ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Decade after Pokhran and Chagai

There is unfortunately little questioning of the need for nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan. 

We should be grateful for small mercies. There have been no celebrations in India on the 10th anniversary of the Pokhran nuclear tests of May 11 and 13, 1998, and there are no signs as yet of such events in Pakistan to mark the Chagai tests of May 28 and 30 of the same year. This is not because of any change of heart though. The governments in both India and Pakistan, their defence forces, their scientific establish-ments and the army of so-called strategic affairs experts that dominate the media are as firm in their belief today as they were a decade ago that their respective decisions to go nuclear have brought the two countries security and, of course, “prestige”.

All the fears and concerns expressed a decade ago when hysteria gripped public life in the two countries have either come true or remain as valid as they were in 1998. Correspondingly, none of the assurances of the proponents of “nuclear deterrence” have been borne out by the events of the intervening years.

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