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Old Thursday, March 31, 2011
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Question Pakistan's Nuclear Pro gramme alternative scenarios


close reading of Pakistan’s national security policy suggests that nuclear weapons have played an increasingly important role in its defence and deterrent strategy since the late 1980s. Addressing a conference in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in General Pervez Musharraf’s government declared in November 1999: “Minimum nuclear deterrent will remain the guiding principle of our nuclear strategy.”[1] He stated that, as India builds up its nuclear weapons arsenal: “Pakistan will have to maintain, preserve and upgrade its capability”, in order to ensure the survivability and credibility of its nuclear deterrent.[2] Since then, this theme has been consistently reiterated at relevant occasions by General Musharraf and his top advisers.
This policy in fact was formulated before Musharraf’s regime. Responding to the pronouncement of the draft Indian nuclear doctrine in August 1999 as “offensive, and threatening regional and global stability”, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) under the former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, stated that the future development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme would be “determined solely by the requirement of our minimum deterrent capability, which is now an indispensable part of our security doctrine.”[3] As former Chief of Army Staff, General (retd.) Mirza Aslam Beg, went a step further, stating that: “as oxygen is basic to life and one does not debate its desirability, nuclear deterrence has assumed the life-saving property for Pakistan.”[4] Since its development, nuclear weapons capability has not only been considered an integral component of Pakistan’s defence strategy but is believed to have been actually invoked on a number of occasions in the past decade and a half, to ward off an all-out war with India in the three conflict situations the two countries faced. Although the precise details of what role nuclear weapons played, how they were invoked or their use threatened, has not been formally disclosed; however, some studies have appeared on the issue.[5]
This article attempts, firstly, to list Pakistan’s threat perceptions; secondly, it expound its nuclear policy; thirdly, it describe nuclear capabilities and delivery systems; fourthly, it analyses the nuclear doctrine and stability factor. Finally, it offers some suggestions and envisages likely future trends.

Pakistan’s Threat Perceptions
Since its dismemberment in 1971, Pakistan’s perception of threats from India has gradually been accentuated on account of various factors. First, the Indian conventional military superiority far exceeds Pakistan’s conventional military capability in quantitative terms; the latter’s ability to bridge that gap is increasingly being undermined due to a host of reasons. India’s vast geographic base and consequent strategic depth, its large economy and industrial capacity not only allow it to maintain conventional military superiority but also to continue gradually increasing it. On the other hand, Pakistan’s economic and industrial weaknesses undermine its military preparedness and logistical stamina. Since its development in the mid-1970s, a nuclear weapons capability is believed to compensate for the weaknesses in Pakistan’s conventional military strength, notwithstanding the recently-bestowed status of a non-NATO ally by the United States, which might lead to a limited modernization of Pakistan’s conventional military capability. US officials have however clarified that they will not disturb the current military equilibrium between India and Pakistan.
Second, Pakistan continues to perceive the possibility of limited or general war with India. This perception originates from the history of India–Pakistan relations. Since independence, the two neighbours have fought three wars (1948, 1965, and 1970-71) and, most recently, a limited conflict in Kargil. All of these (except the 1970-71 war) were fought over the unresolved Kashmir dispute. Both countries are locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the Siachin glacier in the extreme north of Kashmir since India’s occupation of the two-thirds of the glacier in 1983-84, in clear violation of the Simla Agreement of 1972. This agreement not only forbids the use of force to settle outstanding disputes, it also prohibits any unilateral changes in the Line of Control in Kashmir. In addition, both countries have faced many crisis-situations, such as the 1986-87 Brasstacks and the Kashmir crisis of spring 1990 which almost precipitated all-out war.
Given this pattern of hostility and armed conflict, Pakistan’s perceptions of a threat of war with India are well-entrenched. Until recently, India and Pakistan co-existed in an emotionally-charged strategic environment, which occasionally generated crisis-situations, with the potential for triggering armed conflicts. The recently adopted Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) and the thaw in mutual relations are unlikely to change the long-term strategic policies of either country, unless core issues like Kashmir are resolved. So, given the vast conventional military asymmetries and lack of strategic depth, Pakistan’s security policy is to use its nuclear weapons capability to deter India from starting another war, rather than fighting a war the outcome of which is likely to be unfavourable. The genesis of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent policy dates back to Z. A. Bhutto’s rationale for the development of a nuclear capability for deterrence against the prospects of Indian aggression.[6] Giri Deshingkar suggests:
If for any reasons, India were to threaten the existence of Pakistan as a state as presently constituted, they are expected to use nuclear weapons against India first. With a doctrine of this kind, which can usefully be termed “Volatility”, Pakistan would not be deterred by India’s nuclear capability or even overt weaponization.[7]
Third, India’s nuclear weapons capability, which has always been 15 to 20 years ahead of Pakistan and relatively much larger, is perceived as an instrument for nuclear blackmail and coercion in the absence of a nuclear counterweight. The first Indian nuclear test in 1974 served as a catalyst to the development of a nuclear weapons programme in Pakistan, Although Z. A. Bhutto had expressed his individual motivations for the development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan before the first Indian nuclear test, there was no institutional support for that objective. Pakistan had not installed a single safeguards-free nuclear facility before 1974 and the first steps towards the establishment of the Uranium Enrichment Plant at Kahuta were taken in 1975, when Dr. A.Q. Khan was approached to set up such a facility. From the proliferation perspective, a reputed specialist, James E. Dougherty, immediately anticipated Pakistan’s response to the Indian nuclear test and its implications, and wrote: “Proliferation by reaction is a phenomena associated with pairs of conflict-parties or historic rivals rather than a chain-reaction involving an indefinitely long series of countries.”[8] Dougherty contended that, in reaction to the Indian nuclear test and weapons capability, Pakistan would be compelled to develop its own nuclear weapons capability because of its continued rivalry with India.[9] The Indian nuclear weapons capability is perceived as posing a serious threat to Pakistan. The Pakistani strategic community generally adheres to the common belief that there is no defence against nuclear weapons and the only response to the threat of use of nuclear weapons or blackmail is either to seek a nuclear umbrella or to develop nuclear weapons capability. Pakistan’s non-acceptance of the Indian “no-first use” of nuclear weapons offer suggests that nuclear weapons are integral to its defence and deterrent doctrine.
