An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines

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Bibliographic Information
Journal Al-Idah
Title An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines
Author(s) Noreen, Shabana, Taj Muharram Khan
Volume 33
Issue 2
Year 2016
Pages 50-67
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Chicago 16th Noreen, Shabana, Taj Muharram Khan. "An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines." Al-Idah 33, no. 2 (2016).
APA 6th Noreen, S., Khan, T. M. (2016). An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines. Al-Idah, 33(2).
MHRA Noreen, Shabana, Taj Muharram Khan. 2016. 'An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines', Al-Idah, 33.
MLA Noreen, Shabana, Taj Muharram Khan. "An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines." Al-Idah 33.2 (2016). Print.
Harvard NOREEN, S., KHAN, T. M. 2016. An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines. Al-Idah, 33.
دور حاضر میں کرنسیوں کے ادھار خرید و فروخت کا شرعی جائزہ
اسلام اور مغرب کے باہمی اختلافات
مسئلہ خلافت کی عملیت میں عرب و عجم زاویہ فکر کے اثرات کا علمی جائزہ
مولانا غلام اللہ خان کی تفسىر جواہر القرآن: منہج اور خصوصیات
ٹریڈمارک، کاپی رائٹ اور حقوق کی خرید و فروخت کا شرعی جائزہ
تعلیمات قرآن کریم اور زبور کی تطبیق و تفریق
مسئلہ حجاب: فرانسیسی مسلمان خواتین اور اسلامی تعلیمات
خواتین کی دینی تعلیم: روایت، مسائل اور عصری تحدیات
تعلیم المدنیت (شہریت کی تعلیم) اسلامی تناظر میں
بائبل اور اسلام کی روشنی میں عورت کا مقام اور کردار
علم اسباب ورود الحدیث: ایک تحقیقی جائزہ
اسلام اور دیگر نظام ہائے حیات کے فلسفہ حقوق کا تقابلی مطالعہ
عصر حاضر کی تناظر میں عرف اور عادت کی شرعی حیثیت: ایک تجزیاتی مطالعہ
بین المذاہب ہم آہنگی کے لئے اقوام متحدہ کا کردار
مستدلات شرعىہ کی روشنی میں بیعت کا ناقدانہ جائزہ
الإيجاز في القرآن الكريم: دراسة بلاغية
إنهاض المجتمع و تنوير العقل دراسة في روايات طه حسين و نذير أحمد
استشهاد ابن زيدون بأشعار المتنبى في رسالته الجدية التي كتبها في غياهب السجن
مناهج القدماء في الاستدلال من ’’ شرع من قبلنا‘‘ دراسة تطبيقية
دور القواعد النحوية في استنباط الأحكام الشرعية من الآيات القرآنية
أثر القرآن الكريم في شعر أحمد شوقي
أبو الأحرار محمد محمود الزبيري وخدماته الأدبية
مکانة السنة في نظر أهل القرآن
منهج الشعر العربي وأساليب تدريسه في الدرس النظامي للوفاق المدارس العربية
Communication Skills in Islamic Perspective
Running Musharakah Product of Islamic Banks: An Alternative of Running Finance
Economic Policies of Pakistan During Military Rules an Analytical Study in Islamic Perspective
Muhammad (SAW) in the Near-Contemporaneous Non-Muslim Sources: An Appraisal of Robert Spencer’s Views
An Analysis of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines
Kipling’s Depiction of the Great Game Between British India and Czarist Russia
The Creation of Universe in the Light of Quran
The Notions of Obtainable Politics in the Light of Quran
Principles of Effective Management according to Quran and Sunnah
Protection of Working Women Rights in the Light of the Teachings of Islam
Transplant and Donation of Organs in Islamic Perspective
Constitutional Provisions for the Rights of Non-Muslim Minorities in Pakistan


This study explores the dynamics of nuclear politics in Indo-Pakistan relations. The events after the nuclearization of South Asia aroused an extensive discussion about the basic reasons of countries becoming nuclear. Deterrence idealists have put forward the Nuclear Peace Theory advocating that nuclear arms make war terribly expensive and evade conflict among atomic opponents and thus generate constancy among them. Deterrence cynics have debated that the new nuclear-powered countries would not be able to accomplish the rudimentary requisites for deterrence stability as they would be disposed to defensive and preventive war tactics, construct susceptible atomic weaponries that would disposed to illicit usage. While discussing both stability and instability of nuclear weapons, the intellectuals disregard the importance of nuclear doctrines of the nuclear states which can cause deterrence disappointment or guaranteeing its strength. The author has used primary and secondary data. The primary sources are news bulletins and websites and secondary sources are books, journals etc.

