Reducing Nuclear Dangers after the AQ Khanspiracy

K. Subrahmanyam was Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi from 2001-2004.
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  • January 2004

    The essay defines Pakistan’s brazen retailing of sensitive nuclear technologies as Bomb Process Outsourcing (BPO) and places it in a larger perspective. It offers a short retrospective of the development and manufacture of nuclear weapons by the P-5 in which significant manpower and materials were ‘foreign’. This is true of the programmes of Israel, Iraq, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil as well. Pakistan, has now, contributed to North Korea, Libya and Iran.
    The essay is skeptical about claims made about the ‘successes’ posted under the non-proliferation or counter-proliferation regime and argues that Libya and Iran making a clean breast is due to economic-political-security accommodation between them and USA.

    It contends that the Pakistani BPO poses nuclear dangers more to Europe and Asia than USA. However, the establishment and the electoral system are fanning the BPO flames for short-term sectoral and political gains.

    The Pak BPO constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. To reduce the nuclear dangers posed by the Pak BPO, the essay recommends immediate consideration by the Security Council and collective action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. If the Council is deadlocked, an emergency session of the UNGAT could be convened. Additionally, an international conference needs to be convened as soon as possible on ‘Reducing the Nuclear Danger’. This was accepted at the Millennium Summit in September 2000.

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