In addition to the everyday problems that Pakistan poses for India as its eternal rival for the world media, a unique combination of features characteristic of this country is essential: the nuclear status and the spread of radical Islamism openly challenging the military leadership and government of Pakistan.
In Russia, little is written about Pakistan, although de facto we have a common border. More precisely, the transparent borders of Afghanistan with post-Soviet Central Asia (except Uzbekistan) and Pakistan, together with the visa-free regime of the Russian Federation with the countries of the region, mean that our neighborhood is a reality. Islamabad is increasingly taking control of the processes taking place in Afghanistan, which, among other things, means that Islamist groups that have recently been interested in him as temporary allies in competition with the United States on Afghan territory have become a hindrance to the Pashtuns they supervise.
This article discusses the key aspects of the life of modern Pakistan on the basis of materials by experts of the Institute of the Middle East, N. A. Zamaraeva, D. A. Karpov, A. V. Lipeeva, I. N. Serenko, V. I. Sotnikova.
One of the major security threats in Pakistan is terrorism. According to the Global Terrorism Index, since 2004, this country has not fallen below sixth place in the world in terms of the threat of terrorism. The leadership of the IRP has declared fighting terrorism and extremism one of its priorities, although its problem-solving strategy has been criticized, primarily for the fact that it fights with some organizations, while others “do not notice” or support. The attitude towards them is determined by the principle of “fighting against those who are fighting against Pakistan, without hindering or helping those who are against India, the anti-Pakistan regimes in Afghanistan and the agents of influence of foreign states, including Iran”. Pakistan has been using these groupings to achieve its geopolitical goals since the 70s.
During this period, a start was made to the purposeful Islamization of Pakistan, which became the response of the elite to social discontent that arose in the process of modernizing the country. The beginning of the domestication of Pakistani Islamism was laid by General M. Zia-ul-Haq. His course was established in Pakistan against the background of the April revolution in Afghanistan, 1978, and the Islamic revolution in Iran, 1979. The secular elite, agreeing to Islamization, went on restricting the freedoms of women, narrowing the sphere of use of the English language, introducing Islamic subjects into the number of compulsory in educational institutions, banning alcohol, etc. At the same time, her position remained intact.
In the course of “Islamization from above” M. Zia-ul-Haq, referring to the establishment of the Koran, imposed taxes on zakat and ushr. The ban on the use of alcohol by Muslims was introduced by Z. A. Bhutto. In 1998, the Prime Minister of the IRP, N. Sharif, proposed the adoption of laws introducing the Sharia judicial system in the country. In 90, the beginning of 2000, Islamization in Pakistan proceeded in the wake of the Mujahideen’s “victory” in the war against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, the successes of the Taliban and the demonstrative condemnation of repressive measures to which the government of India resorted to Jammu and Kashmir Islamabad sabotage and subversion.
In addition, one of the components of the Islamization policy in Pakistan was the creation of infrastructure, including radical Islamist organizations with military units and tens of thousands of madrasas. Religious educational institutions are not currently controlled by the authorities of the country. Terror against Shiite organizations, regarded as agents of Iranian influence and the ideas of Khomeinism, became a separate direction of their activity. In addition, the solution of social problems was transferred to a number of districts of the madrasa. As a result, they combined the charitable, educational, social, political and military components.
The most influential of them were “Jaish-i-Mohammad” and “Lashkar-i-Toiba”, it’s also “Jamaat-ud-Dawa” (in Kashmir), and also “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi” and “Sepah-i- Sahabha Pakistan ", acting against the Shiites. The “allowed” extremist groups of the IRP quickly became an independent factor in political life. Indicative in this regard are Sepah-i-Sahabha Pakistan, Jaish-i-Mohammad and Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Their support is the city of Punjab (especially southern), the most populated and developed province of the country. In Pakistan madrassas study from one and a half to three million people. 10 percent of the total number of students are radicals receiving foreign funding.
In 1947 there were fewer than 300 madrasas in the country. By 1988, their number increased to 3000. Now in Pakistan to 26 000 registered and from 4000 to 10 000 unregistered madrasas. They are in demand, especially among the poor, as students receive free meals, accommodation, and sometimes medical insurance. Attempts by the government to take control of registration, funding, and madrasa programs have so far failed, although they are conducted by central and local authorities time after time.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was one of the first provinces in the country, where law enforcement agencies checked madrasas for extremism. At the beginning of the 2015 th of the 3010 madrassas of the region 26 percent were not registered. In the province of Sindh, the authorities counted 4021 madrasas, of which only 2598 are registered. In April, 2015 revealed that 44 religious schools in Sindh are controlled by the outlawed Taliban of Pakistan (DTP). In June, the provincial government decided to close 48 officially functioning madrasahs that "planned to promote terrorism." Later 167 unregistered madrasas were closed.
