Nuclear Watch—Pakistan: The Sorry Affairs of the Islamic Republic

Nuclear Watch—Pakistan: The Sorry Affairs of the Islamic Republic

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Gaurav Kampani

Senior Research Associate, The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

"Pakistan is a great hub of duplicity…a nation of confounding murkiness, where every kind of deception, collusion and outright sham are recurring motifs in the political theater."
-Barry Bearak, "Pakistan Is…," New York Times, December 7, 2003.


Since November 2003, two episodes have highlighted some of the existential dangers that threaten the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear deterrent, as well as the reasons that the country remains a source serious of proliferation concern. The first was an acknowledgement by the Pakistani government that it is conducting an internal investigation into the activities of some senior scientists at Khan Research Laboratories (KRL)—the entity that produces enriched uranium for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program—for possibly proliferating nuclear technologies, technical knowledge, and tacit know-how to Iran, in violation of Pakistani laws. And second, there were two nearly successful assassination attempts on the life of Pakistani President and Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Musharraf.

This issue brief is divided into three sections. The first section reviews the controversy surrounding new disclosures that Pakistani nuclear entities and scientists constitute the hub of a clandestine international cartel that trades in centrifuge-based uranium enrichment technologies. It analyzes the likelihood and implications of the official involvement of the Pakistani government—or at least its military—in such activities, as well as the possibility that Pakistani entities and scientists have engaged in proliferation activities unbeknownst to state authorities. The second section assesses the credibility of linkages between threats to General Musharraf's life and the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear forces. It also probes the subject of political instability in Pakistan, which stems from the army's domineering and overdeveloped status in relation to other institutions of state. The third section charts the dynamics of the alliance between the army, its intelligence agencies, and the Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan. Finally, the brief concludes by offering a composite assessment of both the proliferation and instability concerns that dog the Pakistani polity.

The KRL investigation comes amidst mounting evidence of Pakistan being one of the key sources behind Iran's, North Korea's, and Libya's centrifuge-based uranium enrichment programs; and that its nuclear entities and scientific personnel constitute the hub of an international cartel that has been engaged in such clandestine trade for nearly two decades.

The new disclosures raise alarming questions about the credibility of Islamabad's nonproliferation assurances to the international community; the propriety and ethics of proliferating weapons of mass destruction technologies in pursuit of narrow geopolitical and domestic corporate interests; and the possibility that until recently, Pakistani nuclear entities and scientific personnel were allowed to operate with little governmental oversight. Furthermore, this emerging evidence combined with some of the earlier documentary proof of cooperation between al-Qai'da and senior Pakistani nuclear scientists suggests that Pakistan is confronted with serious personnel reliability and dependability issues, and that Pakistani scientists might be willing to share secrets concerning the dark nuclear arts with foreign governments or terrorist groups out of personal ideological and financial motivations.

Similarly, the two nearly successful assassination attempts on President Musharraf in Rawalpindi, both close to the headquarters of the Pakistani Army, highlight the strength of Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan as well as the dangers that would arise were such groups to seize political power. The precision and coordination of the recent attacks suggest that Musharraf's inner security cordon may have been breached, and it raises the possibility of the existence of inside collaborators within the Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies who may be eager to oust the president. One could also surmise that if the Pakistani Army cannot guarantee the security of its chief in its own citadel, the security cordon surrounding the country's nuclear warheads is not impenetrable. Equally disturbing is the consensus among South Asia regional security analysts that given the army's domineering presence in domestic Pakistani politics, the absence of robust political institutions, and the lack of inter-institutional consensus on major policy issues, the successful decapitation of the army chief would put a question mark on political stability and the future direction of the Pakistani state.

Of Mavericks and Nuclear Entrepreneurs

Rumors have long persisted that the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) transferred drawings, designs, starter kits, and tacit knowledge for centrifuge-based uranium enrichment as well as information about procurement networks to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. When Pakistan embarked on a nuclear weapons program in the early 1970s, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto framed his country's aspirations in civilizational terms: as the quest for an "Islamic Bomb." Since then, knowledgeable observers of Pakistani politics have dwelt on the linkage between Libyan and Saudi funding for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program and potential Pakistani nuclear technology or weapon transfers to regimes in the Middle East.

