A British Lord has been condemned by fellow lawmakers for proposing the Pakistan-Afghanistan border be nuked with neutron bombs in order to control Islamic militants in the region.
Lord Gilbert, aka Life Peer Baron Gilbert, made the comments during an upper house debate on Friday over nuclear disarmament.
“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,” Lord Gilbert was quoted as saying. “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.”
The border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been used by Taliban and al-Qaeda militants to launch attacks on US, NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, and has become an increasingly stressful dimension to allied efforts to rid the region of Islamic radicals.
Members of the House of Lords immediately condemned Lord Gilbert for his statement. Lord Browne of Ladyton accused him of being “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.”