6: Jacob: POSSEVI: Revisiting Indo-Pak Strategic Stability

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Contours of South Asian Nuclear Order

The paper seeks to examine some important drivers that determine the emerging South Asian Nuclear order.  South Asia’s nuclear order is easily the most dynamic one in the contemporary world. It is also widely considered to be the most dangerous and volatile nuclear order. India and Pakistan officially declared their nuclear status in 1998 although they are supposed to have crossed the nuclear threshold by developing what analyst has called recessed deterrents in the late 1980s. And yet, close to 25 or 14 years, depending upon the timeline one goes by, of ‘nuclear existence’ has not made the South Asian nuclear order a stable one. This is despite the fact that India and Pakistan arguably had their most successful peace process in this period. The current state of Indo-Pak relations also seem to be heading towards reconciliation and conflict resolution. Why is it that the political rapprochement between the two countries has not led to a stable nuclear order in the region? What explains the fact that despite the ups and downs in the India-Pakistan bilateral relations, the strategic dimension of their relationship remains consistently precarious?