However, from the 1980s onwards, Pakistani government officials have denied Bhutto's formulation, and portrayed the nuclear weapons program as a national enterprise driven by the strategic necessity of safeguarding their country's security against a conventionally more powerful India. Equally significant, the nuclear enterprise was not the creation of radical Islamists. Rather, it was led by secularists in the Pakistani military and the scientific and technological community; and more driven by aspirations of professional excellence, national glory, and monetary gains than religious fervor. However, as independent evidence of Pakistan's role—or more specifically the role of its scientists and scientific institutions such as KRL—in helping Iran, Libya, and North Korea in setting up their centrifuge-based uranium enrichment programs has come to light, questions have arisen about the nature, manner, and extent of such transfers, as well as the motivations behind them.

The Pakistani government denies that it ever authorized state-to-state transfers to Iran, Libya, or North Korea. However, Pakistani government sources have admitted that scientists from KRL likely shared technologies and know-how with Iran for personal monetary and career gains; that such transfers occurred in breach of Pakistani laws; and if the actions of the scientists currently under investigation are proved illegal, action will be initiated against them.

Most foreign observers are skeptical that individual scientists and labs, which have powerful ties to the military and its intelligence agencies, could have pursued their agenda independently without either tacit or formal approval from their patrons and clients in the Pakistani state. Given the logistics of any technology and equipment transfers, the presumption is that the military authorized nuclear technology sales as a means to finance the expansion of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, or exchanged such technologies for ballistic missile and other relevant technologies. Those who discount the scientists as "loose cannons" admit that civilian governments in Pakistan and other bureaucratic agencies such as the foreign office were probably not privy to such decisions. It is also generally assumed that individual scientists, engineers, and senior military personnel may have personally benefited from such transactions.

However, the belief until recently was that the military was firmly in control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program; that barring officially authorized transactions, Pakistan's nuclear secrets and assets were safe. In the wake of Iran and Libya's candid admission of the sources of their centrifuge-based uranium enrichment programs, some observers have attributed the Pakistani government's recent investigation into the activities of some KRL scientists as a damage limitation exercise—a cleverly designed and cynical ploy on the part of the Pakistan's military to hide the true extent of its own and the Pakistani state's overall complicity in those transfers.

But informed Pakistani observers suggest that the relationship between the nuclear labs and the military has been far more complex than is generally perceived abroad. During the development phase of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, which lasted from the mid-1970s until the nuclear tests in 1998, the nuclear scientists and labs enjoyed considerable financial and organizational autonomy, and were only nominally answerable to the military. During this period, the end goal of acquiring a nuclear weapons capability gained precedence over the means to achieve it. The carte blanche from the military meant that the nuclear labs and scientists, who are distinguished for their entrepreneurship, could have conceivably engaged in unauthorized nuclear trades in pursuit of personal, professional, and organizational gains, unbeknownst to the Pakistani government.

According to these observers, the Pakistani military only firmly established control over all levels of the nuclear weapons program in the period following the nuclear tests in May 1998. In an effort to revamp existing controls, to coordinate the weapon development programs with strategic policy, and to plan the operational use of nuclear weapons, the Pakistani government formally constituted a National Command Authority with separate organizational sub-units to oversee policy for the nuclear scientists, labs, intelligence agencies, and military. And finally, in March 2001, General Musharraf's regime, fed up with the public feuding and grandstanding of senior scientists such as Dr. AQ Khan and Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, as well responding to specific U.S. complaints about KRL's proliferation activities, eased both scientists out of leadership positions and appointed them to nominal advisory posts.

Thus far, the Pakistani government's official complicity in the nuclear trade with Iran, Libya, and North Korea remains unproven beyond doubt. But the evidence that Pakistani nuclear labs and scientists engaged in nuclear trades unbeknownst to Pakistani military and intelligence agencies is equally murky. If the ongoing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation on the sources of Iran's and Libya's centrifuge-based uranium enrichment programs proves Islamabad's official complicity, the Pakistani government's credibility will be severely damaged. It would also establish that past Pakistani governments had acted irresponsibly.

However, if it is indeed the case that Pakistani labs and scientists acted autonomously, as was the case with other senior nuclear scientists who collaborated with the Taliban and al-Qai'da in the past, it would imply that Pakistan has a serious personnel reliability issue at hand. And unless Islamabad acts to tighten up its export control regulations, institutes more robust personnel dependability protocols, and ends the system of autonomous empires and fragmented decisionmaking within the military-industrial complex, Pakistan will remain a source of great proliferation threat to the international community.

