Nukes are an enormous liability and not a tactical asset. It is a weight on the conscience of any realistic, peaceful, logical nation. Nukes cannot be dangled about as a sign of masculinity. Rather their ownership is a precursor of heightened answerability to ethics incorporated as part of our universal human social contract.
Nukes are not an option in a war. If so, the conventional defense spending in South Asia post nuclear explosions should have seen considerable reduction. Nukes are weapons that give the ability of intended sway in an eyeball to eyeball political confrontation. If Nukes could have given some kind of social economic vigour then Russia should not have imploded overnight with thousands of ICBM's and CRBM's in the silos. People will still need bread, they still need life. They don't give any advantage in a conventional limited war because their deployment is not part of a war-game. All major conflicts post Second World War never really had elements of 'Nukes' as part of the conventional war strategy. There is a red line that was never crossed, though in case of 'The Bays of Pigs' mankind did come near to a nuclear holocaust.
The 'nuclear balance of terror' is pivoted on a callous, cold-blooded and coarse concept of 'Mutual Assured Destruction,' it is not a sane option. USA and USSR realized it after 40 years and after developing in excess of 10,000 pieces of Nukes. Wars, even after millions of casualties, end up in amity. Conflict and hate is not a solution. The strategic equation and this balance of terror has to be appropriately revisited in the sub-continent.
If theatre nuclear low yield weapons become a part of the war strategy, it is unquestionably a grave development. Nukes by definition have come to present riddance of conventional war as a result of MAD. Nukes as tools of strategic parity is one thing, Nukes as a bargaining blackmailing tool quite another. Therefore it is most important that nations who acquire nukes should also possess common sense and be led by reason, logic and rationality. The global trepidation and sanction regime that constitutes the backdrop of 'nuclear proliferation' efforts is defined by the 'state of mind' and 'predisposition of utilisation' of the possessor. There is the existence of 30% of mankind that is at stake here.
Pakistan needs to wake up to the truth that India has no desire to cut Pakistan to size any more. These tactical theatre nuclear weapons are of no use. There is no Panzer invasion across Pakistan’s jugular being deliberated. If India had any such premeditated plans of such an invasion they would not build a wall of steel and electric power to separate themselves from Pakistan. The floodlit border fencing built through the Indian government since 2003 is so bright it can be seen from space. In total, the Indian government hopes to cover 2009 km (1248 miles) of the 2900 km (1800-mile) India-Pakistan border with floodlights. Officials have so far erected floodlights along 460 km (286 miles) of Indian border with the Pakistan state of Punjab. The extensive floodlighting continues for 1022 km (635 miles) across Rajasthan, 176 km (109 miles) across the Jammu international border, and 202 km (125 miles) through Gujarat. So far 1861 km(1156 miles) of the border have been floodlit. Plans are in place to erect a total 2043 km (1269 miles) of fencing along the nation’s border. The Indian government hopes to have completely finished the floodlight operation by 2012.
In terms of military expenditure as percentage of GDP, Pakistan spends the most. The ﬁgures are: 3.2% in the case of Pakistan; 2.9% in the case of Sri Lanka; 2.7% in the case of India; 1.7% in the case of Nepal; 1.5% in the case of Afghanistan; 1% in the case of Bangladesh (SIPRI data on military expenditures, 2007).
This heavy militarisation in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka has put the lives of ordinary people at far greater risk than ever before. To add to this, the nuclearisation of India and Pakistan has placed the entire region of South Asia on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe.
India and Pakistan are two of the largest spenders on defence in the world. The worst sufferers of increasing militarization are the people in general and particularly women and children. Conflict is the basic cause of mass poverty. Together they spend $40 billion annually; this spending on social sector will change the face of South Asia. Pakistan needs to know that Militarism leads to increased violence against women and links this social violence to state violence.
Poverty or no poverty, misery or no misery, malnutrition or no malnutrition, these are not the border guards’ priorities. The acrobatics goes on, clenched fists, fiery eyeball to eye concentration of the border Rangers every evening on Wagah border takes the paramount attention of the two nations’ vain grandiose valour.
