Chaophraya Dialogue Speaker Series | Amb. Zamir Akram



after the tests by India and Pakistan in 1998 there was a relative period of strategic stability because both sides had established a sense of strategic terms however following the nuclear waiver given to India sponsored by the United States in 99 in 2008 and the strategic partnership that has emerged between the United States and the Indians mainly directed against China because the US would like to use India as a counterweight to China the Indians have embarked on a major program of strategic and conventional military buildup this is being supported assisted by the United States and in this process they have acquired the because of the 2,000 waiver the ability to enhance and increase the number of their nuclear warheads they have increased and acquired a triad of delivery systems of short medium and long-range nuclear weapons which care which are land air and sea born they are experimenting with a ballistic missile defense system and they are also experimenting with a move or multiple independent reentry vehicle capability and finally they are also have the capacity now of working towards eventual development of a hydrogen bomb so these from Pakistan's perspectives are in the strategic realm highly destabilizing developments in addition to that India has enhanced its conventional military capabilities to put in place what it has put across as its doctrine of cold start a cold start doctrine which is meant to fight a conventional war with Pakistan despite the existence of strategic terms so below the strategic level the conventional conventional war is be envisaged which is also highly destabilizing in response to that of course Pakistan has to respond by closing the gaps and one of the ways it is trying to close the gaps is to acquire the capability to deter a conventional attack through smaller low-yield nuclear weapons because this is a more cost-effective option rather than to build up the conventional parity with India which would be highly expensive for Pakistan so these are developments which are creating a highly unstable situation in the region and in spite of the current differences between the two countries the situation is becoming more complex as a result of what is happening today in Kashmir and as we all know both Indian and Pakistani troops faces other on the line of control and this is a situation which can spark a larger conflict so in such a situation there is an urgent need for a dialogue to stabilize the strategic environment in this region you know when we conducted the test in 1998 Pakistan proposed a strategic restraint regime which was three interlocking steps relating to a dialogue to resolve outstanding political issues such as cash made a balance of conventional forces and measures to enhance stability in the strategic realm by not weaponizing our nuclear warheads or delivery systems by keeping them separate by preventing the evolution of submarine-based missiles systems or even by preventing a ballistic missile defense now many of these on many of these issues India has already made progress because they rejected at that time the proposals we have made we have some small modest cbms in place early warning not to conduct missile tests within different range or military exercises within certain range of each other borders except those are in place we need to supplement these I think one of the most important in the present environment the one of the most important cbn goes would be to have a dialogue on identic on resolving this issue of a sub strategic conflict that is to say a possible conflict that can emerge as a result of India's cold start doctrine this gap needs to be plugged and the dialogue is needed between the two sides to ensure that we do not go down this road which can lead to a larger nuclear conflict I think now the time has come where that has changed when the Indians were under pressure that is immediately after 1998 when the tests took place and the international community was criticizing India and India particularly because they were the first ones to to test and a lot of members of the international community recognized that Pakistan had to respond so the Indians were feeling under a lot of pressure and that was the time when they engaged with us there was also time when they tried to look for areas of commonality and that was as i said earlier another question that the Lahore agreement was a document that showed some of the areas where we were on the same page more or less in terms of confidence-building etc but after this change that has come about in this emergence of the strategic partnership between the u.s. and India has taken place India feels that it is on a different level and it no longer needs to engage with Pakistan so one there is no dialogue we have no mechanism to ensure safety and security in terms of our our city relation strategic equation on the other hand at the international level we used to have common positions say for instance on NPT on the fissile material issues or on even on the compared comprehensive test ban to a certain extent that is no longer the case so we are not on the same page anymore on many of these issues because Indians are on a different tangent I think a little bit of history of the energy is necessary to be understood the point is that the energy was created by a group of countries that can engage in nuclear commerce that have the capability to engage in new neutral commerce after the Indians tested their first nuclear device in 1974 so it was in reaction to that it was meant to regulate commerce in nuclear materials that can lead to further nuclear proliferation now because as I mentioned earlier the US would like to use India as a counterweight to China and has evolved a strategic partnership with the Indians against the Chinese they have been pushing the Indian case for membership of the NSG for in 2008 they facilitated the waiver from international safeguards for India now they are pushing their membership all along Pakistan's position has been that if there has to be a change in the international community's approach to dealing with countries that are nuclear weapon States but not members of the non-proliferation treaty such as India Pakistan and Israel then this has to be done on a basis which is equitable and fair and non-discriminatory obviously there has been discrimination against Pakistan in the context of the NSG waiver for India and now for pushing India's membership of the of the energy Pakistan has taken a principled stand I think some of our sons friends have taken a principled stand on this issue whether they are saying that there should either be a criteria based approach which applies to everyone equally and univ oh you know formally or India's credentials or India's membership should be considered on the basis of current criteria and that criteria is membership of the NPT which India obviously does not Phil so if this rule has to change then it has then they I then it would only be fair and equitable that it is change for everyone and not just for India

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