India’s Nuclear Hegemony

Pakistan has said that India is capable of producing 2600 nuclear weapons

India Today

Amid heightened tension between the two neighbouring nations in the wake of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Pakistan has said that India is capable of producing 2600 nuclear weapons.

Claiming the India has the fastest growing nuclear programme in the world, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told reporters in Islamabad that India’s nuclear aspirations pose a threat to strategic stability in the south Asian region.

“Pakistan has been underscoring the risk of diversion by India to imported nuclear fuel, equipment and technology received pursuant to civil nuclear accord and 2008 energy waiver by Nuclear Suppliers Group,” Radio Pakistan quoted Zakaria, as saying.

The top Pakistan official also raised concerns over India’s bid for a permanent membership at the NSG, saying the world community should check the risks involved in allowing New Delhi a seat in the elite group.

‘INDIA RETHINKING NO FIRST USE NUCLEAR POLICY’

Pakistan’s statement regarding India enhancing its nuclear capability has come just days after reports suggested that New Delhi may be rethinking its nuclear doctrine.

India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy and launch a preemptive strike against Pakistan if it feared that Islamabad was likely to use the weapons first, a top nuclear expert on South Asia has claimed.

“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” Vipin Narang, an expert on South Asian nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had said.

He also pointed out that India’s preemptive strike may not be conventional strikes and would also be aimed at Pakistan’s missiles launchers for tactical battlefield nuclear warheads.

India May Accelerate Tensions with Pakistan

WASHINGTON: India is moving towards isolating Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive actions against Islamabad for its support to cross-border terrorism, a top American defence intelligence chief has told lawmakers, reports NDTV.“India has sought and continues to move to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive options to raise the cost to Islamabad for its alleged support to cross-border terrorism,” Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats.

His statement came a day after Indian Army launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control. India, he said, is modernising its military to better posture itself to defend New Delhi’s interests in the broader Indian Ocean region and reinforce its diplomatic and economic outreach across Asia.

Bilateral relations between India and Pakistan worsened following several terrorist attacks in India, he said.“Continued threat of high-level terror attacks in India, violence in Jammu and Kashmir and bilateral diplomatic recriminations will further strain India-Pakistan ties in 2017,” he said.

Following a terrorist attack on an army base in Jammu and Kashmir last September, New Delhi conducted a highly publicised operation against terrorists across the Line of Control, he added.

“In 2016, Indian and Pakistani forces exchanged some of the heaviest fire in years along the Line of Control in Kashmir, and each expelled a number of the other’s diplomats amid growing tension,” Lt Gen Stewart said.

He also told lawmakers that in 2017, Islamabad is likely to slowly shift from traditional counterinsurgency operations along Pakistan’s western border to more counter-terrorism and paramilitary operations throughout the country.

Noting that Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile continues to grow, Lt Gen Stewart said the US is concerned that this growth, as well as an evolving doctrine and inherent security issues associated with Pakistan’s developing tactical nuclear weapons, presents an enduring risk. “Islamabad is taking steps to improve its nuclear security and is aware of the extremist threat to its program,” Lt Gen Stewart said.

Observing that China has long identified the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity as a “core interest,” he said in the South China Sea, China has embarked on a multi year, whole-of-government approach to securing sovereignty, principally through maritime law enforcement presence and military patrols.

In 2016, China rejected the international arbitration ruling on its excessive South China Sea claims, built infrastructure at its man made outposts on the Spratly Islands, and for the first time, landed civilian aircraft on its airfields at Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, and Mischief Reef.

“China will be able to use its reclaimed features as persistent civil-military bases, which will enhance its presence and its ability to control the features and nearby maritime space. Beijing recognises the need to defend these outposts and is prepared to respond to any military operations near them,” he told the lawmakers.

Lt Gen Stewart said a key component of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) strategy in a regional contingency is planning for potential US intervention. The PLA Rocket Force has given priority to developing and deploying regional ballistic and cruise missiles to expand its conventional strike capabilities against US forces and bases throughout the region.

“In addition to the Rocket Force’s fielding of an anti-ship ballistic missile, China is fielding an intermediate range ballistic missile capable of conducting conventional and nuclear strikes against ground targets in the Asia-Pacific region as far away as Guam,” he said.

