Media Workshop: GLOBAL STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT & ISSUES OF TERRORISM AND NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

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REPORT ON THE ONE DAY MEDIA WORKSHOP

ON

GLOBAL STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT & ISSUES OF TERRORISM AND NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

May 21, 2015

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A one-day media workshop was held by the Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad (SSII) at the Lahore Press Club on 21st May 2015. The workshop was titled “Global Strategic Environment & Issues of Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation”. The workshop comprised of two interactive sessions chaired by DG SSII Dr. Shireen M Mazari. Seasoned journalists from Punjab attended the workshop; reporting on foreign policy, defence policy, security & terrorism and other beat reporters of related-issue areas.

Dr. Shireen M Mazari introduced the workshop with a brief overview of the contemporary international system marked by the phenomenon of globalization, where the states are not the only actors in shaping the global environment. The international regimes coupled with Multi National Corporations and Non- governmental Organizations play a crucial role in policy making. Dr. Mazari argued that there is a myth created that Pakistan is militarily and otherwise dependent on the US, however in reality Pakistan’s strategic weapons are indigenously developed. In conclusion she highlighted that there is a window of opportunity for Pakistan to assert itself, as it is located in a very significant geographic position.

Shedding light on issues of arms control and disarmament, Dr. Mazari highlighted how the Indo-US nuclear deal and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group waiver for India had undermined the global non-proliferation regime. She said that the contemporary non-proliferation debate was focused exclusively on the nuclear programmes of certain countries namely Iran and Pakistan. In order to make progress on the issue there was a need to talk about the proliferation by Western countries especially those supporting the Israeli nuclear programme. In conclusion Dr. Mazari suggested that the only way forward for both India and Pakistan was the security route to cooperation, which would be based on mutual trust and would enhance cooperation between both the nations. The session included discussion by the journalists on issues of nuclear policy.

It was interesting to note that some local journalists were well-versed with the understanding of issues pertaining to arms control and disarmament, specifically debating about Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in detail.

 

WORKSHOP PROGRAMME

Session I

2:00 p.m.    The Changing Global Strategic Environment &

Terrorism – DG SSII Dr. Shireen M Mazari

2:45 p.m.     Discussion

3:15 p.m.    Tea

 

Session II

3:30 p.m.    Nuclear Proliferation post 9/11 and Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme – DG SSII Dr. Shireen M Mazari

4:15 p.m.    Discussion

4:45 p.m.    Certificate Distribution and Group Photograph.

 

 

LIST OF ACRONYMS

 

 

AC&D                        Arms Control &  Disarmament

AG                              Australia Group

BLA                            Balcoh Liberation Army

BRA                            Baloch Republican Army

BJP                              Bharatiya Janta Party

CBM                           Confidence Building Measure

CD                              Conference on Disaramanet

CTBT                          Comprehesive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

FMCT                         Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty

FMT                            Fisslie Material Treaty

GWOT                        Global War on Terror

IED                             Improvised Explosvie Device

LTBT                          Limited Test ban Treaty

LEAs                           Law Enforcment Agencies

MAD                           Mutually Assured Destruction

MTCR                         Missile Technology Control Regime

MNA                           Member National Assembly

NSA                            Negative Secuirty Assurance

NSG                            Nuclear Suppliers’ Group

PAROS                       Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space

PNRA                         Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority

PTBT                           Partial Test ban Treaty

WA                             Wassenaar Arrangment

 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

On the initiative of Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad (SSII) an attempt has been made to bring together media personnel from both electronic as well as print mediums. The main object is to understand the opportunities and challenges for these journalists in policy understanding, analysing, reporting, and commenting on issues of foreign and defence policy. In view of the developing political and security situation, the theme selected for the workshop was evolving global strategic environment and counter-terrorism.

Lahore Press Club participants comprised of more than 30 members from different news agencies and media houses.

A lot of hard work went into the organization of this workshop and those who assisted in organizing and its program need to be acknowledged at the very offset of this report:

The constant guidance and supervision of Director General SSII, MNA Dr. Shireen M. Mazari at every phase of planning and organisation of this event played a critical role in ensuring a comprehensive program management. The support and assistance of SSII research and administration staff is deeply appreciated as they worked relentlessly towards ensuring a well organised workshop. The workshop would not have been possible without the efforts of Irfan Janjua, Admin Officer, Muhammad Adnan, Assistant Admin, Mohammad Shoaib and Abdul Qadeer (Research Team) and Hassan Hakeem, Incharge Programmes.


