from 'failed states'," said
Germany's center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine; "even in a country
where the military" holds sway, "astonishing activities are
possible." Finland's leading daily
speculated that in addition to money, Khan's motive "may also have had to do
with Islamic solidarity."
Needed: 'cast iron' guarantees against nuclear technology
transfer-- Pakistani papers called
for restoring "credibility" to the nation's nuclear safeguards and
expressed fears that "severe international pressure" could arise
aimed at curbing the nation's nuclear program.
Khan's statement that he had acted alone offered "breathing
space," one daily contended, but pro-Islamic unity Urdu Jasarat
held that "his sacrifice will be of no benefit" and would make
"the posture of our enemies" against Pakistan's nuclear capability
stronger. Other Urdu-language papers
warned that "America cannot tolerate" a nuclear-armed Islamic country
and "wants to deprive Pakistan of the capability by any means." President Musharraf was "sacrificing
national heroes" like Khan--whose "services to the nation will never
be forgotten"--to "appease" the U.S.
Khan's confession 'hard to believe'-- Many writers greeted Khan's "convenient
mea culpa and quick pardon" skeptically.
European outlets dismissed Kahn's claim to have acted independently as
"implausible" and a "cover-up." Musharraf's pardon was designed to
"defuse domestic" tensions and protect others in the Pakistani
military. The "whole affair...was
orchestrated," declared Canada's leading Globe and Mail. Pakistan's leading mass-circulation Jang
said the "primary question" lingered:
"why did Pakistan's military and other intelligence
agenices...remain unaware" of Khan's transactions? Washington's "remarkably muted"
reaction to the "aberrations" of Pakistan was attributed to the fact
that the U.S. "cannot afford to destabilize" its key ally in the war
on terror. Papers in Europe, Japan and
Canada nonetheless demanded that Islamabad "disclose everything" it
knows about nuclear trafficking.
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 53 reports from 16 countries, January 30-February 6,
2004. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
The left-of-center Guardian editorialized (2/6: "The failure to find WMD in Iraq had
undermined the credibility of the U.S. and Britain and their intelligence
agencies on this critical issue.... Meanwhile,
a far more serious WMD-related failure has come to light, involving a clandestine
proliferation network linking North Korea, Iran, and Libya, and whose epicenter
is Pakistan.... In many respects,
Pakistan's failure is an international failure, too. Where was the intelligence that should have
exposed this incredibly dangerous nukes-for-cash racket?... The answer is that they only had eyes for
"Bombs For Sale"
The independent Financial Times took this view (2/6): "Although Mr. Khan is flamboyantly
wealthy, the theory advanced by Pakistan's military rulers that he acted for
personal gain and without the knowledge of the authorities is
implausible.... There is not much good
in all this, except that Libya's decision to abandon weapons of mass
destruction has now brought to light a previously hidden network of nuclear proliferators. This has forced Gen. Musharraf to take
action, revealed another failure of western intelligence and exposed
Washington's Faustian pact with Islamabad in the war on terror.... Gen.Musharraf and Mr. Khan must disclose
everything they know about the international trafficking networks. That should help, and be followed by, an
urgent review of current non-proliferation treaties to shut down the
underground trade so starkly revealed this week."
"Pakistan Still Has Many Questions To Answer"
The conservative Daily Telegraph commented (2/6): "Washington will now have to decide how
to react to the aberrations of an ally that, by rights, should be bracketed as
a proliferator with North Korea. In the
meantime, there are many leads in other parts of the world, from Western Europe
to the Middle East and South-East Asia, that must be pursued. Pakistan's delinquency should serve as a
wake-up call to a world where a scientist like Dr. Khan could, through false
end-user certificates, call on a large number of companies to further his
goal. Meeting the danger of
proliferation has acquired a startling new urgency."
"Pakistan Behaves Like A Rogue State"
The conservative Daily Telegraph editorialized (2/4): "Dr. Khan not only developed Pakistan's
nuclear arsenal, but in the process also passed on the designs and technology
for producing enriched uranium to Iran, North Korea and Libya.... Islamabad, a key ally of the West in the war
on terror, has turned out to be a proliferator on a par with Pyongyang.... The problem for Washington and its allies,
for which they deserve sympathy, is that a successor to Gen. Musharraf,
especially of the Islamist variety, might be a good deal worse. For that reason, the Bush administration is
likely to accept any pardon of Dr. Khan through gritted teeth, arguing that
Pakistani proliferation is a thing of the past.... Mr. Bush finds himself caught between
particular needs in one theater of operations and a strategic determination to
halt proliferation. The contradiction is
among the most striking thrown up by the seismic shock of September 11."
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine remarked (2/6): "This was quick. The day after Khan begged for forgiveness on
Pakistani TV, he was pardoned.
President Musharraf may now hope to have defused domestic
explosives. In the eyes of Muslim
fanatics, passing material for building an atomic bomb to Libya, Iran, and
North Korea does not push the national hero of his pedestal. But pardoning the 'father of the Pakistani
bomb' should not satisfy the rest of the world.... It has to be made clear to Musharraf that
such situations are intolerable for a pivotal ally in the fight against
terror. But the West is to blame too
that the situation got so far. Ever
since Pakistan declared itself to be a nuclear power in 1998, nobody seriously
tried to bring the country into the nonproliferation treaty."
Karl Grobe commented in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau
(2/6): "The pardoning of the
'father of the Pakistani bomb' sends waves throughout the South Asian
subcontinent. Abdul Qadeer Kahn used
means to gathered information for building nuclear weapons that go far beyond
scientific curiosity. He admitted to
have passed it on to North Korea, Libya and Iran. President Musharraf listened sympathetically
and advised his government to temper justice with mercy. That is a big bang, Musharraf's bomb. Khan declared that no government
administration gave him permission or knew about it. To believe this one has to be a Pakistani
officer. Musharraf was one until the
coup that boosted his career. General
Aslam Beg brokered the first deal with Iran in 1989, which was immediately stopped
by the leader Benazir Bhutto when she heard about it. Despite being distant to the military, she
had been informed. Musharraf is supposed
to have known nothing? Can one believe
The president accepts gratefully the whitewash because he is dependent
on the military, which loves the bomb because it seems to protect the country
against India, and on journalistic and public opinion, which admires Khan as a
national hero. But Musharraf is also
dependent on the U.S., as he is a proven anti-terrorist; the man under whose
eyes Khan and his people proliferated nuclear technology and made state
terrorism a business line. Pakistanis
should not be punished for it, they are punished enough already."