The Threat of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

Image result for brahmos missileThreat of nuclear war against Pakistan | Pakistan

ZKMZahoor Khan Marwat

This was in a marked reversal of its well-known no-first use policy, according to the leading nuclear strategist. “India’s opening salvo may not be conventional strikes trying to pick off just Nasr batteries (launch vehicles for Pakistan’s tactical battlefield nuclear warheads) in the theatre, but a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons so that India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction,” he said.

Narang cited from Menon’s book “Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy” released in November 2016. “There is a potential gray area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first against another NWS (nuclear weapon state). Circumstances are conceivable in which India might find it useful to strike first, for instance, against an NWS that had declared it would certainly use its weapons, and if India were certain that adversary’s launch was imminent.”

In addition, recent reports in Indian and international media about Indian capacity to launch a disarming first strike have clearly indicated that the BJP led government of India under the Doval-Modi duo is becoming more jingoist with every passing day. It may be noted that India’s nuclear doctrinal developments and employment strategies chiefly remain directed towards Pakistan.

On the other hand, Pakistan has acquired nuclear capability for the sole purpose of security and safeguarding her vital national interests, its territorial integrity and sovereignty and to ensure its security and survival against intense and major aggression. The programme works as a hedge against strategic threats to our security.

Experts believe that regional stability is much needed in South Asia as India touts its nuclear brinkmanship. This can only come through a strategic restraint regime, which would lead to escalation control.

India’s test-firing of 450 km supersonic Brahmos cruise missile without notifying Pakistan has once again brought up the issue of avoiding an arms race in the region and to strive for strategic stability. Pakistan on March 16 this year once again reiterated its proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime for South Asia, which has been more or less on the table since 1998.

The belligerent Indian stance and illogical and unreasonable defence build-up has long been highlighted by Pakistan. India remains the largest importer of defence equipment in the region and its hegemonic designs are endangering peace and security in the region and beyond. It pays lip-service to the objective of non-proliferation and gives morally deplorable false statements against its neighbours while relentlessly pursuing a conventional and strategic arms build-up.

The ongoing nuclear arms race initiated by the Indian hegemonic leadership, which has fundamental discomfort with nuclear weapons in Pakistan, does not augur well in the emerging geo-strategic realities whereby trends are shifting from geo-strategic to geo-economics domain. Pakistan wants to move on and improve its relationship with India in the entire spectrum of international relations whereas India not only threatens Pakistan of massive nuclear retaliation but has also gone on a massive arms purchase spree.

In the absence of strategic restraint, the situation appears to be getting extremely complex and uncertain. Pakistan’s proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime for South Asia remains on the table.

World War 3 Will Happen Soon (Rev 15)

Could World War 3 happen in 2017?

By Patrick Knox
12th May 2017, 11:22 am
Updated: 12th May 2017, 6:30 pm

How threats from Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea and ISIS are mounting

World could be in even more peril than during the Soviet vs West face-off during the Cold War

THIS year has already been blighted with terror attacks, rising tensions around the globe and the ongoing threat of nuclear war.

The Sun has spoken to a range of military and terror experts about the threat of World War Three in 2017.

1
Why is 2017 such a dangerous year?

Throughout the past year events have been taking unexpected twists and turns. Let’s recap.

Britain has voted itself out of the European Union and continues to negotiate on Brexit.

There is continuing conflict in Syria with a chemical attack on civilians outraging the world .

President Donald J Trump then launched a US Tomahawk missile strike on a regime airbase.

Then there’s North Korea pushing ahead with its ballistic missile tests in its bid to become a nuclear power.

In response Japan has carried out air attack drills and dished out leaflets on what to do should Kim Jong-un’s nukes rain down.

Kim responded by reportedly telling its giant neighbour it would be a “piece of cake” to nuke Japan and leave it “blanketed in radioactive clouds”.

ISIS is also being expelled from its so called Caliphate and its supporters are being encouraged to lash out with lone wolf terror attacks.

And top British military figures have warned how the UK has cut its forces back so much we would struggle to defend ourselves.

Why is Syria regarded as a World War 3 flashpoint?

Last year, Putin raced to the rescue of Bashar Assad’s regime, putting Russian on a collision course with the West.

Tensions later reached boiling point when at least 70 people were gassed to death by a nerve agent in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, prompting Trump to order missile strikes after blaming the regime for the attack.

Russia and Iran said they will respond to further American military actions following the US air strikes.

In a joint statement, the command centre for the two countries and allied groups said “we will respond to any aggression”.

The statement read: “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines.

“From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.”

