‘Coercion cannot influence the behavior of a state that is determined to secure its national security interests’This was stated by General (r) Ehsanul Haq on Tuesday during his address at a book launch ceremony organised jointly by the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) and University of Lahore (UOL). The book titled ‘US Non-Proliferation Policy Towards Pakistan from Ford to Clinton’ was written by Dr Rabia Akhtar who is the head of department of the School of Integrated and Social Sciences and the founding director for the Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research at the University of Lahore.General (r) Ehsan said that the book highlighted the challenges that Pakistan had to overcome to address its security concerns. He said that the book addressed two important subjects; Pakistan’s nuclear journey and the Pak-US relationship during that time.He emphasised that Pakistan’s nuclear program was not prestige driven but was a manifestation of the security challenges posed by India. He also said that the country’s strategic community should talk on these issues to project Pakistan’s narrative.“Fortunately, in the evolving environment, Pakistan now has more strategic options, however, despite these strategic options Pakistan’s relationship with the US is indispensable,” said Ehsan. He added that the book exploreed the US non-proliferation policy towards Pakistan during the five United States (US) presidential administrations starting from Ford to Clinton administration. He stated that the US policy towards Pakistan’s nuclear program was not a non-proliferation failure but an enforcement failure. He said that during this time the US mantra was “roll back” but Pakistan succeeded in turning this around to a gradual acceptance of its stance by the US establishment.Speaking at the event, Dr David Holloway said that one of the prominent aspects of the book was that there were US policy priorities that took precedence over its non-proliferation policies. He said that book was based on extensive archival data from the US archives and there was limited or no access to the primary data from Pakistani side. He further said that Dr Rabia’s book was serious and passionate work on the Pak-US relations with reference to the US nuclear non-proliferation policy. He stated that the book was a great contribution to the understanding of the global nuclear order.Dr. Syed Rifaat Hussain, while reviewing the book, stated that by shifting non-proliferation goals and preferring foreign policy over the non-proliferation, US had created dilemmas that resulted in the ultimate failure of its nonproliferation policy. The US practiced double standards on nonproliferation by punishing Pakistan in South Asia, when India was being rewarded by the US in several similar instances. Resultantly, he said, that the US policy designed to stop Pakistan going nuclear ended up at achieving just the opposite.Dr Rabia Akhtar, the author of the book, stressed on the importance of declassified documents from the Pakistani side to provide the complete story of Pakistan’s grit and determination throughout its nuclear journey.Published in Daily Times, November 7th 2018.