Nuclear Tension in South Asia

The relationship between India and Pakistan has been dominated by a bitter rivalry.After partition in 1947, millions of citizens moved to their new homes in either the Islamic state of Pakistan or the Secular state of India.After only two weeks of independence, India and Pakistan fought a Religious war over the land now known as Kashmir (Please see Appendix 1).The two countries have fought two more wars, in 1965 and 1971, with the final battle resulting in the creation of Bangladesh.Since these battles, the countries have had harsh feelings for one another due to numerous Muslim-Hindu beliefs as well as the territorial dispute over Kahmir.
Now, the whole idea of using nuclear force in this area of the world arose in 1971 when Pakistan’s deputy P.M Zulficar Ali Bhutto promised to the UN through a speech, “a thousand year war with India”, and also stated that his people would eat grass, but WOULD have the bomb.Although Pakistan wasfirst to voice its intentions, it was India who took thefirst step down the nuclear path when it tested a “peaceful nuclear device” in 1974, claiming it was not for the military program, but designed to assist civilian atomic energy programs. As a result, Pakistan saw itself at a much greater security risk, since it was a much smaller state and was disadvantaged in military terms.Considering that since partition there had been tension, India’s “peaceful test” stimulated Pakistan to develop its own nuclear capabilities.
From the time of independence in 1947, India had been a strong supporter of nuclear disarmament.Jawaharlal Nehru, India’sfirst Prime Minister, was active in the UN’s 18 nations disarmament committee.There, India proposed to form an agreement to halt nuclear testing and create a non-discriminatory Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).India even signed a 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty hoping it would lead to greater nuclear disarmament, but everything changed when China cond…

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