The US has blasted Iran for “alarming provocations” and said it poses a bigger threat of nuclear war than North Korea.

Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director at the Henry Jackson Society security think-tank, told SunOnline: “We’ve seen Russia increase its sphere of influence and been quite aggressive on its borders and seemingly getting away with it. And that will empower to do more.

“The Russians have had it all their own way. Time [Magazine] said man of the year 2016 was Trump but actually it was Putin.

“Everything has gone his way. Everything.”

Will ISIS start a world war?

As ISIS flee their strongholds in Syria and Iraq they have the potential to embark on a world terror campaign with security chiefs fearing lone wolf attacks.

About 850 people from Britain and Northern Ireland have travelled to support or fight for jihadist organisations in Syria and Iraq, British authorities believe.

And around half have since returned to the UK, but the rest could follow when the so called Caliphate of ISIS is wiped out this year.

Veryan Khan, director of Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, said: “It’s nothing new, every time ISIS has losses, they attack abroad.

“It’s a way of showing their supporters they are still strong and can seemingly attack at will.

“Big or small in scale, it ‘puffs’ them up like a blow-fish and distracts everyone from fans to media alike from what is happening.”

As reported, ISIS fanatics are calling for lone wolf attacks in cinemas, malls and hospitals.

Is North Korea really a threat to world peace?

According to a regime defector North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un‘s New Year’s resolution was to be a fully fledged nuclear power.

Defector and former diplomat to the UK, Thae Yong-ho, said: “As long as Kim Jong-un is in power, North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons.

“The North will not give them up even if the country is offered $1trillion or $10trillion in return.”

Kim Jong-un has dubbed America’s leaders a bunch of “rats sneaking around in the dark” amid claims the CIA plotted to wipe him out.

The country also threatened the US with a “full-scale” nuclear war and said it has the right to “ruthlessly punish” any American citizens it detains.

Will Donald Trump risk starting a world war?

Arms-control experts say the rest of the world really should be worried about the potential fallout from some of the President’s tweets.

John Andrews, International affairs expert and veteran foreign correspondent, told Sun Online: “He [Trump] will be a real challenge for diplomats.

“One of the reasons is that we’ve become used to there just being one genuinely unpredictable world leader and that was Kim Jong-un.

“Now we have a second, Donald J Trump – and we are waiting to see how he will preside.

“There are big question marks over his character that came up during the campaign – is this alarmist?

“It’s difficult to know.”

Now China tests missiles on deadly new destroyer ship near North Korea

The Nuclear Holocaust Will Not Begin With Korea (Revelation 8)

India and Pakistan have been rivals since 1947, when the two countries were born from the dissolution of the British Raj in India. The two countries have gone to war four times since then, in 1947, 1965, 1974 and 1999, and been on the brink of war as recently as 2008. The last war, the 1999 Kargil War, was particularly dangerous as both countries were avowed nuclear powers. If a war on the subcontinent went nuclear, how bad could it get?

India tested its first nuclear device, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974. India had been prompted to build nuclear weapons by China, with which it lost a border war in 1962, and which had considerable conventional forces. More importantly however, it had nuclear weapons, and India felt compelled to build its own. The country maintained a moratorium on further tests until May 1998, when it conducted five tests in rapid order, including four fission and one fusion bomb (which was a partial failure).

Today the country has between ninety and 110 nuclear warheads divided among India’s own version of the nuclear triad consisting of nuclear-capable strike aircraft, land-based missiles and the new ballistic-missile submarine INS Arihant. This is designed to give the country a flexible nuclear arsenal capable of surviving a first strike by another nuclear state. India has a No First Use policy, vowing not to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.

India’s aerial nuclear strike force consists of 272 Su-30MK1 twin engine fighters on order from Russia, sixty-nine MiG-29s and fifty-one Mirage 2000 fighters, at least some of which have likely been modified to carry nuclear weapons. The land-based missile leg of the triad consists of Prithvi tactical ballistic missiles. With a range of ninety-three miles, these could be used against enemy tactical targets such as air bases, artillery concentrations, headquarters sites or supply depots. The Agni 1–5 series of short, medium, intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles represent both tactical weapons and longer-range systems capable of Pakistan’s own nuclear-weapons sites, cities, ports and other high-value targets.

