By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.
The successful testing of our latest missile, Ababeel is certainly a great engineering feat and a masterly display of our technological expertise and brilliance.
For that, our sincere felicitations to all those who contributed to its success and especially to a close friend who suggested the name for it's profound symbolism.
On the other hand, one is also torn between this sense of pride and the need and wisdom of adding another weapon of incredible destructive power to our already formidable arsenal.
From what I know, we have 150 to 200 nuclear warheads. We have over 8 different types of delivery systems to launch these nuclear weapons. This includes one which gives us 2nd strike capability firing from a submarine.
Which basically means that once someone has flattened your land mass and killed 10's if not 100's of millions "believers", a tiny group in a submarine, deep beneath the ocean will unleash a barrage of similar nuclear destruction to flatten the enemy's land mass and kill their "heathen" millions.
Which also then makes me wonder, after this is all over, where on earth will these submarine wallahs go to receive their medals?
Clearly we have enough deterrent power to stop our neighbor or other enemies from launching an attack. And we don't need more.
Chahay wo 2nd strike, ya 3rd strike, ya Hat Trick ya all out, ya kuch aur. (Whether its a 2nd Strike or a 3rd Strike or a hat trick or whatever!)
Bottom line. We would all be roasted in this great big grand barbecue! Which will be another first for us. The biggest barbecue in the world, jointly hosted with our enemies.
That's why it's called MAD. Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD really means, curtains for everybody
Hence we need to review our priorities about how we spend our extremely limited resources. And its not rocket science.
We need better education, better healthcare, better law and order enforcement, better governance, more jobs for our youth, better care for our elderly, much higher levels of economic and social growth for our people.
We certainly dont need more missiles, spending, God only knows how much on these "toys".
We take so much pride with puffed up chests, in being one of 5 or 6 countries in the world, having achieved this level of missile expertise, while 150 million souls in this land of the "Pure" barely get one decent meal, if at all. Where patients die like flies in our hospitals. Where schools exist only on paper. Where criminals and terrorists roam free. Where voices are hushed. Where unscrupulous people hijack the state and all its institutions taking advantage of our mass ignorance.
And look at India. Nearly a billion people in abject poverty, permanent bondage to a system which outcasts them and makes them untouchables. An India which is the global garbage dump, of human misery and exploitation.
This is a totally messed up and screwed up system. It is madness.
My apologies if I've offended some sensibilities and sensitivities or someone's sense of patriotism.
Certainly my patriotism isn't enhanced by adding another toy, when we are at the bottom of the dog pile in all our social indicators.
The day our green passport is looked at with dignity not because we are a nuclear state but because we are a nation where people's lives are safe and secure. Where equal opportunities of education, healthcare and access to employment are available to all, rich and poor, without discrimination or favour. Where we can live and walk and go about our lives without fear of life, hearth and home. Where the rich and the powerful criminals can be held accountable. This gives us pride.
I think this terrible arms race is totally senseless, completely useless and a total waste.
One would much rather these same scientists and engineers work on technologies and products which help us fight our greatest enemy. Poverty.
Poverty which leads to ignorance, which leads to intolerance which leads to violence and ultimately to terrorism.
*Remember our biggest enemy lies within us and its called an empty stomach*.
An empty stomach plus an empty mind and a life without hope, is your best recruiting poster for a terrorist.
No Babar or Ghaznavi or Ababeel can destroy that. Only social and economic well being can!