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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. 

The proliferation of supersonic and hypersonic weapons is echoing in south Asia which 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. 

India recently test fired the air version of Brahmos supersonic missile. The supersonic missile is a joint venture of the Indian DRDO and the Russian NPOM. It is basically an offensive missile, and India intends to develop a series of supersonic missiles. India is most likely to supplement it with the nuclear missile as well, which would intensify the already volatile scenario in south Asia. Moreover, India has also tested the Supersonic missile assisted torpedo (SMART), which indicates the continuous modernization of its technology. Recently Indian Defence Minister said that India wants to go for hypersonic missile in line with credible minimum deterrence. 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. 

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.

One thought on “Indian Nuclear Missile Proliferation: Effect On South Asian Strategic Stability – OpEd

  • December 31, 2021 at 12:45 am
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    Pakistan is not a primary concern for India. China is. India is in race to catchup with China. India has no choice but to keep up with northern neighbor. We have not seen enemy so brutal than China.There has never been any nation so abusive and disrespecting about neighbors. China as issues with all its borders. India has to keep up.

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