Nuclear, Missile and Space Warfare: Q & A

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Salaam

This thread is for any questions that members may wish to ask about issues concerning ‘Nuclear, Missile and Space Warfare’ and any other relevant subject.

Could the Mods please pin it up.

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Salaam

There was talk relating to nuclear threshold in the ‘Pak-Afghanistan’ thread. It was suggested that Pakistan and India may use nuclear bombs to contaminate and lay-waste the food producing regions of each other, in case there is a nuclear exchange, to maximize the damage.

My understanding was that the fall-out from nuclear weapons is deadly to human life only for about 2-4 weeks {for the most elements, [iodine-131 (?)]}, and after a period of couple of months at most (for majority of the area) farming can be done. So how can the strategy suggested be of much use?

Another thing is that one of the reasons was that Pakistan does not posses sufficient nuclear weapons to level the better part of India and thus would resort to the aforementioned strategy. I thought we had sufficient weapons to ensure that India does not get up anytime soon. Do we not have sufficient weapons to do that? If not yet, how much longer before we are able to achieve a MAD situation with India (assuming India has the capability to completely destroy us)?

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Posted · Report post

Salaam

There was talk relating to nuclear threshold in the ‘Pak-Afghanistan’ thread. It was suggested that Pakistan and India may use nuclear bombs to contaminate and lay-waste the food producing regions of each other, in case there is a nuclear exchange, to maximize the damage.

My understanding was that the fall-out from nuclear weapons is deadly to human life only for about 2-4 weeks {for the most elements, [iodine-131 (?)]}, and after a period of couple of months at most (for majority of the area) farming can be done. So how can the strategy suggested be of much use?

Another thing is that one of the reasons was that Pakistan does not posses sufficient nuclear weapons to level the better part of India and thus would resort to the aforementioned strategy. I thought we had sufficient weapons to ensure that India does not get up anytime soon. Do we not have sufficient weapons to do that? If not yet, how much longer before we are able to achieve a MAD situation with India (assuming India has the capability to completely destroy us)?

I think we have achieved MAD otherwise Indians would have never toned down their language against Pakistan.

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Posted · Report post

It is even more then MAD scenario. A report said that if war happens and it moves nuclear then the whole world will not survive...

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By 2019 Pakistan will have fully deployed thermo-nuclear strategic deterent, based upon a triad ie all three strategic force commands will have been fully formed and matured. The doctrine of use has been thoroughly been wargamed, so the boffins have already worked out what is required to remove the adversery from the face of the earth.

(I know that is a terrible thing to say. But these weapons aren't toys, but assets that will ensure that if the fatherland does not survive. Neither will its attacker.)

Also we are very close to realising the space dream RSSS and PAKSAT-IR in effect our first spy satellite and communications platform, the latter will enable us to have thousands of secure telephone lins and data-uplink for the forces. Succesors to the first spy SAT will hopefully have space based SAR capability which is part of the JV signed with our Chinese friends regarding development of AWACS and other radars.

Also the SLV is in a very advanced stage, with first launch on the horizon, but some international forces are putting huge pressure on the new government, giving it all sorts of carrots to indefinatly postpone this programme. (They are doing the same regarrding the reactor research and the developed of Navy Strategic Force Command). the reason being the implications for our missile programme and the by product of a mother of all force multipliers.

In conclusion let me say we are well on our we have all these developments,infrastructure at Khushab etc we just to ride out a similar wave as in the eighties and use this time as before. As long as our western neighbour is in turmoil we are relatively well placed to achieve this.

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Posted · Report post

By 2019 Pakistan will have fully deployed thermo-nuclear strategic deterent, based upon a triad ie all three strategic force commands will have been fully formed and matured. The doctrine of use has been thoroughly been wargamed, so the boffins have already worked out what is required to remove the adversery from the face of the earth.

(I know that is a terrible thing to say. But these weapons aren't toys, but assets that will ensure that if the fatherland does not survive. Neither will its attacker.)

