Seeking to keep pace with neighboring India, the Pakistani government is set to inform President Obama it will not accept the Administration’s demand it restrict low-level tactical nuclear weapons in Pakistan’s arsenal.
President Obama is scheduled to meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House on Thursday.
Mr. Obama hopes to lure Pakistan into a deal which would allow the sale of American-made F-16 fighters in exchange for Islamabad dropping objections to Washington’s proposed limits to its nuclear store.
“The United States wants Pakistan to commit to not using tactical nuclear weapons but Islamabad wants to keep its options open as a way of deterring a potential Indian attack,” said Maria Sultan, head of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute.
Speaking on the political arrangement and purpose of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, one unnamed Pakistani security official told Reuters:
“Pakistan’s nuclear program is India-centric. And it exists to make war a non-option. Tactical nuclear weapons block off this room (for war) completely. No one can dictate what kind of weapons we will make or use.”
Why is Pakistan ordering the United States around?
Pakistan, which received a 1.5 billion foreign-aid package last year and has been given the gift of close to $19 billion in American tax dollars since 2001, is in no position to decline petitions from the United States or bark about minor recommendations to constrain their nuclear stockpile to secure a peaceful southwest Asia.
It is plausible Pakistan harbors 18 terror groups within its borders, terror groups which persist with the knowledge of the Pakistani government and under a blanket of security furnished by Pakistani military intelligence, the now-notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
ISI offered sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and has been known to engage U.S. combat troops during ground operations in the region.
While Islamabad may present a realistic portrait of its government hard at work against the malevolent forces within its borders, evidence strongly suggests otherwise.
Our relationship with Pakistan is worthy of critical evaluation and review. If American appeals to Islamabad for cooperation and reform of its intelligence apparatus and military are ignored, the obligation which we are to resort is curtailing military aid to prevent lethal assistance from falling into the hands of the sinister forces Islamabad hosts.
Weak and feeble, this is the Obama Administration conducting foreign policy on its heels.
[Reuters] [Dawn.com] [cgdev.org] [Photo courtesy Idrw.org]]