A renowned defence strategist has urged Pakistan to consider developing a second strike nuclear capability strategy to counter rising challenges.
Dr. Maria Sultan, Director General of South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University, Islamabad presented her new theory termed as “Integrated Strategic Equivalence” at the three-day International Conference on Nuclear Deterrence and Emerging Dynamics in South Asia and attended by senior experts and strategists.
Ms. Maria Sultan said that the theory primarily reinforces the minimum credible deterrence by adding credibility to the second strike capability and through a changed military posture. “The basic assumption of that theory is to ensure that the element of surprise and technological advantage or battlefield integration of systems does not shift the balance towards the offensive or war.”, she explained.
Dr. Maria was of the view that Indian military modernization, acquisition of Ballistic Missile Defence System and huge conventional disparity compelled Pakistan to develop a weapon system that could ensure Pakistan’s territorial integrity.
The Conference was also attended by senior experts from Pakistan, China and Russia.
Dr. Vladimir Kozin, Russian Defense Analyst, while highlighting the US-Russian and NATO experience with the tactical weapons, said that Russia does not have such ‘forward-based weapons’ near the US shores and has several times made public statements at the highest military and political level that it would not deploy such weapons near the US. “The US nuclear doctrine amended last June confirmed that the USA will retain tactical nuclear weapons on European continent indefinitely as the basis for the extended nuclear deterrence.”, he said.
Dr. Zulfiqar Khan, Head of Department of Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Dr. Adil Sultan, Director Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs, Lt. Gen Raza, former President of National Defense University and other experts also exchanged their views on Nuclear Deterrence.
State Minister for Religious Affairs, Pir Muhammad Amin Ul Hasnat Shah, also attended the closing ceremony of the SASSI’s Three Day International Conference to distribute shields amongst speakers.Senator Rehman Malik, former Federal Minister for Interior speaking at the conference reiterated that Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state and had been pursuing a policy of nuclear restraint with a credible minimum deterrence.
However, he made it clear that Pakistan wanted to have friendly relations with India but not those based on Indian domination. He urged Western powers to stop discriminatory policies against Pakistan and added that Pakistan was qualified to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and export control regimes on a non-discriminatory basis.