Home Contact Us
Search :
   

Nuclear - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#3227, 30 August 2010
 
Towards Regional Stability: Establish an Indo-Pak Nuclear Commission
D Suba Chandran
Deputy Director, IPCS
email: subachandran@gmail.com
 

Between India and Pakistan, there is little understanding of each other’s nuclear capabilities and doctrines. There is likely to be an increased international pressure on both countries, as a part of the renewed efforts towards global nuclear disarmament. Both regional instability and the likely international pressure calls for an intensive dialogue and innovative approaches.

At the regional level, Pakistan does not consider India’s nuclear doctrine (especially the No-First-Use and Minimum Credible Deterrence) as credible. Rather, Islamabad in Pakistan believes that during crisis period, India will not adhere to its NFU. Besides, the NFU will result in India preparing for a second strike capability, thereby increasing its nuclear arsenals considerably. According to Pakistan, this makes India’s credible deterrence anything but minimal, besides the fact, leading to an arms race. More importantly, Pakistan today believes, that after the Indo-US nuclear deal, India will be able to amass sufficient fissile materials, enabling it to lead the nuclear arms race in South Asia, at a considerable pace, leaving Pakistan behind.

On the other hand, India believes, that its doctrine including the NFU and minimum credible deterrence, is a source of stability. A section within India even believes that the NFU actually provides the space for Pakistan, to engage in overt and covert activities, as India will not be the first use nuclear weapons. Regarding the nuclear deal with the US, a section believes, that this agreement has come up with certain military costs (besides the economic costs), in terms of opening its nuclear facilities to international inspection. India has made substantial commitments to the international organizations including the IAEA and NSG. Pakistan, however, has got a similar understanding with Beijing, without any such commitments.

At the international level, after the relative success of the NPT Review Conference 2010, one is likely to see an increased international pressure on India and Pakistan; especially relating to certain international nuclear treaties – primarily the CTBT and FMCT. The fact that it will not be easy for Obama to get the CTBT ratified will provide space for India and Pakistan to debate the CTBT or prolong the decision. Unfortunately, the FMCT does not provide that space to both countries. Despite the bold statements, it is unlikely that the two countries would be able to withstand the international pressure. Pakistan is dilly dallying with calling for a FMT (Fissile Material Treaty) instead of an FMCT. This suits India, for New Delhi can argue that it will be willing to sign the FMCT, if Islamabad is ready to do the same. Pakistan is afraid that if it signs the FMCT now, it will not be able to match up with India’s already produced fissile materials.

While the Lahore Memorandum provides space for a nuclear dialogue, and there already exists an earlier agreement on sharing each other’s nuclear installations, there is not much trust between the two countries. The reason is the lack of any meaningful and intensive nuclear dialogue, sustained over a period – either at Track-I or Track-II levels. As a part of confidence building, numerous nuclear risk reduction measures have been proposed already. Establishment of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers (NRRCs) on the models of US-Russia has been widely discussed in the strategic circles. Undoubtedly, the NRRCs are a welcome suggestion, but are limited and negative in approach. It hopes to establish two nuclear centers, which will be technical in nature, providing details/alerts regarding nuclear dangers, accidental use and related issues.

What is needed now, at the Indo-Pak level is a positive, larger institution that provides space for continuous and intensive interaction on nuclear issues, which remain uninterrupted with other political/militant developments in Indo-Pak level. None of the major nuclear treaties at the international level are a result of casual one-off meeting, held over a period of two days. International nuclear agreements are the result of an intensive interaction, over a period of years. If India and Pakistan are to have any productive debate leading to a stable understanding, then the nuclear dialogue needs something larger than a mere NRRC, at the technical level.

This is where an Indo-Pak Nuclear Commission on the models of Indus Water Commission may be an idea worth pursuing. Indus Water Commission, created in 1960 after a prolonged negotiation, which resulted in the famous Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), provides two Indus Water Commissioners in India and Pakistan. The Indus Water Commission has met periodically ever since 1960, irrespective of wars and proxy wars, and regime changes. If the IWT is hailed as a major example, of a treaty that have survived four wars and numerous proxy wars, it is because that the Indus Water Commission never broke down, and its Commissioners never failed to meet each other. Two positive ideas from the Indus Water Commission are worth borrowing: an exclusive commission and periodic meeting, irrespective of the prevailing political climate.