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine had this to say
(2/3): "The unpleasant things of
the Khan case are that they question two alleged certainties of western
diplomacy. First, the West had assumed
that nuclear scientist would sell their expertise only if their chances for a
professional career were meager...but Kadir Khan is a national hero in Pakistan
who achieved almost everything, but who, nevertheless, sold material for the
construction of the bomb to Libya, Iran and North Korea. The reservoir of money-hungry fanatic
scientists is bigger than expected.
Second, the West thought that the proliferation risk emanated from
'failed' states torn apart by civil war.
But Khan's confession teaches us that even in a country, where the
military has the say, astonishing activities are possible. It is hardly imaginable that he acted without
high-ranking wirepullers in the background.
The West, including Washington, should not feel impressed by the
external stability of such regimes, even though they are needed in the fight
"Removal Of A Hero"
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg
judged (2/3): "Pakistan's President
Musharraf is risking much, but he has no other choice. By firing prominent nuclear scientist Abdul
Qadir Khan, he won support from the United States, but as far as domestic
policy is concerned, he will now have even more enemies.... But Musharraf had to drop Kahn, because he,
at any cost, wants to avoid the impression of promoting proliferation. This is a success for the United States: it clearly showed how to deal with rogue
states, and in the long run, even Pakistan cannot hope to be unassailable as an
ally in the fight against terrorism....
But Khan is only a pawn; while the signal itself cannot be
underestimated. Pakistan hesitantly
decided to allow greater transparency.
The United States must strengthen the country on this course by relying
on a carrot-and-stick policy. It should
not ask too much of Musharraf and not openly prefer India.... The West cannot want Musharraf's further
domestic weakening, since the reconciliation process with India has only just
"In A Fix"
Center-right Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten remarked
(2/3): "General Musharraf is in a
fix. What did the president know about
the perfidious activities of national hero Khan?... Until today, he played the role of someone
who did not know anything. Now that Khan
has revealed some secrets and admitted that he transferred documents on nuclear
technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, Islamabad is all of a sudden
finding itself close to the 'axis of evil.'
Khan is not an unwritten piece of paper for the West...but the United
States left him in peace, depending on Pakistan's usefulness for Washington's
RUSSIA: "Khan Case
Revved Up By Washington"
Andrey Terekhov commented in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
(2/3): "With the Bush
administration in trouble over Iraq, the Khan case may have been inspired by
Washington. Pakistan, which has long
been suspected of nuclear technology transfer, has been subjected to massive
pressure from the United States in the past few weeks. Washington is eager to come before the world,
as well as the public at home, with yet another victory in the war on WMD
proliferation (after Libya). That leaves
General Musharraf in a balancing act between the United States and the
opposition inside his country, which can portray the president as America's
Pardons Scientist Who Passed On Nuclear Secrets"
Gabriel Bertinetto opined in pro-democratic left party daily L’Unità
(2/6): “All is settled, and with mutual
satisfaction. The father of the
Pakistani atomic bomb has taken responsibility for the leakage of military
technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
President Pervez Musharraf immediately pardoned him, evidently satisfied
at removing suspicion off Islamabad’s military establishment, which he
leads. The entire operation, however,
looks like a cover-up, or even fraud.
Mohammed El Baradei, the head of the IAEA, has expressed some general
doubts and worries.... 'This is only the
tip of the iceberg,' said Baradei. He
believes that Khan did not act alone and that others were involved as
well.... No one is convinced that this
is the entire truth. Washington probably
isn’t either but at the moment it cannot afford to destabilize Pakistan while
the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida members is still on, and whose
most important bases are probably located somewhere in Pakistan and
Afghanistan.... If [Washington] were to
demand the whole truth from Pakistan now, it would embarrass Musharaff...and
would risk losing him.”
"Be Wary Of Friends"
Marcello Foa commented in pro-government, leading center-right
daily Il Giornale (2/6): “It’s
enough to give you the chills, not once, but twice. The first reason for concern is evident: Pakistan,
a nuclear power, that has always been a U.S. ally, has for years covertly sold
nuclear technology to countries that are enemies of the West like Iran, North
Korea, and until a few months ago, Libya.
President Musharraf put the entire blame on Khan, the father of the
Pakistani nuclear bomb. The second
reason for apprehension is the result of the great delay with which the western
intelligence services discovered the atomic haggling, which dates back to the
mid 80s to late 90s, perhaps even 2002.... The controversy over Saddam Hussein’s WMD is
still too fiery to allow for calm evaluations.
But once spirits cool and the truth is established (even if Washington
and London will not like it), the American strategists and CIA experts will
have to draw a lesson from these incidents.”
Weapons Technology For Sale All Over The World"
Leading centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (Internet
version, 2/4): "At a recent
conference in Davos, Mohammed Al-Baradei, the head of the IAEA, warned that the
black market in the materials and technologies needed for the building of
nuclear weapons has grown into a worldwide trading network.... In addition to money, in the case of Pakistan
the motive may also have had to do with Islamic solidarity, because their
technology has been allowed to end up in Iran and Libya for their use.... The greatest actual danger may lie in the
possibility that some nuclear state, such as Pakistan, might slide into a state
of internal anarchy and lose control of its nuclear deterrent. The deals that were worked out by Pakistani
experts, perhaps acting on their own, were already sufficiently alarming
news. It is obvious that getting control
of the black market in nuclear weapons technology is in the international interest,
and in order to accomplish this we shall need to have a high degree of
cooperation between governments."
Aiding Terrorists Is The New Nightmare"
Rahul Bedi wrote from New Delhi in the center-left Irish Times
(2/3): “Musharraf faces a tricky
situation given Pakistan's murky nuclear past.
The global nightmare of ‘rogue’ nuclear scientists aiding terrorist
groups to acquire ‘dirty’ or radiological dispersal bombs leapt several steps
closer to reality at the weekend. This
followed the confession of detained Pakistani atomic scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer
Khan.... The involvement of the
Pakistani authorities...remains in doubt.