Finally, India is constructing a fleet of four ballistic-missile submarines led by INS Arihant. Equipped with both short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, Arihant can carry twelve K-15 Sagarika (“Oceanic”) short-range ballistic missiles with maximum range of 434 miles, or alternately, four K-4 medium-range ballistic missiles with a 2,174-mile range. Protected by India’s naval superiority, the Arihant-class submarines will provide a crucial second-strike capability capable of launching a devastating retaliatory barrage.

Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear weapons, a number that is believed to be steadily growing. Unlike India, Pakistan does not appear to have vastly more powerful thermonuclear weapons, nor does it have a No First Use policy. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually. At such a rate Pakistan could easily become the fourth- or even third-largest nuclear power in the world.

Like India, Pakistan is also developing a “triad” of land-, air- and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. Islamabad is believed to have modified American-built F-16A fighters and possibly French-made Mirage fighters to deliver nuclear bombs. Land-based missile systems are Hatf series of mobile missiles includes the solid fueled Hatf-III (180 miles), solid fueled Hatf-IV (466 miles) and liquid fueled Hatf V (766 miles). An even longer-range missile, Hatf VI (1,242 miles), is probably now entering service. In order to counter threats stationed on the Nicobar and Andaman Islands, Pakistan is also developing the Shaheen III intermediate-range missile, capable of striking targets out to 1,708 miles.

Pakistan is taking a less expensive route to sea-based nuclear deterrence, outfitting existing ships and submarines with the Babur cruise missile instead of building dedicated missile submarines. The latest version, Babur-2, has a range of 434 miles and uses older Terrain Contour Matching and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation navigation technology. Babur-2 is deployed on both land and at sea on ships where it would be more difficult to track down and destroy. A submarine-launched version, Babur-3, was tested in in early 2017 and would be the most survivable of all Pakistani nuclear delivery systems.

What would a nuclear war be like? A nuclear war in South Asia would start out as a conventional war, which might very well be sparked by a cross-border incident. Uncontrolled escalation could lead to conflict between land, sea and air forces on both sides. The inclination would be for the losing side, especially one seeing tank spearheads barreling down on its major cities, to deploy tactical nuclear weapons.

The Indian Nuclear Horn

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria yesterday told reporters that Pakistan has been underscoring for decades the risks of diversion by India of imported nuclear fuel, equipment and technology, received pursuant to civil nuclear cooperation agreements and the 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver.+

“The concerns over diversion are neither new nor unfounded. India enjoys the rare distinction of diverting nuclear material, obtained on its peaceful use commitment, to its nuclear weapons programme,” he said.

“The past and potential misuse of nuclear materials by India entails not only serious issues of nuclear proliferation but also carry grave implications for strategic stability in South Asia and national security of Pakistan.”

He said media reports and papers substantiate an otherwise largely “ignored fact” that India’s nuclear weapons programme is the fastest growing in the world.

Talking about a paper recently released by Harvard Kennedy School, he said that this paper and other several reports corroborate growing concerns related to the use of nuclear material acquired by India from abroad in its existing and future unsafeguarded nuclear reactors, plants and facilities for development of nuclear weapons.

“The recent Belfer paper inter alia concludes that India has accumulated nuclear material for over 2600 nuclear weapons,” he said.

He said that NSG states have a responsibility to take into account these well-founded concerns while considering transfer of nuclear material to India and its NSG membership bid.

He claimed that many international nuclear experts, think tanks and media reports in the past years have consistently raised concerns over the lack of transparency, absence of international safeguards, and the potential for diversion of unsafeguarded nuclear material for nuclear weapons in India.

Zakaria also said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was establishing units in Kashmir, which were managed by non-Kashmiri activists.

“Their increasing presence in (Kashmir) is to terrorise Kashmiris and deter them from participating in the self- determination movement,” he alleged.

Zakaria called on the the international community to take notice of the situation in Kashmir and condemned the ban on social media and TV channels in the valley.

He said Pakistan extends full cooperation to

United Nations Military Observers

in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in monitoring situation on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

Talking about the issue of medical visas by India, he said most patients who were travelling to India from Pakistan have serious ailments requiring urgent medical attention.

“Despite paying for their treatment themselves, these patients are being deprived of their basic right to health, due to political consideration on the part of India,” he said.

“While granting or denying a visa is a sovereign right of any country, this Indian move is unprecedented in inter-state relations,” he said.

The India Nuclear Horn Grows

India has capability to make 2600 nuclear weapons: Pakistan

 IndiaToday.in  | Edited by Shashank Shantanu
New Delhi, May 18, 2017

1 India rapidly adding to its nuclear capability, says Pakistan.

India has capability to produce 2600 nuclear weapons, a top Pakistan official said.

