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India’s Space Weaponization Program And Implications For Crisis Stability And Nuclear Deterrence In South Asia – OpEd

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The aim to attain a global power status has led many countries to spent millions of dollars in space Weaponization. The Weaponization and militarization of space has been the topic of discussion in recent times. India, trying to attain regional hegemony, power and prestige is not lacking behind in the race and is not tuning any stone unturned to be ahead in the outer space race. The Indian weaponization of space is detrimental to the South Asian security and deterrence stability. Thus, the matter needs to be addressed internationally instead of abetting India in its dangerous endeavors. 

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In the present global arena it has become detrimental to achieve technological advantage in order to attain to noticeable part in the international decision-making. A prepared army and state-of-the-art weaponry is the key to the state security and prestige, which further aids in the international decision making and attainment of desired national interests. The Indian officials and government want to utilize space for the offensive purposes as well, which will certainly increase the chances of any misadventure, deterrence and crisis instability, thus increasing the risk of war in south Asia, between the two nuclear power states. 

The Indian outer space program is antagonistic towards Pakistan. The Indian intentions had been obscure since the Star Wars Program was presented by President Ronald Reagan. India since then showed ambiguity in its space program and didn’t term it as peaceful or otherwise. Pakistan reiterated on the fact that India’s space program is not for peaceful purposes, when in March 2019 India conducted its ASAT weapon test. 

The stationing of missiles in space is another threat to Pakistan’s security, in a scenario where India is acquiring BMD system as well. The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance increases with the command in space weaponization, and real-time information could be gathered of the adversary, esp. in a crisis. It increases the chances of pre-emptive strike and counterforce attacks. Such situation increases the security dilemma of a state lacking in space technology. 

India also has signed BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) with US, which will allow India to get hands on the advanced geospatial intelligence and satellite data. This kind of agreement with a super power would amplify India’s capabilities and worsens the stability of south Asia, as it will provoke aggressive India to for offensive measures. Thus, the super power should consider the stability scenario of a region before abetting such technologies to one country. 

Pakistan on the other hand has a peaceful space weapon. Pakistan doesn’t want an arms race in space as well, but the offensive actions by India provoke Pakistan to take necessary measures in order to maintain the crisis stability and deterrence stability in South Asia. Pakistan always has to make up for the irresponsible actions taken by its adversary, which always tries and provokes Pakistan for the arms race. India’s advanced space weaponization program along with the advanced ISR system further create hurdles for the conflict resolution in south Asia. Thus, the weaponization of space holds destabilizing outcomes for the security of the south Asian region. 

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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.

One thought on “India’s Space Weaponization Program And Implications For Crisis Stability And Nuclear Deterrence In South Asia – OpEd

  • March 3, 2022 at 4:53 am
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    This is the first article that has been honest in highlighting India’s space weaponization program as evidenced. There should be more articles about India’s militarization of the region.

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