Pos­si­ble nu­clear con­flict in South Asia

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

TSouth HE United States has warned against the risk of a nu­clear con­flict in

Asia with State Depart­ment spokesman claim­ing Wash­ing­ton was con­cerned by the in­creased se­cu­rity chal­lenges that ac­com­pany growing stock­piles and the in­creased risk that a con­ven­tional con­flict be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan could es­ca­late to in­clude nu­clear use.

Echo­ing sim­i­lar con­cerns about pos­si­bil­ity of any nu­clear war in the world, dur­ing his visit to Hiroshima last month, which bore the brunt of mis­use of nu­clear tech­nol­ogy by the United States, US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama opined that tech­nol­ogy as dev­as­tat­ing as the nu­clear arms, de­mands a ‘moral rev­o­lu­tion’. How­ever, sev­enty years down the his­tory, there is lit­tle to sup­port that the world is mov­ing to­wards that moral rev­o­lu­tion. Poli­cies and ac­tions of the United States it­self run con­trary to what Pres­i­dent Obama es­pouses on the is­sue as he lec­tures oth­ers about nu­clear moral­ity but his ad­min­is­tra­tion takes steps to en­dan­ger re­gional and world peace. The pol­icy of the United States on civil nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia and go­ing out of the way to seek In­dia’s en­try into NSG folds is clas­sic ex­am­ple of dou­ble stan­dards on nu­clear is­sues. There is, of course, spec­tre of nu­clear con­flict in South Asia but the ques­tion arises what the United States is do­ing to avoid it or is just try­ing to squeeze Pak­istan. Gen­er­ous co­op­er­a­tion be­ing ex­tended to In­dia in the realm of nu­clear tech­nol­ogy in the name of civil nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion would sharpen New Delhi’s nu­clear teeth and Pak­istan would un­der­stand­ably forced to take mea­sures to safe­guard its se­cu­rity in­ter­ests. NSG mem­ber­ship for In­dia would also be a step to­wards that direc­tion, mak­ing South Asia more vul­ner­a­ble to any nu­clear con­flict. If the United States is gen­uinely in­ter­ested to pre­vent nu­clear con­flict in South Asia, it should adopt a just and even handed ap­proach to nu­clear is­sue in the re­gion.

IN the present at­mos­phere pre­vail ing in the coun­try, ev­ery­thing is be­ing politi­cised, whether the dubious land deals or the racist at­tacks against African stu­dents. Un­for­tu­nately, truth is the ca­su­alty. So­nia Gandhi has said that the crit­i­cism of her son-in-law, Robert Vadra, is political and is di­rected against the Congress party she heads. Her love for the dy­nasty has made her ig­nore the facts. Vadra got land pa­pers changed when the Congress was in power in Haryana. The land was req­ui­si­tioned for pub­lic in­ter­ests in Gur­gaon. And then state govern­ment in power gave it to Vadra who made crores of ru­pees by sell­ing the lands to builders.

A bold IAS of­fi­cer, Ashok Khemka, brought out the facts but he was pun­ished with in­nu­mer­able trans­fers. Now ques­tion has been re­vived be­cause of Vadra’s re­ported link with an arms dealer in Lon­don where he re­port­edly owns a house. Both Vadra and So­nia Gandhi have de­nied re­port and lat­ter has asked for an im­par­tial, in­de­pen­dent in­quiry. There should be no hitch, be­cause this is what her crit­ics have been de­mand­ing.

The Supreme Court should ap­point a special in­ves­ti­ga­tion team un­der its su­per­vi­sion to go into the mat­ter. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be con­fined to Vadra’s land deals and not spread to other things so that the probe

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