 

OVERVIEW OF PROCEEDINGS

Highlights of Session I

In the first session titled “the Global Strategic Environment and Terrorism”, DG SSII Dr. Shireen M Mazari started with an overview of the world order in the post-Cold War era by saying that since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the world has structurally been in a state of flux. During the Cold War period, the system of bipolarity prevailed where two blocs were competing for world domination. During the Cold War era, bipolarity maintained a balance in the international System. Conflicts escalated to crisis and then were reverted back to conflict. The same is not the case in contemporary international system, for example, the situation in Middle East; once a crisis erupts, it doesn’t recede and keeps getting exacerbated and breaks the status quo permanently through continuous change.

Another important factor is the end to NATO’s rationale. NATO was a US-led military alliance which was created under the UN charter allowing for collective defence. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1989, NATO had to be re-justified. The rationalization of NATO changed and it started focusing on “out of area” operations. UN did not allow the stationing of NATO in Afghanistan. The mandate which UN resolution gave was for ISAF and not for NATO. So, in terms of legality NATO in Afghanistan was never legal. In one way NATO has become the military arm of the US-led “Coalition of the Willing”.

Now, the world has two competing global orders where one is uni-polarity (single hegemon) and the other is the “Coalition of the Willing” while the whole notion of security has been redefined whereby the UN system has been undermined. After the Cold War, people started to assume that economics would dominate, but if we look at the collapse of the Soviet Union, militarisation has now become even more predominant than before. Economic issues are becoming militarised in many ways and they are now used for politico-military purposes.

Another important development is the emergence of the European Union (EU), not only because it is a strong economic block but due to its existence as a supra-national organisation. In the modern international system, states are the primary actors, but for the first time, this supra-national entity has been made a part of the system with sovereignty of the member states being weakened and laws of the EU dominating the domestic laws of European states.

Another important development in the post-Cold War period was the emergence of the “Clash of Civilisations” thesis which was floated by the West. A new enemy was needed, so this concept came to the front in which civilizations were categorized on the basis of religion. It could be argued that, civilisations cannot be defined on the basis of religions. One religion may embrace different civilisations, for example, Islam is a religion and it embraces different civilizations. The idea was adopted by the West because it needed to justify its own policies in other regions.

Dr. Mazari also mentioned that the contemporary international system is marked with the phenomenon of globalization, where the states are not the only actors in shaping the global environment. The international regimes coupled with Multinational Corporations and Non-Governmental Organisations play a crucial role in policy making and in peace and stability processes.

All these trends in the international system were further intensified after 9/11. Terrorism has become one of two the central points of global politics. The other is arms control and issues on nuclear non-proliferation. Non-state actors have become important especially in warfare. After the end of Cold War and especially after 9/11, war is seen primarily in terms of state versus non-state actors, which is asymmetric warfare. Even in state vs. state rivalry, states do not use direct warfare, instead they use low intensity conflict or indirect warfare through promoting destabilization in the rival state using insurgent groups and non-state actors. So the form of warfare has also been altered to low intensity conflict, to asymmetric and unconventional warfare.

Another development in the contemporary international system, which should be of concern to us, is targeting of Muslim states. In the post-9/11 era, came the Greater Middle East Initiative GMEI, then came the Broader Middle East Initiative BMEI which claimed to promote liberal democracy and freedom of speech in these Muslim states, and it resulted in the form of Arab Spring phenomenon and still there is instability in the region which resulted in weakened Arab states. This instability created power vacuum which further strengthened the non-state actors, and is reflected most clearly in the rise of the militant group Daesh. Now the principle of “Coalition of the Willing” is being applied in the Arab States with the direct intervention of certain Arab nations in Yemen bypassing the UNSC.

Now there is another parallel system led by the US, which is the system of “Core States”. This system allows the US to pursue its strategic interests through its strategic alliances. The leading core states are the UK, Poland, India, Japan and Australia. In parallel to these developments, there is enormous global economic interdependence and the creation of institutions like International Criminal Court ICC, which serve as a counter to the US system of core states. The global system is now destabilised with the emergence of more inclusive system by Europe, the formation of ICC and the UN principle of Humanitarian Intervention.

Pakistan is situated at a location which is strategically important and Pakistan could greatly benefit through greater economic cooperation with other states. Pakistan has started looking towards East which is a major shift in the policy. China was looking eastwards for a long time, but now it has started looking towards West-Asia. The latest Economic Corridor cooperation between China and Pakistan would give the two countries access to European markets and would serve the strategic interests of both the countries.