Also we are very close to realising the space dream RSSS and PAKSAT-IR in effect our first spy satellite and communications platform, the latter will enable us to have thousands of secure telephone lins and data-uplink for the forces. Succesors to the first spy SAT will hopefully have space based SAR capability which is part of the JV signed with our Chinese friends regarding development of AWACS and other radars.

Also the SLV is in a very advanced stage, with first launch on the horizon, but some international forces are putting huge pressure on the new government, giving it all sorts of carrots to indefinatly postpone this programme. (They are doing the same regarrding the reactor research and the developed of Navy Strategic Force Command). the reason being the implications for our missile programme and the by product of a mother of all force multipliers.

In conclusion let me say we are well on our we have all these developments,infrastructure at Khushab etc we just to ride out a similar wave as in the eighties and use this time as before. As long as our western neighbour is in turmoil we are relatively well placed to achieve this.

I like your last paragraph but must say that till date we havent been able to contain the blowback effect of turmoil in our western neighbuor. If we can find a way to do that it would be great.

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Posted · Report post

Salaam

Thank you everyone for the replies.

It is even more then MAD scenario. A report said that if war happens and it moves nuclear then the whole world will not survive...

Are you referring to the one where it is hypothesised that if Pakistan nukes India - India would nuke china as well, and China would nuke it’s enemies and so on and so forth?

I read a book on this subject - and it stated that, in case of Nuclear exchange between the Warsaw Pact and NATO, the Soviets were going to nuke all the cities with populations above 500,000, which included cities in Pakistan. So that after the war, whatever is left of the world, the countries that didn’t take part in the war are not able to dominate the world. That was based on the USSR’s doctrine in 1984 or something, Pakistan was mentioned by name in the book.

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Posted · Report post

Salaam

I think we have achieved MAD otherwise Indians would have never toned down their language against Pakistan.

I don’t think that is necessarily true - I mean the deduction. Take for instance, the case of North Korea and the US; NK hasn’t achieved MAD or anything close, but they are capable of (or might be) able to reach a city or so with one of their devises and that is sufficient to keep the Americans from attacking them - unless things went really bad.

I am saying that Pakistan has not achieved MAD in relation to India, rather the line of reasoning you’ve used is something I think could be viewed differently.

By 2019 Pakistan will have fully deployed thermo-nuclear strategic deterent, based upon a triad ie all three strategic force commands will have been fully formed and matured. The doctrine of use has been thoroughly been wargamed, so the boffins have already worked out what is required to remove the adversery from the face of the earth.

(I know that is a terrible thing to say. But these weapons aren't toys, but assets that will ensure that if the fatherland does not survive. Neither will its attacker.)

Rafi sahib, do you mean H-bombs would have been developed, tested, produced and deployed by 2019?

Is this mature deterrent to be taken in context of India OR any possible future threat?

Also we are very close to realising the space dream RSSS and PAKSAT-IR in effect our first spy satellite and communications platform, the latter will enable us to have thousands of secure telephone lins and data-uplink for the forces. Succesors to the first spy SAT will hopefully have space based SAR capability which is part of the JV signed with our Chinese friends regarding development of AWACS and other radars.

Also the SLV is in a very advanced stage, with first launch on the horizon, but some international forces are putting huge pressure on the new government, giving it all sorts of carrots to indefinatly postpone this programme. (They are doing the same regarrding the reactor research and the developed of Navy Strategic Force Command). the reason being the implications for our missile programme and the by product of a mother of all force multipliers.

In conclusion let me say we are well on our we have all these developments,infrastructure at Khushab etc we just to ride out a similar wave as in the eighties and use this time as before. As long as our western neighbour is in turmoil we are relatively well placed to achieve this.

Does our civilian government have the power (note power not authority) to postpone our military developments e.g. SLV etc? I take it that you consider the current situation a sort of a blessing in disguise (provided things don’t go really bad - like US invades us or something along similar lines).

