– New idea of halting militancy: UK’s Lord Gilbert suggests govt to drop neutron bomb on Pak-Afghan border (The News Tribe, Nov 23, 2012):
London: Britain’s House of Lords member Lord Gilbert on Friday advised his government to drop a neutron bomb in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in order to eliminate the safe heavens of militant outfits.
During a debate over eliminating nukes across the world, the member of the upper house of the UK’s parliament said that the borders could be made safe after dropping ERRB warheads commonly known as neutron bombs in the respective areas.
“Your Lordships may say that this is impractical, but nobody lives up in the mountains on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan except for a few goats and a handful of people herding them. If you told them that some ERRB warheads were going to be dropped there and that it would be a very unpleasant place to go, they would not go there. You would greatly reduce your problem of protecting those borders from infiltration from one side or another.”
According to reports, the members of the House of Lords were shocked after listening to an unexpected speech from Gilbert. The parliament members heavily criticized Gilbert and rejected his suggestion saying that it was not possible to drop a bomb in the Pak-Afghan border areas.
Labour former defence secretary Lord Browne of Ladyton rounded on Lord Gilbert over his remarks, accusing him of being at his “most challenging and contrarian”.
Cabinet Office spokesman Lord Wallace of Saltaire said the Government did not share Lord Gilbert’s “rumbustious” views on the sensitive issue. “The UK retains a firm commitment to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” he said. “Our aim is to build an international environment in which no state feels the need to possess nuclear weapons – an environment that will allow nuclear states to disarm in a balanced and verifiable manner.”
It is to be mentioned here that Taliban and al-Qaeda militants have been using the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan as safe heavens to launch attacks on US, Nato and Afghan forces in Afghanistan and on Pakistani law enforcing authorities inside Pakistan