Unfortunate! The whole nation was embarrassed, disappointed, and rather confused. President Joe Biden’s remarks were out of context, untimely, inappropriate, and against the diplomatic attenuates. The current government in Pakistan is trying to restore traditional ties with the US. The recent visit of Pakistani leadership to the US, i.e. Foreign Minister, Army Chief, and Prime Minister of Pakistan just visited the US and had very cordial meetings with their counterparts and the political and military leadership of the US.
While addressing a Democratic congressional campaign committee reception on Thursday, President Joe passed the remarks: “… And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”
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President Joe is a seasoned politician and has been part of several governments since the late 1970s, in various capacities. He is supposed to be well-groomed, mature, and well-aware of diplomatic attenuates and norms.
Such hurting remarks were not expected from him
His sarcastic remarks have hurt the whole nation and a wave of anger is witnessed. Public opinion on the sincerity of American friendship is questioned at all levels. It has an adverse impact on the current government’s normalizing relations with the US.
Acting Foreign Secretary Jauhar Saleem called in US Ambassador Donald Blome to deliver a demarche on the recent remarks made by US President Joe Biden on 14th October during a Congressional Campaign Committee reception.
Pakistan’s disappointment and concern were conveyed to the US envoy on the unwarranted remarks, which were not based on ground reality or facts. It was made clear that Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state and its impeccable stewardship of the nuclear program and adherence to global standards and international best practices was well acknowledged, including by the IAEA.
The real threat to international peace and security was posed by the violation of global norms by some states, repeated nuclear security incidents without any accountability, an arms race between leading nuclear weapon states, and the introduction of new security constructs that disturb the regional balance.
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It was essential to maintain the positive trajectory of Pakistan-US relations and the close cooperation between the two sides to build regional and global peace.
Prime minister, sitting Federal Misters, and senior officials have also expressed their worries and concerns.
Opposition is more pertinent in passing remarks. Terming the US President’s comments an “unwarranted conclusion” of Pakistan’s nuclear program, he asked about the information Biden got to make such a statement on the country’s capability, and added: “… having been PM, I know we have one of the most secure nuclear command & control systems”. “Unlike the US, which has been involved in wars across the world, when has Pakistan shown aggression, especially post-nuclearisation ?” he further asked.
Many other opposition leaders, intellectuals, scholars, and politicians have expressed their anger and concerns about such unwarranted remarks.
It is worth mentioning that, the US is the only country, that has used nuclear weapons in the history of humankind. They used nuclear bombs against Japan in 1945. There is no other nation on this earth has used nuclear weapons. Although quite a few countries are declared nuclear states but have never used it.
Nuclear power is used as deterrence merely
Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state that is perfectly capable of safeguarding its national interest whilst respecting international law and practices. Its nuclear program is in no way a threat to any country. Like all independent states, Pakistan reserves the right to protect its autonomy, sovereign statehood, and territorial integrity. For this purpose, Pakistan has developed its deterrence to the highest level.
Pakistan’s nuclear program is monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on regular basis and reported as satisfactory. It is one of the most protected and safe programs. Pakistan is a sensible nation and well mature, it understands its international obligations and has demonstrated smartly on many occasions.
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On the other hand, Uranium is openly sold in the black market in India, there are few cases of smuggling of Uranium reported in the Indian press. The accidental firing of the hypersonic missile in India is a real threat to the neighboring nations and regions. The North Korean Nuclear and missile program is not in the knowledge of President Joe. His staff needs to educate him and brief him appropriately.
Pakistan has been in the American club since 1947 and signatory to several pacts and agreements with the US, including the defense pacts. Pakistan was a close ally of the US during the cold war, against communist threats, the Afghan war against the former USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, and a non-NATO close ally in its war against terror after 9/11 in 2001.
Pakistan has been protecting American interests in this part of the world for more than seven decades and ensured that the US achieved all its strategic goals in this region. However, since, the US kept its distance from Pakistan, and depending on India as its replacement, is facing failure one after another.
The US leadership, especially the Military leadership knows very well the importance of Pakistan and its true potential. They need to educate their president.
The current trends in Pakistan toward the US were very much encouraging and seem to keep the balance between China and the US. Historically, Pakistan being in the American block, always kept close relations with China. Which has benefited the US as well as China. Pakistan brokered dialogue to establish diplomatic relations between China and the US. Although the US was beneficiary of its relations with China, had forgotten, whereas the Chinese always remain grateful to Pakistan for its positive role.
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It is almost the desire of Pakistan to restore the traditional friendship with the US, but not at the cost of any other nation. Keeping its strategic relations with China, Pakistan wanted to fully restore its ties with the US, based on equality, trust, long-term partnership, mutual respect, and understanding. Pakistan may not accept pressure, Do-more, coercion, or interference in domestic affairs.
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: email@example.com).