“And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.” [1]

Mualana Ashraf Ali Thanvi said in his exegesis of Holy Quran, Bayan ul Quran that Allah Tallah has ordered the Muslims to prepare for Jihad against the enemies with full force and deter them through their might. He further explains that if an Islamic state has ninety nine ships against the enemy’s hundred. Then Allah the Almighty would ask on the day of Judgment about this negligence.[2]

In the light of above verse preparing against India through nuclear deterrence is in line with Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Nuclear doctrines are based on two important concepts about role it visualizes for nuclear weapons in the security of the state and their level of clarity or ambiguity. This paper discusses the nuclear doctrines of India and Pakistan and their importance in peace and conflict. Moreover, the paper seeks to scrutinize the basics of the South Asian nuclear rivals’ methods to use atomic weapons, the title role in their defence doctrines and the impasses postured by use of nuclear matters. The debate is separated into three wide segments. The first segment lays will discuss the meaning and definition of doctrine and diverse aspects that influence the making of doctrines and their numerous purposes. The second segment emphasis on the prominent points of the nuclear doctrines of both the countries, the effects of the doctrines for deterrence stability problems amid the two nuclear-powered opponents in the background of manifold enigmas[3]germinated by the nuclearization Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

Literature review reveals that so far there is no extended research work carried out on the proposed study specifically related to the efficacy of Indo-Pakistan Nuclear doctrines. Most of the studies consist of different aspects of the proposed research. Bhumitra Chakma (2011) has discussed the subtleties of atomic deterrence in the new Nuclear Phase.[4] It offers a detailed, updated study of the nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan, comprises thorough accounts of the theory of atomic deterrence and its variants, the complications relating the notion in the framework of Indo-Pak Subcontinent, the natural surroundings of the regional deterrence constancy, the atomic attitudes, the dynamics and abilities, the part of confidence-building measures, and arms control in the south Asian nuclear deterrence structure. Naeem Salik (2001) discusses[5] the atomic programme of Pakistan with especial reference to Jihadi groups’ export of nuclear weapons to Iran and North Korea. This book is the history of Pakistan nuclear programme. It discusses one facet of nuclear deterrence in south Asia. This study therefore fills the gap and an addition to the existing knowledge on the subject.

Levy And Scott; (2007)[6], have strongly supported the notion that the nuclearization prejudiced Pakistan's inner power politics and the US Administration representatives led propaganda movements for thirty years to blame the state as a doubtful friend mainly against the Soviet Union and then Al-Qaeda. Likewise, Gorden Corena (2006) [7]debates Pakistan; and Dr Abdul Qadir Khan’s involvement in nuclear proliferation activities. It is a captivating story of the significant affairs in the account of nuclear arms, Pakistan's determination to make atomic weaponries in spite of substantial hurdles laid by the rest of the world. The available literature deals with deterrence between India and Pakistan, but a lot has to be done yet, especially related to the evolution of nuclear doctrines of both the states and their impact on present and future scenario of South Asia.

The basic objective of the study is to explore the various manifestations of deterrence in Indo-Pakistan’s security arrangement and to make an in-depth analysis of the nuclear programmes and the supporting doctrines of both Pakistan and India

A doctrine is a set of principles governing the employment of a capability which may be theological, ideological, political, military or strategic. A doctrine could be defined as a set of principles formulated and applied for a specific purpose, working towards a desired goal or aim. A nuclear doctrine consists of a set of values, procedures and directions for the application or non-application of atomic power.”[8] Politico-ideological doctrines constitute a practice, promulgation and propagation of a political philosophy or an ideology on the national, regional or international level.

