By Farhat Konain Shujahi
Propaganda can be defined as dissemination of information so as to influence the opinion or behaviour of a large number of people. Propaganda often presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than a rational response. There is a strong allegation against Pakistan for its alleged involvement in nuclear proliferation to Iran, Libya and North Korea. A.Q Khan episode is also one of the reasons of spoiling Pakistan image at the international arena. There are alarming news regarding Pakistan nuclear arsenal that disclose that India pays leader of militants Baitullah Mehsud to attack Pakistan’s nuclear sites, and this plan has been initiated. A special force of 500 recruits has been created and trains to mount the operation that is supposed to shock the world. The purpose is to create an event that will create a global media scare and convince the world of the need for militancy intervention in Pakistan. Most of the recruits are suspected to be Pakistani from Mehsud tribe assisted by Afghan and Indian elements to make this high profile operation plan successful. Now the challenge for Pakistan is to make world realise that it is a responsible nuclear weapon state and is capable of protecting its weapon of deterrence. It is doubtless that it is matter of serious concern for Pakistan and it is not ready to compromise on its strategic assets, and any such event which hit Pakistan nuclear assets will be taken as attack on Pakistan and it will react accordingly. It is clear in Pakistan nuclear posture that it will not use nukes against non-nuclear weapon state but on the other hand, Pakistan is also stick to the first use principle as a last resort. There is mistrust regarding Pakistan role in the war on terrorism. Pakistan really has to prove that it is not sponsoring terrorism in the region but itself is victim of this menace and its role in eradiating the monster of militancy should be accepted. Pakistan is confident that its military operation went successful and some of the areas have been cleared of militants and they are not in a position to hit Pakistan’s most sensitive installations. There is strong lobby that is engaged in propaganda against Pakistan’s assets. Pakistan needs to counter these suspicions by telling the international community that it is well aware of its security and command and control system. There are various convincing arguments that are enough to persuade the international community that it is only propaganda and lacking facts. Pakistan instituted a powerful and coherent National Command and Control system (NCA) to manage nuclear infrastructure and strategic assets. Pakistan has developed its command and control system before India and its manifestation of security concerns of Pakistan over its nuclear arsenal. It disseminated information about three tier institutional structure over country’s nuclear weapons. The Employment Control Committee (ECC) constituted one tier, Deployment Control Committee (DCC) as a second tier and Strategic Plan Division as third tier. Strategic Plan Division (SPD) also works as secretariat to National Command Authority. The head of the state preside over ECC and this tier deals with formulating nuclear strategies and conduct of nuclear operations. It also deals with policy directions in peacetime and war as well. This tier takes unanimous decisions and no person is authorised to use nuclear weapons on individual basis or his discretion. Hence the chances of irrationality are thwarted. Civilians are also given representation which is a positive step taken by authorities. The third tier is SPD, which serves, as secretariat to the NCA. The function of SPD is to develop and manage Pakistan’s nuclear capability in all dimensions whether these be operational, planning, weapon development, arms control and disarmament affairs, command and control, storage and safety and budget, etc. The SPD works on behalf of the NCA. The second convincing argument is that Pakistan strategic assets are not excessable because Lt.Gen Khalid Kidwai, head of the SPD, announced that each Pakistani warhead was fitted with Permissive Action Links (PAL), code lock, which requires the entry of a code before the weapon was exploded. There is a strict security clearance programme which is instutionalised regarding the reliability of individuals which are given strategic tasks. Pakistan nuclear assets are not assembled and they are out of the reach of any individual, including non-state actors such as al Qaeda, Taliban and especially those people who are actively engaged in attempts to denuclearise Pakistan. Pakistan is capable of securing its weapons and is not indifferent of what international community especially India is propagating against it. Pakistan will have to make endeavour to make this propaganda fake. The media should take responsibility of countering it by taking the people into confidence. It should make people realise that it is a conspiracy against Pakistan and part of great game plan. Pakistan needs unity and collective security efforts to make it foiled. The people of Pakistan are very curious about its strategic assets and are aware of the fact that Pakistan is only safe and capable of deterring its enemy through weapons of mass destruction. It will be effective that media call academicians and those personalities who are nuclear strategists and are concerned with this field, so they could tell the world that Pakistan is not an irresponsible state and very much capable of securing its nuclear assets.