ALTHOUGH most Iranians are celebrating their nuclear deal with the P5+1, the framework ‘understanding’, once implemented, will effectively block Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapons capability for the foreseeable future.
Hardly a week after the Iran deal was announced, the New York Times — which often reflects official US policy — editorially propagated that attention be turned to constraining Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic capabilities. The issue was also covered by other US media.
The NYT arguments, taken from the Indian hymnbook, were not surprising; the timing of the proposal to target Pakistan is significant. If the editorial indeed reflects official US thinking, it would confirm the view of many in Pakistan and the Muslim world that America’s aim is to denuclearise all Islamic countries. With Iran neutralised, Pakistan remains the only nuclear-capable Islamic nation.
Pakistan has fought off numerous US attempts, initially to prevent and, after 1998, to retard Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic programmes. Pakistan’s ‘establishment’ is confident that future attempts will fail also. But, it would be a mistake to become complacent.
The US is engaged in a strategic contest with China. It sees India as a ‘strategic partner’ in this Asian power game. India can challenge China effectively only once it has neutralised Pakistan. The Indian lobby in the US is now second in influence only to the Israeli lobby. Thus, unless persuaded otherwise, Washington can be expected to do all that is possible to assist India in neutralising Pakistan’s power…