A military doctrine is a theory of environment within which the armed forces operate and employed. It consists of the principles, plans and contingencies about when, how and how much force is to be used. Military doctrines have many dimensions, whether they are offensive or defensive, or they call for decisive action or limited war. They provide guidance to the armed forces for organization, development and employment contingencies.[9]

Contemporary strategic doctrines are different from the classical doctrines due to the introduction of nuclear weapons in the post World War II era. The nuclear weapons caused a paradigm shift. Before the nuclear weapons, no significant distinction was made between deterrent and war fighting capabilities of the military force. The nuclear weapons destructiveness conditioned the use of force. The main focus of strategic thought was changed from defence and war fighting to deterrence, peace time deployment and threat or use of military power became the chief issue for the nuclear weapon states. [10]A nuclear doctrine is meant to dissuade opponents, reassure allies, deployment, employment, threat and use of nuclear weapons. Generally the nuclear doctrine provides conceptual, institutional and infra-structural mechanisms determining the development and employment of nuclear weapons. It also relates to the role of nuclear weapons in the foreign policy of a state.

Doctrine denotes a set of ideologies that a state applies to frame its security policy in quest of its national goals. Its vital mission is to “interpret power into policy.”[11] The bases of martial doctrines are various for example, existing policy, accessible possessions, present movement ideas, contemporary intimidations, scientific knowhow, historical evaluation, the tactical ethos and the geopolitics.

Scott Sagan has recognized three diverse policies to understand why armed policies are preferred by countries. Rendering to The Organization Theory, defence doctrine reveals the interests of armed forces establishments. These interests are narrow-minded and include efforts to safeguard their system.[12]

Due to this impulse, the Organization Theory foresees that militaries favour aggressive doctrines, pre-emptive combat and are prone to up keep counterforce directing policies against the construction of safe second-strike militaries on their own will.[13] In divergence to the Organization Theory, the Realist Theory suggests the impact of the rationality in an anarchistic global structure as the main factor of defense policies. As sensible being, states believing in realism are conscious of the international setting and they decide rationally to stay alive in such a situation.”[14] The survival principle compels them to use base power to get gain on the competitors.[15] War is the chief stratagem, the countries apply to obtain comparative supremacy. Further policies contain intimidation, balance of power and conciliation.[16] For Realists, military doctrine, like war is an extension of policy by other means to protect the national interests of the concerned state.

The Strategic Culture Theory,[17] another viewpoint on the origin of defense doctrines. The policies adopted by the nations are the result of dynamics such as history, mythology, spiritual dogmas and national customs. The basic supposition behind the theory is that cultural dissimilarities reveal variances in particular strategy, incentives, actions and their exact perspectives which come from the diverse ethical, moral or traditional settings. Strategic cultural inspirations have both internal and external aspects. On the inside, current involvements in the conflict, the specific social setup and part of militaries frame the doctrines. On the outside, the influences of security environment, or imageries of possible opponents and intimidations, may seriously have emotional impact on the security policy options.[18]

The policy options of a state reveal not only interests of the armed forces but also signify determination to handle the encounters coming from the global political structure.[19]As composite dynamic forces of armed establishments, organizations of safety quandaries and prevalent inspiration of safety philosophies, defense doctrine carry out numerous serious tasks. These comprise of the following:

  1. The rationalization of the national security objectives and strategies;
  2. The explanation of the state of affairs in which a state opts for warfare;
  3. The restrictions on the use of hard power;
  4. Elimination of doubts from strategic plan and philosophy; and
  5. Suggesting strategies for power edifices.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Doctrine

Nuclear doctrines have two main objectives, firstly, to determine the position of nukes in security policy of a state in peace and war. Identification of threats, responding effectively, command and control machinery and effective use of nuclear weapons are the main tasks of nuclear doctrines. Secondly, nuclear doctrines act as a warning sign to the world about the real aim behind the acquisition of atomic weaponry, about the stability-instability syndrome, about atomic retaliation of the enemy and identification of the thresholds or red lines, if crossed can lead to nuclear holocaust. A clever and credible nuclear doctrine encompasses all these elements.[20]

Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is derived from the effects of atomic weapons. Firstly, nuclear-powered arms offer the atomic state with an assurance of independence and security.[21] Secondly, joint deterrence amongst hostile atomic states restricts war. Thirdly, atomic arms ensure security of small states against the dominant ones. These supposed security and deterrence profits support Pakistan’s reluctance to bind her to a strategy of no first use. Pakistani Air Commodore Tariq Mehmud Ashraf regarding Pakistan’s first use policy, a security expert argues that, Pakistan is a small military power compared to India; its nuclear doctrine should be based on first use because it would be fighting a survival war in future. It couldn’t relinquish the strategy of no first use as India did in its nuclear doctrine.”[22]

