28th May, 1998 is an epoch-making day in the history of Pakistan as it conducted five nuclear tests at Chaghi, Baluchistan and entered into the league of nuclear nations. Nuclear tests were carried in response to five nuclear explosions conducted by India. After nuclear tests Pakistan became the seventh country in the world which possesses nuclear weapons. The tests were performed in a sealed tunnel with approximately 6,000 cement bags to minimize the radiation effects. Nuclear test was safe as it was under ground and in a hilly terrain of “no man’s land”, the area is sealed for further safety.
Pakistan’s nuclear test is a great achievement not only for its nationals, but for all Muslim Ummah because Pakistan is the only Muslim country that acquired nuclear capability. Once India achieved nuclear capable state title; peace and stability of the entire region were thus gravely threatened. As a self-respecting nation Pakistan had left with no choice, but to respond to Indian test in order to maintain minimum credible deterrence. Our decision to exercise the nuclear option had been taken in national self-defense to deter aggression, whether nuclear or conventional and there should be no apprehension or concern in this regard.
Nuclear Deterrence (Nuclear Weapon, Nuclear Doctrines, and Missile developments), and role of major powers (more specifically US Role) has been remained significant in maintaining strategic balance in South Asia. As per facts, strategic stability in South Asia has mostly been maintained through American involvement; especially after nuclearization. In recent years, US more inclination towards India can put Pakistan’s security interests at stake as emergence of India as counterweigh to China shall not only tilt balance of Power between China and United States in favor of US but it will also tilt power equilibrium in favor of India against Pakistan.
Furthermore, this collaboration would set precedent for Pakistan to make arrangements for similar agreement with China. It may not only have implications for Pakistan but also can demolish strategic balance in Asia. US should understand the gravity of the damage they are committing to the cause of peace and stability by supporting India as a part of its grand strategy to counter China, its side effects shall have far reaching implications on Pakistan’s security.
Although Pakistan reiterates its support for the goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation bearing in mind the new realities. However, it is also desired to resume Pakistan-India dialogue to address all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as peace and security. Pakistan has always acted with utmost restraint and responsibility, and it will continue to do so in the future. But giving up nuclear technology against a much superior enemy and that too who has nuclear weapons, is seems like a fallacy and Pakistan is not meant for that. As per basic principles of realism ensuring one’s own security by having its own indigenous assets (nuclear in this case) is the best bet.
Today Pakistan is celebrating another anniversary of its nuclear tests, the triumph, which relief’s masses in Pakistan that Pakistan is no more on mercy of its next door inherited neighbor India. As we are located in a tough neighborhood, so the mere existence of such weapons is ensuring peace. Reactions of every Indian action made harder for Indian to adopt war even an option. Any gaps which might attract the other side of the border have been plugged timely.
To sum up, in India Pakistan case nuclear weapon is proven to be a weapon of peace and stability that lessen the possibility of war.
*Sidra Ajaib Kayani as research associate works for Strategic Vision Institute Islamabad, also can be reached at [email protected]