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Ghourie,Prithivi &Agni missiles !Arms Race

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    Ghourie,Prithivi &Agni missiles !Arms Race

    Click here: Asia Times: Musharraf strengthens grip on nuk...  
    Musharraf strengthens grip on nukes, power
    Global Intelligence Update
    Dec 7, 2000
    Pakistan's National Command Authority held its second meeting on
    November 27, during which Islamabad decided to consolidate its nuclear
    weapons management under the control of General Pervez Musharraf. The
    decision deters military adventurism by Pakistan's archrival, India. The
    consolidation also puts Musharraf in a position of strength in terms of
    international bargaining and fighting off his enemies within Pakistan.
    Pakistan's National Command Authority (NCA) held its second meeting in
    Rawalpindi on November 27 at the Strategic Plans Division, The Nation
    reported. Pakistan's Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf, who leads
    the NCA, chaired the meeting. During this last session, the NCA made
    decisions to consolidate its nuclear weapons management system.
    Musharraf is reforming Pakistan's nuclear sector and command system as a
    strategic deterrent to India. He wants to consolidate his power in the
    country, which is driven by different and antagonistic forces. Musharraf
    needs the added strength in order to negotiate with the international
    community - and within his own country.
    The NCA was established in February 2000 to create command and control
    mechanisms for Pakistan's nuclear weapons and missile systems. It is
    responsible for policy formulation, employment and development control
    over all strategic nuclear forces and strategic organizations. Besides
    Musharraf, the NCA includes foreign affairs, defense and interior
    ministers, chiefs of all military services and heads of strategic
    After the meeting, the Pakistani government released a statement saying,
    "The meeting reviewed the strategic and security environment facing
    Pakistan and took important decisions on nuclear policy matters that
    included, among others, strategic threat perception, restructuring of
    the strategic organizations and export control mechanisms," according to
    the November 28 Times of India.
    Pakistan has no intention of abandoning its nuclear program, at least in
    the near future; when a country enhances its nuclear weapons command and
    control system, it generally reveals the opposite. For Islamabad,
    nuclear weapons provide a final trump card in a possible conflict with
    its much bigger rival, India.
    India has Pakistan outmanned and outgunned, both overall and in
    conventional forces and arms. There are approximately 980,000 active
    Indian troops and another 800,000 in reserve. In comparison, Pakistan
    has an estimated 562,000 active soldiers and 500,000 reservists. India
    boasts 3,600 tanks to Pakistan's 2,200, and the Indian air force
    maintains 890 fighting aircraft as compared to Pakistan's 620.
    Pakistan has worked hard to gain the advantage in number of conventional
    arms. Once Pakistan achieves some success, India once again upsets
    Pakistan's hard-earned advantage. For example, this year has witnessed
    the beginning of production of Pakistan's new major battle tank,
    Al-Khalid. This 46 ton, three-man tank was built with Chinese help and
    has a maximum speed of 40 mph. With a cruising range of 250 miles, it is
    indeed superior to India's Arjun tank. But India signed a US$3 billion
    package with Russia last month, and New Delhi is building and will
    receive 310 of Russia's newest major battle tanks, the T-90s, which beat
    Al-Khalid in every parameter. The same is true of combat aircraft and
    naval ships.
    Pakistan maintains a first-strike option in its nuclear doctrine. With
    India outgunning Pakistan's conventional forces at every turn, the
    accepted use of nuclear weapons in response to a conventional attack
    sends a message to New Delhi that, despite its larger military, Pakistan
    is not incapable of defending itself.
    Pakistan also had a nuclear advantage because its chief of the army
    staff had been in charge of nuclear planning and deployment, even when
    there was a civilian head of government. Last month, India hoped to
    catch up with Pakistan on the issue of nuclear planning and management
    by introducing a new high command structure.
    Islamabad's response was to integrate all research, design, production,
    planning and deployment of nuclear weapons in the NCA under Musharraf's
    control, once again positioning itself above its archrival. India still
    does not have a centralized nuclear authority body such as Pakistan's
    NCA, and its political and military branches of power are not linked
    together with regard to nuclear weapons. India's civilian government
    executes full control over design, research and production of nuclear
    weapons, while the Indian military is in charge of operational control
    over nuclear weapons.
    Pakistan's government is concerned with not only nuclear but also
    missile capability. Musharraf also has established a Strategic Force
    Command led by a serving army general responsible for deployment of
    strategic missiles. Pakistan possesses two versions of a medium-range
    nuclear-capable missile called Ghauri. Its Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-11 also
    belong to the same class of missiles. The existing version of the Ghauri
    missile is operational and has a range of 800 to 1,200 miles; the
    ability to carry nuclear, biological and chemical warheads; and the
    ability to be launched from land or air. The missile is said to be
    equipped with an extremely accurate guidance system.
    By all these parameters, the Ghauri is superior to India's medium-range
    missile Prithvi. It means Pakistan's missile-launching abilities are
    higher than those of India. Pakistan also may have tested a new version
    of the Ghauri with a range of up to 1,800 miles that amounts to a new
    class of missile - not medium range, but the so-called long-range
    missiles. To counter Pakistan's temporary superiority, India is actively
    working in two directions: first, to improve characteristics and range
    of its medium-range missiles, and second, to create its first
    intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of 5,000 to 8,000
    By further integrating and strengthening its nuclear command system
    under the NCA, Pakistan is trying to better position itself for future
    challenges in the region. The first test is probable talks with India,
    in which Pakistan would be able to talk from a position of strength, not
    weakness. The NCA will guard the work of organizations such as the Khan
    Research Laboratories (KRL) led by Dr Qadeer Khan, who is considered the
    mastermind of Pakistan's nuclear program, the National Development
    Complex (NDC) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). Thus,
    Musharraf is reining in the very strong, nearly autonomous civilian
    nuclear research and development agencies. This will add to
    consolidation of his authority in the country as a whole and in the
    nuclear field in particular.
    Musharraf has made himself the sole caretaker for the country's nuclear
    arsenal. This will make it much more difficult for someone else to use
    Pakistan's nuclear weapons and strategic missiles without Musharraf's
    authorization. He faces the threat of some hardline factions within the
    military, Inter-Service Intelligence and radical Islamic circles whose
    influence in the country grows. Any of these internal threats may try to
    gain access to the Pakistani nuclear arsenal - either for striking India
    or "the enemies of Islam".
    Musharraf also may have more authority and negotiation power while
    dealing with the United States and other Western powers. He needs it for
    discussing the nuclear proliferation problem and Pakistan's adherence,
    or non-adherence, to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Musharraf
    can demonstrate the international community should not worry about
    Pakistan's non-adherence to CTBT because its nuclear weapons are now
    under complete control of secular- and reform-minded Musharraf.
    Restructuring export control mechanisms through the NCA also means
    Musharraf is strengthening his control over the export of fissile
    materials and nuclear technology. In addition to Musharraf taking this
    important field under his tight control, the move is also an attempt to
    reverse the worsening of Pakistan-US relations. It is meant to send a
    positive signal to America that Pakistan is making an effort to tighten
    its export controls on nuclear materials and technology.
    Putting everything under Musharraf's control does give him better
    leverage both inside and outside the country. But it also gives him
    little flexibility to place the responsibility on others if he is in a
    tight spot and blamed for Pakistan's current and likely future failures.
    Also, it remains to be seen whether this full control over Pakistan's
    nuclear arsenal will be transferred from Musharraf as the top leader of
    Pakistan to the country's civilian supreme authorities after elections
    are held next year. In the status of the NCA, there is no wording on the
    role of the Pakistani prime minister or other top civilian authority as
    a future head of the NCA. Also, if another military ruler replaces
    Musharraf, there is no guarantee his successor would pursue the same
    nuclear policy.
    Nevertheless, integrating all decision-making power over nuclear weapons
    within the NCA represents the opportunity to gain full control over
    Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Provided the military does not rebel, a
    future civilian government of the country would have a chance to assert
    its authority over the whole nuclear complex, since the NCA is not a
    military body.