Nu­clear roulette

Pak­istan’s ex­is­ten­tial dilemma: to nuke In­dia, or not to nuke In­dia

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - An Epiphany Of Ideas - Jug Su­raiya

Two Pak­istani gen­er­als pon­der­ing their country’s nu­clear strat­egy vis-a-vis their arch ad­ver­sary, In­dia.

1st gen­eral: PM Im­ran-sa­heb has re­ally bowled a goo­gly to In­dia.

2nd gen­eral: That he has. First he tells the whole world that if In­dia car­ries on do­ing what it’s do­ing in Kash­mir, it could mean a nu­clear war. Then he says that Pak­istan will never start a war, nu­clear or oth­er­wise, with In­dia or any­one else. Then an­other of­fi­cial says Pak­istan could start a nu­clear war. Which must have got those darned In­di­ans thor­oughly con­fused.

1st gen­eral: And to add to their con­fu­sion, they know that it’s not Im­ran-sa­heb – or for that mat­ter any of these politician fel­lows – who calls the shots in Pak­istan, it us Army chaps who do.

2nd gen­eral: Right. So since we call the shots are we go­ing to nuke In­dia, or aren’t we?

1st gen­eral: Well, there’s a bit of a prob­lem about that.

2nd gen­eral: Prob­lem? What’s the prob­lem? We’ve got lots and lots of nukes, just hang­ing around wait­ing to be used against In­dia. Haven’t we?

1st gen­eral: We have. And that’s the prob­lem. Hav­ing spent all our country’s money on lots and lots of nukes we don’t have any money left over for any­thing else, in­clud­ing the de­liv­ery sys­tem for our nukes.

2nd gen­eral: De­liv­ery sys­tem? Of course we have a de­liv­ery sys­tem for our nukes. Didn’t we just test fire our Ghaz­navi mis­sile to frighten In­dia?

1st gen­eral: We did in­deed. But that’s not the de­liv­ery sys­tem I’m talk­ing about. I meant our sys­tem which de­liv­ers our nukes from their si­los to our mis­sile fir­ing site, which is so slow that those In­di­ans would get wind of what we were plan­ning and nuke us be­fore we could nuke them.

2nd gen­eral: Couldn’t we get our trains to run faster to bring our nukes to the fir­ing site?

1st gen­eral: Trains? What trains? There’s no money to buy coal or diesel to run trains. And the owner of the cart we were us­ing to trans­port our nukes has gone on strike as we can’t af­ford to pay for fod­der for his bul­lock ...

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