Why Pakistan should sign the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty).

Being an engineer and that too having specialized in electromagnetic, I am fascinated with physics. Anything and everything about the sciences intrigues me. Being a father of two children who are very young, I am extremely worried about their future. What worries me is not that we are a nuclear power. Or we are an “Islamic” nuclear power. The fact that we have nuclear power for purposes of deterrence which can be used to cause death and destruction is what worries me.

Five years ago had you asked any tourist in the Swat Valley that the Talibans would be entrenched here in the years to come, people would have dismissed that very thought.

But it did happen.

Barring other countries, why don’t we question our nuclear program. No – that would deemed unpatriotic. Unbecoming a Pakistani. Unbecoming a proud Muslim. Really?

Sure we have made the bomb, but now what? The notion that this nation will eat grass and survive when the sanctions were placed, what did it achieve for us? More debt? Yes. Did we progress or slip backwards? If you talk about technology – we progressed, if you talk about education, we slipped back.

If you talk about increasing our water supplies, we slipped back.

If you talk about human rights, we slipped back.

If you talk about power generation, we slipped back.

If you talk about brain-drain, we slipped back.

If you talk about religious tolerance, we slipped back.

If you talk about harmony in society, we slipped back.

So why are we hell-bent on protecting the bomb. What realistically does it achieve for us. Deterrence? At what price? Read this carefully. We cannot, I repeat cannot even ‘question’ the amount of money being spent on Pakistan’s Nuclear Program.

All the time we are in a constant tit-for-tat comparative race with the Indians.  Let me pose a question…

Tomorrow India signs the NPT, what would we do? Follow suit and sign it? Why can it not be the other way around?

Why can’t we take a bold step and sign the NPT. Enough of the bombs I say. Lets  open our nuclear program for civilian use. Lets power up our cities. Let us be responsible enough in the eyes of the world and ourselves to be able to export nuclear technology. Let us rid ourselves of some of the financial burden we carry.

The world today is a global village. It all boils down about financial survival. We sign the NPT, for once we take a bold step and look good. Not only do we look good, we act responsible to ourselves and for our future. I have a deep sense of belonging and attachment to our national flag. But it seems we are more and more inclined towards the Green it represents and ignore the White (minorities – remember Gojra?). We are more concerned with what the Indians are up to than what is happening in our own backyard. We have become stubborn.

Why must we act differently. Why must we indulge in hidden self-pity (in case you disagree, losing two wars is self-pity enough and we pile on arms to justify the loss).

Why can’t we simply sign the NPT and progress as a responsible nation? I leave that thought and question open for you to answer.

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