Also, when you refer to Navy Strategic Force Command - do you mean the second strike capability? Our Sub-Launched nuclear capability at the moment is quiet limited to the range of our cruise missiles. I heard Pakistan might be working (in the long term) on developing a nuclear power plant for submarines. Now that would really enhance our capabilities.

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Posted · Report post

What about Anti Satellite weapons ?? Lasers i suppose ?

India has a very effective array of Satellites functional at the moment, has there been any development on that front ??

Research on Lasers are being carried out im sure, but any deployable or near deployable weapon on the horizon ?? (like atleast disabling or damaging a Satellite's optronics by a high powered beam) ??

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Posted · Report post

Salaam

What about Anti Satellite weapons ?? Lasers i suppose ?

India has a very effective array of Satellites functional at the moment, has there been any development on that front ??

Research on Lasers are being carried out im sure, but any deployable or near deployable weapon on the horizon ?? (like atleast disabling or damaging a Satellite's optronics by a high powered beam) ??

I think using nuclear tipped missiles could do the trick but I doubt we'd be able to use anything like that in a war with India (unless it's the last one) and I doubt we have something prepared for that kind of stuff.

The fact is that we have more pressing concerns and limited resources therefore we have to prioritise. I don't think ASAT weapons are going to be very high on that list.

I think China tested one recently, but I do not think it is something we might be able to get our hands on.

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Posted · Report post

@Rafi

I was of the opinion that Paksat-1R is schedule to replace Paksat-1 in 2010. Is there any change in the plan to launch Paksat-1R sooner than 2010?

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Posted · Report post

Salaam

There was talk relating to nuclear threshold in the ‘Pak-Afghanistan’ thread. It was suggested that Pakistan and India may use nuclear bombs to contaminate and lay-waste the food producing regions of each other, in case there is a nuclear exchange, to maximize the damage.

My understanding was that the fall-out from nuclear weapons is deadly to human life only for about 2-4 weeks {for the most elements, [iodine-131 (?)]}, and after a period of couple of months at most (for majority of the area) farming can be done. So how can the strategy suggested be of much use?

Another thing is that one of the reasons was that Pakistan does not posses sufficient nuclear weapons to level the better part of India and thus would resort to the aforementioned strategy. I thought we had sufficient weapons to ensure that India does not get up anytime soon. Do we not have sufficient weapons to do that? If not yet, how much longer before we are able to achieve a MAD situation with India (assuming India has the capability to completely destroy us)?

A useful rule-of-thumb is the "rule of sevens". This rule states that for every seven-fold increase in time following a fission detonation (starting at or after 1 hour), the radiation intensity decreases by a factor of 10. Thus after 7 hours, the residual fission radioactivity declines 90%, to one-tenth its level of 1 hour. After 7*7 hours (49 hours, approx. 2 days), the level drops again by 90%. After 7*2 days (2 weeks) it drops a further 90%; and so on for 14 weeks. The rule is accurate to 25% for the first two weeks, and is accurate to a factor of two for the first six months. After 6 months, the rate of decline becomes much more rapid. The rule of sevens corresponds to an approximate t^-1.2 scaling relationship

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Nwfaq/Nfaq5.html

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Posted · Report post

Ok gentlemen I will try to answer as much as is possible, by reffering to thermo nuclear I'm talking about strategic weapons, if you want H-bombs - city killers. And the detterent has an indian strategic orientation no doubt but I repeat the detterence is purely devensive to ensure the survival of Pakistan, ie if we are to go down, we will take our attackers with us. no more, no less. Against all threats to the previous statement

Take what you want from that statement.

Although the civilian government does not manage any of our strategic programmes directly, they have influence in funding, which if cut can stunt the growth of these programmes. The international community because of WOT cannot afford to put the screws on at the moment. Similar to the Eighties in that fact.

By simply setting up a NSFC your intentions for a second strike capacity are flag-poled, there are alot of things going on, remember the test fire of Babur we caught the whole world with their trousers down, hopefully we can do that again.