Intra-Military and Other Institutional Issues

Beyond Pakistan's role in nuclear proliferation to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, the two recent nearly successful assassination attempts on General Musharraf's life also raise serious questions about whether the Pakistan Army can ensure the safety of the country's nuclear arsenal and keep it from the covetous reach of terrorist groups and potential rogue collaborators within the military. After all, observers contend, if the army cannot guarantee the safety of its own chief-of-staff, what conceivable guarantees exist about its ability to ensure the safety of the dispersed and more numerous nuclear assets? The recent attempts on Musharraf's life are particularly unsettling because the assailants were able to correctly identify his convoy from the decoy one; and they were able to carry out attacks in Rawalpindi, the citadel of the Pakistani Army. More alarmingly, the coordination and precision of the attacks suggest that the president's inner security cordon may have been breached, or that insiders within the army and its intelligence agencies could be collaborating with the al-Qai'da and other disgruntled sectarian groups to eliminate him.

However, surface similarities aside, there are significant differences between trying to assassinate a high-profile public figure and stealing nuclear weapons; the success of the first has no parallels with the second. There is a vast difference between technical and organizational skills required for assassinations using suicide bombers or remotely controlled explosive devices from those that are needed to successfully penetrate well-guarded nuclear storage sites, secure and remove weapons from the facility, and then overcome the safety locks and other disarming devices in a warhead to detonate it.

The president of Pakistan is a high-profile figure. His duties demand frequent public appearances, and his routes of ingress and egress from Army House in Rawalpindi are relatively well known. In contrast, little is known about the secret locations of Pakistan's nuclear warheads or weapon parts. During peacetime, the weapons are believed to be stored in dismantled form; fissile cores are kept separate from the non-nuclear firing assemblies. Although protocols exist to assemble and disperse the warheads during a national crisis or war, it is unlikely that the warheads or warhead parts would be shuttled between different secure locations during peacetime. Thus secrecy, relative immobility, disaggregation, and multiple layers of human and physical security constitute some of the factors that mitigate the dangers of potential nuclear theft. Even more significant, the objective of Musharraf's enemies within the military would be to try and dislodge him with the objective of changing the course of Pakistan's state policies and not share nuclear assets with international terrorists or domestic sectarian militias.

Most analysts draw analogies to the succession arrangements that followed General Zia's sudden demise in a mysterious plane crash in the summer of 1988 and believe that succession arrangements in the wake of General Musharraf's removal will be a relatively smooth and swift affair as well. The consensus among most academic and U.S. government analysts is that the top leadership of the Pakistani Army is relatively moderate and secular, and generally pro-West. This is not to suggest that Islamists do not exist in the army's ranks or that the entire officer corps shares General Musharraf's domestic and external agendas. Indeed, the arrest of nearly 20 army officers for their alleged links with al-Qai'da and the Taliban in 2003 points in the direction of subversion and competing agendas within Pakistan's national security establishment. However, the disaffection in the military's ranks does not as yet appear to be wide or deep enough to cause institutional fractures or trigger intra-organizational conflict. Equally significant, the Pakistani military, which views its corporate identity and organizational cohesion as the key to holding Pakistan together as a nation-state, has repeatedly demonstrated its capacity to nip such dissent in the bud.

However, the assassination attempts on Musharraf do highlight the problem of political instability in Pakistan, largely because of the military's overdeveloped status in comparison to other institutions of state such as parliament, cabinet, judiciary, and the civil services. Furthermore, power within the country is highly centralized and personalized. Both factors act against the emergence of an inter-institutional national consensus on critical policy issues, which in turn raises the question whether Pakistan's domestic and external policies and government commitments are likely to outlive individuals or cabals within existing regimes. Through most of Pakistan's history, heads of government have either been dismissed or violently removed from power pending the completion of constitutional terms in office. This legacy has contributed to the creation of a political system that is inherently brittle in nature, and spawned a political culture of intrigue, corruption, and illegality. The absence of a history of peaceful and constitutional succession arrangements also makes physical force the ultimate political arbiter in Pakistani society, a condition that creates scope for recurring constitutional breakdowns, institutional clashes, fragmentation of authority, absence of legitimacy, and potential for loss of political control.

