Nuclear Stability in Asia and South Asia: the Dynamics of a Fragile Stability
India-Pakistan-China relations determine South Asia’s strategic stability. Recent events and disputes have heightened regional tensions, and have drawn the world’s attention on the region’s potential for conflict. The fact that all three nuclear weapon states have long-standing border disputes has been used by the non-proliferation lobbies to consistently highlight South Asia as a nuclear flash point. The intractable Kashmir dispute continues to be cited as the potential trigger for any nuclear escalation. These concerns were brought to the fore as the world witnessed the two nuclear armed adversaries fight it out on the Himalayan heights of Kargil in May 1999. While India fought the war firmly, and displayed significant escalation control and management of international opinion, it must be acknowledged that both countries kept the conflict below the nuclear threshold, thus questioning the nuclear flash point theory.
*This article was published in Indian Foreign Affairs Journal – Apr-Jun 2018.