Pakistan & the Bomb
Pakistan’s steadfast attachment to nuclear weapons is a product of its decades-old struggle to improve its precarious security predicament vis-à-vis India; a stronger and increasingly assertive neighbor. Over three decades since the original decision was made by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to initiate the bomb program, Pakistan has struggled through an extraordinarily difficult set of regional and international security problems in which its nuclear weapons posture was minimally commensurate to the array of threats. Today a staunch belief in the invincibility of its nuclear weapons, as the ultimate guarantor of national survivability, is central to Pakistan’s national security policy.
The security landscape around Pakistan is changing fast, and the transformative shifts in the international and regional environments are creating new predicaments and imperatives for Pakistan’s defense and security as it modernizes its armed forces and refines it nuclear strategy and force posture. The workshop provides the historical context that led to Pakistan’s decision to go nuclear, and explains the driving factors that affect its present and future policies. It will help develop understanding how and why international efforts and non-proliferation regime failed to stop Pakistan’s quest from acquiring the nuclear capability and how it transited into becoming an advance nuclear power. Finally, it will analyze the role of nuclear weapons in Pakistan’s security policy and its impact on regional security dynamics.
This workshop is developed from the instructor’s military, diplomatic, and scholarly experience – that includes contribution to Pakistan’s nuclear policy, strategic planning, and active participation in international negotiations on arms control and disarmament issues. The workshop will mainly derive from the experience of last two decades in which he was intimately involved in nuclear policies and subsequent life as scholar.
This workshop is premised under the assumption that the student maintains a baseline understanding of nuclear technologies, non-proliferation regimes, and norms and basic knowledge of history of South Asia. Students are encouraged to read authors book Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (Stanford University Press, 2012).