Furthermore, the army's frequent interference in domestic politics has exposed it to political vicissitudes, with the result that it is now a pale comparison to the impartial force that was originally created to defend Pakistan's sovereignty from external aggression. Rather, as some observers have regrettably noted, the army has emerged as the largest political party in Pakistan, albeit an armed one. And also of great concern is the army's reluctance to retreat from domestic politics, which not only detracts from its professional goals, but also exposes it to the likelihood of corruption and serious internal divisions over domestic and external policy, which in the long-term has the potential to create serious internal fissures within its ranks.

Indeed, during the past five decades, the Pakistan Army has emerged as a state within a state, accountable to no one but its own corporate interests. Its frequent coups, institutional contempt toward politicians and civil services, and increasing control of government and quasi-government organizations and corporations have begun to create a chasm between the military and society at large, with the latter resenting the military's domination of the civilian domain. Despite the army's self-perception of being the sole institution capable of safeguarding Pakistan's unity, the growing perception among civilian elites in Pakistan is that the military has transformed Pakistan into a garrison state; that the military commandeers the bulk of the government's resources, overdetermines the country's national security polices in pursuit of its narrow corporate interests, and is in essence the root of some of the pathologies that afflict the Pakistani state. The widening civilian-military schism is thus setting the stage for a future showdown and possible constitutional breakdown between civilian and military authorities—factors that bode ill for Pakistan's political stability in the medium- and long-term.

The Long-Term Dangers of Islamic Fundamentalism

Finally, the recent attempts on General Musharraf's life are a stark reminder of the threats to Pakistan's long-term stability from the forces of Islamic fundamentalism. Senior Pakistani government officials from cabinet ministers on down have pointed the finger of suspicion at al-Qai'da remnants and disgruntled Kashmiri and Afghan radical groups, which resent the Musharraf regime's collaboration with Washington in its current war against terrorism. They suggest that Musharraf's decision to break with the Taliban and radical Islamist sectarian groups in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States and the subsequent compound crisis with India has alienated these groups from their former patrons in the Pakistani Army and its intelligence agencies. As a result, the radical Islamists are now seeking to eliminate General Musharraf in a personal act of revenge, and then replace him with military leaders who would limit or perhaps reverse the shifts in Pakistan's domestic and external policies.

Though these assertions are correct, they represent only a partial assessment of the Musharraf regime's prevailing dilemmas. Most independent observers of Pakistani politics believe that threats to General Musharraf's regime are largely the consequence of the nature of its break with the Islamic radicals, which is tactical and not strategic. These observers maintain that Pakistan's Army and its intelligence agencies were never serious about their crackdown on banned militant sectarian groups in the first place. For example, the Pakistani government banned select terror groups under international pressure, but allowed them to resume their activities under new names. Similarly, sectarian leaders who were detained for terrorist activities were treated leniently and released for the apparent "lack of evidence." On balance, the evidence suggests that the Pakistani military maintains its unofficial policy of distinguishing between good and bad terrorists, which explains the Islamic radicals' continuing grip on Pakistani politics.

The fact remains that the Pakistani military maintains an unofficial alliance with Islamic religious parties and continues to pamper sectarian militant groups for domestic and external reasons. Domestically, it uses the Islamic fundamentalist parties to keep mainstream, secular, and ethnic political parties in check and ensure its continued corporate dominance in domestic Pakistani politics. Thus for example, during the 2002 elections, the military manipulated electoral laws, coerced candidates, and tipped the playing field in a manner that ensured its power even at the price of allowing the six-party religious alliance, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), to emerge as the largest opposition grouping in parliament and seize control of the strategically important western provinces of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan that border Afghanistan.

However, domestic factors aside, the Pakistani military is also reluctant to stamp out the power of the Islamist parties and sectarian groups for compelling external reasons. In the past, the army has subcontracted Pakistan's national security policies in Afghanistan and Kashmir to some of these groups, and views them as long-term allies. During the 1980s and 1990s, a large number of the Islamic religious parties' controlled seminaries served as recruiting and training grounds for the Afghan mujahideen and later the Taliban. The army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) supported both successively in the elusive hope that a friendly regime in Kabul would ensure "strategic depth" for Pakistan against India. Similarly, during much of the 1990s, and even to an extent today, the Pakistani Army relies on Islamists to wage a low-intensity war to tie down the Indian Army in Indian-Administered Kashmir (IAK).

