Home Latest News U.S. Scholar Backs Nuclear Deal With Pakistan

U.S. Scholar Backs Nuclear Deal With Pakistan

by AFP
A decorated monument representing Chagai Mountain, where Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test. Farooq Naeem—AFP

A monument representing Chagai Mountain, where Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test. Farooq Naeem—AFP

Voicing alarm about Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal, Mark Fitzpatrick says negotiating a deal will help reduce dangers.

Western powers should negotiate a nuclear deal with Pakistan similar to its accord with India as a way to reduce dangers from Islamabad, a prominent expert said Wednesday.

Mark Fitzpatrick, a longtime U.S. diplomat who is now a scholar at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, voiced alarm about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal—the world’s fastest growing—which he said would likely expand until at least 2020.

Fitzpatrick said no solution was ideal, but he called for Western nations to offer Pakistan a deal along the lines of a 2005 accord with India, which allowed normal access to commercial nuclear markets despite its refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. “The time has come to offer Pakistan a nuclear cooperation deal akin to India’s,” Fitzpatrick said as he launched a new book, Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers, in Washington. “Providing a formula for nuclear normalization is the most powerful tool that Western countries can wield in positively shaping Pakistan’s nuclear posture,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick said that Pakistan faced a “heavier burden of proof” than India to demonstrate it is a responsible power, after the father of Islamabad’s bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, spread the technology widely, and due to the presence of extremist groups.

Among conditions for a nuclear deal, Pakistan should stop blocking a new international agreement banning the production of fissile material and join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, he said.

In the book, Fitzpatrick says the risk of a much-discussed scenario in which extremists seize nuclear weapons was exaggerated, and that the larger danger was that Pakistan-linked militants would launch a new attack inside India and trigger a devastating nuclear war.

Fitzpatrick, while voicing concern over an arms race, said Pakistan was constrained by its lack of uranium ore. Quoting anonymous sources, Fitzpatrick said Pakistan’s production might end in 2020, by which time it would have some 200 nuclear weapons, about double the current estimate.

Fitzpatrick also doubted reports that Pakistan would share nuclear weapons with Saudi Arabia in response to the kingdom’s concerns on Iran, saying Islamabad would not want to open potential conflict with another neighbor.

Related Articles


been March 27, 2014 - 5:49 pm

Energy security, the ability of a nation to secure sustainable energy supplies to meet its energy needs at reasonable prices, has become a major energy policy imperative. If India can be accommodated in the nuclear energy market despite not agreeing to accede to the non-proliferation treaty, and given a waiver to trade by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Pakistan should not be an exception.

sartaj hussain March 28, 2014 - 1:26 am

Infact Pakistan should sign the CTBT,not to follow Indian footsteps for her nuclear and foreign policy that if,India signs the CTBT then Pakistan would sign it,it is ridiculous because the situation of India and Pakistan is totally different on this issue that the world community is not scared of India but they have hard sense that the extremist elements and terrorists can occupy the nuclear Arms of Pakistan and this can be dangerous to the world, my old insist that Pakistan should sign the CTBT and obtain the status of a nuclear state and the membership of Atomic club and finish the danger of declaring a terrorist state.

sartaj hussain March 28, 2014 - 1:32 am

the father of the Atomic program of Pakistan is Z A Bhutto who gave this task to Dr. Qadeer Khan,and Bhutto was punished for this act and Dr. Qadeer was declared accuse of suppliyng this technology to other countries and he accepted it during Musharaf’s regime so Z A Bhutto is the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program don’t change the facts.

Tania Khaqan March 28, 2014 - 11:08 am

If the western proposal of deal in near future comes to be fulfilled then there are chances that GOP would have access to free energy market in the way that it would have built up its capacity to generate energy through utilizing nuclear power. This deal would help Pakistan to use it for civilian purposes. International community had applauded Pakistan for the safest and secured operation of nuclear program. As long as the stance of Pakistan at FMCT has been concerned then it must be kept in mind that this is an international proposed treaty and every member state has the right to question if its national interest is being compromised. In case of Pakistan, it is not the only deadlock at CD, it is ready to negotiate the other issues at the CD agenda and if major powers makes FMCT including the interests of Pakistan then defeinately it would negotiate the treaty. But our country would not make any compromise regarding its hard core national interest.

ali March 28, 2014 - 11:15 am

American officials have repeatedly expressed their satisfaction with Pakistan’s safety and security standards. In addition, Pakistan is an active member of the global initiative to combat nuclear terrorism and is in partnership with 82 other nations to prevent any attacks on nuclear facilities. The US secretary of state’s recent remarks that Pakistan’s nuclear safety standards are exemplary are a testimony of that growing confidence. But his remarks would have been more meaningful had the US lifted the embargo on sale of civil nuclear technology to Pakistan. Hague becomes influential in melting ambiguity regarding nuclear credentials of Pakistan which would be prolific.

Elizae March 28, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Interestingly, this piece of advice comes after NSS 2014. Pakistan has clearly stated the mechanisms of safety and security for its nuclear assets at the platform of NSS 2014 in front of the international community. The respective PM highlighted the five major pillars of its nuclear safety and security. The country has been declared as “exemplary” for nuclear security. The offer also comes when Pakistan is speedily working with China to build nuclear power plants in order to end up the energy crisis. If this should be offered like the Indo-US deal than why it is delayed so much? Where were all these advices when Pakistan itself asked for a deal to meet the speedy pace of energy needs?

Hasan March 28, 2014 - 11:19 pm

Pak-US nuclear deal would help mitigate Pakistan’s energy shortage besides deepening bilateral strategic partnership between the two countries. The government still has the right to the peaceful civilian use of nuclear power. Currently, the military and civilian nuclear programs in Pakistan are under strict control and are safe, or else China would not have cooperated with it.

sartaj hussain April 27, 2014 - 11:45 am

there is no danger from Islamabad being a nuclear state but India avoided to sign CTBT World community should recognize Pakistan as a Nuclear state and give it its true status of a nuclear state and avoid spreading false news for dander from Islamabad though Pakistan and the people are facing the consequences of their wrong doings in the Muslim world to control and specially in Afghanistan after the dismemberment of USSR a the Tension with Al-Qaeda and Taliban and the huge killing of innocent people


Leave a Comment