PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
Over the years, apart from nuclear reactors, Indiahas developed facilities for mining Uranium, fabricating fuel, manufacturing heavy water, reprocessing spent fuel to extract Plutonium and, more recently, enriching Uranium. Moreover the security situation regarding various nuclear projects in Indiais so horrifying that even the workers at these projects feel insecure and at high-risk. The frail and fragile security conditions are seriously affecting the lives of hundreds of people including families of nuclear engineers and scientists. The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu is the worst example in this regard. According to the Times of India there have been widespread protests against the two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors that the NPCIL is building with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam. It was 10th of December 2011 when around 1,500 villagers laid siege to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu to demand immediate cessation of all work at the site. Villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident and the long-term impact it would have on the population. The protest was spearheaded by the representatives of PMANE; the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy, reports the Indo-Asian News Service. Commenting upon the growing public resentment on nuclear projects The Democratic Underground says, “Resistance against nuclear power plants is continuing in Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, where nuclear power projects have been proposed at Fatehabad, Mithi Virdi, Chutka, Jaitapur and Kovvada, respectively.” India Today is also of the same opinion, “The public mood on nuclear power has globally changed after theFukushima disaster inJapan. The protest inIndia must be viewed in this context. First it was Jaitapur, now it is Kudankulam.” Unfortunately the Western and American ‘think tanks’ are never found worried over this horrible situation. They are always harping on the same string;Pakistan’s nuclear program is a grave security risk because it might fall into the hands of extremists. To be very honest and straight forward, the nuclear arsenals ofPakistan are always in very safe and muscular hands. The whole nation is guarding these arsenals. The only threat to these arsenals is from theUSA. The people ofPakistan are very well aware of the fact that getting control over the nuclear program ofPakistan is an evergreen dream and desire of theUS planners. To materialize this desire they are doing all they could do. Blaming the Pakistan Army for supporting the extremists, framing the ISI in every act of terrorism, portraying the Taliban as the ever worst enemies ofPakistan and defaming the democratic government ofPakistan; all are the components of a fruitless and futile struggle. Our American friends must reconsider their state of mind.
The writer is a Pakistan based analyst on defence and strategic affairs.