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Nuclear Arms Race | Editorial

After almost one and a half months of India’s conducting a test of a nuclear-capable, long-range, submarine missile in the Indian Ocean, Pakistan foreign office has expressed concern over this step, terming the Indian move as serious development, which could impact the delicate strategic balance of the region. In March 2016, India reportedly started conducting a test of its homegrown intermediate range Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-4 secretly from an undersea platform in the Bay of Bengal in a bid to boost its deterrence capability.The reported Indian tests have resulted in the nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean. Besides India, a very few countries have the triad of firing nuclear tipped missiles from air, land and undersea. Other countries that have such capability include Russia, US, France, UK and China.

Thosewho want peace in the region will never encourage India’s decision of making investments in nuclear weapons that are nothing short of a threat to a state’s own security. It will only give boost to the relentless subcontinental competition for nuclear arms. If India has committed a blunder, Pakistan should avoid this arms race mania. So far, Pakistan has demonstrated maturity and asked India to resolve all outstanding issues through bilateral talks. Presently, the world is facing a serious threat of falling victim to destruction caused by nuclear warfare. Certain states with nuclear capability pose a threat to the world peace. Those states that fail to resolve their conflicts through dialogues can get engaged in nuclear warfare anytime: that is the perceived fear. If that happens, it will be no less than mutually agreed destruction for both sides. The example of Pakistan and India can be cited in this regard whose political and military leadership have oftentalked about using the nuclear bomb.

Nuclear war could yield an unprecedented human death toll and habitat destruction. Detonating such a large amount of nuclear weaponry would have a long-term effect on the world’s climate that may generate significant upheaval in advanced civilisations. Nobody is oblivious of the terrible consequences of using nuclear weapons. Therefore, these weapons should never be used in any case, and all states should cooperate and follow nuclear agreements in letter and spirit for the sake of humanity. Instead of focusing on the acquisition of more advanced nuclear capability, more efforts should be made to promote regional cooperation. Arms build-up by various states is hardly necessary in a world that badly needs peace. Instead of getting involved in the arms race and making irrational increases in defence budgets, rival states should spend money in those social sectors that need their immediate attention. It is also necessary for Pakistan and India that instead of escalating tensions and increasing military expenditure, they should work for the establishment of lasting peace. India and Pakistan being neighbouring countries should focus on basic problems with their people. They should try to bring prosperity to their nations instead of indulging in an irrational nuclear arms race.

Source: http://dailytimes.com.pk/editorial/23-Apr-16/nuclear-arms-race

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