Lately there has been some criticism of Pakistan going nuclear. These self-styled nuclear experts expounding unrealistic anti-nuclear Pakistan theories should know that Pakistan's security measures are India oriented and so also vice versa. India is a bigger country, more than five times the size of Pakistan, with its armed forces outnumbering those of Pakistan in the same proportion and this disproportion in numbers with the passage of time is increasing. Indian forces are also better equipped with more modern and sophisticated weapons than their Pakistani counterparts. With all this superiority in their favour, yet India's defence strategy basically revolves around Pakistan. This Indian attitude is nothing new, history bears it out that relations between the majority and minority community (Muslims) in the subcontinent had never been cordial. The majority community that is now Hindu-Bharat never accepted Muslims as members of India and made quite a few attempts to obliterate them militarily. They openly threatened the Muslims to throw them out into the Indian Ocean. But they failed. On partition of the subcontinent Nehru-Mountbatten nexus tried all underhand methods to stifle Pakistan at its very birth. But they failed again. Indians never accepted the creation of Pakistan. After independence India reverted to the same old naked military adventures: same strong-arm tactics. Fought three wars and eventually in December 1971 India succeeded and inflicted an ignorable defect on Pakistan when General Niazi surrendered to the Indian armed might in Dacca. These are historical facts and instead of hiding behind lame excuses we should admit our failures and learn lessons for the future. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did that. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was fully conscious of the historical and traditional Hindu ambition to wipe out the Muslims, bitterness on the creation of Pakistan and finally breaking of the taboo of the invincibility of the Muslims in their rout in East Pakistan. With his foresight he saw through the Indian belligerency a constant lurking danger to the security of Pakistan. Wars fought with India after independence convinced him that with the existing disparity between the armed forces of the two countries, which is bound to increase further with the passage of time, Pakistan is not likely to withstand the aggressive onslaught of India in a conventional war. Experience also showed that no country physically comes to help you on the actual battlefield. China a very reliable and old friend, which is always ready to help Pakistan in providing advanced military equipment and technology but could not physically help Pakistan, when in dire need. So was Saudi Arabia, US - the so-called most allied ally - only talked about the 6th Fleet, which never appeared in the Bay of Bengal, when Pakistan needed it most at the time of crisis to save East Pakistan. Pakistan is also short of resources, there is never enough money to buy weapons in the open market and on top of it no country is even willing to sell military equipment to Pakistan. What then? Stop the enemy from getting into that posture of aggression But how? Bhutto had the answer; Pakistan to go nuclear. This was the only way to deter a powerful, hostile and aggressive India from casting an evil eye on Pakistan. He sowed the seeds for Pakistan to be nuclear. Bhutto knew that it is a costly affair but he was also convinced that it was inevitable for the sovereignty, independence and honourable existence of the country. In fact the very basis was the existence of Pakistan. He indirectly warned the nation of the likely money crunch of the cost of their existence when he said: "We will eat grass but will produce the bomb" or words to that effect. Bhutto laid the foundations and later hired Dr A Q Khan with a mandate. "Beg, borrow or steal; I want you to procure the bomb". Dr. Khan and his team of scientist delivered the goods. The Indians were working to go nuclear since long and then in early May 1998 exploded three devices and called them Smiling Budha. This was a signal for public and private aggressive rhetoric against Pakistan. Threatening, intimidating and even abusive language was used to browbeat Pakistan. The Indian posture became alarming and so aggressive that within three days Pakistan was demoralised and felt insecure. Pakistan was forced to show its hand and Nawaz Sharif on May 28, 1998 ordered detonation of Pakistan's nuclear devices. Chagai Hills were reverberated and lit up with fine blasts one after the other. Pakistan's five blasts against India's three Smiling Budhas silenced all aggressive and threatening Indian rhetoric. Bhutto paid with his life for the bomb. Credit also to all successive governments, democratic and military for resisting tremendous pressures and warnings of