Fourth, Pakistan also perceives its nuclear deterrent as a means to ward off threats of pre-emption or of decapitation of its small nuclear force by India. Since 1982-83, India has planned to undertake pre-emptive air strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear weapons facilities, especially in their embryonic phase. In 1982, Washington Post reported Indian contingency plans to carry out pre-emptive strikes against Pakistani nuclear installations, especially the Kahuta Uranium Enrichment plant.[10] Press accounts again appeared about the pre-emptive strikes by the Indian Air Force against Kahuta in 1984 during a CIA briefing to US Senators.[11] India ultimately resisted execution of such plans due to the fear that it might not be able to totally destroy Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability and Pakistan might be left with some capability to retaliate against the Indian nuclear facilities.[12] The prospect of Pakistani air strikes with F-16s on the Indian nuclear facilities, especially at Mumbai, also created an atmosphere of fear.
Preceding the Pakistani nuclear tests on 28 and 30 May 1998, the Pakistani press carried reports about Indian pre-emptive air strikes, aimed at decapitation of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities, thereby hinting at the prospects of its nuclear tests.[13] A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman stated that he had convincing evidence of attack aircraft ready at the Indian airbase at Srinagar to undertake pre-emptive operations and eliminate Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability.[14] Pakistan threatened retaliation and deployed the Ghauri ballistic missiles at unidentified sites to lend credibility to the situation depicted.[15] One report suggested that some of the Ghauri missiles were equipped with nuclear warheads.[16] Pakistan’s perception of Indian pre-emptive strikes against its nuclear facilities was reinforced by the provisions in the Indian nuclear doctrine to employ conventional military capability against the threats of use of nuclear weapons.[17] Such a scenario would compel Pakistan to continuously reject India’s no-first-use posture and promote reliance upon nuclear weapons at the outset of a conflict-situation, rather than keeping them as weapons of last resort.
Fifth, India’s declaration of a stockpile of chemical weapons introduces new uncertainties for nuclear stability with Pakistan.[18] In 1992, India and Pakistan signed a bilateral agreement not to use chemical weapons against each other on the understanding that both the countries were non-chemical weapon states. Both countries also signed the global Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as non-chemical weapons states; but afterwards, India declared a stockpile of chemical weapons before ratification in 1997, a stockpile which it is required to give up in ten years under the CWC provisions. The dramatic Indian disclosure of its possession of chemical weapons has not only added to the existing distrust between the two countries but generated apprehensions in Pakistan about the use of chemical weapons against its armed forces. Pakistan considers that the only available alternative to such a perceived threat of the use of chemical weapons is nuclear deterrence.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Policy
Pakistan’s policy on various elements of the non-proliferation regime has been closely linked with India’s policy, more due to the Indo-centric nature of its decision-making process and less due to their intrinsic merits, as India is perceived as the principal threat to its security. Pakistan signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) in 1963 immediately after its conclusion, but withheld ratification until 1988 for reasons which have neither been made public nor fully investigated.[19] Perhaps it was due to India’s keen interest and lead in underground nuclear explosive technology. Pakistan’s approach to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was different from India’s. It took an active part in the NPT negotiations, hailed its conclusion, and expressed a hope that all Non-Nuclear Weapon States would join it.[20] In an apparent response to the Indian objections to the NPT, Pakistan stated that it was “unrealistic to impose obligations on the nuclear powers similar in all respects to those which the treaty placed on the non-nuclear weapon states.”[21] However, despite its general support for the NPT, Pakistan did not sign it due to India’s refusal to do so. It explained its NPT policy in the following terms:
In the final analysis, the position of Pakistan with regard to signing the treaty will turn on considerations of its enlightened national interest and security in the geopolitical context of the region in which Pakistan is situated.[22]
Simultaneous with its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability since the late 1970s, Pakistan had offered India a wide range of nuclear arms control proposals. These proposals are: i) creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in South Asia; ii) simultaneous signatures to the NPT by India and Pakistan; iii) mutual acceptance of IAEA safeguards; iv) bilateral inspections of each others’ nuclear facilities; v) joint declaration to renounce the development of nuclear weapons; and vi) signing of a regional test-ban treaty.[23] India rejected all these proposals on the plea that they failed to address the Indian perception of a Chinese nuclear threat and treated India and Pakistan as equals, elevating Pakistan’s importance, despite India’s far greater size, and economic and military power.[24] It also argued that all these proposals were part of an “insincere diplomatic offensive” by Pakistan to isolate India in the non-proliferation forums and, therefore, lacked credibility.[25]
During the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) negotiations, Pakistan demanded that the treaty ought to be an instrument against both horizontal and vertical nuclear proliferation, and must effectively contribute towards nuclear disarmament.[26] Like the NPT, Pakistan has generally supported the CTBT, while strongly indicating that its policy was contingent upon the Indian position and behaviour, i.e., that it would not sign the CTBT unless India did so. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Munir Akram, reiterated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s statement made during her visit to Japan: “Let [Indian] Prime Minister Rao join me anywhere in the world to ensure that what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never happen in Lahore and Delhi.”[27] However, given its stand against the CTBT, India would have tested its nuclear weapons before September 1999, no matter which government had been in power.[28] It aspired to the status of a full-fledged de facto, if not de jure, nuclear weapon state, before the CTBT came into force. Politics, ideology, longstanding nuclear ambitions, and pursuit of strategic power played a decisive role. Analysing the Indian argument about the Chinese nuclear threat to its security, Eric Arnett observes: “Their claim [India’s] is not only cynical but inconsistent with the history of Indian defense planning.”[29] “Fear of China, or later Pakistan’s military power does not fully explain India’s nuclear weapons program,” observes George Perkovich.[30]
The Indian nuclear tests in May 1998 generated immense pressure on Pakistan to follow suit, due to their wide-ranging implications for its security and body-politic. Pakistan’s nuclear tests were axiomatic after the India nuclear tests since it was under intense pressure to redress the resultant strategic imbalance and the adverse impact on national security, as well as to re-establish deterrent stability between the two adversaries. The dynamics of domestic politics also forced Pakistan to go for nuclear tests. According to Neil Joeck, the threat of being driven from office was patently clear to Prime Minister Sharif, which compelled his government to carry out the nuclear tests.[31] The Indian nuclear tests evoked a matching response from Pakistan on 28 and 30 May 1998. If the last fifteen years of Pakistan’s nuclear policy were any index to the future, its leadership would not have carried out the nuclear weapon tests, had India not carried out its tests, even if the tests were deemed necessary by its atomic bureaucracy. The series of tests Pakistan carried out in May 1998 enabled it to produce first generation nuclear weapons, which are considered appropriate for a credible nuclear deterrence against India at this stage.
Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Capability and Delivery Systems:
Despite the high level of attention given to Pakistan’s nuclear pursuits in the formative phase, Indian and Western strategic communities not only underestimated, but at times underplayed its propensity to rapidly acquire nuclear weapons capability.[32] Much before the series of nuclear tests in May 1998, Pakistan had acquired the capability to manufacture and assemble all the components of a nuclear device.[33] It claimed to have carried out five nuclear tests on 28 May, and the sixth on 30 May 1998.[34] Broadly, these tests pertained to three main areas of weaponization: low-yield weapons, high-yield fission, and boosted-fission weapons.[35] According to Dr Khan, Pakistan used “ready-to-fire nuclear warheads” and not test bombs on 28 and 30 May 1998.[36] Before the May 1998 tests, India was perceived as maintaining an ambiguous nuclear posture and “non-weaponized” nuclear arsenal capability: It had produced fissile material and bomb components, but had not turned the components over to the military.[37] Late in the 1980s and 1990s, however, the Indian military did become much more involved in nuclear weapons matters, conducting studies of preventive attack options in developing counter-force capabilities, and producing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. After May 1998, India claimed a 43 kiloton yield for the thermonuclear device and 12 kiloton for the fission device. International estimates suggested that the combined yields of the 11 May tests were between 10 to 15 kilotons.[38] The international community also questioned whether India had actually tested a thermonuclear device.[39]
The most preferred Pakistani aircraft for nuclear delivery missions is likely to be the US-supplied F-16. It is a medium-range, multiple-role, high-performance aircraft that is considered especially suitable for nuclear delivery systems.[40] Pakistan procured 40 F-16 aircraft (the fighter-bomber version) in the early 1980s, under the terms of a limited force modernization programme, with US co-operation in the wake of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.[41] The US took special care that no equipment was provided to Pakistan which could be used for or would assist in nuclear delivery missions.[42] It specially denied the electrical mechanisms necessary for safe maintenance, transportation, and delivery of nuclear weapons by F-16s.[43] However, various accounts have appeared since then, which suggest that Pakistan has carried out modifications to the F-16s for nuclear delivery missions. In 1989, Foreign Report suggested that Pakistan has formatted the bomb to be delivered from beneath the wings of an F-16 and indicated the possibility of flight training being carried out.[44] The bomb design had also gone through a series of wind-tunnel tests and programmed in-flight computer system to provide the correct flight path for a nuclear bomb run.[45] It is reported that the Indian Defence Research and Development Organization had been perfecting aerial bombing techniques, using the MIG-23 and MIG-27 aircraft.[46] If that were true, the Pakistani choice for an aircraft delivery system, i.e., the F-16s, seems better than the Indian choice. However, India has a wider choice in the form of Jaguars, Mirage 2000, and MIG 29 aircraft.
Pakistan test-fired an intermediate range ballistic missile (MRBM) named “Ghauri”, on 6 April 1997. It is based upon a three-stage rocket with a 700 kg payload, has a range of 1500 km, and is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.[47] Equipped with the latest guidance technology, Ghauri (also called a Haft-V) can engage targets throughout India, except in its extreme east. However, there are hardly any important strategic installations and bases in the extreme east at this stage, which can operate against Pakistan. Most of such targets are located in central, southern, and western India, and are within Ghauri’s range. It can also engage India’s naval deployments and bases within a range of 1,100 to 1,500 km, if deployed near Karachi. Its range can also be further extended to engage targets throughout India. In April 1999, Pakistan test-fired a short-range ballistic missile, Shaheen-I, with a range of 1000-1100 km, terminal guidance, and solid-fuel system, which provides it with rapid reaction capability. It has significantly enhanced Pakistan’s strategic and political position vis-à-vis India.
Pakistan test-fired its longest-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Shaheen-II, on 9 March 2004, which can hit targets up to 2,000 km.[48] The missile’s actual range is up to 2,500 km, but was restricted to 2,000 km so as not to cross Pakistan’s declared territorial sea limit. The Shaheen-II is a solid-fuel and nuclear-capable ballistic missile, which gives Pakistan a ready-response capability. “It reflects Pakistan’s resolve to maintain minimum credible deterrence as the cornerstone of its security policy”, an ISPR statement said.[49] Pakistan had notified India as required under the mutually signed MoU on the advance notification of ballistic missiles tests and as a CBM in the prevailing environment to normalize relations.
Pakistan’s choice of medium and intermediate range missiles (e.g., Hatf-3, Ghauri, and Shaheen), provides it with a diversity of nuclear force deployment options. The upgraded versions of Ghauri and Shaheen (Ghauri-II and Shaheen-II), with a range up to 2000 to 2500 km, would enable Pakistan to cover the entire Indian territories in its missile-targeting options. Pakistan has acquired the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads for missile-based delivery systems and to develop boosted weapons.[50] Testing was necessary before it could undertake to deploy these missiles.[51] Some observers suggest that Pakistan could have already produced warheads compact enough to be carried by missiles.[52]

India–Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines
India’s draft nuclear doctrine, announced on 17 August 1999 by its National Security Advisory Board constituted by the BJP government, is perceived in Pakistan as an aggressive and provocative strategy, which would not only fuel a nuclear arms race but enhance strategic instability between India and Pakistan.[53] Although the draft doctrine has yet to be formally approved by the Indian government, it is believed axiomatic in Pakistan that the Indian government would, by and large, embrace it.[54] The doctrine proclaims the development and maintenance of credible minimum deterrence, based upon a strategic triad of nuclear forces (land-based, air-based, and sea-based), second-strike capability, and punitive retaliation with nuclear weapons if deterrence were to fail.[55] It proclaims:
The fundamental purpose of Indian nuclear weapons is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons by any State or entity against India and its forces. India will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.[56]
It declares that credible deterrence requires: sufficient, survivable, and operationally deployable nuclear forces, with robust command and control, and efficient intelligence and early warning systems.[57] The nuclear forces are to be under exclusive civilian command and control, with final authority to launch nuclear weapons resting with the Indian prime minister.[58]
The danger of the proposed doctrine is that it relies upon the maintenance of highly effective conventional capabilities, not just to raise the threshold of conventional military conflict, but to deal with the threat of use of nuclear weapons by an adversary. By pronouncing such a nuclear war-fighting strategy, the doctrine is a recipe for a nuclear disaster, since any conventional pre-emptive strikes against an adversary’s nuclear weapons to ward off threats of their use might automatically lead to a nuclear exchange. According to Rodney W. Jones, the Indian nuclear doctrine is based upon an expansive war-fighting force structure, without specifying adversaries, or an actual threat, language of which alludes provocatively to using conventional pre-emptive capabilities offensively against any party that might threaten to use nuclear weapons against India.[59] He opines: “By calling this strategy document a draft, the authors may hope to draw Pakistan reactively into public declarations of its own nuclear policy.”[60] The proposed Indian nuclear doctrine is also an almost verbatim version of the Western strategic models on nuclear deterrence, and lacks ingenuity, except in its no-first-use offer, which is modelled on the former Soviet and Chinese proclamations.
