'Make Pakistan's nuclear development a greater international priority'

The US and Europe should work more closely to make Pakistan's nuclear weapons a greater international priority as their proliferation pose a major risk to global security, an American thinktank has suggested.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 23, 2014, 19:23 PM IST

Washington: The US and Europe should work more closely to make Pakistan's nuclear weapons a greater international priority as their proliferation pose a major risk to global security, an American thinktank has suggested.

"The United States and Europe should work more closely together to make Pakistan's nuclear development? specifically, its development of tactical nuclear weapons? a greater international priority," says the report 'A Transatlantic Pakistan Policy'.

"The proliferation of these weapons presents a significant risk to international security simply by the increased possibility of their loss, theft, sale, sabotage, or accidental use," says the report -- a collaboration between German Marshall Fund and Swedish Defence Research Agency(FOI).

The report, to be released tomorrow, has been authored by Dhruva Jaishankar, Andrew Small and Daniel Twining from German Marshall Fund, US, and John Rydqvist at FOI.

It provides recommendations to US and European officials to improve cooperation on policy towards Pakistan.

The report suggests the US and Europe need to clearly divide labour on counterterrorism issues, including a clear role for the EU.

A better understanding of the implications of Pakistan's continued support for militant proxies is needed, as well as efforts to deepen Afghan-Pak cooperation.

The transatlantic partners, additionally, can help to increase civilian role in law enforcement in Pakistan through training programmes and development assistance, which should be directed to resource-starved police, rather than military.

On civil-military relations and governance, the report notes that the US and Europe can focus their efforts on specific governance issues - such as energy and education.

"Western support could involve initiatives to empower parliamentary standing committees and the judiciary. Better efforts can be made to shape popular narratives by supporting and educating members of the media and reforming school curricula," it said.

The report recommends that the Pakistan government should be held accountable for human rights abuses by security forces or state-supported militias against religious and ethnic minorities, women, and other marginalised groups.

The US and Europe -- the largest providers of development assistance and export destinations -- have a role to play in transforming the parlous Pakistani economy, the report said.

This would involve embracing and cooperating with a new wave of regional infrastructure initiatives and economic institutions, often driven by Gulf States and China, it said.

"The US and Europe can also use their bilateral and multilateral economic leverage to advance efforts at regional integration and connectivity. And they can use the military withdrawal from Afghanistan to reorient the relationship around economics and investment, in order to help Pakistan realise its potential as an emerging market," the report said.