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Prospects of nuclear threat between India and Pakistan
Dr.Rajkumar Singh11/13/2019 9:58:13 PM
After the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has threatened India more than one to use it's nuclear capability against India, although the situation has quite changed since Islamabad exploded its first nuclear device in May 1998. In fact, it is quite difficult to use it than empty saying Even at time there was an erosion of support for nuclearisation. It was largely felt that a nuclear weapon is not just a larger bomb, but a weapon that is fundamentally anti-life and nihilistic. It kills not only one's enemies, but also total strangers and innocents, and even one's near ones. It is only a symbolic weapon that acts as a deterrent or as a technical achievement meant to boost the self-confidence. After nuclearisation, India may not have acquired parity with the West or China, but Pakistan has done so with India. Strangely neither side knew how advanced the other was. What was known, however, was that India had enormous conventional superiority and, therefore, Pakistan could not afford to provoke it beyond a point.
Post-Pokharan events
I n t h e po s t - Po k h r an - I I P h a se , i t w a s f e l t t h a t t h e government could have done more to educate public opinion about the objectives of acquiring nuclear weapons status and about the manner in which we would define our position in the international community and create stable equations with other important powers of the world. At the time India also articulated her nuclear themes which include; First, that India's nuclear weapons capacity is only for defensive and not for offensive purposes. Secondly, India shall not be the first to use nuclear weapons against any state (no-first-use doctrine). Third, India's objective is to create and sustain a minimum credible nuclear weapons capacity, and lastly that India would decide on the procedures and mechanics of deployment of nuclear weapons keeping in mind security concerns and the strategic environment at given points of time with a sense of restraint.
Meanwhile, it was also felt that nuclear explosions by Islamabad was in India's favour. "It is in India's interest that the Pakistani bomb comes out into the open and both countries clearly acknowledge the existence of mutual deterrence between them. During the Cold War, such a recognition of mutual deterrence and the consequent acceptance of the futility of initiating a war le d t o detente and arm s control talks be t we e n th e t wo superpowers. Such a recognition will also emphasise the futility of attempting to alter a long established status quo. In regards to sanctions imposed by big powers in post-nuclear phase, it was said that the US will have to modify its laws and arrange to rescue Pakistan". It also added that sooner or later, the US, Japan and West Europe would realise that they cannot allow China to grow in power and a power vacuum to develop to the South of China. A nuclear India and a nuclear Pakistan independently or together would be able to ensure that an Asian balance of power emerges along with Russia and Japan and China is integrated smoothly into the international system.
India's clarifications and Pak responses
On May 21, 1998, it was announced that it had put a moratorium on further nuclear tests and offered to formalise it into an obligation through negotiations with key world powers. The Indian Prime Minister too made it amply clear that India had conducted the nuclear tests for its defence. In reply to a question, he expressed India's willingness to have very good relations with both its neighbours (China and Pakistan) with a desire to engage in a dialogue to resolve outstanding issues. Referring to Pakistan, in particular, he made it clear that India was keen on a dialogue with Islamabad and was awaiting its response on the eight-point proposal made by I.K. Gujral to Nawaz Sharif during the India- Pakistan-Bangladesh economic summit in Dhaka in January 1998. India had tried to restore normalcy in relations with Pakistan and the Indian premier declared in Lok Sabha on 27th May 1998, that New Delhi was ready to discuss a no first-use agreement with Pakistan and other countries bilaterally or in a collective forum. He also reiterated that India would remain committed to the basic tenets of its foreign policy-a conviction that global elimination of nuclear weapons would enhance its security as well as that of the rest of the world.
Pakistan exploded its nuclear devices on 28th and 30th May and announced moratorium on nuclear tests in the second week of June 1998. It also made a formal offer for resumption of talks with India and proposed to sign a no-nuclear test agreement with New Delhi. In a message conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner Satish Chandra by Pakistan foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed, it was said that the resumption of dialogue would be open on the basis of the agreement reached between the two countries on June 23rd, 1997 when both sides identified outstanding issues. Stating that the proposed no-nuclear test agreement was an important confidence-building measure, the statement hoped that India would reciprocate and contribute towards creating a conducive regional environment by taking further effective steps to overcome the security crisis and promote durable peace and stability in South Asia.
Global reactions
Despite the fact that both India and Pakistan had obtained nuclear capability and exploded nuclear devices, big powers in general and the US in particular flatly refused to amend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that would include the said two as nuclear states. Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State had welcomed New Delhi's attitude on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) but added from Washington, "If we were to allow India and Pakistan to test their way to nuclear status under that agreement, we would create an incentive for others to follow their misguided example. The US Secretary of State also answered the other questions and said, "Some say nuclear Non-Proliferation is doomed and the sooner we accept that, the better off we will be. I say that is dangerously nonsense. To abandon (efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons) because they have been dealt a setback would be a felony against the future. The greatness of a nation is measured not by how much they can destroy but how much they can b ui l d ." Further, in the context of nuclear explosions, Washington rather doubted the advancement of their technology. After analysing seismic data recorded around the world in the wake of the May underground nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, scientists believed that both had exaggerated the size of their weapons.
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