On 4 January 2003, the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security reviewed the operationalization of India’s Nuclear Doctrine and summarized a version, which, in some ways, significantly departs from the August 1999 draft document.[61] It omits the development of a triad of strategic nuclear forces (land-based, air-based, and sea-based), which in any case was beyond India’s short-term capacity to develop.[62] The “no-first-use” posture has been modified in two ways. First, the word “anywhere” has been added to the provision to the no-first-use clause: “nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere.” This implies that India may use nuclear weapons, even if the Indian forces happen to be in another state’s territory, thus not ruling out an aggressive mode or occupation.[63] Article vi of the operationalised nuclear doctrine renders the “no-first-use” declaration invalid by stating: “However, in the event of a major attack against India, or Indian forces anywhere, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons.” [64]
Pakistan has not issued a document which can be termed a nuclear doctrine, perhaps deliberately so, to maintain flexibility. However, its policy of maintaining a minimum and credible small nuclear force, and addressing asymmetric strategic equilibrium with India by invoking nuclear weapons suggest the outlines of a nuclear doctrine. As indicated above, Pakistan has often declared that minimum nuclear deterrent will remain the guiding principle of its nuclear strategy.[65] “The minimum nuclear deterrence can and will never be compromised,” General Musharraf reiterated, while inaugurating the 26th International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics in 2001.[66] He further stated: “Pakistan believes in maintaining a minimum credible deterrence and does not want to direct its available resources towards the race of weapons of mass destruction.”[67] This statement has been reiterated many times, as recently as during the latest visit to Islamabad by the US Depuy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage. Since the late 1980s, Pakistan has pursued a doctrine of minimum nuclear deterrence and adequate conventional defence to balance India’s nuclear and conventional forces. As a note of caution, declarations about the doctrine need to be differentiated from its operational and functional dimensions. Pakistan’s rejection of India’s “no-nuclear-first-use” pledge also suggests that nuclear weapons are integral to its defence and deterrent doctrine. Pakistani leaders consider India’s “no-first-use” offer as declaratory posturing, rather than an actual policy. Second, it would undermine the credibility of Pakistan’s deterrence against an Indian attack or coercion. Pakistan’s nuclear strategy aims to prevent an all-out war with India. The policy to downgrade Pakistan’s conventional military capability unwittingly lowers its threshold to invoke the threat of use of nuclear weapons. It feels compelled to threaten the use of nuclear weapons at an early stage if a war looms on the horizon.
Pakistani officials have described general contingencies, which would warrant the threat or use of nuclear weapons. For example, an Italian report, based upon interview of Liuetenant-General Khalid Kidwai, Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division (SDP) by a team of Italian researchers, describes some scenarios for Pakistan’s employment of nuclear weapons.[68] The interview-based report offers an analysis of Pakistan’s nuclear posture and outlines contingencies under which Pakistan might resort to the threat or use of nuclear weapons. It states that Pakistan would resort to nuclear weapons’ employment in the following eventualities:[69]
i) India attacks Pakistan and conquers a large part of its territory.
ii) India destroys a large part either of its land or air forces.
iii) India proceeds to the economic strangulation of Pakistan.
iv) India pushes Pakistan into political destabilization or creates large-scale internal subversion.[70]
Pakistan’s foreign and defence policies set the general terms under which the doctrinal foundations of its nuclear policy are based. An analysis of its overall decision-making process suggests that Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine has evolved, rather than having been formulated at a given point in its nuclear history. Its fundamental objective is deterring rather than fighting a war with India. Other objectives of the Pakistani nuclear doctrine in dealing with the perceived threat from India are to maintain an overall strategic equilibrium, to neutralize conventional military asymmetries against India, and to maintain its territorial integrity and political sovereignty. Conventional military disparities vis-à-vis India and lack of strategic depth compel Pakistani military leaders to threaten the use of nuclear weapons as a deterrent against a large-scale Indian invasion that threatens its territorial integrity.
There is general recognition in Pakistan that nuclear weapons played a role in diffusing various conflict-situations between India and Pakistan in the past decade and a half. It is believed that to defuse the 1986-87 Brasstacks crisis, Pakistan invoked its nuclear weapons capability through the good offices of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who communicated a veiled nuclear threat to India about Pakistan’s possession of the nuclear bomb and the likelihood of its use, should Pakistan’s territorial integrity be at stake.[71] Dr Khan’s statement was followed by an interview of General Ziaul Haq in Time magazine, in which he confirmed Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons capability, although the Brasstacks crisis had passed its peak by then.[72] Some experts believed that the interview was prompted by India’s threatening military manoeuvres against Pakistan’s relatively vulnerable southern sector around Rajasthan in Sindh province.[73]
Pakistan once again considered invoking its nuclear weapons capability to avert the fear of a war with India during the spring 1990 Kashmir crisis. This crisis was precipitated due to an unprecedented and largely indigenous Kashmiri struggle for independence from India from 1989 onward. India perceived Pakistan as abetting and aiding the Kashmiri struggle and consequently deployed its troops along Pakistan’s border. The Indian leaders threatened that Pakistan could not gain Kashmir without a war.[74] While rapidly deploying its conventional armed forces, Pakistan signalled the threat of the use of nuclear weapons by pre-positioning its F-16s, equipped with nuclear weapons, on full alert.[75] Due to the high risk of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, the United States mediated to defuse the crisis. However, a study sponsored by the US Energy Department discounts the possibility of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.[76]
K. Subrahmanyam assesses the role of nuclear weapons in the 1990 crisis as follows: “In 1965 after Pakistan’s ‘Operation Gibraltar’, the war of 1965 happened. India didn’t resort to a similar course of action in 1990.”[77] The restraint imposed by the nuclear factor on the conventional military confrontation between India and Pakistan was all too obvious. Whether or not nuclear-weapons capabilities played a decisive role in averting the 1986-87 and 1990 crises, there is a widespread perception of the influence of nuclear weapons on strategic decision-making and of restraint imposed on the usually belligerent behaviour of the two long-standing adversaries.
