By News Desk
ISLAMABAD: The Yaum-e-Takbeer was observed on Friday to commemorate the historic nuclear tests Pakistan conducted on May 28, 1998.
The nuclear explosions, which were conducted in self-defence and deterrence against external threats to the country to respond to India’s aggression of nuclear tests, made Pakistan’s defence invincible. As a result, Pakistan became the first nuclear power in the Muslim world and seventh in the world.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar in a tweet said that 23 years ago on this day, Pakistan restored balance of power in the region by successfully establishing credible minimum nuclear deterrence. He said the armed forces and the nation pay tribute to all those involved in making this dream come true.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry, in a statement, said Pakistan is committed to working for the promotion of peace and stability at the regional and global levels. He said the nation reaffirms its resolve to safeguard Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence against any form of aggression. Pakistan has been actively contributing to international efforts for strengthening global norms on arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament and follows latest international standards on export controls, nuclear safety and security at the national level.
He said this year, the Yaum-e-Takbeer has been marked by the inauguration of the 1100MW K-2 Nuclear Power Plant in Karachi which adds valuable, cleaner, reliable and affordable electricity to the national energy mix. This underscores the role of nuclear science and technology in the socio-economic development of the country and the welfare of its people.
Meanwhile, Kamran Akhtar, Director General, Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs, of the Foreign Office, said Pakistan does not want to enter arms race but would not remain oblivious to destabilizing developments in the region.
He was speaking at a webinar at the Islamabad Policy Institute on the 23rd anniversary of the 1998 nuclear tests, according to a statement issued by the think tank.
“Pakistan remains committed to avoidance of any arms race and is ready to discuss bilateral measures for confidence-building and restraint, there should be no doubt about our resolve to take measures necessary to safeguard our security and deny any space for war or fanciful misadventures,” Kamran Akhtar said.
India is exploring preemptive counterforce options, besides militarizing the space and artificial intelligence. While these moves are dangerous and destabilizing, it is feared that they could unleash a risky regional arms race and crisis instability. “There is a renewed arms race generating de-stabilizing effects at the global and regional levels. These developments are casting their dark shadows on the region,” the senior Pakistani diplomat said. He criticized the global nuclear order for being discriminatory. “This has undermined the credibility and efficacy of the international nuclear regime,” he added.
Adviser to the Strategic Plans Division Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on this occasion, said the strategic stability in the region is “tenuous and continuously tested” by the aggressive Indian actions and doctrines. “For maintaining deterrence, Pakistan will need to continuously upgrade its capabilities in line with what India is doing. Only then we would be able to ensure our security and credible deterrence could prevail,” Akram said.
He too spoke about Indian test of anti-satellite weapons and integration of new warfare technologies such as cyber warfare, artificial intelligence, robotics and lethal autonomous weapons in the arsenal. “Pakistan will have to respond to these developments and cannot remain complacent,” he stressed.
Executive Director Islamabad Policy Institute Prof Sajjad Bokhari said: “While Pakistan seeks a peaceful region with high-degree of strategic stability that avoids a costly arms race, it undoubtedly cannot remain oblivious to the evolving security dynamics in South Asia.” While pursuing peace to focus on socio-economic development, he suggested, Pakistan needs to continuously prepare for averting any threat to its territorial integrity and national sovereignty.
Bokhari, however, regretted that Pakistan’s space programme has for long remained under-resourced and neglected. “The time has come to invest in the space technologies to harness civilian and military potential,” he said.
Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s sister Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari shared a picture of her grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto inaugurating Pakistan’s nuclear programme in 1972.
“Good thing there is photo evidence for today’s youth deprived of actual history. Will all the puppet parties trying to take false credit of what everyone, including themselves, already know. #Pakistan is #Nuclear thanks to Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” she tweeted.