Friday, October 29, 2010




The National Olympics Committee says that the 'B' sample test of boxing champ Manju Wanniarachchi, alleged to have taken the banned substance Nandrolone, will be held on November 2.
Manju won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games held recently in New Delhi, India but there were reports that he had taken the banned substance.
Meanwhile, the National Olympics Committee (NOC) has said that Manju's win has been temporarily suspended.
The NOC had requested for a 'B' sample test to be carried out on Manju Wanniarachchi, who bagged the gold medal in the Men's 56 kilogram Bantam Weight boxing event at the Commonwealth Games.
Therefore, the NOC had stated that the 'B' sample test would be conducted in the Indian capial New Delhi on the 2nd of next month.
The NOC further added that a three-member team representing Sri Lanka would accompany Manju Wanniarachchi for the test, which would be held at the Indian Anti Doping Agency.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nuclear myths and realities

Nuclear myths and realities
Special feature

The Eighth Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, held in May 10, was talk of the town for at least a month. To meet a statutory requirement, 189 signatory states
to t
he Treaty meet every five years for such review conferences. Three out of previous seven gatherings failed to produce a declaration, including the last one held in 2005. The only countries which are not NPT members, are India, Israel and Pakistan, while North Korea withdrew from the Treaty seven years ago to pursue its nuclear weapons programme.
f these four, three are declared nuclear weapon states, whereas Israel has an unacknowledged
nuclear arsenal
. NPT is the world's single most important pact on nuclear arms, credited with
reventing its spread to dozens of nations since entering into force in 1970. However, some
tellectuals assert that the NPT managers have instigated major nuclear weapons drives through
apartheid like selectivity, while implementing otherwise straight forward and innocently worded
Treaty provisions. In this context, the UN conference's Filipino president had put the marathon
event in an interesting perspective. Ambassador Libran N Caba-ctulan said: "It's like a
recommitment of marriage vows to the Treaty, as the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament, non-
roliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy."
reover, one school of thought is portraying the NPT review conference akin to "nuclear
Copenhagen." It is of the opinion that as in case of the climate summit, it calls for complex trade-
ffs. The eventual outcome may mean different things to different interest groups. And, like the
climate conference, the failure may not be acknowledged; it may even be projected as a major

The NPT may not be in a serious danger of implosion. Its signatories extended its life indefinitely
1995; however, the underlying bargaining cornerstones, which prompted this extension, are
ng way. The bargain hinged on two pillars viz the nuclear weapon states would disarm and
share their technology for peaceful purposes; and in return, the non-nuclear weapon states would
not try to acquire nu
clear weapons. Since 15 years, these utopian promises by the 'nuclear haves'
have had the 'have-nots' chase a wild goose.
Nevertheless, the NPT is haunted by various structural dysfunctions. Despite the glaring realities
the emergence of neo-nuclear weapon states, Treaty managers are bent upon following an
h like approach and continue to treat these states as NNWS. One wonders how keeping these states out of NPT could ensure an effective non-proliferation.
The Treaty
is constructed on three pillars that are non-proliferation, disarmament and the right to                                        
peaceful use of
nuclear energy. Strengthening, as indeed erosion, of these pillars has been in a roller coaster fashion; often analogous to one-step forward and two backwards. This pattern has contributed towards phenomenal snowballing of trust deficit between the nuclear haves and have-
nots. Thus, the basic role of the Treaty is to inhibit the multiplication of nuclear weapons. It has neither prevented horizontal, nor vertical proliferation. Nuclear weapon states continue to give
e-eminence to their nuclear capabilities in their national security calculus and have been
engaged in continuous up gradation of their arsenals.
Likewise, disarmament has remained a far cry. Stocks of most of the NWS continue to be
shrouded in mystery. This coupled with the ambiguity-clad nuclear doctrines of some of these
states have created a sense of perpetual insecurity among other states. The NWS are yet to
comply with their obligations under Article VI of the Treaty towards disarmament. At best all
y have done so far is cosmetic actions of making some weapons non-operational and placing
them in
semi-storage status; from where these could be brought to operational status whenever
The timeframes specified for the lackluster effort of making such weapons inoperative is
inordinately long, often leaving room for afterthought triggered evasive manoeuvres.
Unfortunately, the showcasing steps during the last month have also not transcended the cosmetic
strata. This perennial attitude has indeed encouraged the emergence of an alternative
, yet
approach towards disarmament. The Tehran Conference on Disarmament and Non-
roliferation is a glaring manifestation of a paradigm shift in the nuclear voice of the
ispossessed ones to affect the disarmament speedily and across the board. It is expected that
nless there is a conceptual change in the attitude and behaviour of NWS, the Tehran voice
would soon attract universal acceptance.
The third pillar of the Treaty states that the non-nuclear states would have the inalienable right to
ful uses of nuclear energy. However, nuclear weapon states are selective in allowing access
to the e
xpertise pertaining civil application of nuclear technology. It is amazing to see how the
floodgates of nuclear facilitation have been opened for India, a non-signatory to NPT, and at the
same time how Iran, a member of NPT, is being denied access to peaceful levels of fuel cycle.
, the NWS are shy of giving unrestricted access to nuclear energy capability to Pakistan,
en under IAEA safeguards. Certainly, the universal acceptance of non-proliferation is being
eriously compromised by this approach of selectivity.
It is a fact that although considerable efforts have been made to strengthen the IAEA, this
institution has not been able to establish its credibility as an independent and impartial entity.
urther strengthening of IAEA needs to proceed alongside boosting its credibility. Setting up of a
nuclear fuel bank at Angarsk, under the IAEA umbrella, is a welcome step. Hopefully, all NNWS                          
would have inalienable right to buy such fuel. But any attempt to induce selectivity would
encourage proliferation. Probably, North Korea could have been engage in a constructive way to prevent its departure from the NPT under Article X. Unfortunately, the same mistake is being repeated by pushing Iran against the wall. At the same time, Israel's ambiguous nuclear status will have implications. Middle Eastern countries backed indefinite extension of NPT in
exchange for a resolution for making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. This implied
denuclearisation of Israel. Even after the lapse so many years, no practical steps have been taken in      
this regard.
Non-nuclear weapon states have been yearning to accrue negative security assurances from the
lear weapon states. Recent initiatives by the US during its Nuclear Posture Review and by its
igning of protocols to some of the nuclear weapon free zones' agreements are steps in the right
ction, other. NWS should follow the suit, but without making exceptions.
From Pakistan's perspective, the NPT is a flawed Treaty. In the past we have faced pressures to
n the Treaty as a NNWS. Such an expectation is not tenable. The Treaty is unlikely to be
evised to accommodate the new nuclear capable states. As such these sates may remain outside
he NPT.
It would be in the fitness of things to absorb all states into the NPT, on the basis of their present
status, and then proceed towards equity based non-proliferation, nuclear security, safety and
rmament campaigns. The well-wishers of global zero expect that prudence would prevail and effort would be made to
enable NPT shed its image of an agent of nuclear apartheid. Likewise, the IAEA has to go a long
to wash off its image that it earned during the days of farce handling of Iraq's WMD issue,
and recently by making country specific exceptions to kick start US-India nuclear deal; whereby
ht Indian reactors have been left out of IAEA safeguards for churning out weapon grade fissile
The     writer      IS          a      retired      air      commodore       of the           Pakistan      Air      Force.