The Kargil crisis in May 1999 was yet another stark reminder of the potential for an India–Pakistan conflict over the Kashmir dispute which could lead to a nuclear exchange. India internationalized the conflict, resulting in explicit demands from the international community, especially the great powers, for Pakistan to withdraw its forces as well as the Kashmiri militants from the Kargil sector to avert the possibility of an all-out war with India, which might well have escalated into a nuclear clash between the two South Asian neighbours.[78] Hoyt cites a source which states that, “Indian and Pakistani officials and leaders exchanged direct or indirect nuclear threats no fewer than 13 times between May 26 and June 30.” [79] According to an Indian study, nuclear warheads were readied, and delivery systems, including Mirage 200 aircraft, short-ranged Prithvi missiles, and medium-ranged Agni missiles, were prepared for possible use.[80]
Deterrent Stability in South Asia
There is a voluminous body of literature, variously favouring and opposing the prospects of deterrent stability between India and Pakistan. The lines of divisions between the proponents of nuclear deterrence and its opponents are drawn along culturally-ingrained orientations and preferences, which often colour so-called “rational” analyses and conclusions. Many South Asian experts generally agree that a state of mutual deterrence has been established between India and Pakistan, though the various descriptions of this deterrence differ. The deterrence relationship between India and Pakistan in the pre-tests (nuclear) scenario has not been explained by any known models of the Cold-war era; instead, some new terms have been coined such as non-weaponized deterrence, recessed deterrence, and existential deterrence. The concept of non-weaponized deterrence was proposed by George Perkovich, recognizing that India and Pakistan could retain nuclear weapons capabilities and fissile material, but remain short of manufacturing nuclear warheads.[81] For a stable non-weaponized deterrent regime, India and Pakistan would undertake not to assemble or deploy nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.[82] A non-weaponized deterrence posture had an inherent time-lag built into the system, which provided sufficient time for crisis management or decisions to employ nuclear weapons. Non-weaponized deterrence also visualized complementary CBMs in the nuclear and related non-nuclear fields.
Recessed deterrence, a term attributed to Jasjit Singh, favours the development of nuclear weapons components and fabrication of warheads, but also requires them to be maintained in unassembled modes.[83] General Sundarji added to the concept of recessed deterrence by suggesting that India and Pakistan need not place their nuclear weapons components under military control, but instead could store components, fissile materials, and triggering devices at civilian laboratories in unassembled form and separate from delivery systems.[84] Recessed deterrence envisioned centralized negative controls and the weapons components to be so located that they could be air-transported to a central location, assembled and mounted on delivery systems in approximately six to twelve hours, to enable the launch of a retaliatory strike after riding out the adversary’s first strike.[85] Both these concepts were based upon the traditional postulation that nuclear weapons–being weapons of mass destruction–have no tactical value or any significant ancillary role except to deter a nuclear attack or be used in a retaliatory second-strike mode. They are, therefore, essentially considered weapons of deterrence. The inherent problems in a non-weaponized deterrence regime were that unassembled arsenals diminished the possibility that nuclear weapons would always be available when needed and were more vulnerable to decapitation. However, the non-weaponized deterrence regime entailed an element of ambiguity that lacked transparency about the nuclear weapons capabilities of India and Pakistan and adversely affected deterrent stability.
The weaponization policies that India and Pakistan announced after their nuclear tests in May 1999 and the attendant doctrinal development should add transparency and may enhance stability, although at a higher threshold, and provided other essential pre-requisites of nuclear deterrence are fulfilled. These may include early warning systems, C3I networks, survivable weapons capabilities, including second-strike capabilities, and credible delivery systems. The non-weaponized deterrence regime between India and Pakistan has been transformed into a weaponized regime after their nuclear tests. Both India and Pakistan are now de facto nuclear weapon states, if not de jure.
Scott Sagan maintains that within the rationalist deterrent theory, three major elements for stable nuclear deterrence are pre-requisites: i) the absence of preventive war during the transition period, when one state has developed a nuclear weapons capability and the other has not; ii) both states must develop not only the ability to inflict unacceptable damage on the other, but also a reliable second-strike capability; iii) their nuclear arsenals must not be prone to accidental or unauthorized use.[86] In view of these requirements, Sagan believes that, from the organizational theory perspective, it is a formidable task for the new nuclear states.[87] India and Pakistan seem capable of inflicting unacceptable damage upon each on the basis of their existing nuclear weapons capabilities. In addition, they are in the process of building second-strike capabilities, e.g., the development and deployment of various categories of nuclear-capable ballistic missile systems. Moreover, there would be no guarantee to completely rule out accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons with any degree of definiteness. India and Pakistan are passing through the formative phase of such processes about the safety of their nuclear arsenals. They may acquire technologies to install PAL and EMP devices, and institute processes to forestall accidental and unauthorized uses of nuclear weapons in the long-term perspective.
Neil Joeck believes that India and Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities “do not reduce or eliminate factors that contributed to past conflicts, and therefore, neither explain the absence of war over the past decade nor why war is currently unlikely.”[88] He maintains that limited nuclear capabilities increase the potential costs of conflict, but do little to reduce the risk of its breaking out. However, without admitting the stabilizing effect of nuclear weapons capabilities, he recognizes that the development of command and control mechanisms would enhance stability in a crisis, and improve the ability to avoid nuclear use in the event of war.[89] Joeck suggests that operational considerations, e.g., nuclear doctrine, weapons safety, alternative response options, intelligence and early warnings would help to reinforce deterrence at ground level, and ensure that both sides have a choice, other than suicide or surrender.