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@Rafi

I was of the opinion that Paksat-1R is schedule to replace Paksat-1 in 2010. Is there any change in the plan to launch Paksat-1R sooner than 2010?

The programme is on its way, but like any project can be delayed etc, PAKSAT-IR will be different in the sense it will be to designed to our specifications it will be the first but definatly would not be the last. :)

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Posted · Report post

Rafi...will Pakistan have multiple space-ports...for example have a couple of exclusively civilian & commercial purposes while one for classified military projects? It would help clear clogs and make Pakistan attractive for private companies to launch their satellites?

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Salaam

yes thats what i am saying

For weapons with yields of 100 kt or less, the fireball does not rise abve the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere . so all of this fallout will be brought to the ground by weather processes . if the weapon is in megaton range, the fireball rises so high that it enters the stratosphere( ie just the troposphere/lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere ). The stratosphere is dry, and no weather processes exist there to bring fallout down quickly. few small fallout particles might descend over a period of months but this long-delayed fallout woll loose most of its hazard by the time it comes down. As yields increase above 100 kt, more and more of the total fallout is injected into the stratosphere and this is one of the reasons why most of the Mt got replaced

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Jawad sahib, thank you for clarifying, but could you also clarify the highlighted part.

I understood from your post that for Mt + weapons the fallout rises above the layer of the atmosphere where most of the weather process occurs and thus the fallout usually would come after much time, and by then most of the hazard would have been lost. With sub-Mt (and 100 Kt +) weapons the fallout goes into the atmospheric layer where it can be carried around the globe (I’m assuming that is what makes it more hazardous).

However, at the end you said that this is (one of) the reason why Mt weapons were replaced - why would a country want to use weapons that may bring fallout to it’s own country instead of keeping it close to area where the bomb was used OR if the fallout spreads out then it should come so late that its ‘hazard-ness’ has been reduced significantly. I mean to say if Mt+ weapons or sub 100 Kt weapons are less hazardous interms of fallout reaching further away from the target, then why would countries faze out Mt+ weapons in favour of 100 Kt weapons?

Please do forgive my ignorance.

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Rafi...will Pakistan have multiple space-ports...for example have a couple of exclusively civilian & commercial purposes while one for classified military projects? It would help clear clogs and make Pakistan attractive for private companies to launch their satellites?

Faisal bro, the space program as it matures will divurge and you will see development of commercial satellites for communication, internet & broadcasting, and a classified part which will be more murky & mysterious (like our nuke program, with IAEA safeguarded reactors and the weapon programme) You have to realise with PAKSAT-IR our netcentric capability will recieve a huge strid. It will have circuits for thousands of encrypted telephone lines, and allow a military based intranet system, which allow for national command nodes, to give higher command authorities much information and allow setting up of tri-service based operational centres.

As for the earth observation satellite, I know that the top brass are very imterested in synthetic aperture radar, which the next models of RSSS will employ ie we will have exact locations for the enemy in all weather conditions, even heavy cloud cover.

Be proud, Be Very Proud.

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I learned somewhere that the spaces for new satellites are getting far and few. Do we have a spot or an orbit reserved to park these satellites?

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I have been told by some very reliable sources in Pakistan Army that the current Government on the orders of Zardari has cut funding for the Missile development . If true, then Zardari is clearly working with US and India.

Please confirm if you have heard such news as well.

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I have been told by some very reliable sources in Pakistan Army that the current Government on the orders of Zardari has cut funding for the Missile development . If true, then Zardari is clearly working with US and India.

Please confirm if you have heard such news as well.

If this is the case then I sincerely hope PM mentions this when it comes to his defence - it may enlighted the masses about who has pakistans security and best interests at heart.