President Pervez Musharraf recently suggested as much claiming that during the
secretive phase of developing the nuclear bomb, Pakistani scientists, with
little or no accountability, had enormous amounts to spend. But he faces a tricky situation. He wants to clear Pakistan's name, but, given its
murky nuclear past, cannot afford a public trial of any of the ‘guilty’
scientists, which may open a Pandora's box....
Ultimately, the outcome of the nuclear proliferation scandal depends on
the U.S., its alliance with Gen. Musharraf against terrorism, and his ability
to ‘deliver’ Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader, in a U.S. election
year. Bin Laden is reportedly hiding in
the tribal belt between Afghanistan and Pakistan and cannot be apprehended
without the general's active cooperation.
Moreover, Washington's record with respect to Pakistan's nuclear weapons
program has, like many of its policies in the region, been far from
honorable. Successive U.S.
administrations turned a blind eye to Pakistan's atomic weapons program during
the 1980s when Washington needed Islamabad's help to fight the Soviets in
Pakistan Crosses The Rubicon"
Nasim Zehra wrote from Islamabad in Jeddah's pro-government
English-language Arab News (Internet version, 2/5): "In the last one hundred hours
accusations and counter accusations involving Pakistan’s present and former
military and civilian rulers, scientists, important national institutions and
above all the backbone of its security--the nuclear program--were all being
debated in the global media. Becoming a
flogging horse in the international arena is nightmarish for any nation,
especially for one that is a victim of the global media prejudice.... The situation spun out of control following
the Feb. 1 assertion by the government that Qadeer Khan had submitted a signed
confessional statement.... A showdown
involving sections of the state and society over Qadeer Khan’s fate appeared
inevitable.... The whole crisis was
taking on a political color, especially after an impression spread that Qadeer
Khan was being made a scapegoat.... In
defense of Qadeer Khan former ministers and army chiefs were publicly revealing
details of confidential meetings....
Pakistan has resisted pressure to roll back its nuclear program while
choosing to take steps to enhance its credentials as a responsible nuclear
state. The question that many Pakistanis
raise is whether their country’s approach will lead to the U.S. and the
international community playing it straight with Pakistan. Will they accept Pakistan’s nuclear
program? Unlikely. It would be a mistake for Pakistan to assume
that the U.S. will come to terms with Pakistan’s nuclear program. Having tasted blood in Iran and Libya, the
U.S. may seek a rollback of Pakistan’s nuclear program--though not in the short
run. Pakistan is an ally in the West’s
war on terrorism. Hence pressure may be
off for now. But Washington’s policy
will remain unchanged. Pakistan must
resist such pressures. Nuclear assets
are at the heart of Pakistan’s defense.
No government will ever give it up.
But Pakistan will have to continue to operate as a responsible nuclear
power--making its own systems foolproof to prevent any proliferation in
UAE: "Musharraf Makes A
The English-language Gulf News had this view (Internet
version, 2/2): "It was not been an
easy call for Pakistan's president. But
the sacking by General Pervez Musharraf of his scientific adviser Dr. Abdul
Qadeer Khan from his cabinet will put to rest the international community's
growing concerns that a nuclear supply route emanated from Kahuta, the nuclear
research laboratories once run by the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. While it paves the way for prosecution of one
of Pakistan's revered heros, a number of questions remain unanswered. Any probe must make public the full extent of
Khan's involvement, the role of his scientists, and how this circle operated
outside official sanction as Pakistan has claimed. Mohammed El Baradei, chief of the
International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, who had limited success in
negotiating with North Korea in recent months while persuading Iran and Libya
to freeze their nuclear programs, must be pleased with Islamabad's active
co-operation. The IAEA had found
troubling evidence that scientists from Kahuta may have, through intermediaries
and for enormous profit, supplied illicit nuclear technology to all three
nations. El Baradei dubbed the dirty
nukes 'the black bomb' and stepped up the hunt for those who have spun the
intricate web of deceit. It will be a
long haul. While the international
community will be reassured that Pakistan has cut off the nuclear pipeline, the
IAEA has to encourage other governments that have turned a blind eye to clamp down
on other stops on the nuclear gravy train.
For now, it is Musharraf who faces the biggest challenge. He has risked enormous public displeasure in
discrediting one of Pakistan's revered heroes.
His courage and pragmatism must be applauded. His critics at home must be made to realize
that by curbing rogue proliferators Pakistan's leadership is not rolling back
its nuclear program. Instead it is
ensuring that its nuclear deterrent remains intact but in the right
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"Same Standards Should Apply To Friends And Foes"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
editorialized (2/5): "The war on
terror can all too easily be characterized in black-and-white terms. Certainly, this is the way in which U.S.
President George W. Bush has presented it.
He demonized Saddam Hussein, branded his enemies an axis of evil and
told other countries they were either with us or against us. If only the reality were so simple. Recent events in Pakistan, such an important
U.S. ally in the post-September 11 world, have provided a telling reminder of
the shades of grey that exist. The
father of the Muslim nation's nuclear program has confessed to selling weapons
secrets and technology to so-called rogue states, including North Korea. Pakistan's government has been at pains to
deny any official involvement in the intricate smuggling operation between 1988
and 1997.... These developments do,
however, highlight the need to treat all nations--whether allies or foes--by
the same standards. Iraq was said to
have weapons of mass destruction--and it was attacked. But the real threat may be posed by North
Korea which, thankfully, is being dealt with through negotiation. And if North Korea does have nuclear weapons,
Pakistan must bear some responsibility--even though it is now a vital U.S. ally
in the war against terror."
JAPAN: "Flow Of
Nuclear Technology From Pakistan Should Be Probed"
The business daily Nihon Keizai observed (2/6): "Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul
Qadeer Khan has admitted offering nuclear technology to the DPRK, Iran and
Libya. Dr. Khan's involvement in the
case verifies long-standing international concerns over the flow of nuclear
technology from Pakistan to foreign countries.
Pakistan should further probe into the case and release details,
including how and to what extent the country's nuclear technology was smuggled
out of the nation. An international
committee should be set up to investigate whether Pakistani government and
intelligence officials were involved in the smuggling. The latest case also shows how nuclear
materials could easily be smuggled from nuclear powers to terrorism-supporting
nations. The safekeeping of nuclear
materials is an urgent task for nuclear nations. As long as Pakistan and India refuse to join
the NPT, the international community cannot trust these nations' pledge on the
non-proliferation of nuclear weapons."