sanctions from the UN particularly America to wrap-up the project. It was an unprecedented phenomenon of uniformity on any project by the five successive governments, a rare happening in Pakistan's political history that proves the importance of the project and the inevitability of the bomb for the defence of the country. The bomb became a reality on May 28, 1998. UN imposed sanctions and Pakistan was isolated. The nation stood as one and braved all hardships with courage and determination. Kunwar Idris, a senior retired bureaucrat and now a critic and an analyst who is anti-nuclear Pakistan, in one of his articles a few days back tacitly admitted the value of the bomb when he wrote: "Surely neither side (Indian and Pakistan) would like to see Delhi and Lahore reduced to rubble and a million killed or crippled for generations." This is the deterring result of the nuclear bomb that Pakistan achieved. Bomb needs a suitable vehicle with appropriate range and precise accuracy to deliver it to the target. Call it nuke or missile. India may have more bombs than Pakistan but Pakistan is more advanced in missiles technology and its production and with this missile's force Pakistan can reach all possible targets in India with foolproof accuracy. India knows it. It has therefore now adopted means other than overt naked aggression like diversion of water from rivers like Chenab to strangulate Pakistan economically and covert subversion into FATA and Waziristan through its consulates in Afghanistan and infiltration into Balochistan. The bomb is serving its purpose. Some of the anti-nuclear lobbyists propose that the money spent on bomb could have been better utilised in bettering the lot of the poor. Bettering lot of the poor is a laudable idea but within the resources available and not at the cost of country's honour and sovereignty. These friends of the poor are those with no regard to self-respect and honour. National sovereignty is a great thing, it has no price tag, nations sometimes had to undergo tremendous hardships and deprivations to preserve their honour and self-respect. Shaheed Tipu Sultan once said: "One day's life of honour is better than a thousand years life of ignomy" or words to that effect. What good would be for Pakistan to exist under the bayonets of India and their hegemony? Won't it be better for Pakistan's to starve rather than be serfs to the Indians In any case these friends of the under-privileged should be asked to tell us speaking honestly, only one good act that they did through the last week to alleviate the sufferings of those whose cause they pretend to promote. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy is one of the most vocal critic of Nuclear Pakistan, its need and utility. According to him: "Nuclear weapons, in our situation, are not an asset as it is generally said but a liability." One may ask the Doctor if he had ever analysed "our situation." "Our situation" before and after the advent of the bomb present two different scenarios. Before the bomb: three conventional wars. Sir Creek escapades, occupation of Siachin glacier, frequent moving of troops to borders to intimidate, dismemberment of the country were common features of Indian tactics. For the last two decays since Pakistan went nuclear India has been restrained, the right word would be deterred for taking such steps. Dr Hoodbhoy please do tell us with the hand on your heart, if "nuclear weapons are an asset or a liability" in the case of Pakistan? The American views about nuclear Pakistan as expressed by Hillary Clinton that "a nuclear Pakistan is a mortal threat to international security" is not new. Americans had been anti-nuclear Pakistan from the day one when Bhutto laid foundations of the nuclear programme. It is high time that we stop worrying about the "fears" of others and concentrate on what is good for us and Pakistan. "Mortal" or immortal "international threat" is their problem, let them sort it out, we would sit pretty with the bomb. Pakistan is a nuclear country. The bomb has beyond any doubt, proved its deterrent prowess for Pakistan. These are the two fundamental facts we Pakistanis must bear in mind when talking about Pakistan and the well being of its people. Pakistan and the bomb are inseparable, it must be understood that no matter what the pressures, no individual or government dare to undo what had already been achieved - nuclear Pakistan. It is no point basing one's rhetoric on half-baked hearsay information about the bomb, its deployment, potential targets in enemy land and the reach and accuracy of the vehicles that may carry it. It is time that with this inadequate knowledge we shut up and stop targeting nuclear Pakistan and instead pay our attention to the more pressing problems facing the country today. God bless nuclear Pakistan. The writer is a former ADC to the Quaid-i-Azam