Q: Is it that the dominance of non-state actors was increased due to the state being unable to address or provide the basic necessities to its citizens.

A: Economic globalisation has largely dominated the contemporary international system, which led to strong global communication linkages. It is not by choice that the state has eroded and non-state actors emerged, rather it is by circumstance that the non-state actors started to dominate as a result of strong lobbying – national and transnational – through strong communication linkages. Now, the decision making process of a state is being influenced by these non-state actors.

Talking about the phenomenon of terrorism, Dr. Mazari said that the system is in a state of flux but the region of South Asia is in a greater mess largely due to terrorism which has become centre stage because the conflicts have turned primarily asymmetric. If one looks at the causes of terrorism in Pakistan, there are two main causes: inability of the state to deliver to the people and the US war in Afghanistan. More threatening for Pakistan has been the introduction of and rise in suicide bombings. To cope up with the menace of terrorism, she argued, an all-encompassing strategy is required to deal with the multi-level terrorist threat. There is a need to focus on the root causes of terrorism, not simply the symptoms. In this, political dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts become essential tools with which to fight terrorism. Pakistan currently lacks a viable Kashmir policy, which is the first and foremost step Pakistan should take for the resolution of conflict. There is a need to study the psyche of the Pakistani suicide bomber because from preliminary non-scientific observation it would seem they can be weaned away from this route by their areas seeing quick economic revival. Extremism cannot be associated with any one particular religion or state. Pakistan is not the only state which is experiencing this menace. There are a growing number of terrorist activities in the European states and they should actually take responsibility for this. A more holistic approach is needed in Pakistan to deal with terrorism. There are three types of terrorism i.e. international, subnational and state terrorism which need to be treated differently. Another major requirement for the eradication of terrorism is the implementation of madrasah reforms. Radicalisation could also be seen in religions other than Islam and in states other than Pakistan. At the economic level, globalisation has to proceed in a manner in which groups and states feel less marginalised and where more equitable norms apply – so as to give all states a ‘level playing field’.


Highlights of Session II

During the second session titled “Arms Control & Disarmament”, Dr. Shireen M Mazari, Director General, Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad, discussed the issues related to global arms control and disarmament. She started while explaining the two basic purposes of arms control and disarmament in the context of nuclear arms control which has attracted the attention of experts across the globe. For developed countries, the first objective of arms control and disarmament was to rationalise the development of certain weapons through mutual agreement. For instance US and Soviet Union during the cold war period signed two treaties, Salt -I and Salt-II. In Salt-I, both US and USSR reached an agreement to limit Anti-Ballistic Missile systems (ABM). However US has recently advanced their missile defence but previously both countries gave up their rights to develop missile defence and agreed to develop only in missile silos sites and one around their capitals. It brought in the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Second purpose for arms control and disarmament she said was primarily to prevent the transfer of nuclear and missile technology to the developing countries. However in the case of chemical and biological weapons all countries agreed to completely destroy their stockpiles.

Dr. Shireen Mazari further discussed the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) and said “because the decision making has to be based on consensus, it is the only reason why US has not been able to get India’s inclusion into the NSG. She argued that Pakistan’s diplomacy over the issue has remained very weak.” She added that for the last three summits, US has been floating non paper to get India membership of NSG. She said that the main impediment of India’s inclusion into the NSG is not Pakistan. There are some hard-core anti proliferation countries for instance New Zealand, Ireland and Norway which are resisting India’s NSG membership. However she cautioned that if India gets the membership of NSG it would become very problematic for Pakistan. She said that Pakistan is often criticised that it defy NSG. She said “It is a suppliers’ cartel and under international law it has no legal standing.”

Discussing Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), Dr. Mazari said it is another proposed discriminatory treaty, which requires the states to halt the fissile material production and does not address the existing stockpiles of fissile material. Pakistan proposed and favours Fissile Material Treaty (FMT) instead that would require the member states to reduce their existing stockpiles of fissile material, so that a balance could be maintained in the existing stock piles of fissile material. She also said that Pakistan have subscribe to the guidelines of MTCR but have not signed it yet.

Coming to the non-discriminatory approach, Dr Mazari said “to an extent nuclear proliferation has been controlled and the most important instrumentality of non-discriminatory approach are the treaties of nuclear weapon free zones.” She further detailed some of the non-discriminatory treaties including Tlatelolco Treaty which is a Latin America treaty to keep nuclear weapons out of their region. She said that it is an interesting treaty because there are two protocols signed by five nuclear weapon states in which they have committed not to use nuclear weapons in the area of treaty and against countries that are party to the treaty.