3 Islamabad also raises concern over New Delhi’s NSG bid.

 

Amid heightened tension between the two neighbouring nations in the wake of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Pakistan has said that India is capable of producing 2600 nuclear weapons.

Claiming the India has the fastest growing nuclear programme in the world, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told reporters in Islamabad that India’s nuclear aspirations pose a threat to strategic stability in the south Asian region.

“Pakistan has been underscoring the risk of diversion by India to imported nuclear fuel, equipment and technology received pursuant to civil nuclear accord and 2008 energy waiver by Nuclear Suppliers Group,” Radio Pakistan quoted Zakaria, as saying.

The top Pakistan official also raised concerns over India’s bid for a permanent membership at the NSG, saying the world community should check the risks involved in allowing New Delhi a seat in the elite group.

Graphic by Tanmoy Chakraborty

‘INDIA RETHINKING NO FIRST USE NUCLEAR POLICY’

Pakistan’s statement regarding India enhancing its nuclear capability has come just days after reports suggested that New Delhi may be rethinking its nuclear doctrine.

India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy and launch a preemptive strike against Pakistan if it feared that Islamabad was likely to use the weapons first, a top nuclear expert on South Asia has claimed.

“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” Vipin Narang, an expert on South Asian nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had said.

He also pointed out that India’s preemptive strike may not be conventional strikes and would also be aimed at Pakistan’s missiles launchers for tactical battlefield nuclear warheads.

The Indian Nuclear Threat

Image result for india nuclear weapons

The Indian threat is real

By Ahsan Ali Zahid / Hasan EhtishamPublished: May 11, 2017

Research carried at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs by Dr Mansoor Ahmed has shown how India is expanding its unsafeguarded nuclear power programme in a three-stage plan. New Delhi has already declared construction of various types of nuclear reactors. This capacity is going to produce excess amount of fissile material, other than required for fuelling the breeder and naval reactors programmes.

Over the next decade, India will be able to supersede China, France and the UK in nuclear weapons capability to become the third behind the US and Russia.

The study postulates India is already working to install more than five fast breeder reactors which will increase its weapons-grade plutonium production capacity by 20 times to 700kg every year. Similarly, expansion in its centrifuge enrichment programme will enable it to increase production of highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons to 160kg every year. With such an amount of weapons-grade material, India can anytime produce approximately 80 to 90 plutonium-based and 7 to 8 uranium-based nuclear weapons every year.

This study has exploded the myth that Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing nuclear weapons programme. Factually, India has paced up the construction and planning of nuclear facilities to stockpile the weapons-grade material for later use in military modernisation programmes. Several Indian analysts and policymakers are of the view that India needs a strategic force of over 300-400 nuclear weapons. So, New Delhi has deliberately kept its fast breeder reactors, and a large part of its so-called civil nuclear programme out of the safeguards and monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). India will seek to produce many more nuclear warheads without IAEA monitoring, in order to acquire the policy of full nuclear triad.

India can produce over 2,600 weapons, while Pakistan can only produce 207. India therefore has the fastest growing nuclear programme outside safeguards among any other non-NPT nuclear states.

Lastly, the study recommended that NSG nations should advise membership criteria for non-NPT countries after “verifiable separation” through IAEA safeguards on any material or facility designated as “civilian.” Moreover, Pakistan is left with no option other than to consider India’s full potential to make nuclear weapons, including military and civilian stocks. This research fully describes the potential of Indian vertical nuclear proliferation and threat perception associated with unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle.

Various nuclear suppliers signed the nuclear cooperation agreements with India, on condition of peaceful use of nuclear material. Though it seems the material provided by these countries is going to be used again in weapons for the Indian military expansion doctrine. It is also probably drastically high of developing and testing a thermonuclear device for quality check in order to achieve, what India couldn’t in 1998.

Dr Bharat Karnad, a security expert at the Centre for Policy Research, believes that India has weapons grade plutonium in its possession. All India needs is it to be reprocessed, according to Dr Karnad. Several segments in India are also in favour of switching the nuclear posture to comprehensive nuclear first strike. Such developments have increased the threat perception in Islamabad, because a large chunk of the new Indian military doctrine is Pakistan centric.

