During a press conference last week, a reporter from _Dawn_ asked Richard Boucher about the US-India nuclear deal:
bq. … we would like to have your response on Pakistani concerns on this nuclear issue, which is also supported by many critics in the U.S. and other critics that it would trigger a nuclear arms race in Asia. And Pakistan talks of the deal undermining Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence and saying you know, it would do whatever is required to restore its deterrence, which I suppose would mean making more bombs.
Acknowledging that this issue “comes up in the States in our discussions with Congress, comes up in discussions of _arms control experts and others_[emphasis mine],” Boucher replied:
bq. This is not an arrangement that in any way helps or promotes the military side of whatever India may be doing with nuclear material. We still take our obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty very seriously. We would not have entered into this deal if we had thought it contravened Article I of the Non-Proliferation Treaty that says we will not help anyone in any way to build nuclear weapons.
Then rolled with:
…you have 19% of India’s nuclear capability under safeguards now. Implementation of the deal will put 65% under safeguards. As India builds more civilian factories, more plants, there will be an expansion of the nuclear power sector and an expansion of the amount of percentage of India’s plants under safeguards. That’s not an expansion of capability on the military side, that’s actually dedicating for sole civilian use a bigger and bigger portion of India’s nuclear industry.
And I just think, you know, it’s an argument that’s made. I acknowledge that. We hear it again and again. We also answer it again and again. But it just doesn’t make sense to me. If you’ve got a program this big, and it’s not under safeguards, it’s all available for military purposes, and you make it a program this big, it’s smaller.
Yeah, obviously we’re a bunch of idiots. Do I really need to explain what happens to that percentage if and when India builds more military facilities?
Anyway, I think Islamabad has a slight difference of opinion.
For example, “_AFP_ reported”:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060413/wl_sthasia_afp/pakistannuclearusindiadefense_060413054026 13 April that President Musharaff chaired a meeting of Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority. According to the article, the NCA issued a statement saying:
bq. In view of the fact that the agreement would enable India to produce significant quantities of fissile material and nuclear weapons from un-safeguarded nuclear reactors, the NCA expressed firm resolve that our credible minimum deterrence requirements will be met…
And “according to _APP_,”:http://www.infopak.gov.pk/news/appnews/appnews2006/app_apr14_2006.htm#2Musharraf told Sen. Hagel that his government has “[C]oncerns on its [the agreement’s] implications for regional stability and security.”
On top of that, “a spokesperson”:http://www.mofa.gov.pk/Spokeman133.htm for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry expressed â€œconcern” about
…provisions in the agreement that could have serious implications for the strategic stability in the region. Also, we feel that it is discriminatory because both Pakistan and India are nuclear weapon States which are not part of the NPT. Instead of making exception for one, a package deal would have been preferable that would have taken care of energy requirements of the two countries, the strategic stability in this region and the global non-proliferation efforts.
And speaking of math, know that “snakes + plane”:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/film/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002234847 = genius.
Have a good weekend.