Kenneth Waltz takes an optimistic view of deterrent stability among new nuclear nations, their weapons capabilities, and C2 problems, and opines that over a period of time they would be able to resolve these problems, as did the existing nuclear weapon states.[90] Waltz further maintains that lesser (nuclear) states would not be able to disrupt nuclear equilibrium, as nuclear weapons make miscalculation difficult, they can be used both for defence and deterrence, and, if employed responsibly, nuclear weapons make wars hard to start.[91]
Analysing the logic and prospect of deterrent stability in South Asia, Ashley Tellis opines: “The Indian subcontinent is likely to enjoy an extended period of ‘ugly stability’ that will probably last for at least a decade and possibly longer at the strategic level, simultaneously generating instability at the lower end of the conflict spectrum.” [92] However, he points out:
the small number of nuclear weapons, the relatively provocative character of some of the delivery systems, the questionable command and control arrangements, the severely limited intelligence and warning systems, the casual attitudes towards nuclear deterrence, the lack of a clear and articulated deterrence doctrine, and the presence of few confidence-building measures, all combine to make successful deterrence stability a less-than-automatic outcome. [93]
It is claimed that an elementary form of nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan has been operative since 1988. Indicating the existence of nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan in the pre-nuclear tests scenario (May 1998), General Beg stated as Chief of Army Staff in 1989: “Whether we have a nuclear device or not is a different matter, but the very fact that people believe we have the nuclear capability is in itself a meaningful deterrent.”[94] “The influence of nuclear weapons on the use of military force is widely recognized by influential opinions in India and that nuclear deterrence has kept wars in South Asia at bay.”[95] Answering the question whether India and Pakistan would have refrained from the three wars they fought in 1948, 1965, and 1971, had both of them possessed minimal nuclear deterrents, a former Chief of the Indian Army and a respected analyst of strategic issues has expressed his views thus: “These wars would not have occurred.”[96] Pakistani professionals agree with the assessment that, had Pakistan possessed a nuclear deterrent in 1971, “the dismemberment of Pakistan could have been averted.”[97] Commenting on the prospects for the future, a former Chief of the Indian Naval Staff has observed that, with nuclear capability, “Pakistan would be able to establish a deterrent nuclear posture against India, rendering in the process its conventional forces considerably less significant than it is today.”[98] Another senior Indian general has remarked: “What the nuclear capability does is to make sure that the old scenarios of Indian armor crossing the Sukhur barrage over the Indus and slicing Pakistan into two are a thing of the past.”[99]
Nuclear weapons generally erode conventional disparities. According to an opinion in the influential Times of India, perhaps India could flatten Islamabad 20 times over instead of Pakistan flattening India five times, but overkill is an illusive strategy.[100] It continues: “20 bombs against 40 bombs, though less in number, still constitute unacceptable damage.”[101] Nuclear weapons are believed to have a great equalizing effect. Unlike conventional weapons, nuclear weapons are not militarily usable, but are in fact political and psychological weapons and, therefore, meant to deter aggression and war. Qualitative asymmetries in nuclear weapons, like the one side having tested and the other untested ones, generate a serious power vacuum and strategic imbalance, which is prejudicial to the vital national security interests of the country that has not conducted tests. Although Pakistan had carried out cold tests of its nuclear devices as far back as 1987, through computer simulation techniques, a detonation was considered the litmus test to ensure that nuclear weapons will work reliably and enhance deterrent stability. The general perception in Pakistan is that its nuclear tests redressed the asymmetries in the strategic equilibrium and restored the power balance.
The Indian and Pakistani nuclear deterrents dissuade both countries from embarking upon a course of action perceived prejudicial to their vital national security interests. It is a policy as well as a condition for establishing a new psychological relationship between the two antagonists. Both the adversaries would be dissuaded from undertaking a course of action injurious to the other’s vital interests, due to the fear of infliction of unacceptable damage which would far outweigh the perceived advantages. Each adversary’s dissuasion is, therefore, based upon a rational calculus of costs and benefits. India and Pakistan do not possess formidable weapons capabilities compared to the superpowers; yet those they do possess are sufficient to cause unacceptable damage in case of counter-value targets in both countries. Nuclear deterrence, unlike conventional deterrence, is not decisively degraded by quantitative or qualitative disparity. So long as a state’s strategic arsenal is sufficient to survive the first strike and still inflict unacceptable damage, it does not have to match the adversary’s arsenal in numbers.[102] Credible deterrence can be achieved with a small nuclear force.[103] One analyst has concluded that five or six nuclear warheads should be sufficient; even fewer should suffice to deter, provided they can be delivered on targets of high values.[104] Nuclear weapons “make the cost of war seem frighteningly high and thus discourage states from starting any wars that might lead to the use of such weapons.” [105]
As the nuclear capabilities of India and Pakistan mutually hold their cities hostage, any thought of the annihilation of tens of thousands of civilians does amount to “unacceptable damage.” The excruciating damages of a possible nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would be unpalatable for both countries, militarily, politically, socially, and economically. And this is what makes their counter-value deterrence stable. According to Haggerty:
If history discloses an unblemished record of political leaders resisting the temptation to decapitate their enemies’ nuclear forces, opacity enhances their extreme caution. After all, opaque nuclear forces are even less attractive targets for first strike than transparent ones, because they are even more shrouded in ambiguity and secrecy.[106]
That scenario has, however, changed in South Asia after India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. The proponents of nuclear deterrence suggest that their argument is also upheld by empirical evidence. Nuclear weapons have helped to maintain peace and prevented military adventures in the past, and there is no reason to believe that they will not do so in the future. Even a powerful state is unlikely to commit aggression if it concludes that the potential gains are not worth the losses it has to risk. It is not necessary to conjure up doomsday scenarios of annihilation that entail an “unmitigated disaster.”[107] There is almost complete consensus in Pakistan’s strategic, scientific, and bureaucratic community that a nuclear deterrent capability is the best guarantee–if there can be one–to ensure peace, stability, and the absence of all out war with India. Ashley Tellis, in his post-1998 voluminous study of the Indian force posture, suggests: “The prospects of deterrent stability are [therefore] high because no South Asian state is currently committed to securing any political objectives through the medium of major conventional and, by implication, nuclear war.”[108]
Kamal Matinuddin provides a lengthy narrative on the existing theories of deterrence and briefly mentions opposing sides in the case of India and Pakistan, but is personally evasive on the subject of deterrent stability versus instability in south Asia.[109]
The present state of strategic stability between India and Pakistan is a precarious one, which needs more constant monitoring and vigil than the former Cold-war models. The geographical proximity of India and Pakistan does not permit enough early warning information and time: the three to five minutes time-lag at present is inadequate for a rational and calculated response. This might prompt launch-on-warning responses, enhancing the chances of miscalculation. The relatively less sophisticated command and control systems may cause difficulties in dealing with problems of accidental and unauthorized launch of nuclear weapons. The increase in mistrust and hostility between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Kargil crisis and the unresolved Kashmir dispute compounds the problems of nuclear arms’ competition, missile proliferation, and deployment, and adds to divergent perceptions about strategic stability and regional security in South Asia.
Pakistan has to be mindful that it does not engage in an open-ended nuclear arms race with India, since the latter’s larger economy enables it to allocate stupendous resources for nuclear military development, which the former simply cannot afford. It needs to dispassionately work out the essential requirements of a sufficient and stable deterrence against India and then guard against unnecessary escalation. An over-kill capability would be superfluous. The announcement of a Pakistani nuclear doctrine, not in rapid response to the draft Indian nuclear doctrine, but based upon its own merits of credible minimum deterrence, would mitigate the chances of misperception and provocation by India.