Today where India stands is because of the US and the waiver it received in the form of civil nuclear deal. Analysing the economic and political gains, the US wants to give India the membership of NSG but doing so will originate the nuclear disparity and inclusion without verifiable and reliable measures, irreversibly destroying the international customs of nuclear nonproliferation, instead of strengthening it. Both neighbours should be included in NSG criteria based, otherwise nuclear disparity will only add tensions to security challenges.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2017.

Nuclear Situation Worsens In South Asia

Pakistan’s foreign office said on Thursday that a man called Muhammad Rizwan was killed by Indian shelling on in the village of Subzkot, in Pakistani-administered Kashmir. At least two other people were also wounded in the exchange of fire, it added.

A 35-year-old woman was also killed on Thursday in the Nowshera area, in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Lieutenant colonel Manish Mehta, an Indian army spokesman, said Pakistani soldiers attacked Indian military posts with automatic weapons and mortars along the highly militarised Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed countries. The woman’s husband was wounded in the shelling, police said.

Pakistan’s foreign office, meanwhile, summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to condemn what it termed “the unprovoked ceasefire violation by the Indian occupation forces” overnight.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed condemnable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” it said in a statement.

akistan and India maintain a 2003 ceasefire agreement across the LoC, but both sides frequently violate it, usually blaming the other for instigating hostilities.

Both countries have claimed the Kashmir region in full since partition and independence from Britain in 1947, but administer separate portions of it. The South Asian neighbours have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.

Tensions have been high in Kashmir since last July, when Indian security forces killed a young Kashmiri rebel leader, prompting months of widespread protests and an ensuing security crackdown in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed at least 80 people.

Relations between India and Pakistan plummeted after a raid in September on an Indian military base in Uri by Kashmiri fighters killed at least 18 soldiers.

That attack prompted India to respond by saying it launched “surgical strikes” on bases used by armed groups in Pakistani-administered Kashmir. Pakistan denied that Indian forces ever entered Pakistani-administered territory.

Additional reporting by Asad Hashim, Al Jazeera’s Web Correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

It Is Not IF But WHEN the End Will Come (Revelation 15)

Nuclear energy reminds me of those stories about genies trapped in bottles.

The version of those stories that I remember best starts with a boy finding a beautifully decorated glass bottle on the beach. He hears a tiny voice and sees a tiny man inside the bottle. The tiny man says he’s a magic genie and will grant the boy three wishes if the boy will uncork the bottle and let him out. The boy agrees.

But after the boy releases the genie and gets three extravagant wishes, the genie becomes his own master and causes widespread trouble. In some versions of the story, the boy tricks the genie back into the bottle and corks it.

When I was young, I used to imagine how I would trick the genie. For my third wish I would ask for three more wishes. That way I could then keep the genie under control by always using my third wishes to wish for three more wishes.

But that was only make-believe. For me, the nuclear energy genie is just the symbol of a real-life problem that began in 1945. That was the year the United States dropped two nuclear bombs, one each on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The two atomic bombs, as we called them then, were dropped Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945. They killed more than 100,000 people and caused widespread devastation. They also caused Japan to surrender unconditionally less than a week later, thus ending World War II.

Those were the world’s second and third nuclear bomb detonations. The first nuclear detonation was a test bomb that was exploded that July 16 near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The symbolic nuclear energy genie was then fully freed from his bottle.

Since then, he has also helped our nation and other nations in several peaceful ways, such as generating electricity and treating diseases.

But the nuclear genie has also joined the armies of several other nations in addition to ours. That’s an uneasy situation, especially now that North Korea is striving to arm its military with nuclear weapons.

And now the nuclear genie is playing a dirty trick on San Luis Obispo County. PG&E plans to close its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near Avila Beach in 2025. PG&E will leave behind the plant’s “spent” nuclear fuel. It’ll be in big barrel-like containers called casks sitting on what looks like a parking lot.

“Spent” fuel means it can no longer generate electricity, but it’s still dangerously radioactive. I’ve read that some can be dangerous for 10,000 years or more. That’s longer than recorded human history.

There’s no perfectly “safe” place to put the used fuel. The least dangerous place seems to be extremely deep in the Earth in some hard formation. But federal officials have failed to decide anything.

They probably won’t decide until the nuclear genie causes a disaster that kills many Americans.

Phil Dirkx’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Paso Robles for more than five decades, and his column appears here every week. Reach Dirkx at 805-238-2372 or phild2008@sbcglobal.net.