In addition to the above, I would also be grateful if the next test could 'accidentally on purpose' destroy zardari house, hopefully with all the monarchy present.

ndad

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I have been told by some very reliable sources in Pakistan Army that the current Government on the orders of Zardari has cut funding for the Missile development . If true, then Zardari is clearly working with US and India.

Please confirm if you have heard such news as well.

Actually, I read an article by Shireen Mazari last week in which she mentioned that the Fed. Gov. is cutting back funds for missile and nuclear technology R&D.

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A deliberate capitulation to the US

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Shireen M Mazari

Despite numerous hiccups and tactical errors such as the sending of our old centrifuges to the IAEA, successive governments of Pakistan stood their ground on the nuclear issue – especially in terms of protecting our nuclear capability's interests. For the first time we have now chosen to surrender on this count – for that is what happened on August 1, 2008, in the IAEA board of governors meeting where Pakistan showed its pusillanimity and abandoned its policy of at least seeking a vote in this body on the IAEA-India safeguards.

This is clearly a first in our soon to be many compromises on the nuclear issue. A similar surrender in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on the Fissile Material Cut off Treaty (FMCT) will be next. So far we have been holding out against the US draft, supported by India, which contravenes the international consensus on the FMCT (as discussed in earlier columns) reflected in the Shannon Report of March 1995 and in UN General Assembly Resolution 48/75L. But now we should brace ourselves for the inevitable compromise if the prevailing decision makers and their advisers continue on their path of making Pakistan a loyal satellite state of the US.

The game plan that some of us had been pointing to for some time now has become abundantly overt. This plan rests on a three-pronged strategy at the macro level, with many off shoots at the micro level: one, weakening key state institutions and keeping the subjugated ones in that position with perhaps a facade of compromise if required; two, of aggravating the law and order situation beyond the tribal belt; and, three, of gradually and piecemeal compromising on our nuclear capability so that eventually the stability and credibility of the deterrence is destroyed which would then make it easier to rollback the whole programme.

Some of these strategies were being operationalised before February 2008, but clearly the Americans felt a double game was going on by the Pakistanis to preserve their national interests and hence the search for more reliable political partners. Certainly, Ms Bhutto on her return, albeit via the NRO, sensed the national mood and was embracing it as reflected in her visit to the Judges Colony and her commitment to the restoration of the deposed Supreme Court judges. Her tragic assassination not only traumatised the whole nation regardless of their politics, but it inflicted on this hapless nation a design for its destruction – not so much physically, although that may happen also if the US plan for balkanisation comes through in this region, but in terms of it being handed over to the US as a loyal satellite.

So let us see how the three-pronged strategy of the present rulers is being worked out. On the judicial issue, we now have the official statement of the law minister asking the deposed judges to take a fresh oath if they wish to resume their duties alongside the PCO judges. So much for the nation's struggle for an independent judiciary. But that would be awkward for the rulers, both past and present, as well as the US, especially on the issue of the countless Pakistanis who have disappeared with many having been handed over to the US. Also, an independent judiciary offers protection against the ills of rulers and the NRO could also have become a point of judicial controversy. So, at best the judiciary can be allowed a veneer of independence – nothing robust or proactive.

As for weakening the existing strong state institutions, the case of the ISI is the most blatant one, although the army has been targeted also – despite the delinkage between the presidency and the military. Of course, the ISI has its share of negatives but if the rulers – one cannot use the word government here because one of the main rulers is outside of the government – really wanted to rectify the aberrations within this institution, they would have simply delinked the Internal Wing, which has been used by so many for internal political machinations. Instead, by seeking to put it under the Interior unelected adviser, more political fangs were being sought and, undoubtedly, as is happening elsewhere, the organisation would have been packed with "loyalists". Worse still, by now creating ambiguity of where the civilian control of the ISI rests – since the old order has not been formally rescinded – uncertainty is being created which will impact the external functioning of the ISI while its controversial internal functions will increase rather than abate. Interestingly, it should be recalled that Rehman Malik and his UK-based security setup had close links with British intelligence.

