Tag Archives: Nuclear Proliferation

IAEA: New Statutory Regulatory Order

Pakistan is one of nine states to possess nuclear weapons, and it is the only Muslim majority country to do so. Pakistan began development of nuclear weapons in January 1972 in the Bhutto era. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons development was in response to neighboring India’s development of its nuclear programme.  As of 2014, Pakistan has been reportedly developing smaller, more tactical nuclear weapons for potential use on the battlefield exclusively. This is consistent with earlier statements from a meeting of the National Command Authority (which directs nuclear policy and development) saying Pakistan is developing “a full-spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression.” Communication of 30 September 2015 from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Agency concerning the export control policies of the Government of Pakistan and a Statutory Regulatory Order. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was sent a communication dated 30 September 2015 from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Agency attaching a note on ‘Pakistan Strategic Export Controls and Revised Control Lists’ and the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) 276 (I)/2015 amending Continue reading

ICJ: Marshall Islands v Pakistan

Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v Pakistan). As explained in the press release of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), 14 July 2015. The President of the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, by an Order dated 9 July 2015, has extended from 17 July 2015 to 1 December 2015 the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the questions of the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application in the case of Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v Pakistan). The history of the proceedings can be found in the ICJ’s 2013-2014 Annual Report (paragraphs 214-218), which can be found on its website underThe Court/Annual Reports/2013-2014”. The full text of the Order of 9 July 2015 is available on the Court’s website under “Cases/Contentious Cases”. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The ICJ’s seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Extension of the time-limit for the filing of Pakistan’s Counter-Memorial. Latest developments in the case: Continue reading

Iran Deal: Vienna Agreement, JCPOA

Following on from our two recent posts (The Iran Deal: Diplomacy Update and Iran Nuclear Deal: Challenges and Opportunities) it is worth noting that the text of the germane Vienna Agreement (or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)). We take the present opportunity to apprise our readers about this hugely important instrument of change in the international world order. As we saw in our series of posts, the deal between the United States, Germany, Britain, China, Russia, France, the European Union and Iran – which ambitiously aims to draw the poison out of the West’s relations with Iran – can be quite misunderstood. Those who want to wreck the deal think that Tehran has been given carte blanche to propagate fundamentalism and to expand its support of terrorism. However, the mood is decidedly different in Iran itself because hardliners – who see the pact as dovish capitulation – accuse their government of ceding too much ground. In fact, president Hassan Rouhani and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are internally under attack for appeasing the Americans (the Great Satan) and making overtures to evil Europeans. For example, it is proving hard for Rouhani and Zarif to Continue reading

Drone Wars: Two Reports

Reaper drone

Please read our post on strikes on British jihadis in Syria here. Read our post on first ever Pakistan army strike which killed three high profile militants (by a UAV named “Burraq”) in the Shawal valley of the Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border here. Equally, two interesting studies have emerged on drone warfare and strikes. Examining the dilemmas surrounding drone warfare, in their study Limiting Armed Drone Proliferation, Micah Zenko and Sarah Kreps argue “that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish such rules and norms, while the number of states with armed drones remains relatively small.” They are strong proponents of a strategy that lays down clear limits on the sale and use of armed drones in order to reduce the prospects of the proliferation of these weapons and to prevent their use becoming widespread. Another, more recent, study from June 2015 by the Center for a New American Security entitled A World of Proliferated Drones Continue reading

Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Tehran in February 1979 was a key moment in post-War international politics. A large, well-populated and wealthy state suddenly committed itself to a quite new path: a revolution based on the supremacy of Islam and contempt for both superpowers. For over 30 years the Islamic Republic has resisted widespread condemnation, sanctions, and sustained attacks by Iraq in an eight-year war. Many policy-makers today share a weary wish that Iran would somehow just disappear as a problem. But with Iran’s continuing commitment to a nuclear programme and its reputation as a trouble-maker in Afghanistan, Lebanon and elsewhere, this is unlikely any time soon. The slow demise of the 2009 ‘Green Revolution’ shows that Revolutionary Iran’s institutions are still formidable. Continue reading

Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

This is available as an e-book here and the description is as follows. In this era of superheated rhetoric and vitriolic exchanges between the leaders of Iran and Israel, the threat of nuclear violence looms. But the real roots of the enmity between the two nations mystify Washington policymakers, and no promising pathways to peace have emerged. This book traces the shifting relations among Israel, Iran, and the United States from 1948 to the present, uncovering for the first time the details of secret alliances, treacherous acts, and unsavory political maneuverings that have undermined Middle Eastern stability and disrupted U.S. foreign policy initiatives in the region. Trita Parsi, a U.S. foreign policy expert with more than a decade of experience, is the only writer who has had access to senior American, Iranian, and Israeli decision makers. Continue reading

Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War

Pakistan’s army has dominated the state for most of its 66 years. It has locked the country in an enduring rivalry with India to revise the maps in Kashmir and to resist India’s slow but inevitable rise. To prosecute these dangerous policies, the army employs non-state actors under the security of its ever-expanding nuclear umbrella. The Pakistan army started three wars with India over Kashmir in 1947, 1965, and 1999 and failed to win any of them. It has sustained a proxy war in Kashmir since 1989 using Islamist militants, some of whom have now turned their guns against the Pakistani state. The Pakistan army has supported non-Islamist insurgencies throughout India as well as a country-wide Islamist terror campaign Continue reading

The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World

Seemingly from its birth, Pakistan has teetered on the brink of becoming a failed state. Today, it ranks 133rd out of 148 countries in global competitiveness. Its economy is as dysfunctional as its political system is corrupt; both rely heavily on international aid for their existence. Taliban forces occupy 30 percent of the country. It possesses over a hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists’ hands. Why, in an era when countries across the developing world are experiencing impressive economic growth and building democratic institutions, has Pakistan been such a conspicuous failure?  In The Warrior State, noted international relations and South Asia scholar T.V. Paul untangles this fascinating riddle. Paul argues that the “geostrategic curse”—akin to the “resource curse” that plagues oil-rich autocracies—is at the root of Pakistan’s unique inability to progress. Continue reading