22 January, 2021

Life After Round Zero

Life After Round Zero

HOME to one- fifth of humanity, South Asia still cannot offer its people the dignity of basic amenities. It’s a sad sign of misplaced pride that two of the region’s chief actors— India and Pakistan— are now nuclearised nations. The strategic aberrations on their part demand a well- conceived, collective effort to extricate the region from the abyss of degradation.

Propelled by its need to reign supreme in the region, India exploded a nuclear device in 1974. Pakistan nurtured no nuclear ambition, but had little choice except to initiate its own nuclear programme to maintain the balance. Having achieved its objective, Pakistan resolved not to make an overt test— that would have been a precursor to a regional nuclear race. But India decided to carry out a series of tests in May 1998, and all progress with respect to non- proliferation halted. Pakistan’s nuclear credibility, however, was fully established by counter- explosions.

Now, Pakistan has to objectively assess the extent to which it can limit its nuclear capability without...



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