Broadly speaking, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons perform two main functions apart from guaranteeing its survival: military and political. The military uses include the weaponries of last recourse to avoid armed setback as deterrent to conservative armed assault as helpers in the limited war fighting. The political efficacy of nukes includes as tools of nation building as instruments for national political struggle and as a way to globalize the Kashmir problem.”[23]

Pakistan kept its nuclear doctrine ambiguous, though it has nuclear capability since 1980 and became a de facto nuclear state in 1998. This opaqueness is partially related to the mysterious approach of the Pakistan armed forces and partially due to the covert method through which Pakistan was forced to follow its nuclear-powered and missile programme. There is another reason also that is the uncertainty as an aspect in India-Pakistan deterrent balance.[24] Being a small power, it is in Pakistan’s national interest to exploit Indian ambiguity about Pakistan views of Indian intents in a warlike state of affairs.[25]

In the opinion of Pakistan’s former foreign minister, it is difficult to define the last moment to use nuclear weapons due unevenness between the conventional and military forces of India and Pakistan and its lack of strategic depth. A policy of vagueness seems to be the finest for Pakistan’s safety.[26]

Pakistan did not have a declared nuclear doctrine till its nuclear explosions in May 1998. But it soon started to devise its nuclear doctrine along with command and control system. Pakistan nuclear doctrine was ready before the declaration of Indian draft nuclear doctrine in August 1999, but it did not declare it due to some reasons, one such is ambiguity. Ambiguity increases the worth of deterrence. Pakistan being a weaker state both conventionally and in nuclear field, so ambiguity was the best policy. Moreover, the broad outline of nuclear policy has been stated time and again by military and political leadership. But the ambiguity was maintained about targeting policy or when and how the nuclear weapons would be used. As Indian nuclear Doctrine is of one page declared in January 2003, describing only the broad contours of the nuclear policy.

The Kargil Crisis and, later on, 9/11 incident and the subsequent disclosure of Dr A Q Khan network further delayed the announcement of nuclear doctrine. But the (Indian Cold Start Doctrine to acquire and deploy Ballistic Missile Defence System and the intentions Indo-US Nuclear Deal disturbed Pakistan a lot and many analysts in Pakistan were not happy with the stagnant Minimum Nuclear Deterrence and they wished vibrant Minimum Nuclear Deterrence which regulates itself with varying state of affairs.[27]Such an argument was rational and realistic; discarding any futile arms race with India but, at the same time, analysts refrained from quantifying the size of Pakistan nuclear forces, because, minimum is not static but a dynamic concept capable of adjusting itself with the changing strategic environment.[28]

In November 1999, the then foreign minister Abdul Sattar said:

“Minimum nuclear deterrence will remain the guiding principle of our nuclear strategy. The minimum cannot be quantified in static numbers. The Indian build up would necessitate review and reassessment….. but we shall not engage in any nuclear competition or arms race”.[29]

In February 2000, former Foreign Minister said:

“While India keeps the size of its minimum deterrence flexible and adjustable with changed environment, Pakistan will certainly have to keep its deterrence vibrant in the similar manner.”[30]

Another foreign minister of Pakistan puts it thus.

“For the past decade or so, nuclear capability has been the bedrock of our defence and security policy...its sole purpose is to deter and prevent war. Unlike some other countries, Pakistan neither aspires to great power status or permanent membership of the Security Council nor nourishes any design for regional dominance…We support a global, non-discriminatory international regime of nuclear and missile restraints, voted for the CTBT, will participate in negotiations for FMCT, and are prepared to strengthen our existing stringent controls against export of strategic weapons technology. Our policy of Minimum Credible Deterrence will obviate any strategic arms race…the idea of no-first-use of nuclear weapons needs to be expanded into a no-first-use of force, lest the former should be interpreted to sanction first use of conventional weapons.”[31]

The above mentioned speech by Abdul Sattar points out the prominent features of Pakistan’s nuclear Doctrine.