"Nuclear Development Of Pakistan"
The conservative Sankei argued (Internet version,
2/3): "Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan...was
ousted from his position as prime minister's advisor due to allegations of
leaking information on Pakistan's nuclear development to countries like
Iran. Since Dr. Khan earned respect as a
hero in the Islamic world, his removal is likely to draw hatred from extremists
of Islam fundamentalists who are against the Musharraf administration.... Pakistan's nuclear threat became a headache
for the international community with the establishment of the Musharraf
military government. However, President
Musharraf, after his inauguration, shifted his diplomatic stance to a pro-U.S.
one and started to make peace with India, and the stabilization of Southwest
Asia was beginning to be expected.
Therefore, the allegation that Dr. Khan himself was providing enrichment
techniques to Iran, North Korea, and Libya was shocking. Pakistan became a world threat as a supplier
that distributes nuclear weapons....
The problem is that Dr. Khan is the symbol of Pakistani pride.... The situation may deteriorate depending on
how this matter is handled.... There are
supporters of extremists within the Pakistani military, and since the military
intelligence division was the mother of the Taliban government, there are destabilizing
factors within the Musharraf administration.
Supposing the Musharraf administration collapses, Pakistan could become
an exporter of nuclear weapons. On top
of that, nuclear weapons would be proliferated to terrorist organizations and
the countries that support terrorism, and the world would face a nuclear threat
all of a sudden. The world should not
let Pakistan out of sight, but must strengthen its deterrence to prevent
The liberal Asahi editorialized (Internet version,
2/1): "Pakistan must come clean on
the flow of know-how. The world cannot
allow the curtain to be brought down in such easygoing fashion on well-grounded
suspicions of the clandestine transfer of nuclear technology from a country
that possesses such weapons.... It had
been suspected for some time that Pakistan exported nuclear technology to Iran,
North Korea, Libya and other countries.
Now more light is slowly being shed on that.... The international community must band
together to block nuclear proliferation.
The issue now ranks right alongside the war against international
terrorism in importance. In this sense,
there is a pressing need to get to the bottom of the flow of nuclear know-how
from Pakistan, while also beefing up the IAEA and other arms of the existing
nuclear watchdog system.... In view of
existing conditions in the Middle East and South Asia, political stability in
Pakistan is a must."
"Controversy Surrounding Pakistani Nuclear Technology
The moderate Hankook Ilbo editorialized (2/6): “We worry about the possible negative impact
of a top Pakistani nuclear scientist’s admission to transferring
uranium-enrichment technology to North Korea may have on the upcoming Six-Party
Talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear problem. Given that it is becoming a bone of
contention whether or not the North actually has a highly enriched
uranium-based nuclear program, the Pakistani admission will obviously cloud the
mood of the talks.... However,
considering that the resolution of the nuclear issue is being delayed by
conflicts between the U.S. and North Korea over ways to resolve the problem,
not by their divergent claims over the North’s nuclear capabilities, the
success of the talks hinges on whether the U.S. and the North have the will to
resolve the issue. With this Pakistani
controversy expected to push the U.S. to step up its pressure on the North, it
is important for the ROK to respond wisely, considering various circumstances
in the run-up to the Six-Party Talks.”
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
Admissions Expose Pakistan"
The centrist Hindu observed (2/6): "The repeated claims made by the
Pakistani state that it was a 'responsible' nuclear power have been severely
undermined by the details contained in the public statement made by the
Bhopal-born Dr. Khan on Pakistan television....
Clearly, the Pakistani establishment would like to make a distinction
between 'institutional' and 'individual' proliferation. But the fact is that nuclear weapons secrets
have been passed on.... No more need be
said.... Anyone who saw the television
pictures of the Qadeer Khan-Musharraf meeting...could not have missed the grim
face of the president. And with good
reason. Pointing a finger at an army
chief and president in Pakistan cannot be tolerated by the establishment. It is clear that the Pakistani establishment
wants to put an end to this sorry proliferation chapter. The dubious means used to acquire Pakistan's
nuclear bomb-making capability was tolerated in the past, but in the post-Iraq
world, where a country was invaded to thwart what was touted as nuclear
proliferation on the basis of dubious intelligence, a facility that 'leaks'
weapons' technology has to be dealt with sternly.... General Musharraf is a lucky man, yet again
because the 'investigation' into nuclear proliferation activities seems to have
taken place with the understanding of Washington. Apart from Washington, the deafening silence
maintained by India on the issue is the ultimate confidence-building measure
that New Delhi can unilaterally offer.
And it has.... For Pakistan,
retaining its strategic nuclear assets is far more important than who put these
in place. Its establishment can
sacrifice anyone, including the one-time national hero, Dr. Khan, in order to
keep its nuclear assets and, simultaneously, satisfy the American-led
international community that something is being done to tackle nuclear
"Pakistan's Dirty Nuclear Secrets"
Anil Narendra wrote in the pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer
(2/6): "Serious concerns regarding
the danger of Pakistan's nuclear weapons technology falling into wrong hands
have been expressed for long. These
fears have turned real.... The Pakistani
investigation is nearing its end.
General Musharraf's critics say the Pakistani military as a whole should
be held accountable.... Further, U.S.
officials at all levels do not assign responsibility for the barter agreement
between North Korea and Pakistan.... It
is presumed the silence regarding the transfer of nuclear technology to North
Korea was sanctioned at the Government level while Dr. Khan was freelancing for
Iran and Libya.... The important issue
rarely addressed is the extent to which the inquiry has examined the role of
Pakistan's military in the sale or sharing of nuclear technology.... For some time now, Pakistan has tried to
project itself as a normal state where everything, especially its nuclear
program, weapons and technology, are safe.
But the truth is Pakistan is emerging as a failed state, with nuclear
weapons at that. This does not augur
well for world peace. For the moment the
transfer of nuclear technology is confined to Iran, Libya and North Korea, but
what is the guarantee that the same cannot reach--or has not reached-- [bin]
Laden and the al-Qaida? What is worrying
India is what if a Pakistani general or scientist decides to sell nuclear
technology or weapons to Kashmiri terrorists.
