Senate of Pakistan

Nuclear double standards damaged non-proliferation, says Mushahid

Nuclear double standards damaged non-proliferation, says Mushahid
October 24, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Defence Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Wednesday said that nuclear tests by India and Pakistan paved the way for a balance of power in South Asia.

"This has compelled both India and Pakistan to behave as responsible nuclear powers while a conventional war is no longer an option for any side. This, therefore, stabilized South Asia through deterrence," he said in his key note address to inaugural session of a joint workshop on "Deterrence Stability in South Asia" jointly organized by Carnegie Endowment of International Peace and Centre for International Strategic Studies.

Mushahid said motivation for going nuclear were different for Pakistan, which got the Bomb for its security while India went nuclear to get big power status.

Expounding on various reasons for deterrence stability in South Asia, the Senator said, "Pakistan's nuclear testing in 1998 infused a national self-confidence at all levels and led to the emergence of various strong constituencies seeking peace in region and not confrontation."

In this regard, he stated that even a possible BJP victory in India would not undermine bilateral ties.

The Senator cited three factors that could challenge nuclear stability in the region. "US-India nuclear deals in the recent years are aimed at disturbing the regional balance of power. Such a deal was audacious and deliberate violation of nuclear non-proliferation."

The lingering case of Jammu and Kashmir was pointed out as another irritant to regional stability. "Over 180 young men and women were massacred in the streets of Srinagar in 2010 to quell their peaceful uprising and yet, the US, and the West remained a silent spectator."

He contended that India can never join the "Big Boys' club" until and unless it changes the status quo in Kashmir.

Alluding to the upcoming US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Mushahid expressed his apprehensions about possible eruption of proxy war.

The ideal course of action, the Senator identified, would be regional cooperation and integration to reap the promises and opportunities of an emerging new regionalism, knit together by cooperation in energy and economy. "Envision a far and wide network of roads and pipelines from Iran to Myanmar, Turkmenistan to India and Kashgar to Gawadar and even beyond."

With reference to the PM's US visit, Mushahid said it was good to see that bilateral relations were back on a favourable course.


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