Although General Musharraf changed tack and joined the United States in its war against al-Qai'da and the Taliban, he also appears to have made an attempt to compartmentalize Pakistan's campaign against terror. While his regime has cooperated with Washington in rooting out al-Qai'da networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it has resisted pressure to destroy the Taliban as an effective political force. This policy stems from Islamabad's long-term plans to play an influential role in Afghanistan through the Pashtuns, who constitute the largest Afghan ethnic group. Similarly, although General Musharraf has made public assurances that his government only provides political and moral support to the Kashmiri militants, the evidence suggests that the Pakistan Army has sought to calibrate the levels of insurgency to give diplomacy a chance. However, it retains the insurgency option against India by showing reluctance to completely end economic and military support for the militant groups, or dismantle their training camps and related infrastructure in its entirety.

This duplicitous and contradictory alliance between the Pakistan Army and religious political parties and other sectarian groups is the key reason that the latter retain power and influence in domestic Pakistani politics. As long as the Pakistan Army does not give up its ambitions to play a dominant role in domestic Pakistani politics or abandon its regional security agenda in Afghanistan and Kashmir, General Musharraf will find it impossible to take on the task of destroying the power of the Islamists or launching a serious domestic reform effort to ensure that Pakistan is transformed into a modern and moderate Islamic state. And as long as the military continues to rely on the Islamists to pursue its multiple agendas, the latter will continue to consolidate political power, hastening the day when they might effectively come to control Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.


Without question, Pakistan is by far the most unstable of all nuclear weapon states. And despite Islamabad's official insistence that it takes its nuclear responsibilities very seriously, Pakistan remains a source of great proliferation concern. The KRL's record of transferring centrifuge-based uranium enrichment technologies and related technical assistance to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, and documented offers of assistance to Iraq, suggest a consistent pattern of proliferation behavior that spans nearly two decades. Indeed, Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and accordingly, even if Islamabad's official role in the technology transfers to Iran, Libya, and North Korea were to be proven beyond doubt, Pakistan would not be found in breach of any legal nonproliferation commitment. Rather, its past actions would amount to a violation of the nonproliferation norm.

The story of Pakistan's clandestine nuclear trade over the last two decades still remains to be fully uncovered and documented. But it is hard to believe that Pakistani nuclear entities and scientists were acting independently without authorization from agencies within the Pakistani government, especially its military. If the ongoing IAEA investigations conclusively prove Islamabad's official complicity, the Pakistani state's credibility will be severely damaged. Such a finding would establish that Pakistan is a "mendacious state"; that its national security establishment has an inherent proclivity to pursue narrow geo-strategic and geo-economic goals, even at the risk of jeopardizing global security. And worse, such a determination would also imply that the Pakistani leaders' bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation assurances cannot be taken at face value and should be steeply discounted. Equally significant, Pakistan's proliferation behavior will require careful and close monitoring, especially in light of rumors that Islamabad might be amenable to potential nuclear weapon transfers to Saudi Arabia.

The Musharraf regime's attempt to absolve the Pakistani state of all blame in the current controversy by suggesting that Pakistani scientists' actions were motivated by pecuniary and career goals borders on the preposterous. Even if the nuclear entities and scientists were acting independently, the Pakistani state is ultimately responsible for the guardianship of all nuclear assets, technologies, and personnel on its territory. Indeed, if the above argument were accepted in principle, no future government in Islamabad could be held accountable for transfers or theft of fissile material, warheads, or other weapons-related technologies and know-how from Pakistan.

Although Islamabad's proliferation record raises serious concerns, the current Pakistani government's insinuation that its scientists and entities might have acted at cross-purposes and in a manner unbeknownst to state authorities is infinitely worse. In this case, the record would suggest that not only did civilian governments in Islamabad lack effective control over the nuclear weapons program during its developmental phase, but that the military—which analysts believe effectively monitors the nuclear weapons effort—also exercised only perfunctory control. The implications of such abdication of internal sovereignty by the state are staggering. It suggests that behind the façade of centralized control, Pakistan's strategic military-industrial complex is dangerously fragmented, compartmentalized, and autonomous; that governmental agencies lack effective oversight and individuals act as authorities unto themselves. In light of these individuals alleged past behavior, the possibility that they might share secrets concerning the dark nuclear arts with other countries and terror groups for ideological and financial motivations is not as remote as it had once seemed.

