Written by Dr. Shahid Athar   

15 years ago, I asked a prominent American as to why the U.S.A. dropped A-bombs on Japan destroying 2 cities and killing millions of people. She said " we did it for peace, to stop the war and prevent further bloodshed which would have continued if conventional war was to continue". Using this logic, Pakistani bombs can also be called peaceful if it creates stability and equality in the region. I firmly believe that if Japan had A-bombs, it would have had a deterrent effect, and so will Pakistani bombs against Indian bombs and vice versa. Now that both nations have tested their capabilities and made the score even, their leaders should come to their senses. They should both sign CNBT and NPT, as well as a No-war pact between them.

The Creation of Pakistan

At midnight on August 14, 1947, the creation of Pakistan, an Islamic State was announced by Radio Pakistan Lahore with the following verses of Quran: (47: 1-4)

"Lo, we have given you a clear victory that God may forgive you of your faults in the past, and that which is to come, and may fulfill His favor unto you and may guide you on a night path. And that God may help you with a strong help. It is he who sent down peace of reassurance into the hearts of the believers that they might add faith to their belief. For God belongs to the Heavens and the Earth, and God is all-knowing and wise".

The next morning, Radio Pakistan Lahore came in the air again with the following verses of Al-Imran:

"Say "O-God, Lord of Power and rule, give power to whom you please, and you strip off power from whom you please. You grant honor to whom you please, and you bring low whom you please. In your hand is all Good. Verily, you have power over all".(Quran 3:26 - 27)

Thus in the above two verses was the message for Pakistan and Muslims all over the world that victory and power only come through Allah's help, and to whom He wishes.

Difficult Choices for Pakistan

At midnight Wednesday May 26, 1998, Pakistan exploded five underground nuclear bombs and became the first Muslim country to have such capabilities. Pakistan was forced to do so as India had exploded five bombs two weeks earlier, with no sanctions and not penalized by the world community, especially the west. Even in 1974 when India did explode a bomb, the U.S.A. did not do anything and in fact, granted India the most favored nation status as it did to China after their hydrogen bomb explosion and to Israel which has two hundred nuclear bombs. Now Pakistan is being punished with sanctions, but as Mr. Ayub, the Foreign Minister has said "We are used to sanctions anyway". When South Korea wanted to go nuclear, the U.S.A. gave it 3 billion dollars in aid as an incentive for not developing the A-bomb.

. For the last 5 years, Pakistan has not been given any military aid. The F-16 planes that it purchased at a cost of 680 million dollars were not delivered, and the money has been kept. Although Pakistan has been a friend of the U.S.A. since the 1950's after signing SEATO and CENTO treaties. Although Pakistan always came to help the U.S.A.'s interest in that region, including fighting proxy Afghan war. When Pakistan needed the U.S.A. in 1965 or the 1971 war, it never came to help Pakistan. The west has a hypocritic attitude toward who should have the bomb. The basic theory explained to me by another American is that " third world countries do not have the sane leaders who will resist the temptation of using nuclear weapons during war". I then pointed to them that it was not a madman Khadaffi, but a sane American President who actually used an Atomic Bomb on human populations the first time. "But how come, I asked, did the U.S.A. not drop the bomb on Germany which would have stopped the war earlier"? Was it the color of the people in Germany that saved them from the Atom bomb. Now two brown nations have broken into this allied nuclear club.

The response of the Arab world recently is very interesting. They forget that Iraq's nuclear plant was destroyed, by Israel, with the help of Indians. India n Air Force Pilot's training the Iraqi Air Force, gave the location and photographs of Iraqi plants under construction and with that help, the Israelis were able to destroy Iraq's nuclear plants. After Indias explosion two weeks ago, Arab leaders praised India saying that India has a right to nuclear bombs and it did the right thing standing up to the U.S.A. Now when Pakistan did the same thing, the same leaders said that it was a dangerous thing to do.

What needs to be done ?

Now that both countries have nuclear bombs and have "settled the score", they can sign a nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and sign a no-war pact among themselves. Next, the Muslim countries, should not allow the west to impose sanctions on them. Sanctions are nothing but an economic war. Snactions have the effects of genocide as we have seen with the people of Iraq. After King Faisal imposed an oil embargo, Dr. Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, said that we will use food as a weapon in response, and that is what is happening now in Iraq. Thus, 52 Muslim countries, if they decide to defy the sanctions and lift the embargo imposed by the U.S., or U.N., nothing can be done against them. They will never bomb 52 countries because they are their business partners. As far as the IMF aid is concerned, this aid is nothing but loans at a very high interest rate. I echoed the sentiment of President Soekarno 35 years ago when Indonesia was threatened with sanctions and he said "Go to hell with your aid". Muslim countries and the third world should give moral support to Pakistan who is being punished for standing up to India and the nuclear club. Overseas Pakistanis should start a "Help Pakistan Fund" where donations can be pooled and transferred to Pakistan to meet with the challenge of economic sanctions. Finally, we must seek help from Allah for the safety of all Muslims and all Muslim countries.

"If Allah Helps you, no one can overcome you. If He forsakes you, who is thereafter that can help you" In Allah, then the believers put their trust". (Quran 3:160)

From Friday Sermon delivered at the Islamic Society of North America mosque, Plainfield, Indiana May 29, 1998.