THE REALITY OF NUCLEAR BLUFF IN SOUTH ASIA
Keywords:Nuclear weapons state, nuclear doctrine or policy, Kashmir dispute, peace, India and Pakistan, nuclear bluff, climate change.
Possession of nuclear arsenals is considered as a tool for establishing credible deterrence, but simultaneously these nukes also pose a threat to global peace. Nukes have been successful in containing the conventional wars between conflicting states since cold war era. Analyzing the prevailing issue of Kashmir and the Indian surgical strikes has once again given birth to war-like situation between India and Pakistan. The Indian atrocities in Kashmir and Indian manipulation of the law to affect the sovereignty of Kashmiris have jolted the South Asian stability. Surgical strikes, Operation Swift Retort and revoking of article 370 and 35A by the Indian officials have opened the new phase of war between India and Pakistan. Moreover, few simmering changes in Indian nuclear policy and strategic thinking have further worsened the situation. The Indian strategists have several times called Pakistan first use nuclear policy as a nuclear bluff; however, this may not be the case in reality. The breach of the nuclear threshold between two South Asian belligerents will not only have its adverse effects on India and Pakistan but will have far reaching negative implications on the region. Nuclear breach in South Asia will trigger a devastating human and climate crisis. Indian claims of calling Pakistan’s nuclear policy as the nuclear bluff can be misleading and faulty assessments that may lead to an actual nuclear war, especially when Pakistan perceives that its sovereignty has been threatened. In order to maintain peace, the ladder of de-escalation from escalation is crucial for both India and Pakistan to avoid human and climate crisis. To save the world from dangers of nuclear use, the international community needs to take some concrete steps for bridging the conflict between these two states. Bilateral issues and disputes should be resolved through diplomatic means and shall be facilitated by the UNSC and other relevant international organizations as well as the major powers of the world.