Red Alert: A Solution Needs To Be Sought

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Nuclear power defines the military strength of a country in today’s era. Its possession is adequate to declare the might of a nation. When this was realized after Second World War, a lot of countries directed their efforts to obtain nuclear technology, so did India. Right after its independence from Great Britain in 1947, India began its endeavours to acquire this technology. They faced a lot of obstacles and hindrances due to numerous problems. Its need became direr after Sino-Indian war in 1962. Finally in 1974, India acquired the nuclear supremacy.

Since independence, India and Pakistan are rivals. Both the nations have fought three wars in 1947/1948, 1965 and 1971 over land disputes, mainly Kashmir. Since Pakistan’s neighbour and enemy had gained nuclear superiority and it was in a danger of being invaded and exploited again, so Pakistan also initiated its nuclear program in 1950s. After numerous hurdles, in late 1970’s Pakistan was able to obtain technology for uranium enrichment, and in May 1998 Pakistan tested her first atom bomb. Since then, the atomic tension in both the neighbors has intensified and is in a race to attain nuclear superiority over each other. If we follow the timeline, it was India who started this game of atomic power. Somehow, India has this laurel to her name for inciting unrest in the region.

Media is an inseparable component of our lives. It plays a vital role in shaping people’s opinions, no matter how authentic or forged they are. Pakistan has been wrongly portrayed in the media and has been blamed for instigating this chaos. Since both the countries need to appear strong, they are stocking-up their nuclear arsenals.

Lately all major powers (USA, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) of the world were so much absorbed in Iran’s growing nuclear program that they seemed oblivious to this gathering nuclear tempest in South Asia. Relations of these two adversaries have been fragile since the very beginning. Besides, both the nations have not signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. A hefty sum from their budget is extracted for nuclear advancement and they even get foreign aid for these programs.

Pakistani authorities have revealed the possession of tactical nuclear weapons like Nasr ballistic missile which has a range of 60 kilometers (36 miles). They are also in a process of acquiring eight submarines from China which can be equipped with nuclear weapons. Above all Pakistan’s Shaheen-3 missile is made in a way to counter India’s second-strike nuclear capability. This missile is believed to carry nuclear warheads to a range of 2,750 kilometers (1,700 miles).

Parallel to this, India on the other hand is secretly and steadily striving to become first rate nuclear power. India plans to construct four ballistic missile submarines, each carrying twelve missiles. Arihant is the first of the four expected SSBNs that will carry twelve Sararika missiles, ranging from 500-1000 miles depending on the payload. India has around 100 nuclear weapons, majority of which are a low yield fission variety. This shows that India has stepped up its production of fissile material.

A lot of things which India is doing in this regard are not being covered by the media. Somehow, they have succeeded in keeping themselves away from the limelight. Other than this, several shady and suspicious occurrences are taking place in India’s nuclear sector. Some valuable material used in making chemical and nuclear weapons got stolen from factories in India. Their top nuclear scientists are dying in a very suspicious manner. Indian police declared those deaths mainly as suicides but they appear as murders. Government officials are ignorant towards it and do not want to probe this matter. In 2009, a senior scientist, Lokanathan Mahalingam was reported to have committed suicide. In 2013, two high-ranking engineers KK Josh and Abhish Shivam, working on India’s first nuclear-powered submarine were found on railway tracks by workers. Another NPC employee, Ravi Mule, had been murdered. Rival countries on the social media are accused of these murders but since government officials are reluctant to look into this matter, it is pointing to something else. May be India herself is playing this dangerous game with her scientists.

The strategic nuclear doctrine of Pakistan is formed on the basis of relations with India.  Initially, in order to defend Pakistan from its enemies, nuclear technology was acquired and it was mainly shaped on the foundation of tactical nuclear weapons.  Pakistan needs nuclear weapons to deter India, so deterrence is the underline motivation to have nuclear arsenal. Pakistan has a dearth of strategic weapons which is not really a drawback for her because Pakistan reckons on its tactical nuclear weapons.  It believes that by possessing TNWs, it has something substantial against India which India cannot take lightly. Secondly, since these weapons are tactical in nature and not fierce so India and other countries won’t perceive it very alarming. Hence, the international community might prevent India from immediate and severe retaliation. Globally, Pakistan does not maintain a picture of a peaceful country, thus it has been branded as a “haven for terrorist” by United States. As compared to India, Pakistan appears to be a bit unstable.

The strategic nuclear doctrine of India is a lot similar to Pakistan’s. Initially India used nuclear technology to produce electricity but after Sino-Indian war, they felt the need of producing nuclear weapons. Their policy is of no first use against those who are not nuclear. But if India is threatened or attacked, it has effective nuclear resources in its defense. India, without any doubt has a better fleet of submarines. It has better nuclear weapons and has the resources to utilize the maximum benefits of uranium and plutonium.

One cannot deny that South Asia is increasingly becoming unstable and the region is at the verge of a nuclear war. It’s not something hidden that the India-Pakistan conflict goes way back to their creation. To avoid nuclear misfortune in the region, the core issues needs to be addressed, especially the Kashmir issue. It is gaining ferocity with every passing minute, and wars have been fought over this precise dispute. A lot of time and resources have been wasted, a lot of blood has been shed and more importantly endless human suffering and devastation has made Kashmir, a hell. It’s high time now; a solution needs to be drafted. United Nations and other international communities need to play their role to resolve this cumbersome problem instead of asking them to do it. It is high time, the resolution drafted by UNO needs to be implemented otherwise this issue will persist forever.

REFRENCES

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/opinion/nuclear-fears-in-south-asia.html?_r=0

http://wmdjunction.com/120822_india_pakistan_nuclear.htm

http://www.voanews.com/content/india-pakistan-trade-jabs-on-islambads-growing-nuclear-arsenal/2711216.html

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/indias-mighty-nuclear-weapons-program-aimed-china-pakistan-11956

http://www.vice.com/read/why-are-indian-authorities-ignoring-the-deaths-of-nuclear-scientists

http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/standpoint-indian-government-s-shameful-neglect-of-nuclear-scientists-and-their-security-1974843

http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/report-highlights-risks-cbrn-material-theft-india/

http://www.academia.edu/7057089/India_and_Pakistans_Nuclear_Doctrines_A_comparative_analysis

HYPERLINKS

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/9312139/India-and-Pakistan-escalate-nuclear-arms-race.html
http://www.dawn.com/news/1173159/pakistan-to-buy-eight-submarines-from-china
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/indias-mighty-nuclear-weapons-program-aimed-china-pakistan-11956
http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/report-highlights-risks-cbrn-material-theft-india/
http://www.sunday-guardian.com/news/pmo-unconcerned-about-scientist-deaths
http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/india-submarine-capabilities/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1399992/A-brief-history-of-the-Kashmir-conflict.html

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Zahabia is an aspiring journalist pursuing a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi. She tweets @zkmotorwala and can be reached at zahabiakhuzema@gmail.com

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