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  India   All India  19 Jun 2018  Bucking global trend, India, Pakistan add nuclear arms

Bucking global trend, India, Pakistan add nuclear arms

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Jun 19, 2018, 6:03 am IST
Updated : Jun 19, 2018, 6:03 am IST

A factor contributing to the need for deadly strategic weapons is the peculiarity of the security situation in South Asia.

Of the world’s nine nuclear weaponised nations, India, Pakistan and China increased their stockpile of nuclear weapons in the year from the beginning of 2017 to January 2018.
 Of the world’s nine nuclear weaponised nations, India, Pakistan and China increased their stockpile of nuclear weapons in the year from the beginning of 2017 to January 2018.

New Delhi: Amid a belligerent bilateral relationship of rancour and a legacy of wars between them, India and Pakistan are bucking a global trend by increasing the number of nuclear weapons in their arsenal.

Of the world’s nine nuclear weaponised nations, India, Pakistan and China increased their stockpile of nuclear weapons in the year from the beginning of 2017 to January 2018.

 

While the leading nuclear countries US and Russia reduced their nuclear arsenal, UK, France and Israel kept the numbers static. North Korea’s figures were not available. According to the findings of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) put out in its SIPRI Yearbook 2018 released on Monday, India’s stock of nuclear weapons went up from 120-130 in 2017 to 130-140 in 2018 while Pakistan’s stockpile increased from 130-140 in 2017 to 140-150 in 2018. China increased its nuke arsenal from 270 in 2017 to 280 in 2018.

These numbers actually bucked the global trend of a more than 3 per cent decrease in the number of nuclear weapons, from 14,935 to 14,465 due to cutbacks by the US and Russia in keeping with the provisions of the implementation of the 2010 treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START). But Russia and the US still maintained huge stockpiles of 6,450 and 6,850, respectively.

 

Another facet of the increasing arsenal in India, Pakistan and China is also the concomitant development of land, sea, and air-based missile delivery systems that can carry nuclear payloads as also the development of missiles with greater ranges. A factor contributing to the need for deadly strategic weapons is the peculiarity of the security situation in South Asia. While India perceives a challenge from a rising China, Pakistan’s India-centric policy, a legacy of a perceived existential threat from India, results in it resorting to state-supported terrorism especially in the troubled Kashmir valley. The SIPRI Yearbook said, “Pakistan has prioritised the development of nuclear-capable short-range missiles that appear to be intended for tactical nuclear roles and missions.

 

In pursuing its ‘full-spectrum deterrence’ posture, Pakistan’s defence planners have given particular attention to nuclear options for responding to an Indian military doctrine that envisages carrying out rapid but limited conventional attacks on Pakistani territory using forward-deployed forces.”

However, the international order continues to be haunted by a likely scenario in Pakistan that could arise if terrorists seize and gain control of the nuclear arsenal.

Tags: nuclear weapon, kashmir valley, international order
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi