‘India, Israel Planned to Hit Kahuta in 1980s’

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One has to be cautious when reports like this come out, especially when the evidence is flimsy. If true, it is extremely interesting that the Israeli air force had planned to attack Pakistan’s nuclear reactor at Kahuta in 1984, riding high in confidence just three years after the successful attack against Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981 — fear of the so-called “Islamic Bomb” being the clear motive. Pakistan was to become the first Muslim country to acquire a nuclear bomb and the fear was they would spread the materials and technological know-how to fellow Muslim/Arab or enemy countries. And perhaps the Israelis had a point. The acclaimed book Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network by Gordon Corera details the damage done to the world’s security by Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan who was finally stopped in 2004 after 30 years of selling nuclear materials and designs to Libya, North Korea and Iran. The rest is history. And continuing into today, we deal with a North Korean nuclear test, the headache of the Iranian nuclear standoff and an apparent rush by Sunni Arab states to acquire “peaceful nuclear energy” in compliance with IAEA regulations just in case they may need it to balance out Iran in the future. Then there is the looming threat of a possible Jihadist takeover and thus custodianship of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal if the Musharraf regime or the regime of secular minded successors ever collapses. Though unlikely, no one can deny the absolute plausibility of this scenario.

The often-made argument “If Israel can have the bomb why can’t others?” is quite childish and annoying, and I strongly suspect proponents of this argument are more interested in pointing out a hypocrisy than in actually contemplating the harm that would be done to the security of us all when nuclear proliferation is “fair” across the board.

Most striking about this article is that Israel was planning to take the lead in this attack and not merely play the role of advising or providing intelligence to assist the Indian Air Force in doing the dirty work. Then Indian premier Indira Gandhi signed off to allow Israeli pilots to conduct the raids in cohorts with the Indian Air Force from Indian bases until the joint Israeli-Indian effort was forced down in the face of U.S. State Department threats. Recall that this was during the Cold War when U.S.-India relations were icy while Pakistan was a vital ally towards U.S. support of the Afghan Jihad against the Soviet invasion and occupation. Oh, the foresight of U.S. foreign policy makers.

The evidence given in the below article from The Daily Times is based solely on a new book detailing Israeli-Indian intelligence links titled, “Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Conspiracy” by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, internationally renowned investigative journalists for The Guardian in London, who have been nominated three times for the British Press Awards. While citing this book, the article does not cite what evidence the authors cite, thus making it difficult to gauge the credibility of the claim — though they are highly esteemed journalists. Their journalistic connections may have afforded them access to some closed source information. If more comes out on this or I get my hands on the book, I will update.

 

(Daily Times) –‘India, Israel planned to hit Kahuta in 1980s’

LAHORE: India and Israel had secretly planned to hit Pakistan’s nuclear facility in Kahuta in 1983-84, but backed off when the CIA tipped off then president General Ziaul Haq.

According to APP, The Asian Age reported this in a report published on Sunday. The report states that a new book, “Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Conspiracy” by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, reveals details about India’s secret intelligence links with Israel. It claims that Indian military officials secretly travelled to Israel in February 1983 to buy electronic warfare equipment to neutralise Kahuta’s air defences.

According to the book, India put its plans on hold when the chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission warned the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre that Islamabad would attack Mumbai if Kahuta were attacked.

It states that at this juncture, Israel suggested that it would attack Kahuta from Indian bases, adding that former premier Indira Gandhi signed off on the Israeli-led operation in March 1984. However, India and Israel backed off after the US state department warned India “the US will be responsive if India persists”.

The book also claims that Pakistan was preparing to use nuclear missiles against India during the Kargil war, citing a conversation between former US president Bill Clinton and former premier Nawaz Sharif from 1999.

According to a report released on the Times of India website, the book states that Sharif was unable to inform Clinton of his military’s moves. The president then warned Sharif that he would release a statement pinning all blame for Kargil on Pakistan if Sharif refused to pull his forces back. agencies

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