Stories about weapons

Is India’s nuclear arsenal safe?

It confuses me immensely as to why the mainstream media and Western governments are constantly generating a hype about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal when they don’t seem concerned at all about the highly startling condition regarding the nuclear capabilities of India. Ever since the India-US nuclear deal has taken place, India has signed civil nuclear deals with more than half a dozen countries. Hence, the most precarious lie is advocated, that India has a strong track record of nuclear safety, to materialise these nuclear deals. Electronic media reports lead us believe that India has a strong nuclear non-proliferation track ...

Read Full Post

Sense prevails over Syria, finally

It is commonplace to find Russia and America at odds with one another, especially in the recent past, from the Edward Snowden saga to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, relations between the two have generally been cold. In contrast, however, the latest development in relations between the two has been an amiable one, when Obama saw eye-to-eye with Putin’s proposal of disposing of Syria’s chemical weapons under international supervision. The congress vote-in, which Obama was tipped to face stiff resistance on, has been put on hold to give diplomacy a chance. Incidentally, it seems that America ...

Read Full Post

The US at the G20 summit: Selling a strike on Syria

The G20 leaders met in St Petersburg where Obama’s drive to strike Syria was on the top of the agenda. However, his ‘coalition of the willing’ is rather weak and much divided with Vladimir Putin resolutely against any military intervention without a resolution from the United Nations Security Council.   My fear is that this summit could be the final step before another disastrous involvement by the West in the Arab world. The similarities of 2013 and 2003 are startling. Just like 10 years ago, with regards to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, John Kerry reassured the congress that the Assad regime is the ...

Read Full Post

Why there is no moral reason for the US to attack Syria

American inconsistency on the use of chemical weapons makes it difficult to convince a bunch of teenagers — much less the US Congress Mr Obama, you and I having a similar challenge: selling a military strike against Syria as a “moral imperative.” But we have different audiences. Your constituents come from all parts of the country; mine from different parts of the world. Yours are driven by myriad interests; mine are simply seeking justice. Yours are young and old; mine are mostly teenagers. You call yours, “the US Congress.” I call mine “the Younus family.” Mr Obama, my nephews and nieces, who live ...

Read Full Post

When a child grows up in Lyari

Ferjal Hussain is just three-years-old. I love him a lot. He doesn’t eat or sleep well when I am out of the city. I don’t allow him to go out and play with his contemporaries — though he does insist. We both play at home. I sing him folk songs and share with him the good stories I know. Sometimes, I recite Shah Latif and Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s couplets. He likes ‘lab pe aati hai dua banke tamanna meri.’ I dislike the environment with which he interacts — the abusive language, playing in the narrow streets and the habit of ...

Read Full Post

In an explosive world: On making India a part of the Nuclear Supplier’s Group

On May 18, 1974, India conducted its nuclear test. It reaffirmed the international community’s fears that nuclear technology and materials provided for peaceful purposes can be used in nuclear weapons. In 1975, in order to curtail such gross misuse Canada, France, West Germany, Japan, Soviet Union, United States and United Kingdom got together and formed the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). The purpose was to regulate the nuclear trade so further diversions like India’s don’t take place. Forty years later the situation has changed. France, Russia, the UK, and the US are campaigning to make India a member of the NSG. The motives are simple; the huge ...

Read Full Post

Is gun control fair when guns are a part of your culture?

Sitting around in the ICU recently, I struck up a conversation with one of the nurses. We started talking about his new dog that he’s trained not to react to loud abrupt sounds, such as gunfire. He does this at range he shoots at. I expressed interest in what kind of gun he uses being a bit of a self-touted gun enthusiast myself. He then went on to list about 15 guns that he owns, right from an antique short-barrelled musket to an AR-9 rifle, for which he recently bought an ACOG high precision scope! Renewed debate regarding the need for stricter ...

Read Full Post

Shot over a game of volleyball

In January 1998, my family received a slightly incoherent call from an uncle. He didn’t make any sense when he said: “Bring all the cash you have.” An hour or two later, those words made sense. My cousin had been shot in Islamabad by one of his peers and his family needed money urgently to take care of matters. We did not tell his mother what happened but informed her that he had been in a fight and was injured. He was nineteen-years-old. The boy who shot him was 20. A court case, countless days of mourning, and many unanswered questions. Now, 13 years later ...

Read Full Post

A Hiroshima survivor’s message to the nuclear world

What happens when a nuclear weapon is used? And what are the implications the day after? Scientists tell us that as an atom splits, a burning sun erupts from its heart, descends from the sky to engulf a city in its flaming wrath. It chars houses, melts skin and poisons the mud. The sound could be mistaken for the angel Israfeel’s promise to end the world with his trumpet. A few weeks ago, Tufts University held a conference on the peril and promise of ‘Our Nuclear Age’. I had the opportunity to listen to some distinguished speakers answer interesting questions. Hiroshima survivor ...

Read Full Post

Forget the arms race, we have bigger problems!

As The New York Times reported earlier this month, the Pakistani government has steadily increasing its nuclear stockpile over the past two years. It has amassed as many as 110 deployed nuclear warheads, which puts the country on the path to replace Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear power. Pakistani leaders and nuclear advocates are quick to point to India as the principle reason for why the country needs a large nuclear arsenal, as relations between the two neighbours have been strenuous over the last 60 years. What they fail to understand, however, is that the real risk to Pakistan comes ...

Read Full Post