Those who are awake to the ground reality of Indias inveterate hostility towards Pakistan that has not mellowed down over the past 63 years of the two countries existence and even the man in the street is conscious of it must feel surprised at the manner in which Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour (ANP) has found fault with Pakistans successful effort to become a nuclear power. But then one must keep in mind the historical antecedents of the ANP that reek of rank antipathy towards the creation of a separate state for the Muslims of the subcontinent, and unmistakably demonstrate an all-out friendly feelings towards New Delhi. Understandably, that background makes Mr Bilour overlook the fact that it was first India that had exploded a nuclear device in 1974, deceptively terming it a peaceful explosion and sacrilegiously codenaming it Buddha is smiling. That had sent a warning signal to Islamabad about the real intentions of New Delhi that found expression in the nuclear tests in 1998. Had Mr Bhutto not reacted with the determination, symbolised by the declaration about eating grass, if necessary, to make an atomic bomb, Pakistan would have now been a vassal state of India, which would have exercised untrammelled hegemony over the subcontinent. It should not have been too difficult for Mr Bilour or, for that matter, anyone else with the slightest political sense to have reached that conclusion. To think that nations wealth was first wasted on making nuclear bomb, and that that mistake today stands compounded with the continued expenditure on maintaining the arsenal, is anything but logical. It helps preserve our independence in the face of New Delhis ambitions of overlordship of the region that are no secret. Its smaller neighbours have, at one time or another, had the experience of its coercive attempts at whittling down their sovereignty. Mr Bilours view that wars are no solution to disputes and that the neighbours should have good relations between them is, no doubt, unexceptionable. But he conveniently ignores the condition that it takes two to tango. And the other partner is disinclined to take part. His lament that there is no other country in the world that is steeped in debt, yet has made the deadly weapon is questionable in the sense that the most developed countries, loaded with nuclear arsenal, are debt-ridden. In fact, debts, as long as they are used for productive purposes, pay off well and are thus considered an essential tool of development; the trouble begins when they are used by the ruling classes to live a life of luxury and self-enrichment. And for that Mr Bilour cannot absolve himself from the guilt being part of the federal coalition reputed for an unquenchable thirst for loans spent on non-development purposes. This practice is one reason for ruining the economy, making for joblessness he complains of.