Why Israel should be concerned over Pakistan nukes
My memories of that day are still fresh as if a wound that time may never heal. It was 18 years ago that day May 28, 1998 when Pakistan generals did a terrible thing in France-sized southwestern Balochistan. Amid deafening slogans of Allahu Akbar– the first time in world history wherein religious slogans were raised at a nuclear test site–, the world’s largest Islamic military tested nuclear weapons in Balochistan against the explicit wishes of the Baloch people. That day I cried my heart out as I gulped cheap Pakistan whiskey that I used to drink like a fish in those days. To my chagrin youthful Islamists were rejoicing outside the Seaview apartments, where I lived, on the Karachi beach. These Islamists were carrying replicas of nuclear missiles that had name of three countries on them: Israel, India and the United States. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan became the world’s first Islamic nuclear power. TV footage showed jubilant processions all over Pakistan, though the Baloch people of Balochistan were highly upset.
The state, government, and people of Israel have justifiably shown concern over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, what intrigues me is the same kind of concern had never been shown in the case of Pakistan, which has more nuclear warheads –120 according to some estimates– than many times larger neighbor India, which has 105. It will be in the interest of Israel and world Jewry to understand that Pakistani nuclear weapons are no less dangerous than what Iran may one day have. The reasons are many. Thousands of mosques in Pakistan preach the annihilation of Israel through jihad every Friday. Pakistani kids are to this day taught all kinds of nonsense about Jews; Hitler is not projected as a villain of history in Pakistan school books. Right-wing Pakistan defense analysts like Zaid Hamid, who reflects the thinking of the infamous spy service Inter Services Intelligence, openly call for threatening and beating Israel militarily. Pakistan media echoes the state’s propaganda to project Jews as bad and Israel as evil, for no rhyme or reason. Scholars of Pakistan descent like Toronto-based Tarek Fatah, author of “The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths That Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism” remain among those most hated by Pakistan army and the ISI, simply for saying hatred against Jews is uncalled
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