More is the worry that General Musharraf seems to be losing
control. The recent assassination
attempts prove this. The military-mullah
combine is a threat not only to General Musharraf but to humanity at
large. The West has rejected India's
concerns about the growing mullah-military axis in Pakistan. With nuclear technology being illegally
exported, it is time the West acted decisively against Pakistan."
"A Black Hole"
The nationalist Hindustan Times remarked (2/5): "A huge hole has appeared in the basic
notion of nuclear non-proliferation after the exposure of Pakistan's
clandestine acquisition of nuclear weapons capability, and its secret transfer
of the know-how and design to Iran, Libya and North Korea.... The illegal trade, it is now clear, has been
on nearly as long as the doctrine of non-proliferation itself.... The promoters, defenders and propagators of
the canon have thus far adopted a cautious stance, making no comment upfront on
the Pakistan-related developments. But
the man in the eye of the storm...Abdul Qadeer Khan...has started singing
lately.... If there is a serious
international probe, much dirt is likely to come out. The role of the original nuclear weapons
powers will also be under scrutiny, as well as Washington's current espousal of
President Musharraf.... The Pakistani
bomb has been anything but safe.... Given
the military establishment's symbiotic relationship with jIhad over many years,
the fundamentalists, too, may be able to acquire a 'dirty' bomb. That will give a nasty twist to the global
war on terrorism, to which Islamabad is a reluctant convert. Given Pakistan's tenuous
scientific-industrial base, it is widely believed that it can sustain its
weapons program only if it remains active in the nuclear black market."
The centrist Times of India editorialized (2/5): "Islamabad was passing N-know-how and
technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya as early as the mid-1980s. Yet, for well over 15 years, Washington and
the West remained wholly oblivious to the threat. No media leak, no informed speculation, not
even a whisper that anything might be amiss.
On second thoughts, the silence seems so conspicuously total that it
almost rings untrue. Could it be that
this was not so much an intelligence lapse as a systematic unwillingness on the
part of Washington to face the facts? Pakistan,
after all, was for long a key western ally--first for the British and then for
the Americans.... It took an event as
momentous as 9/11 to break that old mindset.
Even in the changed circumstances, however, Islamabad's significance
remained undiminished. It was simply
redefined. Washington's public show of
support for Musharraf, including on the all-important N-proliferation question,
is best seen as a tactical choice.
Fearful of destabilizing Pakistan and pushing it into the hands of
extremists, Washington would rather back the general, in the long-term hope
that he'd eventually hand over control of the Pak N-program."
"Unsafe Nuke Powers"
The Guwahati English left-of-center Sentinel took this view
(2/5): "Apart from establishing the
fact that Pakistan is an irresponsible nuclear power...the news of Khan's
recently discovered perfidy raises several questions. These questions stem from
the fact that all nuclear powers, big and small, must evolve ways of ensuring
that their nuclear scientists are not in a position to share nuclear secrets
and know-how with other countries.... It
is easier to believe that Khan was sharing these secrets because the military
in Rawalpindi wanted him to share nuclear know-how with specified
countries. Could that not be the reason
why senior former military and intelligence officers are not being
questioned? One might well wonder
whether Pakistan's discovery of Khan's lack of discretion only now is not the
fallout of U.S. revelations and Washington's demands of the kind of action to
be taken against him.... Perhaps
President Musharraf feels that the pioneering nuclear scientist can be
sacrificed now to satisfy American demands, since the required know-how has
already been passed on to junior scientists....
Abdul Qadeer Khan is a national hero in Pakistan.... Any action against him to satisfy the U.S. is
bound to stir a hornet's nest in Pakistan."
"Qadeer Khan Exposes Pakistan Government's True Face"
The pro-BJP Calcutta Bengali Bartaman observed (2/5): "The Pakistan government would have been
embarrassed before the world unless this confession was garnered. America's suspicion would have deepened
relating to Musharraf's sincerity in curbing terrorism and proliferation of
nuclear arms. U.S. bosses are no longer
blind in their affection toward Pakistan as before. Rather, they are ready to compel Pakistan
into carrying out some specified tasks.
If Musharraf had failed to squeeze out this confession he would earn the
wrath of Washington. He could not
backtrack then.... It does not seem that
Qadeer would shun the path of covert blackmailing even if he does not publicly
wash Musharraf's dirty linen. His hidden
intent has become clear. He cleverly tries
to make the world aware that those who are now set to put him on the dock for
delivering nuclear technology to the three countries are actually the chief
culprits. Consequently, this has
unmasked Musharraf to a large extent."
"Father Of Pakistan's Atom Bomb Being Questioned"
Muhammad Wasimul Haq editorialized Calcutta nationalist Urdu Akhbar-e-Mashriq
(2/4): "The truth behind the
allegations against Khan is now covered under the...curtain, and it is really
hard to have faith in the investigation under a military administration."
"Khan Implicates Musharraf"
The centrist Times of India observed (2/4): "Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist
Abdul Qadeer Khan has implicated the country's military ruler Pervez Musharraf
and three of his predecessor army chiefs in the case he has been accused
of.... Khan's charge appears to be his
counter-gambit against the country's military establishment.... Khan's implication of Musharraf--revealed
through his friends--is also potentially embarrassing for Washington, which on
Monday indicated that it is ready to forgive and forget Pakistan's nuclear
transgressions and place its faith in General Musharraf. Despite widespread belief in the
non-proliferation community that the entire Pakistani establishment, especially
the military, was in cahoots with Khan's activities, the Bush administration
was in its post-haste clean up.... There
was no sign that Washington was particularly perturbed at the gravity of the
leaks or the official complicity that most experts believed in. Although there is speculation that Musharraf
has cracked down on Khan and his cohorts at the behest of the United States,
[State Department spokesman] Boucher distanced the administration from the
developments in Pakistan. 'They're the ones conducting the investigation,
making any decisions as to what should happen to individuals or programs,' he
said. Meantime, there is almost
universal disbelief in the non-proliferation community that Khan could have
acted alone without state support and complicity, particularly since the
smuggling and leaks involved use of planes from the Pakistan Air Force."