The Indo-Pak Nuclear Commission, unlike the proposed NRRC should not be only technical. It could be an ideal forum for the discussion of nuclear doctrines and understanding each other’s anxieties and fears. While the NRRCs will contain two centers in India and Pakistan, the Nuclear Commission could facilitate regular meetings, alternatively in India and Pakistan. In fact, the NRRC could be the technical arm of the Nuclear Commission. Such an Indo-Pak Nuclear Commission has the potential to become a great stabilizer of nuclear relations between the two countries.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary

D Suba Chandran
Across the Durand Line: Who is in Control Now? Will That Change?
Taliban Talks and the Four Horsemen: Between Peace and Apocalypse
Pakistan: Talks about Talks with the Taliban, Again
Dateline Islamabad

Salma Malik
Pakistan and TTP: Dialogue or Military Action?
The Musharraf Trial & Beyond

Dateline Kabul

Mariam Safi
Afghanistan, US and the Peace Process: A Deal with the Taliban in 2014?
Dhaka Discourse

Prof Delwar Hossain
Bangladesh: Domestic Politics and External Actors
Bangladesh Post Elections 2014: Redefining Domestic Politics?

Eagle Eye

Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
US in Asia: A 'Non-Alignment' Strategy?
Indo-US Strategic Partnership Post Khobragade: The Long Shadow
East Asia Compass

Dr Sandip Mishra
North Korean Peace Gestures and Inter-Korea Relations
Japan: Implications of Indiscriminate Assertiveness
China, Japan, Korea and the US: Region at Crossroads

Himalayan Frontier

Pramod Jaiswal
Chinese Inroads to Nepal
Constituent Assembly-II: Rifts Emerging
Nepal: The Crisis over Proportional Representation and the RPP Divide
Maritime Matters

Vijay Sakhuja
Increasing Maritime Competition: IORA, IONS, Milan and the Indian Ocean Networks
China in the Indian Ocean: Deep Sea Forays
Iran Navy: Developing Long Sea Legs

Middle Kingdom

DS Rajan
China in the Indian Ocean: Competing Priorities
China-Japan Friction: How can India Respond?
Nuke Street

Amb Sheelkant Sharma
Nuclear Security Summit 2014 and the NTI Index
Nuclear Power: An Annual Report Card

Red Affairs

Bibhu Prasad
Maoists in the Northeast: Reality and Myth-Making
Surrender of Gudsa Usendi: Ominous beginning for the Naxals?
South Asian Dialectic

PR Chari
Federalism: Centre as Coordinator and Adjudicator
Limits of Federalism

Spotlight West Asia

Amb Ranjit Gupta
Saudi Arabia-US Estrangement: Implications for the Indian Subcontinent
Syria Today: Is Regime Change the Answer?
The Arab World: Trying Times Ahead
Strategic Space

Manpreet Sethi
US, China and the South Asian Nuclear Construct
Responding to Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A Strategy for India

The Strategist

Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Strategic Non-Nuclear Weapons: An Essential Consort to a Doctrine of No First Use
 

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


 
Related Articles
Debak Das,
"Review: India, Pakistan and Incremental CBMs," 18 February 2013
D Suba Chandran,
"Indo-Pak Nuclear Commission: A SWOT Analysis," 11 November 2010
D Suba Chandran,
"Indus Waters Governance-V: One River, Three Dialogues," 27 September 2010
Kriti Mathur,
"Indo-Pak: Cost of the Conflict," 17 August 2010
Pia Malhotra,
"Kashmir: A Case for Watershed Management?," 19 July 2010
D Suba Chandran,
"Should India give up its NFU Doctrine?," 24 June 2010
Prof. Satish Kumar,
"A Moment of Hope or Despair in Pakistan?," 4 May 2010
Siddharth Ramana,
"The Iranian Nuclear Conference," 27 April 2010
Ali Ahmed,
"The Pro-Talks Argument," 3 March 2010
Firdaus Ahmed,
"India at 60: Acquiring Escape Velocity?," 27 January 2010

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
Rise of Democratic Anarchists

Don’t steal the election now

Mullah Fazlullah: Challenges to the “Eliminate or Extradite” Approach

The Tahirul Qadri Affair

Dhaka as the Gateway to India’s Look East Policy

Modi, Sharif and the Cross-LoC Interactions

Region by Sub-regions

Civil-Military Equations in Pakistan: Que Sera Sera

End of the Road for Taliban?

Presidential Election: Thus spoke the Afghans

Importance of Jamat-e-Islami

Talks with the Taliban: Endgame for the TTP

And Now, They are Coming for Us

Honouring the Dead

The Demographic Dividend

Pivot, Rebalance and What Next?

Unraveling of FATA

Across the Durand Line: Who is in Control Now? Will That Change?

TTP under Mullah Fazlullah: What Next for the Pakistani Taliban?

Connecting Asia: South Asia as a Strategic Bridge

Talks with the TTP: How Far will the State Go?

Cross-LoC Trade and Our Collective Failure

Taliban Talks and the Four Horsemen: Between Peace and Apocalypse

Expanse of Federalism: South Asia Sui Generis?

Pakistan: Talks about Talks with the Taliban, Again

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July
 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, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
Email:
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com