Cut­ting nu­clear arms is to desta­bi­lize South Asia

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES - STAFF RE­PORTER

IS­LAM­ABAD—De­fense ex­pert Dr Chris­tine Leah be­lieves that ex­clu­sion of nu­clear weapons from to­day’s South Asian en­vi­ron­ment would neg­a­tively im­pact the re­gion’s sta­bil­ity. “If you were to re­duce the role of nu­clear weapons, it would graph­i­cally ex­pose con­ven­tional im­bal­ances in SouthAsia,” said Dr Leah, a post­doc­toral fel­low at Yale Univer­sity’s Grand Strat­egy Pro­gramme. She was speak­ing at a Round­table Dis­cus­sion on ‘Con­ven­tional and Nu­clear force Mod­ern­iza­tion and its Re­gional Im­pli­ca­tions’ at the Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Strate­gic Stud­ies (CISS) here. The event was at­tended by nu­clear ex­perts, of­fi­cials, jour­nal­ists and re­search staff of CISS and other lo­cal think tanks.

Dr Leah said this as­pect of nu­clear arms be­ing es­sen­tial for re­gional sta­bil­ity was not given much con­sid­er­a­tion in the West, where “nu­clear is­sues were seen in si­los”.

“You can­not dis­con­nect nu­clear weapons and nu­clear strate­gies from is­sues of con­ven­tional force im­bal­ance and thus from con­ven­tional arms con­trol,” she main­tained.

Dr Leah be­lieved that arms con­trol and dis­ar­ma­ment ef­forts would not be much suc­cess­ful in Asia-Pa­cific re­gion be­cause it would be dif­fi­cult to reach agree­ments and then en­sure their com­pli­ance. Ab­sence of ex­pe­ri­ence about for­mal le­gal arms con­trol agree­ments in the re­gion, she ob­served, would be an­other im­ped­i­ment to­wards mov­ing in that di­rec­tion. Western pow­ers, Dr Leah con­tends, de­tached nu­clear is­sues from con­ven­tional mat­ters so much that the sep­a­ra­tion worked to the detri­ment of Pak-In­dia ties. Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor CISS Amb Sar­war Naqvi said in Pak­istan se­cu­rity con­cerns vis-à-vis In­dia dic­tated the con­ven­tional and nu­clear poli­cies of the coun­try.

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