Triggering a new arms race in South Asia

By Nasurullah Brohi

A new phase of feared arms race has finally reached at the doorsteps of South Asia by the auspicious of foot settings by the President Obama as chief guest of India’s Republic Day on 26 January 2015.  Consequently, the repetitive misapprehended and irrational judgment of nuclear cooperation with a de-facto nuclear state for enhancing the ostensible civilian nuclear cooperation with a so-called natural ally is, logically no more than business-related interests and consequently providing an opportunity to the ever-aggressive state of the region only for empowering it to challenge the China.

The Indo-US During the visit of the Indian, prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to the United States in July 2005, the George W. Bush administration declared its ambition to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India as part of its broader goals of promoting nuclear power and achieving nuclear security. In pursuit of this objective, the Bush administration agreed to “seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies” and to “work with friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, including but not limited to expeditious consideration of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur.”

The basis of such behavior of paying less-regard to the rules has itinerary of nations’ history when the business-related objectives played a leading role in reshaping and persuading foreign policy decisions. Fundamentally, the foreign policy determines how a nation conducts its relations with the other countries. National interests that shape foreign policy cover a broader spectrum of political, economic, military and other fields specially, focusing certain goals such as a variety of opportunities to ensure national sovereignty, defence and other political gains that enable any state to protect its national interests in the world. The foreign policies also take into consideration the core human values and the betterment of the whole humanity therefore, many civilized nations in the world decided to withdraw from most of their policies only for the sake of human kind like withdrawing nuclear programs and so on though they were capable to develop and maintain tremendous stocks of mass-killing weapons.

The disgusting arms race in South Asia, because of recent development will pave the way for an aged-hegemonic dream of India of atomic colonization of the South Asian region. This was an aspiration, also repeatedly expressed by the Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru in the Lok Sabha. Moreover, the nuclear-dominance designs of India reflect a typical mindset of becoming a regional and later on a dominant player of global arena. These ambitions were firmly replicated in Nehru’s address to Indian parliament in1948 by accrediting country’s objectives and declaring that, “of course, if we are compelled as a nation to use nuclear capability for any other purpose, then possibly no pious sentiment of any of us will stop the nation from using it that way”.

In addition, the historical experience of two super powers and Cold War rivals was basically, the ideological hostility and a contest of military supremacy over other belligerent side. This race produced unprecedented proportions. Since each competitors wanted to gain enough military dexterity to overawe the other consequently, the weapons of exceptional lethality and destructiveness became at the highest priority of both powers. The rational upshot of this armament competition outbreak with huge stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that roughly estimated more than 70,000 – a total of worlds 98% of nuclear warheads only belonged to the United States and the United States.

The people of two countries have already been severely victims at the hands of poverty and lack of access to basic human needs. A new race of arms in an unbalanced power symmetric region will cost very high and only add to the sufferings of the people. A civilized nation who advocates the democracy, liberty and human rights and is the sole promoter of human dignity and values  should reconsider its policy of empowering a non- NPT state, which will only trigger a new era of arms race and will further add to the global WMD stockpiles and enhancing to the overkill capabilities of aggressive countries. The world has already greatly suffered at the hands of wars, conflicts, environmental degradation and consequently, with the growth in poverty. This is the need of hour for whole humanity and especially the civilized and developed nations of the world to play their role, think for true betterment of human kind, and make our planet worth living.

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Nasurullah Brohi

Nasurullah Brohi works as a Research Fellow at the Strategic Vision Institute in Islamabad and can be reached at [email protected]

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