Increasing risk to Pakistan nuclear weapons from army not terrorists: Shivshankar Menon

Menon says Pakistan is the only nuclear weapon programme in the world that is exclusively under military control.

By: PTI | Washington | Published: October 13, 2016 7:29 am
pakistan nuclear weapons, pakistan military, pakistan terrorists, pakistan nuke threat, nuclear threat from pakistan, pak military threat Shivshankar Menon at the Indian Express Idea Exchange. (Express Photo by: Cheena Kapoor)

The ‘real threat’ to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is from rogue elements inside its military rather than from the terrorist outfits, India’s former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon has said. Noting that terrorists have easier and cheaper ways of wreaking havoc, Menon said the nuclear weapons are complex devises that are difficult to manage, use and deliver and require very high level of skills.

“To my mind, the real threat (to Pak nukes) is from insiders, from a Pakistani pilot or a brigadier who decides to wage nuclear jihad, with or without orders,” Menon writes in his book titled “Choices: Inside the making of India’s Foreign Policy.”

“The risk increases as Pakistan builds tactical nuclear weapons for battlefield use, control of which will necessarily be delegated down the command chain,” he said.

Menon says Pakistan is the only nuclear weapon programme in the world that is exclusively under military control.

“There are good reasons why no other country chose to go down this path,” he said.

Menon writes that India has nuclear weapons for the contribution that make to its national security in an uncertain and anarchic world by preventing others from attempting nuclear blackmail and coercion against India.

“Unlike in certain NWS, India’s nuclear weapons are not meant to redress a military balance, or to compensate for some perceived inferiority in conventional military terms, or to serve some tactical or operational military need on the battlefield,” he notes.

While India has a declared policy of no-first use of nuclear weapons, Menon in his book warns that if Pakistan were to use tactical nuclear weapons against India “even against Indian forces in Pakistan,” it would effectively be opening the door to a massive Indian-first strike, having crossed India’s declared red line.

“Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan,” he said.

“There are several responses short of war available to a state like India,” he writes.

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  1. Arvind Baba
    Oct 13, 2016 at 3:29 pm
    we have to concentrate at our home. Our nuclear weapons are under sever threats when fascist Modi is our PM. one day he will use these weapons on cow eaters. and while our nuclear weapons are being smuggling to other nations. what a mess!
    1. Aazar Kund
      Oct 13, 2016 at 3:37 pm
      Army is respectable insution in stan and its closeness to nuclear weapon is not a threatening issue but a violent extremist organization like Shive Sina close to nuclear decision center is indeed threatening. India should be more careful with its extremists close to nuclear weapons.
      1. D
        Dinesh Sampat
        Oct 13, 2016 at 2:55 am
        One of the obvious ones would be to abrogate IWT with continuation of water flow on a humanitarian basis. The other one is to unleash digital that renders stan's military and non-military installations inoperable or completely non-functional. This would be somewhat similar to dropping "digital bombs".
        1. P
          Oct 13, 2016 at 4:36 am
          India should declare any further terrorist action will be treated as a nuclear strike and we retain the option of a nuclear reply.
          1. S
            Oct 13, 2016 at 8:47 am
            But your beef eating s leaked in 1947,1965, 1971 and Kargil War... May be the maroons forgotten these defeats... soon all porkis will leak.. if they continue terror activities... lol
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