Dr Mazari said “previously Pakistan has pushed hard to keep nuclear weapons out of the South Asian region and proposed several suggestions to India, for instance Pakistan proposed zero missile regime to India but India refused to agree.

Discussing about Japan’s peaceful nuclear programme Dr Mazari said “Japan has the fastest growing peaceful nuclear programme including their fast breeder reactors.” She said if Japan decides to go nuclear, it can manage it within two to three weeks because they have all the infrastructure for it.

Talking about India’s nuclear posture Dr Mazari said “India has gone back from its commitment on No First Use policy. She added that initially it was propagated by India that it conforms to the NFU policy but later they brought in their nuclear doctrine which clearly stated that India reserves the right to use the nuclear weapons against an attack of any WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) to their country.

Highlighting Pakistan’s role in arms control and disarmament Dr Mazari said that Pakistan principally supported CTBT but did not signed it because it was a dead treaty.

Dr Mazari said that “the agreement was signed between India and Pakistan and both countries agreed not to develop the chemical weapons. The government of India clearly said that they have no stockpiles of chemical weapons. However later when India joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), it was revealed that it has huge chemical stocks as well as production and storage facilities.”

In 1997 Pakistan signed an international convention on nuclear safety which was also part of Pakistan’s commitment towards non-proliferation. After 1998 when Pakistan openly acquired nuclear status, it proposed India to place a moratorium on nuclear testing which India refused however Pakistan later placed a unilateral moratorium.

Whilst discussing A. Q Khan, Dr Mazari said he did not violated any law as Pakistan was never a member of NPT or NSG. She added that he did nothing which was against Pakistan’s international commitments. She said “it is very unfortunate that A Q Khan was only victimised and brought under tight scrutiny.”

Dr Mazari added that “Pakistan has not declared a formal nuclear doctrine because Pakistan’s nuclear posture is security driven unlike India’s nuclear posture. It is not meant to be status oriented. Pakistan has always kept the option of no first use ambivalent.” She pointed that Nato has the same doctrine. But Pakistan has explicitly stated that nuclear weapons are the weapon of last resort. Dr Mazari said that in her opinion Pakistan should not “maintain ambiguity rather it should give clear lines.”

She said Pakistan has actively participated in every forum of arms control and disarmament because it involves critical interests.

Talking about the future course Dr Mazari said “both countries should realise that they are not in a zero sum game. She said both countries have the issue of mutual survival therefore we have to psychologically move from a zero sum game to a mutual positive sum game.”  She said India have to change its thinking that the more powerful can engage in brinkmanship. She said brinkmanship in the nuclear environment is very dangerous. She further stated that Pakistan and India are both interacting in a nuclear security environment. Talking about nuclear risk reduction she emphasised that both countries should cooperate in the safety standards to prevent inadvertent or accidental launch. A journalist raised the question asking whether all these matters can be solved without the solution of Kashmir. Dr. Mazari while responding said there is a linkage but the nuclear issue does not directly relate to the Kashmir issue and Pakistan has not developed the nuclear weapons to be used in Kashmir. She said “Kashmir is a political issue and it is a struggle for self-determination of the people.” However she cautioned that if the issue of Indian Occupied Kashmir is not addressed it will increase the trust deficit between both countries. She suggested to develop Confidence Building Measures (CBM) in the nuclear realm so that both countries can progress on Kashmir issue.

Another question was raised about the commercial gains or benefits of having nuclear technology. Dr Mazari said “when you develop nuclear programme it definitely has civilian offshoots. She emphasised that civil nuclear power is important for energy. She also pointed out that all Chashma power plants are IAEA safeguarded because China is a member of NSG so it can only supply the technology if it is IAEA safeguarded. She said “there is always a commercial fallout of any technological development whether it’s in the military field or in the civilian field.”

Another journalist raised a question about the use of heavy water in Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. Dr Mazari said Pakistan does not use heavy water rather it is using uranium enrichment. She said Pakistan is only using heavy water in Kannup, all other reactors are uranium enriched which does not need heavy water. However she reminded that heavy water will be used in Khushab plant where Pakistan is developing plutonium reprocessing.

Dr. Mazari while concluding said for years Pakistan has been blamed for transferring nuclear technology to North Korea. However she reiterated “we did not sell any nuclear secret to North Korea. Pakistan’s nuclear programme is uranium based and if Pakistan had transferred North Korea any nuclear technology, it had been uranium based and North Korea’s nuclear programme is plutonium based.”

 

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