While Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif assured visiting Saudi Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman on Sunday of “strong response” to threats to his country’s territorial integrity, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for resolving its crisis with Iran through diplomacy and offered Pakistan’s good offices in this regard.Yet the nuclear back up goes both ways in the Shia Sunni Forever War vis a vis Wahabbi Arabia versus Iran
The Saudi crown prince, whose visit came close on the heels of one by Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir, was reportedly in Islamabad to find out how Pakistan could militarily assist his country.
Although it is publicly unknown what the military has committed to the Saudis, Gen Sharif found it enough to say that the defence relationship with the country was held “in the highest esteem”.
Amid speculations on the matter, a government source was reported as saying that the military had committed deployment of troops in Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, both majority-Sunni, have their disagreements but are united in their fear of Iranian – that is, Shia – dominance in the Gulf region. Particularly worrying is the view of many in the spy business that Pakistan would quickly send a nuclear weapon to Riyadh if needed to deter Tehran.
It’s a poorly guarded secret that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, which came to fruition in 1998 with a successful nuclear bomb test, was partly funded by the Saudis, who wanted a Sunni Bomb. In exchange, Islamabad will come to Riyadh’s aid, even nuclear aid, in an hour of crisis. “If Tehran announces on a Monday that it has a nuke, the Saudis will ‘suddenly’ have one by Wednesday,” explained a Pentagon nuclear expert.
Just as worrisome is the reality of nuclear ties between Tehran and Pyongyang, which just conducted another major atomic weapons test to showcase its power. Iranian scientists have observed previous North Korean nuclear tests and a big question now facing the U.S. Intelligence Community is: Did any Iranians participate in the test last week?
It’s an alarming fact that Iran can get a nuclear weapon at any time from a single IL-76 cargo flight from North Korea – which may, or may not, be detected by Western intelligence.