Both India and Pakistan should not ignore the global trends in favour of restraint on their nuclear capabilities. The present nuclear capabilities of India and Pakistan, based upon the demonstration of the recent nuclear tests, could help to promote stability and prevent the outbreak of war, provided disputes like Kashmir are immediately addressed. Limitation of their nuclear capabilities could be gradual, through the strengthening of mutual security. India and Pakistan should agree to contain their nuclear weapons capabilities within safe and manageable limits, mutually agreed upon by both countries. They must be willing to address the horrific consequences of a nuclear war, if deterrence were to fail.
The current CBMs have helped to normalize the political relationship among the two states. It is hoped the atmosphere will further improve after peace and security negotiations scheduled in June 2004, which might result in instituting nuclear-related CBMs. Through confidence and security-building negotiations, India and Pakistan can obviate the requirements for hardened silos, nuclear submarines, and even a search for the improvement of second-strike capabilities, which are at present considered essential for stable deterrence. Only then can a mutually beneficial and long-lasting peaceful atmosphere be created in the subcontinent. The long-term maintenance of a nuclear deterrent relationship by itself is a complex strategic issue, which, in the case of India and Pakistan, will be a much more demanding task. A resolution of the Kashmir dispute will eliminate the raison d’ être of hostility between India and Pakistan.

* Zafar Iqbal Cheema, Quaid-i-Azam Fellow, Oxford University, UK.
[1] “Pakistan to upgrade nuclear deterrent”, Dawn (Karachi), 25 November 1999.
[2] Ibid.
[3] “Pakistan says Indian nuclear plan threaten global stability”, News (Rawalpindi), 26 August 1999.
[4] General (retd.) Mirza Aslam Beg, Development and Security: Thoughts and Reflections (Rawalpindi: FRIENDS, 1994), pp. 168-79.
[5] For the 1986-87 Brasstacks crisis, see Brasstacks and Beyond: Perception and Management of Crisis in South Asia, ACDIS Research Report, (Urbana-Illinois, Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995); for the spring 1990 crisis, see Stephen P. Cohen, P. R. Chari and Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, The Compound Crisis of 1990: Perception, Politics and Security, ACDIS Research Report (Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois, 2000); and Seymour M. Hersh, “On the Nuclear Edge”, New Yorker, 29 March 1993, pp. 68-73. No study on the 1999 Kargil conflict has yet appeared from this perspective.
[6] Z. A. Bhutto, The Myth of Independence (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1969), see chapter on “Deterrent against Aggression.”
[7] Giri Deshingkar, “Indian politics and arms control: recent reversals and new reasons for optimism”, in Eric Arnett, Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control in South Asia after the Test Ban (Oxford: Oxford University Press, SIPRI, 1998), p. 32.
[8] James E. Dougherty, “Proliferation in Asia”, Orbis (Fall 1975), Special Issue, p. 926
[9] Ibid.
[10] Milton R. Benjamin, “India said to Eye-Raid Pakistani A-Plants”, Washington Post, 20 December 1982.
[11] Nucleonics Week, vol. 25, no. 38 (September 1984), p. 4.
[12] W. P. S. Sidhu, “Indian Nuclear Doctrine”, in James Wirtz, Peter Lavoy and Scott Sagan, eds., Planning the Unthinkable: How New Nuclear Powers will Use Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2000), pp. 125-157.
[13] Nation (Islamabad), 28 May 1998, p.1.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] “Redefining Nuclear Order”, Nation (Islamabad), 9 September 1998, special report, p. 5.
[17] Please see section above on the Indian nuclear doctrine.
[18] Pakistan accused India of using chemical weapons during the fighting at Kargil. “World: South Asia–India ‘using chemical weapons’ in Kashmir”, BBC News South Asia (14 June 1999); “Pakistan accuses India of lobbing chemical shells into Kashmir”, (13 June 1999)
[19] United Nations, Disarmament Newsletter, 7(5), October 1989, p. 8.
[20] Documents on Disarmament: 1968 (Washington DC: ACDA, 1968), p. 317.
[21] Ibid.
[22] SIPRI, The Near-Nuclear Countries and the NPT (Stockholm: SIPRI, 1972), p. 26
[23] US Congressional Records, 5 August 1988, p. S11005.
[24] “India not in favor of regional disarmament”, News India, 14 November 1987.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Text of the statement at the Conference on Disarmament by Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office, Geneva, on 24 January 1996.
[27] Ibid.
[28] For India’s CTBT policy, see Zafar Iqbal Cheema, “Background Factors Relating to Nuclear Disarmament Issues, Including NPT, CTBT and Likely Future Developments”, in Fasahat H. Syed (ed.), Nuclear Disarmament and Conventional Arms Control Including Light Weapons (Rawalpindi: FRIENDS, 1997), pp. 67-96.
[29] Arnett, Nuclear Weapons, pp. 1-18.
[30] George Perkovich, India’s Nuclear Bomb: Impact on Global Proliferation (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999), p. 12.
[31] Neil Joeck, “Nuclear Developments in India and Pakistan”, Access Asia Review, vol. 2, no. 2 (July 1999), pp. 29-30.
[32] Dr Homi Sethna, Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, contemptuously dismissed the possibility of a Pakistani nuclear response after India’s 1974 nuclear test by saying that Pakistan neither had the technology nor the capable men to produce nuclear weapons. Full details of Dr Sethna’s observation are available in Dr A. Khan’s interview in The Muslim (Islamabad), 1 March 1987; and Kuldip Nayyar, “Pakistan can make an A-Bomb: Says Pakistan’s Dr. Strange Love”, Observer (London), 1 March 1987. A US Congressional study in 1982 suggested a considerable underestimation of Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons capability when it had virtually acquired most of the equipment for the Kahuta Uranium Enrichment Plant. Analysis of Six Issues About Nuclear Capabilities of India, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, prepared by the Natural Resources Policy Division for the Subcommittee on Arms Control, Oceans, International Operations and Environment, Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, January 1982 (Washington DC: US GPO, 1982), p. 18. In another context, US officials underplayed the initial reports of Richard Barlow, a CIA officer monitoring Pakistan’s nuclear pursuits in the 1980s. For further details, see, Hersh, “Nuclear Edge”, pp. 68-73.
[33] Aslam Beg, pp. 176-7.
[34] News (Rawalpindi), 29 and 31 May 1998, p, 1; Nation (Islamabad), 29 and 31 May 1998, p. 1.
[35] Ibid.
[36] “Ready-to-Fire N-Warheads Used”, Nation (Islamabad), 29 May 1998, p. 1.