Right religious parties opposed interference in the affairs of madrasas. Jamaat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl in February 2015 announced the start of the protest movement. She is a member of the ruling coalition, but its leaders have declared that they will continue the struggle, since they cannot move away from their own ideology. It is characteristic that even in 2003, during the reign of P. Musharraf, an attempt was made to register all the madrasas of the country. It turned out to be a failure: religious leaders regarded it as a desire of the authorities to introduce external control. According to the national action plan, madrasas are required to submit audit reports and disclose financing channels, but control of their activities is extremely difficult.
As a result, this autumn, the capital of Pakistan was covered by anti-government speeches by teachers and students of the Red Mosque madrasah, who advocated the introduction of Sharia rule in the country. Her imam, theologian Abdul Aziz and his wife Ummi Hassan, who heads the Jamia Hafza women's madrasa, led 13 on November the march of students, teachers and parishioners to commemorate the Sharia movement created by them. Radical female madrasah students marched through the streets of the capital, chanting slogans in support of jihad and the introduction of Sharia in Pakistan. Speaking to his supporters, Abdul Aziz gave the government a week to make a decision on this issue.
It should be noted that in 2007, teachers and students of the Red Mosque tried to achieve the establishment of Sharia in the country by introducing Sharia courts within the walls of the Red Mosque. An armed confrontation with the authorities ended with the storming of its complex and led to numerous casualties, but failed to close it. 11 000 people are trained in the “Red Mosque” with its largest in the Muslim world women's religious educational institution “Jamia Hafsa” and the men's “Jamia Faridia”. Pakistani researcher F. Taj believes that the seminary prepares from female students the wives and mothers of jihadists, suicide bombers, and female militants who are ready, if necessary, to clash with the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan.
Uranium vs. Plutonium
Imam Abdul Aziz refused to condemn the 16 December attack on 2014 at a school in Peshawar, which killed more than 140 children and teachers, claiming that the massacre was a response to the actions of the Pakistani army in tribal areas. In response, after the terrorist attack in Pakistan, the National Action Plan against terrorism from 20 points was adopted, including a ban on the creation of illegal military formations and the spread of extremist propaganda through the media and communications, the establishment of military field courts, the abolition of the death penalty and tightening state control over madrasas. However, the situation in the country is currently far from stable.
At the same time, Pakistan is a rapidly developing nuclear power. A report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center claims that it can annually produce 20 nuclear warheads and possess the third largest nuclear arsenal over the next ten years weapons in the world, significantly surpassing India in terms of its production. India, like Pakistan, after testing in May 1998, became an informal nuclear power. Both countries do not participate in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Western analysts believe that Pakistan currently has about 120 nuclear weapons, while India has about 100 units.
Pakistan’s advantage in terms of nuclear ammunition may increase due to the fact that it has stocks of highly enriched uranium, which Islamabad can use to quickly produce low-power nuclear explosive devices. India has more plutonium required for the production of high-power nuclear weapons. However, New Delhi seems to be using most of its plutonium as nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. Pakistan over the next 5 – 10 years may have 350 and more nuclear weapons, that is, more than all the official nuclear powers (China, France and the UK), except for the United States and Russia.
India has pledged itself not to use nuclear weapons first, stating that in the event of an attack using weapons of mass destruction, it does not exclude the possibility of a nuclear strike. Pakistan has not accepted symmetrical obligations, which leaves it free to act in the event of an armed conflict with India. This included, in particular, the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons, the threat of which from Pakistan was great during the so-called Kargil conflict in 1999 and the “armed confrontation” in 2001 – 2002.
The question is: how quickly can Pakistan increase its nuclear arsenal? The country's military nuclear program is controlled and implemented by the army, not civilian authorities. Pakistan, unlike India, lacks the practice of parliamentary debates on the feasibility of building up a nuclear arsenal. This creates a situation of uncertainty of its use of nuclear weapons in the event of an armed conflict with India. According to the theory of "nuclear games" Thomas Schelling is designed to keep India and its sun in suspense. Moreover, there are no legally binding agreements between Pakistan and India to limit nuclear arms reduction or reduction, as was the case during the Cold War between the USSR and the USA.
India and Pakistan have a non-aggression agreement on each other’s nuclear facilities in the event of an armed conflict, as well as an obligation to exchange lists of sensitive nuclear facilities provided by both parties to 1 in January each year. There is an agreement to notify each other about the launch of ballistic missiles and a direct line of communication between the commanders of the armed forces. However, they refuse to join the global reduction of nuclear weapons and negotiations on this issue, which are between the official nuclear powers, starting with the United States and the Russian Federation.
