[OPE-L:5961] war

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 12:53:18 EDT

the CNN footage was not faked from what i can gather, and there does seem to be 
very good evidence for some kind of afghani connection not only to this event 
but also the bombing of the USS Cole. it is obvious that rumsfeld and co. had 
planned to get massive revenge for the latter sooner or later. 

given the grave instability and general hostility of the pakistani state which 
the US seems to view as functionally integrated with the taliban and OBL's  
networks,  it is my guess that the US does not intend to leave the region until 
it has removed pakistan's nuclear capacity and generally done to its military 
assets what was done to iraq's a decade ago.  

the US cannot want an aggressive Pakistan around to disrupt power relations 
within the Gulf regimes while Israel and India have obvious interests in the 
decimation of Pakistani military might.  This is my guess; it seems that 
musharraf also seems to think that the very existence of the pakistani state is 
now under threat. PM seems to be warning that non cooperation with the 
Americans or a right wing military coup will give the US license to begin 
strikes. But perhaps such strikes will find their justification in time anyway.  

It does not seem that rumsfeld and company are seeking a political solution; 
one trembles at the many things that could wrong as events are now unfolding. i 
wonder whether there is the political will in India to carry out strikes 
against Pakistan, including its nuclear capacity.  Obviously Musharraf thinks 
so...which may increase the possibility of a first strike. 

i cannot attest to the veracity of the report below; we do need people with 
real expertise. 

Defector says Pakistan had nuclear 'first
                        strike' plan

                        July 1, 1998
                        Web posted at: 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT) 

                        In this story: 

                              Assistance from other countries? 
                              Defector in danger? 
                              Related stories and sites 

                        NEW YORK (CNN) -- A Pakistani nuclear
                        scientist seeking asylum in the United States
                        said Wednesday that he fled out of concern
                        his country was considering a first nuclear
                        strike against India. 

                        Isthikar Khan Chaudryoi, 29, told CNN that
                        he became alarmed after attending a top-secret meeting 
in April on Pakistan's nuclear strategy 

                        "I came to know that just in a couple of days, an 
atomic war is beginning in between India and Pakistan," Khan said. 

                        Khan told USA Today that he and four fellow scientists 
signed a protest letter out of concern Pakistan would use nuclear weapons 

                        Jane's Defense Weekly, a British magazine, said the 
five included the deputy leader of Pakistan's nuclear program. The men had 
evaded Pakistan's secret service and fled to various Western nations, the 
report said.

                        According to USA Today, Khan's four associates are 
believed to be in England. Jane's said the five scientists denied being 
unpatriotic, saying that their sole reason for fleeing the country had been 
disagreement with plans that included a first strike against Indian military

                        Pakistan issued a statement denying that any of its 
nuclear scientists defected. The government called the accusation "of planning 
to launch a preemptive strike against India ... particularly malicious" and 
designed to "fuel tensions which already persist at an alarming level." 

                        Assistance from other countries?

                        Khan's attorney says his client is prepared to provide 
details to U.S. officials about Pakistan's nuclear program, including 
assistance it has received other from other countries. 
"(Khan) has evidence and has seen documents linking Iran and China to 
Pakistan's nuclear program as well as funding of this program by nearby Muslim 
states and countries," Khan's attorney, Michael Wildes, told CNN. 
     USA Today quoted Khan as saying Pakistan has     produced enough plutonium 
to make a weapon but that the country's nuclear program "still  needs some 
assistance from other countries."       Pakistan used uranium, rather than the 
more      potent plutonium, in its recent nuclear tests.                             
                                                            Defector in danger? 
Wildes believes his client's information, including location, yield and range 
of Pakistani's missiles, would be of great interest to American intelligence 
sources. The FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee reportedly are looking 
into the matter.  
                           As Khan seeks asylum, he is in danger as are family 
members who remained in Pakistan, Wildes    said.                                   
"This man has been very brave and has taken a bold step to shed some light on a 
region that is very volatile and is using weapons that are very dangerous," the 
attorney told CNN. "He's put        himself at personal risk and I hope that 
the government will acknowledge this and expeditiously           ajudicate his 
Khan left Pakistan in May before a series of nuclear tests conducted that month 
by both India and
                        Pakistan in developments widely viewed as spurring a 
nuclear arms race in South Asia. 

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