"Father In Custody"
The centrist Asian Age commented (2/4): "The founder of Pakistan's nuclear
weapons program, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is now facing flak for the illegal sale
of nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Of these, the first two were designated by
U.S. President Bush as part of his infamous axis of evil.... Khan...is now a criminal who is being accused
of selling the country's national secrets without the knowledge of the Army or
its heavy-handed intelligence apparatus.
Pakistan President General Musharraf distanced the Army from its nuclear
scientist several weeks ago.... It now
turns out that the nuclear material, at least that to North Korea, was
transported in government planes, and President Musharraf is really asking too
much from the world to believe his fascicle arguments, that 'some individuals'
alone were responsible for what has turned out to be a major act of nuclear proliferation.... The nuclear story is far from over, and as
facts are unraveled, many more names, and even more countries are likely to be
hit by the shrapnel.... Investigations...now
suggest that the nuclear transfer was not a one-time operation but carried on
for several years at a time.... The
startling revelations are just the tip of the iceberg by all accounts. India, for the moment, can take solace in the
fact that her nuclear scientist, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is the President of India
while the father of the Pakistan bomb is in custody."
Pro-BJP right-of-center The Pioneer editorialized
(2/4): "Understandably, the
question has arisen whether Dr. Khan and his associates are being made
scapegoats for deals in which Pakistan's military establishment and
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate had been involved.... It is safe to assume that if not Pakistan's
Government as such, at least a section of its military establishment and the
ISI had been closely involved in the nuclear technology transfers and shared
the spoils with Dr. Khan and his colleagues.
Hence a most disturbing question.
If Pakistan's nuclear secrets could reach two countries--Iran and North
Korea--which are a part of what President George Bush...has described as 'the
axis of evil', what guarantee is there that these will not reach--if they have
not already reached--terrorist outfits like al-Qaida? It is not just a question of prosecuting Dr.
Khan under Pakistan's Official Secrets Act but of taming the rogue elements in
Pakistan's armed forces and the ISI. It
will be a difficult task and powerful people involved in the murky business
will resist bitterly. President
Musharraf has no alternative to acting firmly.
Even if the claim by his country's military establishment that there has
been no illegal proliferation since the setting up of the National Command
Authority, which controls Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, in February 2000, is
true, the world will not be reassured about the future unless at least the ISI
"The Secret Empire Of Dr. Khan"
Jasjit Singh, former director Institute of Defense Studies and
analyses, wrote in the centrist Indian Express (2/4): "What is of critical importance is not
only the world's most adventurous multinational nuclear proliferation but the
reason Khan has put forward for his activities.
Pakistani officials are saying that, contrary to earlier assumptions, he
did not do so for money, but that he 'was motivated enough to make other Islamic
countries nuclear powers also' and reduce pressure on Pakistan.... The only exception known so far is the supply
of nuclear weapon making technology to North Korea for strategic reasons in
exchange for long-range ballistic missiles....
Islamism has been deepening in Pakistan for three decades. Its concept of 'strategic depth'...led to
intervention in Afghanistan to control Kabul through covert Mujahideen
operations. Strategic depth made no
sense in modern conventional military terms.
But in the context of Islamic jihad, as an instrument of politics by
other means...it incorporated deadly logic, especially when the Holy Koran was
invoked under General Zia ul-Haq to justify terrorism. To this has been added the strategic depth of
an 'Islamic Bomb' whose wherewithal is controlled by Pakistan.... The incontrovertible truth is that Pakistan's
nuclear program in every aspect has been, and remains, under the firm and total
control of its army at least since 1977.
Pakistan has confronted the world with its most serious challenge in
limiting proliferation. But the one
country which should have spearheaded an objective approach to what must be the
biggest, most dangerous and most dramatic spread of nuclear weapons technology
since the bomb was invented has already signaled closure in this inconvenient
chapter as long as Pakistan takes some legal action against somebody.... Thereby the U.S. has once again demonstrated
that its short-term interests override its commitment to
IRAN: "Treading A
Timur Adlee wrote in conservative, English-language Keyhan
International (2/1): "The
father of Pakistan's nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, is under a cloud at
present for his alleged role in 'leaking' nuclear secrets to some
countries. According to news reports,
the architect of his country's nuclear weapons development is the latest
suspect in the recent furor that has hit the headlines over the proliferation
of nuclear technology..... While
President Parvez Musharraf has taken a serious, no-nonsense view of the matter,
other officials and his administration hold different views.... The Pakistani authorities are apparently in a
dilemma. They, on the one hand, want to
show their disapproval of the proliferation of nuclear technology tilted
towards weapons development...and, on the other, they are chary of ruffling the
nation's feathers; a nation that looks upon the eminent scientist's
achievements as a feather in the country's technological cap.... A.Q. Khan has given his country, the
'dubious' distinction of being a nuclear power; dubious in the sense that
double-standards have been and are being applied by certain powers in so far as
nuclear technology is concerned. Some
countries are being censured for their rightful, legitimate attempts to harness
nuclear power for peaceful purposes while others are indirectly encouraged to
develop WMD.... While denying that it
had given the nod to the transfer of nuclear technology, the Pakistani
government has said that the detained scientists had acted for personal gain if
not for anything else. Investigations
are continuing and whatever the case, the relevant law of the land will be
applied. But with Mr. A.Q. Khan denying
any wrongdoing on his part, and given his unique status and popularity among
the people, the government will no doubt, have to tread this emotionally
explosive path very warily."
The center-right national English daily The Nation remarked
(2/6): "The official reaction from
the U.S. has by and large been measured though equally nuanced. This is understandable because despite its
well-known proliferation concerns the Bush administration badly needs
Pakistan's help.... The U.S. mainstream
media however remains aggressive on the issue for reasons of its own.... Many fear that in days to come the admission
of oversight and intelligence failure along with Dr. Khan's confession might be
used to build up a case against Pakistan's nuclear program. The way chosen by the government to deal with
the crisis without taking Parliament or prominent politicians into confidence
is bound to make those currently in power the target of criticism if indeed the
nuclear program is endangered at any stage. "
Karachi-based center-left independent national English daily Dawn
held (2/6): "Any suspicion that
Pakistan remains a possible source of the spread of nuclear technology will
render the country vulnerable to severe international pressure to roll back its
nuclear program. The problem of a
credible assurance to the world is compounded by the lack of democratic
traditions in Pakistan.... Led by the
government party, a move could be made to secure an all-party agreement of
opinion in the National Assembly for a cast-iron constitutional guarantee
against proliferation...that would make the spread of nuclear technology a
crime, entailing severe penalties for the violator."