It is Pakistan that is slowing down the start of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (an FMCT or Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty, FMCT). This means that the situation with Pakistan’s accumulation of these materials is beyond the control of the IAEA and international experts on nuclear non-proliferation in South Asia. If Pakistan uses all stocks of fissile materials, which it has four times more than India’s, then it could have 350 nuclear weapons in five to seven years.
Another problem related to Pakistan is its nuclear safety and the physical safety of its nuclear facilities. Although in Pakistan, according to its authorities, there is a program to protect nuclear facilities from attack or seizure of nuclear weapons by terrorists, for which Washington allocated 100 million dollars, ammunition is stored separately from delivery vehicles, and the personnel of these facilities (insiders) are being tested for employment On the lie detector, experts express concern about the safety of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenals.
The Pakistani government claims that nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles (both missile and aviation) are under the strictest control. However, experts are alarmed by insiders who may have radical views or sympathize with the Islamists and, as a result, “surrender” nuclear facilities, storage facilities for nuclear weapons and their means of delivery to terrorists. True, in the case of the capture of nuclear munitions, in order to use it, it is necessary to get their delivery vehicles, which is unlikely. The alarm is caused by the possible falling into the hands of terrorists of fissile materials to create a "dirty bomb" and its subsequent use against India, in the cities of Europe and the USA or in the Middle East. This is especially true in connection with the emergence in Pakistan of supporters of the banned Islamic State in Russia.
It should be noted that the country's army leadership considers deterrence of the possible aggression of India by means of low-power nuclear tactical weapons as the main military doctrine. It is actively modernized in Pakistani research centers. The main costs of this research are borne by Saudi Arabia. There is an agreement between Riyadh and Islamabad that Saudi nuclear scientists will have a regular practice in Pakistan’s nuclear centers. This program is clearly intended to be Riyadh’s response to an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, which means Tehran’s inevitable possession of nuclear weapons. The MUTO for Riyadh is the best option for an asymmetric response to a possible Iranian aggression.
Islamabad is responding to the cold start of India’s military doctrine. Previous - "Sundardzhi" included building defensive infrastructure, which allowed for large-scale counterattacks; Border defense was assigned to seven infantry corps, which would create conditions for a counterattack by three corps prepared in central India; the time to prepare the offensive was estimated at three weeks, and its general goal was to cut Pakistan into two parts.
“Cold start” provides for an offensive by the forces of eight operational-tactical groups reinforced by artillery. Preparation for it should take no more than 96 hours, air support coming to go without a gradual increase, the maximum task is to invade Pakistani territory no more than 80 kilometers. The calculation is made on the speed of the attack in order to transfer the fighting to Pakistan, after which Islamabad will have to strike with nuclear weapons on its territory, knowing that the enemy does not want to go deep into the country. The rupture of the military capabilities of Pakistan and India in favor of the latter forces Islamabad to take asymmetric measures with the use of tactical nuclear weapons as the main means of deterrence. India is not working on a program to develop such weapons, and Pakistan has an advantage in this area.
At the same time, the risk of a full-scale exchange of nuclear strikes increases dramatically, since India has officially warned that the use of any form of nuclear weapons will cause a retaliatory strike by a strategic arsenal. Provocation of India to the commencement of the operation in accordance with the Cold Start doctrine may occur as a result of a terrorist attack, like the one that Lashkar-i-Toiba conducted in Mumbai. Given that India and Pakistan are actively using terrorist groups against each other, including in Afghanistan, any successful terrorist attack can cause a full-scale conflict.
Thus, the Indian doctrine of lightning strike torpedoes a halt to war by means of international diplomacy; there is no time for that. The only effective means of retaliation and deterrence in the Pakistani army is tactical nuclear weapons. This increases the risk of conflict escalating to a full-scale nuclear war in South Asia by an order of magnitude. And it can depend not on the military-political leadership of those countries that will ultimately prove to be its main victims, but on the terrorist groups, which the Pakistani leadership cannot cope with even in peacetime.
The latter explains the unexpected, at first glance, interview of ex-Pakistani President P. Musharraf, when he extremely negatively assessed the results of Islamabad’s support of thirteen major terrorist organizations used against India, the Soviet army in Afghanistan and other potential opponents of the PRI for decades. The usual situation in the East, when a genie, called out of good intentions, having fulfilled the task, refused to return to the jug, becoming a threat first of all to his master.