Over the last few days, as shelling between India and Pakistan has intensified and reduced over time, there are a number of statements coming about the Pakistani nuclear option. This news report is an example. Over the years, when there is conflict with India, Pakistan routinely bandies their nuclear status, in a sort of a veiled threat. Whether this is meant to be a threat or not is a matter of speculation, but the use of the adjective “nuclear powers” does suggest that. Maybe we should look deeply to understand how the intelligentia in Pakistan thinks, especially when it comes to their nuclear assets, vis a vis India.
Heres a panel discussion moderated by Moeed Pirzada, about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons:
The essence of the discussion is that the Pakistani view of nuclear weapons is as an offset for India’s superiority at conventional warfare. This is why Pakistan refuses to endorse the no-first-use policy which India embraces. In other words, while India pledges to not use nuclear weapons unless attacked with a nuclear weapon, Pakistan makes no such pledge. Pakistan would rather hit India with nuclear weapons even in the eventuality of a conventional war. And thus, Pakistan violates the cease-fire, and carried out unprovoked firing, and when India retaliates, raises the spectre of nuclear weapons.
In effect, while India believes that there is room for a limited war with Pakistan, Pakistan on the other hand, by playing the nuclear card, is trying to build the impression that there is no such space. When this is the thinking of the leadership and the intelligentsia, is it any surprise that the world is concerned?
Heres the military view of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
The other, human aspect of this nuclear bogey is succintly described by Hassan Nisar in this talk … a voice of sanity.