The former President General Pervez Musharraf pronounced nuclear policy of Pakistan in his speech on 28 May 2000, he stated:

“Pakistan’s nuclear tests, after Indian blasts, were to protect its security and sovereignty. Pakistan’s nuclear programme is security driven. To maintain security balance, Pakistan had to rely on its own strength and not on others to protect national security. Our own experience would tell us that no outside power could protect us against a belligerent India……Pakistan would maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrent and work for economic development for country’s progress………Pakistan’s nuclear capability was maintained only for deterring aggression… there is no question of compromise on defense capabilities.…. we refuse to enter a nuclear arms race and instead seek stability in the region…. Pakistan, unlike India, does not have any pretensions to regional or global power status….we are committed to a policy of responsibility and restraint by maintaining a credible minimum nuclear deterrent…. Pakistan is ready to work on nuclear restraint regime with India… Pakistan has offered India a nuclear restraint regime to avoid accidental nuclear war….. Pakistan renews its offer of a dialogue for resolving outstanding disputes, particularly for just and equitable solution of Kashmir which remains a constant source of tension between the two countries. Pakistan’s peace offer, however, should not be construed as a sign of weakness”.[32]

Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is based on the following main features:

1.Nuclear weapons are viewed as ultimate guarantors of Pakistan’s territorial integrity, national independence and sovereignty. By having them Pakistan has gained the assurance of existential deterrence.[33]

2.Given the Indo-centric nature of Pakistan threat perceptions (as narrated above), the sole aim of these weapons is to deter Indian from committing aggression against Pakistan.[34]

Several corollaries follow from this premise.

• Nuclear weapons are deemed essential for offsetting Indian superiority.

• Pakistan’s threshold for possible nuclear use is a function of the vagaries of conventional balance of forces between India and Pakistan. Consideration of conventional force ratios appear to be an important determinant of the success or failure of nuclear deterrence between the two sides.[35]

3.Pakistan’s deterrence strategy is based on the threat of punishment with counter value targets.[36]

4.Pakistan believes in minimum credible deterrence,[37]which aims at deterring adversary with unacceptable damage. The reliability of Pakistan deterrence is not based on number of its arms[38] but lies in the quality which is readiness of its leaders to follow a “first use policy” of the atomic weapons in the event of war.[39]

5.Pakistan cannot obligate to a strategy of no nuclear first use (NFU) due to the Indian superiority in non-nuclear armed forces. India would fight a conventional war with Pakistan quite easily, without any fear of nuclear retaliation. Avoiding war with India is more realistic policy than NFU declarations for peace and security in the region.

6.Pakistan has reliable resources to devastate core targets in India.[40]

7.The National Command Authority (NCA), consists of the Employment Control Committee, the Development Control Committee and the Strategic Plan Division, is the centre of all nuclear policy framing in Pakistan.

8. Pakistan’s nuclear possessions are safe and sound, and invulnerable to the threat of unintentional use.

9.Pakistan is ready to follow a self-control system based on the minimum level of nuclear capacity, non-weaponization and non- use.[41]

The above-mentioned elements constitute the essence of Pakistan’s undeclared nuclear doctrine. It has three distinct policy objectives:

a). Deter a first nuclear use by India;

b). Deter or blunt an overwhelming Indian conventional attack.

c) Nuclear weapons cto be used as instruments to internationalize the conflict and to seek world support, if things are going out of the control of Pakistan.[42] Some experts have recommended an additional policy objective for Pakistan’s atomic weaponries ability that is, using atomic deterrence as a shield for conducting limited war against India in the Indian Held Kashmir.

Pakistan’s First Use Stance

Pakistan’s minor atomic forces, the innate susceptibility of this emerging atomic power to a superior and conservatively robust Indian and the doctrine of nuclear first use in a state of conventional war with India, Pakistan has to choose for a delegated command and control system. It is essential for Pakistan to physically scatter its small nuclear forces for their survival. Pre-delegation of takeoff power to native commandants come to be unavoidable if difficulties of communication related with dispersion are to be well undertaken. A distributed command and control system in Pakistan would involve set up alternating and subordinate nuclear commands that would be inferior in position than those situated in the Nuclear Command Authority. Pakistan will have to give an assured amount of independence of policy making to those operating the subordinate posts, to watch the risk of its dispersed communication system.[43]Pakistan has displayed substantial understanding to evolve general processes for decreasing the menace of illegal usage of nuclear-powered arms.

