The bomb


It won’t fill our stomachs

It’s strange that we should be playing politics on something that happened not one or two years but fourteen years ago; but then again that’s what politics has become in the republic – selective memory, selective arguments. Pakistan detonated nuclear devices some fourteen years ago but we haven’t really come to terms with its after-effects. True that this milestone can be seen through different lenses, it should not be used as a tool in political machinations in our beloved land.

Incidentally, Mian Nawaz Sharif, while taking the credit for nuclear detonations, has claimed that the incumbent government has compromised the country’s sovereignty in incidents like the Abbottabad raid. Again an example of selective amnesia. If such raids violate our sovereignty, terrorists like Osama bin Laden have been violating it for longer than we would like to accept. Sovereignty isn’t an abstract idea that is open to varying interpretations. It is pretty much textbook stuff. What we, however, lack in its implementation is commitment from our leaders, security and defence stakeholders. No number of bombs can protect us if we become weak from the inside, if there are rifts between people, if there are fissures in national unity and integrity. We need to learn to be strong without the bomb.

A case can be made about whether, or not, we needed this deterrence in the first place. Has it made any difference to the defence of the state? Has it helped the public in any way except for perhaps providing rhetoric to be used by hawkish elements at powerful positions, and rally them together around a cause so meticulously yet erroneously fabricated? It is not through weapons that a country becomes stronger; it is in promoting the prosperity and unity of its people that a country finds its real strength and conviction. Maybe it would have been better if successive governments, after we became a member of the elite nuclear armed club, had expended their energies more on actual development rather than bragging about having an arsenal capable of ending millions of lives at a time, and the one that is growing at a rate faster than our GDP. We need to set our priorities right.


  1. The writer says 'We need to set our priorities right'. What priorites ? There is only one target, so it becomes our first and the last priority, Hence, no priority. ONLY ONE THING for which Nukes are basic requirement. 'Mar jaayenge, mit jaayenge, ghaas khaayenge, 1000 saal tak ladenge, par mitaa ke chhodenge'.

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