13 May, 2021

Magic Words Fail India

In the US, as Indian envoys fumble, Pakistan comes up trumps in diplomatic damage control

Magic Words Fail India

THE Pokhran tests have been a public relations and diplomatic disaster for India. Nuclear experts, observers, analysts in the US Administration—everyone agrees that Pakistan, having learnt from India's mistakes, has done a much better job at diplomatic damage control.

"The BJP has not distinguished itself in its public demeanours. People are looking at the facts and India has not done a good job of convincing anyone that there was any pressing reason to conduct these tests," says Gary Milhollin, director of the Washington-based Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. Dismissing Indian references to a Chinese threat as "silly", he warns that "India is likely to lose a lot. This will set back India's technological development without providing corresponding strategic benefits. It has clearly been a mistake."

Among the few who disagree are Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Cirincione says he recently appeared with the Indian High Commissioner...

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