Nadir Ali  

Pakistan is the unsung and misunderstood hero in the quest for peace in South Asia and beyond. A careful and unbiased look at the security environment in South Asia will show that the causes of crises and conflicts are particularly ignored – an over-focus on the impact, this selective and discriminatory focus does not contribute to peace and security; some of the recent developments and trends pose serious threats to strategic stability globally and in South Asia.

The development and acquisition of missile defense capabilities—nuclearization and space militarization of the Indian Ocean region will be a major trend in strategic and deterrence stabilization. 

Moreover, recently our neighbors have virtually tried to dramatically alter the strategic landscape through two actions. First, carrying out its deterrence patrol in the Indian Ocean region by “INS Arihant” – implies the first ready-to-use nuclear weapons and sea by nuclear arms submarine in South Asia.

It effectively means that the threat of nuclear weapons no longer remains confined to the land territory of South Asia. It has challenged the security and stability of the entire Indian Ocean region’s littoral states.

Secondly, dropping the minimum from the credible minimum posture in our neighborhood – neither surprise us nor threatens us. In fact, Pakistan will continue to provide the necessary response to ensure the strategic balance is maintained and Pakistan’s deterrence remains credible in absolute terms. 

On the other side, Pakistan’s credible minimum balance will show that its deterrent strategy is based on a stance toward preserving peace and stability in South Asia: “let’s call a spade a spade, but let’s move beyond spades and soars to modernism, sensibility, and common sense.”

In order to sustain regional peace and stability, Pakistan is determined to maintain a credible minimum deterrence against the whole range of changing strategic threats.

However, those big powers that are granting the area access to extremely cutting-edge technology are indirectly promoting the vertical spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and escalating the dangers to global and regional peace, security, and stability. 

In fact, the development of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), massive production of fissile material, and unilateral acquisition of a variety of high technologies, as well as offensive cyber and non-kinetic capabilities, further heighten the danger to South Asia’s strategic stability.

However, in order to increase the tensions and strains, governments will need to give up their aggressive, risky, and unstable conventional and nuclear postures. 

Likewise, assured second-strikes and full-spectrum nuclear weapons have closed war space to rational actors, and futile efforts to find conflict space under the nuclear overhang will only drive the region toward high levels of instability and increased nuclear exposure.

Therefore, anticipatory doctrines and false narratives surrounding previous so-called surgical strikes have the potential to keep states from becoming cybersecurity providers, but potentially cybersecurity disruptors in the region—trying to use a full range of kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities, and mirroring proxy insurgent groups against Pakistan reflect the aggressiveness of hybrid warfare that directly affects our traditional and non-traditional security interests. 

Pakistan – its leadership, the scientific community, and defense forces are aware, capable, and dynamic to meet these challenges. Pakistan will defeat the hybrid war it is waging.

Indeed, threats and challenges to strategic stability are not limited to theories, attitudes, or deployable capabilities – unfair and unequal distribution and extraordinary access to modern and industrial technologies also threaten long-term strategic stability.

In the interest of international peace and security, the international community, particularly the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other strategic export control arrangements, develop fair and transparent mechanisms to ensure that the fruits of knowledge and technology are equitably shared by all countries in the world—while not exceptionally for any one country, as such an approach would be discriminatory and would undermine and threaten regional and global peace, stability and security. 

Pakistan has all the necessary qualifications to join the NSG as a contributing and participating member. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has benefited greatly from the large-scale scientific and nuclear collaboration.

However, Pakistan’s skilled and brilliant scientists have provided over the course of a long and illustrious history in a number of fields of competence. Considering that Pakistan is more expensive than many different developed countries, it is able to provide services to the NSG-affiliated governments at a considerably lower cost.

Because of this, it is crucial to keep in mind and adjust existing policies as well as introduce new ones that support stability, boost confidence, and lessen the likelihood of conflicts and crises escalating. It would be in the interests of both global and regional peace and security. 

 

*The writer is associated with the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He can be reached at [email protected] 

**The Diplomatic Insight does not take any position on issues and the views represented herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Diplomatic Insight and its staff.

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