When it comes to contemplating nuclear war and its consequences, most persons adopt an ostrich like approach, as to do otherwise would be to risk one’s sanity. Unfortunately for some, it is their job to focus on the threat it poses to the nation and, indeed, humanity’s survival. The irony is that being peace-loving and civilised is no guarantee that a people will not become victims of a nuclear holocaust.
This fact has emerged to the fore, once again, with the revelation that IM ‘leader’ Yasin Bhatkal was seeking Pakistan’s help in acquiring a ‘nuclear bomb’ to blow up Surat, the particular focus of his hate. Of course, this is what the police has alleged and may not exactly be the truth. However, if it is, there are many reasons to be alarmed.
The first, of course, is that the person was even thinking in these terms. Obviously, there are persons who believe that a nuclear attack is justified, particularly in the competitive politics of religion. The second troubling issue is the reported reaction of his Pakistani handler, Riyaz Bhatkal, who promised to look into providing him a bomb as ‘everything was possible in Pakistan’. Terrorists targeting India from the ISI fold are controlled by that country’s establishment. That a handler should be encouraging Yasin’s psychopathic fantasies indicates the dangerous game Pakistan is willing to play. They were concerned about not killing Muslims, but not about the larger consequences on the entire sub-continent of a nuclear bomb going off – a land mass that has by far the largest population of Muslims in the world! In other words, people who have not thought it through are serious about indulging in nuclear war; a subject that has the world’s most advanced military thinkers in knots as they worry about preventing and managing it!
Of course, at the present, there is little likelihood of a terrorist outfit getting hold of a nuclear bomb, in particular, a suitcase bomb of the kind often seen in Hollywood movies or written about in Tom Clancy type bestsellers. However, this is exactly the reason why US President Barak Obama loses sleep over the sub-continent’s potential to explode – Pakistan is the country most likely to lose or hand over a nuclear device to terrorists.
One has only to hear the public fulminations of Pakistan’s very popular war-mongers, who air their views on TV and public gatherings. They speak in terms of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal being the key to victory over India. They haven’t a clue to what nuclear war means, but are considered serious strategists by the masses.
India’s headache, in particular, is not just the nuclear proliferation indulged in by Pakistan on a state-to-state basis, which the US foolishly turned a blind eye to, and China actually encouraged. It is also the increasingly real chance of terrorists getting hold of nuclear bombs. Not having been able to work out an answer to non-state attacks on India’s cities and institutions, what chances are there of an implementable strategy being in place for terrorists using Pakistani supplied bombs? In fact, India’s wimpy response to increasing levels of cross-border so called ‘non-state’ attacks has only encouraged its enemies. Every two-bit moron who gets his hand on an AK-47 begins to fantasise about riding into Heaven. Unless these fantasies are nipped effectively in the bud, it is only natural that their visions reach grandiose levels like using nuclear bombs. If nothing else, this issue requires an intense and public debate so that awareness of the perils of nuclear weapons increases to the level required for people to see these ‘warriors of God’ as the madmen they are.