The urge for peace within majority of the nation is strong. The stratagem of mutual peaceful coexistence is the only way forward. There is no need of a nuclear arms race; Pakistan and India are straddled with the issues pertaining to bettering Human development index.
Lamentably the politics and demographics mindset has changed entirely, this is not the peaceful 1947 sub-continent. The 'USSR invasion with the post 911 Jihadists' developments led to proliferation of millions of Jihadis in the North of the country along with the outburst of the agenda of extremist political Islam. Paradoxically this has made Pakistan involuntarily quite an insulated country from any alien invasion. Pakistan should not go too far to find out for such a grand brotherhood, ask Afghanistan its next door brother, or for a change of taste, ask Iran to join in the universal harmony of Islamic oneness. No one would like to amalgamate with a country where there is a strong urge of Puritanism and a strong self-desire of imposition of Talibenised version of Islam.
If social indicators and economic situation of common man in Pakistan continue to decline the possibility of 'balkanisation' and implosion a la USSR or Yugoslavia is not very far on the cards. Why should Indian defense strategist ever be fascinated in considering a porous open border, can't they see what is happening in terms of suicide bombings and jihadis tentacles within metropolises of Pakistan? Unless Pakistan controls its Jihadist outfits and clears up the tentacles of deep rooted 'extremism,' peace, amity and free travel is as farfetched as is the concept of a land invasion by a much larger Indian armoured corps wounding and dividing Pakistan.
A self goal here has been scored, really sour grapes that no one is attracted to pluck. Pakistani strategists have to amend their equations. Indians are no longer interested in 'Akhund Bharat,' they are not absorbed in adding 180 m more people to their current huge Muslim population, nevertheless they are content to make certain that this cross border infiltration of fanaticism should be prevented. They will refine and further reinforce the 2100 km long border with Pakistan, even if they have to put double steel up there. What are these tactical nuclear weapons designed for is something that I cannot make sense of. Make lot of love and not war, this is the way forward, let’s conquer each others’ hearts, minds and souls, we are all genetically one. All wars finally end up in harmony, why not learn lessons and avoid conflict.
Fundamentalist forces operate within this framework and gain strength against such a background. Both militarism and fundamentalism thrive on each other’s ‘success’ and reinforce patriarchy and masculinity, which are oppressive of women. A demand for equality and peace based on “nuclear parity” is not a stable stratagem; it is more like ‘blackmail’ that completely ignores the competitive advantages of the foe. The whole idea that hegemonic attitudes of India can be countered by Nukes is wrong, it can only be possible if Pakistan becomes a stable, economically viable and ideologically less feared. Jihad fi sabeelulah a la Muhammad Bin Qasim and Ghauri or Ghaznavi that helped the minority pillaging of the sub-continent for 1000 years cannot persist with a policy of nukes based on retaliatory mutual annihilation.
'Hegemonic designs of India' that Pakistan wants to resist are not based on nuclear domination of India, but due to India's 5,000-year-old brand name, India’s superior economic prowess; and her prolific diasporas leading to a GDP that is expanding. By the way on defense spending, a 3% of Indian GDP of $1.85 Trillion US dollars at current prices is 55 Billion $ and even crippling 5% of GDP of Pakistan at $211.09 Billion US dollars at current prices is $10 billion. The gap is so wide, there is no $ to $ matching of these defense expenditure.
Peace and coexistence is the only answer. War is a costly business, nations who fight war and prepare for war beyond the needs of their people end up imploding. This is the course of the history of mankind. South Asia is home to half the world's poor. South Asia’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, yet it is also home to the largest concentration of people living in debilitating poverty. How do the two co-exist? The problems of South Asia – poverty, conflict, hunger, and gender disparities. South Asia presents a depressing paradox. It is among the fastest growing regions in the world. But it is also home to the largest concentration of people living in poverty on earth. While South Asia is at a far more advanced stage of development than Sub-Saharan Africa, it has many more poor people.