[37] Eric Arnett, “Nuclear Stability and Arms Sale to India: Implications for U.S. Policy”, in Arms Control Today, vol. 27, no. 5 (August 1997), pp. 7-11.
[38] Perkovich, India’s Nuclear Bomb, p. 426.
[39] Ibid., p. 427.
[40] Aid and the Proposed Arms Sale of F-16 to Pakistan, Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 12-17 November 1981 (Washington DC: USGPO, 1981), p. 13.
[41] Ibid.
[42] Weapons Proliferation in the New World Order, Hearing before the Committee on Government Affairs, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, 2nd Session, 15 January 1992, pp. 20-5
[43] Ibid.
[44] “Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb”, Foreign Report (12 January 1989), p. 1. However, Foreign Report is not generally regarded as a very reliable source.
[45] Ibid.
[46] David Cortright and Amitabh Mattoo, eds., India and the Bomb: Public Opinion and Nuclear Options (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996), p. 8.
[47] News (Rawalpindi), 7 April 1998.
[48] “Pakistan tests its longest-range missile”, Dawn (Internet Edition), 10 March 2004.
[49] Ibid.
[50] “Pakistan Working on Miniaturized N-Warhead”, Nation (Islamabad), 16 April 1998, p. 9.
[51] Ibid.
[52] Hersh, “Nuclear Edge”, pp. 55-73.
[53] “Pakistan says Indian nuclear plan threatens global stability”, The News International, 26 August, 1999.
[54] Ibid.
[55] Draft Report of the National Security Advisory Board on Indian Nuclear Doctrine (New Delhi: Government of India, 17 August 1999).
[56] Ibid.
[57] Ibid.
[58] Ibid.
[59] Rodney W. Jones, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Posture”, Dawn (Karachi), 14 September 1999.
[60] Ibid.
[61] The Cabinet Committee on Security Reviews Operationalization of India’s Nuclear Doctrines (New Delhi: Government of India Press Release, 4 January 2003).
[62] Ibid., p. 1.
[63] Ibid., article ii.
[64] Ibid, article vi.
[65] “Pakistan says Indian nuclear plan threatens global stability”, The News International, 26 August, 1999.
[66] Faraz Hashmi, “Nuclear Deterrence Vital to Security: Musharraf Rules out Compromise”, Dawn (Internet Edition), 26 June 2001.
[67] Ibid.
[68] Paolo Cotta-Ramusino and Maurizio Martellini, Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Stability and Nuclear Strategy in Pakistan (Como: Landau Network, January 2002).
[69] General Kidwai later denied the use of the wording of the contingencies.
[70] The wording of these thresholds is that of the Italian interviewers, Paolo Cotta-Ramusino and Maurizio Martellini, see note above, p. 5.
[71] Nayyar, “Pakistan can make an A-Bomb”, Brasstacks, p. 30.
[72] “Knocking at the Nuclear Door”, Time magazine, 30 April 1987.
[73] Ibid.
[74] Hersh, “Nuclear Edge”, p. 64.
[75] Ibid.
[76] Cohen, et. al., Compound Crisis, pp. 98-102.
[77] Quoted in Devin Haggerty, “Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia: the 1990 Indo-Pakistan Crisis”, International Security, vol. 20, no.3 (Winter 1995-96).
[78] According to Timothy Hoyt, “Nuclear threats, usually veiled, were part and parcel of the crisis.” Timothy Hoyt, “Kargil: the Nuclear Dimension”, a chapter in a forthcoming book on Kargil by the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, pp. 12-13. Hoyt cites a source which states that, “Indian and Pakistani officials and leaders exchanged direct or indirect nuclear threats no fewer than 13 times between May 26 and June 30.”
[79] “India-Pakistan: Kargil Raises Risk of Nuclear War”, commentary by Praful Bidwai, Inter Press Service (New Delhi), 27 July 1999.
[80] Raj Chengappa, Weapons of Peace (New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers India Pvt Ltd, 2000), p. 437. Nuclear weapons, according to this report, were placed at “Readiness State 3” –ready to be mated with delivery systems at short notice. Presumably, this means that they were assembled or virtually assembled.
[81] George Perkovich, “Non-Weaponized Deterrence: The Case for Pakistan,” Strategic Studies (Islamabad), vol. XVII (Autumn-Winter 1994), pp. 142-6.
[82] Ibid.
[83] Air Commodore (retd.) Jasjit Singh is the Director of IDSA, New Delhi. For his views, see Naeem A. Salik, “A Minimum Deterrent Regime in South Asia” (under publication), pp. 3-4.
[84] Ibid.
[85] Ibid.
[86] Scott Sagan, “The Perils of Proliferation”, International Security, vol. 18, no. 4 (1994), p. 71
[87] Ibid., pp. 71-102.
[88] Neil Joeck, Maintaining Nuclear Stability In South Asia: Adelphi Paper No: 312 (London: IISS, 1997), pp. 12, 36-48. It needs to be mentioned that this paper was written before the May 1998 nuclear tests.
[89] Ibid., p. 13.
[90] Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Be Better (London: IISS, 1981), pp. 20-4.
[91] Ibid, p. 30.
[92] Ashley J. Tellis, Stability in South Asia (Santa Monica: Rand Documented Briefing, 1997), p. viii.
[93] Tellis, p. 52. It is noteworthy that Tellis’ monograph was written before the 1998 nuclear tests.
[94] See in Munir Ahmad Khan, “Understanding Pakistan’s Nuclear Plans”, News (Islamabad), 8 March 1995, p. 6.
[95] The U.S. and India, A Report (Washington DC: Washington Council on Non-Proliferation, 1993), p. 24.
[96] Ibid., pp. 24-6.
[97] Ibid. p. 26.
[98] These views are cited in Mahbubul Haq, “Internal Nuclear Threat to South Asia”, Regional Studies, vol. xiv, no. (1996), p. 27.
[99] Ibid.
[100] Op-ed article, “India can no longer beat Pakistan in war”, Nation (Islamabad) 4 June 1998.
[101] Ibid.
[102] Mitchell Reiss, Without the Bomb: Politics of Nuclear Non-Proliferation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), p. 28.
[103] Waltz, More may be better, pp. 16-17.
[104] Andre Beaufre, Deterrence and Strategy (London: Faber and Faber, 1995), p. 66.
[105] Ibid., p. 26
[106] Haggerty, “Nuclear Deterrence”, pp. 67-8.
[107] Ibid., p. 68.
[108] Ashley Tellis, India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture: Between Recess Deterrent and Ready Arsenal (Santa Monica: RAND, 2001) p. 742.
[109] Kamal Matinuddin, The Nuclearization of South Asia (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 171.
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