Islamabad: Warning that India’s conventional and nuclear build up is undermining South Asia’s strategic stability, the experts in Pakistan said the move set off an arms race in the region.
The experts expressed their views at a round table discussion, ‘Growing Challenges to Strategic Stability in South Asia’, organised by the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS).
Strategic Plans Division Director Dr. Adil Sultan pointed out that India, besides upgrading its conventional capability, was also developing a complete inventory of nuclear arms ranging from tactical weapons to inter-continental ballistic missiles out of its ambitions to be reckoned as an “undisputed power” at least in the region, reports the Express Tribune.
He said testing of the submarine launched ballistic missile and developing anti-ballistic missile systems meant that India was operationalising its nuclear triad.
Expressing concern, Sultan said that “inconsistencies in India’s declaratory policies and evolving strategic thought” and the discord in “India’s security enclave” over nuclear drivers affect the regional strategic stability.
He pointed out that New Delhi was creating instability at the sub-conventional level by shifting Pakistani military’s focus from external threats to internal security challenges with ‘grand strategy’ led by its intelligence establishment.
Meanwhile, Dr. Riffat Hussain, a professor at NUST, said that military capability acquired by India would hurt Pakistan.
Expressing India may not be interested in fighting a war with Pakistan at this stage, he, however, said that the country maintained the current growth rate and it may sometime in future impose war on Islamabad.
He said that Pakistan would have to work harder to counter India-U.S. alliance.
According to academic Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, the arms race was already taking place in the region, which implies that there is no strategic stability.
He said that provocative actions by states involved were against the spirit of having nuclear deterrence stability in the region.
Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) Executive Director Sarwar Naqvi pointed out that Islamabad must closely watch India – U.S. strategic partnership especially in context of the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA).
He added that prospects of conflict between the arch rivals have only increased due to absence of an institutional dialogue process and deliberate escalation by India.