Home Contact Us
Search :
   

Nuclear - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#146, 30 September 1998
 
The Nuclear Scene: The Current Situation
 

1. Four months after the nuclear tests in South Asia it is time to take stock. The Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers have spoken recently at the UN General Assembly. Where do we stand now?

 

 

2. Both Prime Ministers stated at the UN that they were prepared to sign the CTBT in a year and adhere to its provisions till then. They have also agreed to join constructively in the FMCT negotiations at the CD in Geneva next year. Bilateral talks will begin from 15 October. Small but significant CBMs have been announced between the two countries. But, there continue to be many imponderables. Acceptance of the CTBT has been conditioned on so many factors that an actual signing does not look likely in the near future. In any case the possibility of the US Senate approving it before September 1999 is remote and without sub-continental ratification, negligible. Odds on the Treaty's coming into force by that date was always low and is now less than one in twenty.

 

 

3. US sanctions against India and Pakistan remain in force. Conditions for their lifting continues to be linked to: signing and ratification of the CTBT, a restraint regime covering the nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, an export control system, a moratorium on the production of fissile material and direct talks between Delhi and Islamabad. Obviously talks between Strobe Talbott and Jaswant Singh has been much less successful than what has been projected in the Indian media. Given the wide differences in national perceptions this was expected. Even its future pace is likely to slow with the BJP getting increasingly frustrated in domestic politics and then resorting to a more strident external approach.

 

 

4. Pakistan is in a more perilous state. Its economy will in all likelihood tether on the edge for next several months and more. As always in time of difficulty there is likely to be a shift towards more authoritarianism and religious extremism. In turn this will an impact on it's democratic institutions. It is closer than perhaps ever before to fulfilling the dire prophecy of a "failed state".

 

 

5. Much of this stems from the way the countries approached the nuclear tests. India saw the question primarily on political grounds. Internationally by being "Against Nuclear Apartheid" but joining the Club nevertheless as befitting a nation with 1/6th of the world's population and through it claiming a place at the top table. Domestically there were high expectations of popular support. To this date the BJP government has claimed only two successes, the Shakti Tests and settling the inter-state Cauvery River water dispute. The Prime Minister justified the Tests at the UN in terms of "having harmonized its national imperatives and security obligations". Hence New Delhi would like the world to carry on as usual as if nothing has changed or is going to change. Except perhaps that India-China relations will remain permanently conflictual.

 

 

6. Having been compelled (perhaps inevitably) to come out of the closet, Islamabad now sees this as a golden opportunity to settle scores with India . It's aggression in Jammu & Kashmir having failed again, it sees it's last opportunity now in internationalizing the Kashmir question through the threat of a nuclear Armageddon. Even attempting brinkmanship through severe artillery duels across the LoC has not been given up as an option.

 

 

7. China 's perception of the global order as essentially benign and its borders as peaceful and stable, has been somewhat shaken. It had under estimated the continuing concern in India over China 's growing power and the lack of progress in delineating the LAC.  It will now carefully reassess the situation. How will this impact on its continuing support to Pakistan , on progressing with CBMs agreed upon with India and on its military preparedness in Tibet ? Will it also affect its reluctant commitment to the global disarmament order, particularly over resuming its nuclear testing or modernizing its strategic armaments?

 

 

8. The Tests in South Asia do not threaten the USA directly, now or in the near future. But, by undermining its painfully crafted international non-proliferation order it challenges fundamentally it's national security interests and global pre-eminence. It has the most complex challenge of all, to put together pieces destroyed by the nuclear explosions. How committed is it to preserving this order? What flexibility is it willing to show to accommodate new interests? The next article will examine "What next."

 

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Stability in 2015
Sri Lanka: Making a Case for Change
Connecting Sri Lanka: Train to Jaffna
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Bangladesh: Diplomatic Manoeuvres at the UNGA
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism’s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
IPCS Forecast: East Asia in 2015
China-North Korea: Reasons for Reconciliation
Abe-Jinping Summit Meet: A Thaw in China-Japan Relations?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?
The Future of SAARC is Now

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
India’s Northeast: Need for a New Anti-Terror Policy
India-China: Securitising Water
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015
India and Maritime Security: Do More
Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
IPCS Forecast: Left-wing Extremism in 2015
Maoist Attack on the CRPF: Time for New Counter-strategies
Naxal Violence: Challenges to Jharkhand Polls

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
18th SAARC Summit: An Economic Agenda
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security
Obama’s New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
IPCS Forecast: West Asia in 2015
Rise of the Islamic State: Implications for the Arab World
Islamic State: The Efficacy of Counter-strategies
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
The Af-Pak Entity: Seduction to Armageddon?
Maritime Combat Power in the Indo-Pacific
Of Lawrence, Sykes-Picot and al-Baghdadi
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
Obama’s Rapprochement with Cuba
China's Global Ambition: Need to Emulate Germany
Mid-Term Elections: So What If the US Swings Hard Right?


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
President Obama and the Challenges of our Times

Countering Terror: New Approaches Required

The Nuclear Deal and India's Emergence

Meeting the Challenge of the Kabul Blast

The Passing Away of a Legend: Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw

India and UNPKO

Kashmir Earthquake: A Chance For Peace?

Defining India-US Defence Relations

Towards A More Secure World (Part 1) - The UN High Level Panel's Report

Preventing Proliferation - Bottling the Nuclear Genie

Eliminating Anti-Personnel Landmines

Kashmir Today - A Trip Report

The IIC Discussion – A Rejoinder

India's Nuclear Policy – An IIC Debate

Stopping the Nuclear Madness in Southern Asia

Buddha ‘Smiles Again’

After the Nuclear Tests

BJP and Indian Nuclear Policy

Chirac comes calling

Manpower Reduction In The Army

Post Ottawa Developments in Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines

Anti-Personnel Landmines Ban: A Backgrounder

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2015
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
 2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007
 2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999
 1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1900, Tel: 91-11-4100-1901, Tel/Fax: 91-11-4100-1902

Email:
© Copyright 2015, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com