Pakistan is capable of repelling any ‘jihadi’ attempt to seize power and of protecting its nuclear weapons, says a report by a prestigious US think-tank.
The Brookings report — “The Agonising Problem of Pakistan’s Nukes” — argues that the Taliban victory in Afghanistan has emboldened militants in Pakistan, stirring fears of a resurgence of militant activities in the country.
“The fear now includes the possibility that jihadis in Pakistan, freshly inspired by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, might try to seize power at home,” the report claims.
“Trying, of course, is not the same as succeeding. If history is a reliable guide, Pakistan’s professional military would almost certainly respond, and in time probably succeed,” the author, Marvin Kalb, adds.
The report also notes that Pakistan’s security establishment has always closely watched various terrorist groups operating in the country.
Pakistani officials tell their American counterparts that “whether it be Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-i-Labaik, (they are) under our constant surveillance, checked and rechecked.
“We keep a close eye on everything, even the madrassas, where more than 2 million students are more likely studying sharia law than economics or history. We know who these terrorists are and what they’re doing, and we’re ready to take immediate action.”
Despite such assurances, the report claims, the United States remains concerned about Pakistan’s nukes. “Ever since May 1998, when Pakistan first began testing nuclear weapons, American presidents have been haunted by the fear that Pakistan’s stockpile of nukes would fall into the wrong hands,” the report adds.
The report argues that since the recent debacle in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s alleged role in it “serious questions have been raised about America’s embarrassing predisposition to look the other way.”