The centrist national English daily The News stated
(2/6): "The investigation launched
by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) into the Europe specific
nuclear black market will strengthen Pakistan’s case that the vast illicit
market in Europe dealing in nuclear components needs to be mainly blamed for
proliferation.... The IAEA’s probe,
therefore, admits to a reality that had long been overlooked by the western
countries in their zeal to blame states, Pakistan specially.... It is unfortunate that the IAEA became
cognizant to the massive nuclear black market in Europe only after Pakistan had
raised the issue."
"Confession Of Dr. A. Q. Khan"
Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic unity Urdu daily Jasarat
editorialized (2/6): "If Dr. A. Q.
Khan has made his confession to bring the country out of the present nuclear
imbroglio, then he is mistaken. His
sacrifice will be of no benefit for the country. Rather, his confession has made the posture
of our enemies against our nuclear capability more strong. It is likely that right now the United States
will not say anything to its friend President Musharraf but shortly it could
ask for international control over Pakistan’s nuclear program."
"Demands Of National Security: Highly Careful Strategy"
The leading mass circulation Urdu daily Jang commented
(2/6): "It is right that Dr. A. Q.
Khan’s confession statement would give Pakistan some sort of breathing space
but the primary question remains unanswered:
why did Pakistan’s military, and other intelligence agencies under whose
direct control and security was country’s nuclear program, remain unaware of
all this saga? This question will also
be asked for long time to come as to how secure our nuclear program actually is
and in how secure, hand it is in?"
"Confession Of Dr.
Sensationalist Urdu daily Ummat argued (2/6): "The United States is eyeing the nuclear
program of Pakistan and it wants to deprive Pakistan of this capability by any
means. Had Dr. A. Q. Khan been so greedy
and selfish and unpatriotic, as he is now being portrayed under the U.S.
pressure, then he would not have provided this nuclear arsenal to the country
to make its defense and security impregnable.
Presently the American strategy seems to be of maligning Pakistani
politicians and scientists and to show complete reliance upon the military men
and to absolve them of all accusations in order to get the 'remaining jobs'
done. The sacrifice of Dr. A. Q. Khan is
a step in this direction."
"Dr. Qadeer Accepts Responsibility"
Second largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt had this to say
(2/6): "By taking the entire
responsibility for transfer of nuclear technology on his shoulders, Dr. Qadeer
has tried to stop the propaganda (against Pakistan’s nuclear program) but the
U.S. is actively working on the agenda it has prepared for Muslim countries,
including Pakistan.... Some defense
sources have said that there can be no guarantees that the U.S. would not ask
Pakistan to roll back its nuclear program....
Undoubtedly, Dr. Khan’s status as a national hero and protector will
remain intact, and the last two months of unfortunate events will not lessen
his dignity in any way."
"Close The Nuke File Immediately"
The Lahore-based liberal English daily, Daily Times held
(2/5): "We simply cannot afford to
further erode the credibility of the scientists as well as that of the Pakistan
army and its chiefs. The only way out of
this crisis is to close the nuke scientists file by accepting the mercy
petition of the scientists; by making sure that a repetition of what happened
should not take place and that the scientists, while being sealed from further
proliferation, should be treated in such a way that they are not able to
continue to glorify themselves in the public eye or be in any position to
'leak' more harmful information to the outside world. This is paramount in the interest of the
security of our nuclear program, which should be guarded at all cost."
"Dr. Khan's Admission"
The centrist national English daily, The News (2/5): "It is sad that our top scientist who is
also known as the 'Father of the Islamic bomb' should have been pushed to such
a point where he had made an admission in humiliating language. But in spite of this painful development he
has in no way lost any of the esteem he enjoyed. He played a critical role in providing the
country a protective jacket at the time when it needed it most. His services to the nation will never be
forgotten and he will continue to enjoy the affection he so generously
"Struggle To Defend National Symbols"
The Karachi-based, right-wing pro-Islamic unity Urdu daily, Jasarat
argued (2/5): "The entire nation
has refused to accept the confessional speech of nuclear scientist Dr. A. Q.
Khan. The incompetence of the government
could be gauged from the fact that it personalized the entire issue of
proliferation, which it was not. It was
a matter of defending the symbols of national defense. This entire saga has raised one question as
to where was this command and control authority during all these preceding
years? President Musharraf, in order to
make the nuclear scientist a scapegoat, has in fact proven the incompetence of
the command and control authority."
"The Law Of The Land And A.Q. Khan"
Lahore-based liberal English daily, Daily Times commented
(2/2): "Who paraded Mr. Khan on
Pakistan Day as the mascot of our 'national defense'? Who was responsible for carefully
constructing his image as superman by planting fables of his greatness in the
national press, especially the Urdu one which cares less for stark national
reality and more for the mythology of nationalism. According to the Urdu press, Dr. Khan was not
supposed to own an inch of land (sic!), had no money, despite the fact that he
was able to go to Africa and throw his dollars around like a
millionaire.... The government is now
doing the right thing by investigating the KRL scientists. It is according to domestic norms and in line
with our international obligations....
But the lovers of A.Q. Khan, including lawyers, want him excepted from
even an inquiry to determine whether he has broken any laws of the land,
including those related to corruption.
This is not right. Investigation
is in order, which should be followed by a case in the court of law if
necessary. No one should be above the
"Real Targets Are Nuclear And Missile Programs"
The second largest Urdu daily, Nawa-e-Waqt judged
(2/2): "America cannot tolerate any
Islamic country possessing nuclear capability.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and his associates are being accused of making
money in a country where this is no longer an accusation. From generals to judges to bureaucrats, all
are of the same ilk.... Inter Services
Public Relations Director General said that President General Musharraf would
take the nation into confidence after Eid....
On the other hand no secret has remained a secret and generally it is
believed that all the activity is aimed at first to deprive Pakistan of its nuclear
and missile capability and then launch the 'spring offensive' as disclosed by
[U.S. press reports]. Justice demands
that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan should also be given a chance to broadcast his
defense on electronic media.... The
Afghan and Kashmir policies have been sacrificed already and now the nation is
worried about its nuclear and missile program.