Why target the ISI at this time and in this particular fashion? Clearly, this is a well-planned campaign being conducted in collusion with the US and India, with Karzai offering ground support. The US has strong reasons for targeting the military in general and the ISI in particular since it has been evident for some time that they were not falling in line with US demands and policy imperatives. That the CIA and ISI worked together since the first Afghan venture is now history. It would appear that the CIA wanted to continue in that fashion but some of its policies were threatening Pakistan directly such as seeking to stir up trouble in the settled areas of Pukhtunkhwa province. A look at the Serena Hotel, Swat's guest book for the last two years will reveal interesting information especially regarding the Americans who visited there dressed as locals, speaking Pushto (a point that had been made in an earlier column), and were in touch with Fazlullah. According to official sources, militants in Swat even today are getting foreign funding and, even though foreign militants were eliminated during the first phase of the military operation in Swat, there is again a presence of foreign militants in the area.

It would seem the ISI was finally uncomfortable with some of the CIA goings on in Pakistan and was also up in arms against the new US ally in the region, India, so it had to be pilloried and undermined. Also, the increasing evidence that the US is using the Shamsi base against Iran, a friendly neighbour with whom we have no quarrel or conflict, could not be ignored. The ISI was also seeking to make more public the Indian ingresses into Balochistan and FATA and the continuing acceptance by the US and Karzai of terrorist groups operating in Balochistan from Kabul. So, all in all, the time was considered right to target the ISI – especially given the assumption that internally also some would welcome this given the disinformation and political history of this organisation. Of course, the fact that the ISI has a critical external role was not a concern for the rulers – in fact, that is the role that they along with the US were seeking to undermine in any case.

Perhaps it is time for the real US agenda within Pakistan to be revealed, especially their efforts to aid and abet extremism and militancy; and here the first and second prongs of their strategy coincide. We seem to have forgotten that the US first turned against the Taliban only when they rejected the UNOCAL oil deal in 1998, so if the ISI is guilty of having links with Taliban remnants, so is the CIA. Only the ISI won't play ball with the CIA anymore and that is not acceptable to the US!

Finally, in terms of a phased surrender on the nuclear issue, along with the external dynamics there is a policy to undermine the development of our technical capabilities. According to a recent news report (The News, August 3, 2008), the government has decided to cut down funds for defence-related organisations under the Strategic Plans Division. Specifically, the cuts will be imposed on scientific research and development organisations and their personnel, so that will directly hit our future R&D in sensitive hi tech areas. If the state is short of funds, surely more useful cuts could be made in the general bureaucracy – both civil and military – as well as in the spendings of the prime minister, ministers and the presidency. Why hire ambassadors at large, resuscitate old bureaucrats and hire private planes for ministers when austerity is so essential?

Undermining our strategic R&D, and making it less attractive for the best to enter this field in the future, is part of a sinister design. We are finally on the path of being delivered to the US as a defanged and loyal satellite.

The writer is a defence analyst. Email: callstr@hotmail.com

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=128449

P.S: I urge everyone to do their part and spread the news like wildfire, expose these rats for who they really are. Please do not let this one slide, we have to do something.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Saad, this is the same article I mentioned in my previous post.

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Posted · Report post

I have been told by some very reliable sources in Pakistan Army that the current Government on the orders of Zardari has cut funding for the Missile development . If true, then Zardari is clearly working with US and India.

Please confirm if you have heard such news as well.

salaams,

if this news is true, which unfortunately it seems to be, then what are the appropriate authorities doing about it??? i mean seriously!! is the isi/military planning any kind of move to defend themselves and the sovereignty of our country. i am usually not prone to the usual conspiracy theory bs but the entire situation is getting frightening with news from multiple sources. these ******* "democrats" are in cahoots with the enemies of pakistan who we all know. honestly, does anyone with anytype of inside knowledge know if the military/isi just sleeping and not interfering or are they planning something to defend our country!!!?????: pshamim sahib, anyone??

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