Youm-e-Takbeer: 26 Years of Responsible Nuclear State

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DNA

 ISLAMABAD:  The Minister of Defence, Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s stated that Pakistan’s nuclear capability is a gurantor for peace in the region; he emphasized their role in establishment  of full-spectrum deterrence and maintaining regional power balance, particularly against India. He  said this through a  video statement on, 30th May 2024 – South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University event  to commemorate the 26th anniversary of Youm-e-Takbeer.  The event was held to  mark the nation’s historic nuclear tests on May 28 and 30, 1998. The event, titled “Youm-e-Takbeer: 26 Years of Responsible Nuclear State,” was hosted by SASSI University in Islamabad.

 He asserted that Pakistan’s nuclear capability remains a robust defensive measure, deterring aggression and safeguarding national sovereignty. In light of past aggressive actions such as those in Balakot, he reaffirmed Pakistan’s readiness to respond to any threats was a  deterrence choice,  underscoring that any act of war would have severe consequences for the aggressor.   He also paid tribute to the  scientists , engineers and all those who have developed  Pakistan’s  nuclear  program. While  commenting  on the pressures  faced by Pakistan in the  may28th  decision in 1998  he paid tribute than PM  Nawaz  Sharif  for his  momentous decision to go  nuclear.

Chief of Army Staff, General Syed Asim Munir Ahmed Shah NI(M), HI(M)’s in written statement  extended congratulations to the nation and Armed Forces on the anniversary of Youm-e-Takbeer. He lauded the 1998 nuclear tests for establishing credible minimum deterrence and restoring regional power equilibrium. The Chief of Army Staff paid tribute to the scientists, engineers, and officials whose dedication and sacrifices were instrumental in achieving this milestone. He reaffirmed the Armed Forces’ unwavering commitment to defending Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity at all costs.

Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Dean of Social Sciences at Quaid-e-Azam University, highlighted the strategic importance of nuclear capabilities for nuclear-armed states and key regional actors. He called for a comprehensive review of global nuclear dynamics and regional challenges, advocating for the modernization of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine, and the acceleration of the civilian nuclear energy program.

Dr. Maria Sultan, Chairperson and Director General of SASSI University, discussed the impact of nuclear posture and doctrine on regional military order and future nuclear program expansions in South Asia. She highlighted the ongoing debate between compellence and deterrence and the future of the nuclear order in the third nuclear age

 Speaking at the  event Ambassador Khalid  Mehmood  Chairman Board of Governor  of the   Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad  also  echoed the  support and  facilitations to the nation  on the historic  event and  while  recalling the historic events of May 1998 stated that the  pressures on Pakistan  though were  huge on  one side  by the international community on the other had was also supported  by the  friends  who understood that  Pakistan  had developed the  capability only as a last measure of defense.  He further added that the key element  in   nuclear deterrence is  national  resolve and let  there  be no mistake  Pakistan  has plenty of it when it comes to its  defense.

His intervention was  followed  by the  comments  made   by  Ambassador  Ali Sarwar Naqvi Executive Director   Centre for International Strategic Studies CISS, who added that Pakistan was a reluctant  nuclear weapon state   but the way the international community had  responded to the  Indian  nuclear  tests  of 11th May 1998  left  Pakistan  with  no  choice but to  go  nuclear on 28th may1998 . this  he said was  particularly  true  as we   faced the  very real possibility  of an attack on  nuclear  capability  had we not  tested.

The event emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to being a responsible nuclear state, ensuring regional stability, and pursuing peaceful nuclear technology advancements for the credibility of deterrence as we faced an ever changing environment.

The event concluded with a documentary on the May 28th 1998 and a vote of thanks to the heros of the Pakistan’s   nuclear program. The  event was  attended  by  a large  number  of  people  from   different  walks of  life including  from the Media , Academia , Armed  Forces ,  National Security  and  Diplomatic Corp.