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Indian Nuclear Missile Proliferation: Effect On South Asian Strategic Stability – OpEd

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The nuclear capability of Pakistan is purely security based and depends upon the changing technological developments in the region. Pakistan maintains a posture of credible minimum deterrence and ensures strategic stability in the region. However, India continually pushes Pakistan towards arms race, by the development and induction of new aggressive technology, and incorporation of offensive doctrines.

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The proliferation of supersonic and hypersonic weapons, which is echoing in South Asia, could be disastrous for the regional peace and stability. Ever since the mass nuclear power has been invented, the deterrence stability in the region is maintained by keeping the mutual vulnerability intact, which India tries its best to sabotage. The introduction of supersonic and hypersonic weapons could be devastating as it travels with immensely high speed, and the enemy can’t be certain whether it is carrying conventional or non-conventional weapon, hence the chances and risks of nuclear war manifolds. 

Recently, Atul Rane, CEO and MD, BrahMos Aerospace said that in five to six years, India will be able to have the first hypersonic missile. Moreover, India has also tested the Supersonic missile assisted torpedo (SMART), which indicates the continuous modernization of its technology. Owing to the volatile situation in south Asia, with the absence of any conflict resolution treaties and agreements, the innovation in technology in South Asia leads to the change in the nuclear doctrines a swell. Pakistan maintains a policy of minimum credible deterrence, but that minimum is directly proportional to the advancements made by the adversary in offensive technology and ultimately in the nuclear doctrine. 

The Indian posture of NFU is also questionable, as the statements from the defence minister of India comes otherwise. The recent development indicates India’s move towards a counterforce targeting, which is a highly destabilizing factor for south Asia. The Indian military modernization is far exceeding the ‘minimum’ in minimum credible deterrence, and there is no reasonable justification of credible and minimum in the recent developments. Such doctrines only exist when a country prepares for the offensive first strike targeting and pre-emption strikes, hence leading to a full scale war. 

The recent BrahMos Misfire incident into the Pakistan territory indicates the weak command and control structure of India. This is signaling as it indicates India’s poor handling of such sensitive technology. This irresponsible behavior of India needs to be changed as it could result in disastrous consequences. Pakistan has always made efforts for restoring regional peace and stability, which India has always tried to destabilize due to its immature ruling authority. The political elite has always used the aggressive war-prone card against Pakistan in front of public for their political gains, without realizing the repercussions, which shows the ill-mindset of India’s ruling power. Moreover, the world has seen numerous instances of Uranium theft in India, which indicates weak safety and security protocols and weak Command and Control structure in India to handle such precarious technology.

The Indian obsession of acquisition of newer technology could result in the accidental or inadvertent war in South Asia, provided its unproven capability to manage it and war-prone behavior. This shows India being an irresponsible nuclear weapon state and the international community should look into this child state that is incompetent to take-up with nuclear and nuclear-related technology and delivery vehicles, and is thus a threat to the regional and global peace and security.

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India doesn’t have any security concern for which it is going for the acquisition of hypersonic weapons or change in doctrine. It doesn’t have any potent threat from the neighboring countries to go for such ventures; hence, the drive is totally out of the prestige factor, as India wants to come at par with US, Russia and China in leading world technologies, without realizing the effect of such technologies on the regional stability. India needs to withdraw its hegemonic ambitions if the stability and regional peace is required or if the arms race needs to be withheld. As a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan always maintains a modest nuclear posture, and any military development is the part of strategic chain in the south Asia, and or because of its allies.  

Amber Afreen Abid

Amber Afreen Abid is a Research Officer at Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), Islamabad. She holds an M.Phil degree in Strategic Studies from National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad.

2 thoughts on “Indian Nuclear Missile Proliferation: Effect On South Asian Strategic Stability – OpEd

  • June 27, 2022 at 4:50 pm
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    Don’t know why Apkistanis think that whatever India is doing is against them…absolutely wrong – All new capacities and capabilities are for China front Not Apkistan. I think Apkistan should stop from comparing itself to mighty India…its NOT IN THE SAME league. Please !!

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  • June 28, 2022 at 8:07 am
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    Pakistan as a country needs to come out from being self obsession. Anything India does is not always Pakistan centric. We have our own strategic interest and problems. We have a border dispute with a country China- always working against the rule order. So we have to prepare for that. Pakistan as a number one threat for India has long been replaced by china. So please don’t be so self obsessive. The intellectual level of the article does not matches to that of a scholar holding M.Phil degree. For the writer, please give some depth to the topic, don’t be so shallow and not be driven by shallow political vision.

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