The Baloch American Congress (BAC) has asked the U.S. government to tie any future aid to Pakistan with rollback of its nuclear weapons program.
In a statement Friday on the 23rd anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests in Balochistan, BAC president Dr Tara Chand said, “Pakistan army shamelessly marks May 28 as a ‘Day of Greatness,’ but the Baloch rightfully observe it as a ‘Black Day,’ as the nuclear fallout will continue to negatively impact the environment in Balochistan for centuries to come.”
He said geologists believe the tests not only caused a decline in ground water level, but that nuclear radiation has contaminated both surface and ground water. “According to reports, inhabitants of the Chagai area, where the tests were conducted, are plagued with unexplained, serious diseases to this day. At the time, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission was banned from conducting any environmental impact assessment of the nuclear tests. Independents experts were never allowed access to the area to conduct research on the nuclear fallout,” he lamented.
He said alarm bells had rung all over the world when the so-called ‘father of Islamic bomb,’ Dr A.Q. Khan, was found involved in an international smuggling racket to supply nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, but the culprit was never punished.
“Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing nuclear weapons stockpiles. As long as Pakistan does not face any penalty, it will continue with its dangerous nuclear ambitions. The U.S. cannot look the other way to the danger Pakistan poses to peace and security in the world,” he said.
He warned Pakistan’s military, which calls the shots in the country, is highly unreliable as it considers religious extremists its closest ally.
He said the Pakistani establishment is today dangling its nuclear weapons in the face of the world to blackmail and silence the international community on its gross human rights violations in Balochistan.
Dr Tara Chand, who was a government minister when the tests were conducted, recalled that the government of Balochistan at the time was dismissed when it protested against the nuclear tests.