The nation can not trust the announcement of the National Command
Authority that the nuclear program would not be rolled back as the reputation
of the government has become suspect."
"A Moral Tragedy"
The center-right national English daily, The Nation
editorialized (2/2): "The NCA’s
observations about the security of the nuclear program must be reassuring to
the international community, especially the U.S., whose pressure has been
behind the whole unfortunate episode; but more important, they should signal to
the nation that the nuclear program is now in safe hands."
"The Test Of Pakistan And Muslim Ummah"
Center-right Urdu daily Pakistan commented (2/2): "Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has been a target
constantly since 9/11. First he was
removed from his position at KRL and now he has been sacked from [his
government advisory position].... It is
difficult to say what propelled the government to take action against Dr.
Qadeer. It is possible that the
government took the decision against Dr. Qadeer unwittingly.... On the occasion of Eidul Azha, the Muslim
Ummah faces a grave and difficult test; it would have to carve its way forward
while carefully looking at the situation."
"Dr. Abdul Qadeer’s Dismissal And Investigation"
The Lahore-based populist Urdu daily Khabrain observed
(2/2): "The fact should be kept in
mind that dismissal of Dr. Qadeer does not mean his conviction. This has been done to make the investigation
transparent.... What is needed is that
the government should accelerate the process of investigation and bring the
results before the nation."
"The Sacrifice Of
Karachi-based, right-wing pro-Islamic unity Urdu daily, Jasarat
contended (2/2): "President
Musharraf has sacrificed the real national heroes in order to appease the
United States and to save the skin of his fellow generals. Gen. Musharraf has been sacrificing one thing
or the other for the U.S. and now he has sacrificed Dr. A. Q. Khan for the
security of his breed of generals. This
has once again shown that the real security risks in this country are the
The sensationalist Urdu daily, Ummat opined (2/2): "We would have to make sure that nobody
is made scapegoat in order to save the skulls of few others. Whatever the nation is made to hear or read
is all one-sided. The 'accused' are not
being allowed to air their view or standpoint.
The government should take the nation into confidence and lay the facts
CANADA: "Pakistan Lets
Dr. Khan Take The Nuclear Blame"
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (Internet version,
2/6): "Now that Pakistan's top
nuclear scientist has confessed...President Pervez Musharraf and the rest of
the country's military leadership must think they have closed a deeply
disturbing and highly embarrassing chapter in the country's history. It would be a shame if that proved to be the
case, because the convenient mea culpa and quick pardon have produced far more
troubling questions than satisfying answers about Pakistan's long-suspected key
role in nuclear proliferation to rogue states.... General Musharraf yesterday granted Dr. Khan
a full pardon. A reward to a national
hero for his scientific contributions, as the President claimed, or for taking
all the blame upon himself and giving the government a convenient way out of a
sticky predicament? Or was it a
politically necessary move, because Dr. Khan is revered among Muslim
nationalists, who are already deeply unhappy with Gen. Musharraf over his close
U.S. ties? The whole affair--from heartfelt
public confession to clemency--was orchestrated from beginning to end.... Gen. Musharraf said its investigation was at
an end. He rejected calls for an
independent inquiry and refused to consider sharing documents with the
IAEA.... Yet it is hard to believe that
a few greedy scientists could have concocted such a scheme involving the
transportation out of the country of tightly guarded military documents and
equipment...without the approval or knowledge of anyone else in authority.... The Bush administration's response has been
remarkably muted, even though it is now clear that Pakistan's activities were a
bigger threat to world security than those of Saddam Hussein..... It's easy to understand Washington's
response. The last thing it wants is to
undermine Gen. Musharraf's already shaky position and possibly usher in a much
less friendly regime in Pakistan that could reignite tensions with India and
endanger efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
Its prime interest is in destroying the nuclear smuggling ring that
enabled Dr. Khan to evade detection for so many years. But if Gen. Musharraf wants to stay in the
West's good books, he should sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and
allow UN inspections, something even Libya is now doing."
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (2/3): "Successive Pakistan regimes tolerated,
if not encouraged, a culture where top scientists felt free to flog nuclear
secrets to some of the world's most problematic countries, increasing the risk
that terrorists might one day lay their hands on nightmare weapons. That has left U.S. President George Bush
trying to stuff the genie back into the bottle, with mixed success. Libya has been spooked into giving up its
nuclear program. Iran is letting United
Nations inspectors conduct more aggressive visits to its nuclear plants. And North Korea has offered to suspend its
bomb program, if the U.S. offers warmer relations. Even so, the world is no safer than five
years ago, when India and Pakistan openly tested bombs.... If anything, the world's tolerance for nukes
is growing.... Without American moral
leadership, this threat will not recede.
Yet Bush is singularly ill-placed to preach restraint. He made it clear in his Nuclear Posture
Review of 2002 that he's prepared to use nukes first, even against a
non-nuclear adversary. He's funding new
'tactical' nukes, has budgeted for more fissile materials and wants a test site
readied. In short, he's making the
unthinkable, thinkable, by lowing the bar to using nuclear weapons."
"Investigation In Pakistan"
Daily-of-record La Nacion commented
(1/30): "In the recent years, the
international community has openly suspected that Pakistan has had some sort of
active participation as one of the countries responsible for WMD proliferation,
along with North Korea, Iran and Libya.
Some drastic measures adopted recently by the Pakistani government lead
us to hope that some light will be shed on this issue. In effect, the Pakistani government has just banned
all the main members of the nuclear program team...from leaving the
country.... In an address to the
country's parliament, President Pervez Musharraf assured that his country
should currently demonstrate it has not participated in WMD proliferation. For this purpose, the investigation should be
transparent. On the contrary, Pakistan
will be subject to all kinds of pressures to reveal the content of its nuclear
program and to assure that no more leakages will happen in the future. For this last purpose, the control system
should assure an adequate involvement of international organizations in charge
of controlling dangerous WMD. Curiously
enough, the same men who were applauded and admired until recently as heroes
amid nationalistic fervor are now being in some way humiliated by the ongoing
investigation.... Some believe the
military...is seeking scapegoats to cover its own responsibility in past
acts. Whatever the reason may be, the
time has come for Pakistan to dispel such serious suspicions, which have
clouded its foreign image for a long time."