But proliferation concerns aside, Pakistan remains dangerously unstable, largely due to the military's domination of the political landscape. During the past five decades, the military has gradually encroached upon the legal-political space occupied by other institutions such as the cabinet, parliament, civil services, and the judiciary, with the result that the latter remain dangerously underdeveloped. Frequent coups, suspensions, and rewriting of the constitution have put a question mark on succession and policy continuity issues. Force still supercedes negotiation and compromise as the ultimate arbitrator of political disputes. Instead of negotiating an inter-institutional consensus on issues of national significance, the military routinely imposes its narrow corporate agenda on other institutions. And because policies in Pakistan are often personalized and lack an institutional basis, there is enormous uncertainty whether commitments made by one regime or leader will be reflected in the acts of its successor.

Frequent interventions in domestic politics also undermine the military's role as a professional fighting force. It exposes the officer corps to corruption and makes them effective stakeholders in domestic and foreign policy outcomes. Such exposure breaks the insulation between society and the military and creates risks that policy disputes might divide the rank and file of the military and lead to institutional fissures—conditions that in the long-term could jeopardize the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Further, Pakistan's civilian elites resent the military's encroachment of the civilian domain, from the running of professional sports organizations to government-owned, public sector companies and other assorted entities. The civilians also resent the military's dictatorial determination of Pakistan's national security priorities and identify it as central to the Pakistani state's collective pathologies. The growing schism between civilians and the military is thus setting the stage for an inter-institutional showdown, and perhaps constitutional breakdown in the future.

Finally, the Pakistani military does not appear to have made a strategic break with the forces of Islamic fundamentalism. The rupture with such forces appears to be tactical: the army and ISI maintain links with the Islamists in the hope of manipulating them to further their domestic and foreign policy agendas in the future. But this is a short-sighted approach and there is a domestic price to be paid for spawning and sustaining such forces. That price is the loss of internal sovereignty over some sections of the Pakistani state and society; the spread and growth of sectarian militias, potential for intra-religious civil war, and continuing political instability. Furthermore, as terrorist attacks in Pakistan indicate, the military can no longer control the agenda of the sectarian militias entirely; neither can it insulate the country's institutions from their pernicious influence. The near success of those attempting to assassinate the head of the army suggests that sectarian militias might have successfully penetrated Pakistan's security agencies. And in the long-term, the dependability of those tasked with guarding Pakistan's nuclear arsenal might itself be compromised.

The power of the Islamists in Pakistan has grown from strength-to-strength in the last three decades. They have gradually pushed their agenda through constitutional amendments, revisions in state ideology and laws, educational text books, propaganda, and more importantly by becoming subcontractors for the Pakistani military's national security agendas in Afghanistan and Kashmir. At the domestic level, the Pakistan Army has myopically assisted the religious parties in supplanting mainstream secular parties in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baolchistan. The six-party ruling combine in these provinces is eager to push through an Islamic agenda similar to the one pursued by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan's history shows that once Islamization measures are effected, they are rarely reversed. Thus, unless Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies make a strategic break with the Islamists, it is unlikely that Musharraf and his cohorts will be able to succeed in their goal of transforming Pakistan into a moderate Islamic state, at peace with its neighbors and the international community at large. And that day when Islamists might seize power and gain control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal might not be too distant in the future.


  • Gaurav Kampani, "Second Tier Proliferation: The Case of Pakistan and North Korea," The Nonproliferation Review, Fall/Winter 2002, Volume 9, Number 3, pp. 107-116.
  • "Pakistan: The Mullahs and the Military," International Crisis Group, Asia Report No. 49, March 23, 2003, B.
  • Mahnaz Ispahani, "Can Pakistan Be Saved," The New Republic, June 16, 2003,
  • Barry Bearak, "Pakistan Is…," New York Times, December 7, 2003,
  • William J. Broad, David Rhode, and David E. Sanger, "Inquiry Suggests Pakistanis Sold Nuclear Secrets," New York Times, December 22, 2003,
  • John Lancaster, "Pakistan Says 3 Nuclear Scientists are Under Investigation," Washington Post, December 23, 2003,
  • David Rhode, "Pakistan Bombing Aimed at Military Ruler Highlights His Role," New York Times, December 24, 2003,
  • Hasan Askari Rizvi, "Nuclear Issue and Decision Making," Daily Times, December 29, 2003,
  • David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, "From Rogue Nuclear Programs, Web of Trails Lead to Pakistan," New York Times, January 4, 2004,

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