Development of Nuclear Capabilities
The main dissertation of the paper seeks to answer the validity and the credibility of the issue of nuclear deterrence in the case of the conflict between India and Pakistan. It is perplexing and difficult to comprehend that these two countries are both archrivals and nuclear powers but still so far they have been able to avert a full-scale nuclear war among themselves. This creates the need to understand whether the aversion is primarily due to the concept of nuclear deterrence or are there additional forces in play. In order to understand the nature of the problem, the precise parameters of the issue and how it affects the region of the sub-continent, it is deemed imperative that a historical context should be established.
India's atomic program goes over to the late 1950s and was originally initiated for peaceful purposes to be used by civilians in order to create energy. Nonetheless, when China carried out its nuclear tests in 1964, it alerted the Indian authorities as it became essential for India to take some counteractive measures to curtail the Chinese threat. The year 1964 was even more significant because just two years before, India was dealt a humiliating defeat at the hand of China in the Sino-Indian War. Therefore, India had to react in order to maintain some form of equality between its own offensive capabilities and that of China. Following the Chinese advancements, India started its own nuclear program although it was highly criticized by the International Society. In addition from the evident rationale of creating its own nuclear program, India also had to worry about the threat from Pakistan which was magnified due to the ‘anti-status quo’ alliance with China. India’s conflict ridden history with both Pakistan and China was an adequate reason for the state to indulge itself in acquiring nuclear capabilities and it helped demonstrate that India was equipped to respond to all sorts of external threats.
Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions were necessitated primarily ¬due to the nuclear advancement of India. Pakistan felt that it would be greatly disadvantaged and would be left way behind in the security paradigm if it would be unable to become a nuclear power. The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and the nuclear testing by India in 1974 once again brought to the surface Pakistan’s fears of India’s imperialistic designs . Although Pakistan’s nuclear history does not date back as far as the Indian history does as it initiated its nuclear program nearly 20 years after India in 1972. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his tenure as the Prime Minister made it one of his top most priorities to transform the offensive abilities of Pakistan by ensuring that Pakistan becomes a nuclear power. In 1974, when India conducted its nuclear tests, Bhutto stated, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry; but we will get one of our own”. He remarked that all “great civilizations” of the worlds had the...