Pakistan took further steps to watch against dangers of illegal use of nuclear weapons, apart from depending upon its armed forces.[44] In his crucial talk to the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference in Washington D.C. on June 18 2001, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar emphatically specified that measures have been applied to minimize the unintentional or illegal takeoff.[45] Pakistan declared the formation of a three levels of nuclear command and control organization in February 2000,[46] with the National Command Authority, as the peak policy making body headed by the President with the prime minister as the Vice Chairman, the Foreign Minister as the Deputy Chairman and the Ministers of Defense, Interior and Finance besides the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs as members. The second level includes the Secretariat of NCA called the Strategic Plans Division. The third level comprises of the Strategic Force Commands of the three armed forces.

Pakistan’s stance of nuclear first-use[47]appears to add to intensification in a state of war with India in a following ways. Firstly, basic to this position is the supposition to employ nuclear-powered arms at an initial stage in Indo-Pak fight. This would extremely lessen assessment time and upsurge the compression on Pakistan to use nuclear bomb in reaction to conventional assault. Pakistan might be compelled to use the nuclear choice as a weapon of last recourse pushing India to strike back in the same way. Such a consequence will have serious regional and international results.[48] Secondly, this stance might involve assimilation of nuclear warheads with conventional armed forces and thus swelling the menace of its use further. Thirdly, the first assault stance increases the perils of unintentional or illegal conflict in a state of emergency. In an emergency the mechanism of the atomic warhead works loose, augmenting the probabilities of an unintentional fire of nuclear-powered weaponries. This can happen in a variety of ways, from the likelihood of the genuine guardians of atomic arms performing without official instructions, to commandants working out their right in an unfitting way or in response to incorrect threatening or defiant armed units seizing mechanism of atomic warheads from their real guardians.[49]

Nevertheless, matters of unofficial use stemming from pre-passing on power would threaten Pakistan as its nuclear-powered programme capabilities creeping deployment in the mounting compressions produced by Indo-Pak conflict.[50] Thus, a time would come when nuclear warheads are deployed on missiles. Pre-assignment of power to its native leaders to use atomic arms would be inevitable, as their key command posts continue to susceptible to killing raids by Indian military hardware.

As the US Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson had “pre-delegated authority” to “six or seven three-and-four star generals” for a tit-for-tat use in the case of Soviet Union attack.[51] Pakistan will have to follow the same if she wants to defend its central nuclear command authority from being confronted by India will have to distribute its “nuclear triggers” in subordinate commands by pre-delegation.

Fourthly, the pledge of using nuclear arms runs the possibility of becoming a self-fulfilling prediction. While challenged with a serious menace, Pakistan might have no option but to respond by releasing an atomic combat at the cost of gaining other opportunities. Fifthly, the first use stance generates tough national opposition to possibly advantageous arms control suggestions that pursue dependence on atomic arms. Lastly, in any grave catastrophe, Indian leadership, well mindful of Pakistan’s first use option would be ready to launch a preventive atomic assault.

Indian Nuclear Doctrine

India offered the no-first use (NFU) promise in 1994 as an official arms control step and repeated by the Indian administration numerous times later.[52] The Indian’s Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, in his speech to the Indian Lower House on 27thMay 1998, stated that India has no intention to use these armaments for violence or for intimidations against any state; these are arms of security, to guarantee that India is not exposed to atomic intimidations or bullying.”[53]

After a week Vajpae declared in Lok Sabha that India would pursue a strategy of “minimum deterrence” and “will not be the first to use nuclear weapons.” In the similar manner, Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh specified the main role of Indian atomic arms and argued that it is to deter their usage by rival” and claimed that to preserve this strategy of reprisal, surviving the first attack becomes acute to make sure reliability. The Indian Nuclear Doctrine envisioned that: India shall follow a policy of credible minimum deterrence. In this strategy of ‘retaliation only, the survivability of our nuclear weapons is critical. This policy is linked to our tactical surroundings, mechanical constraints and the wants of general security. The symbols, mechanisms, positioning and service of nuclear armed forces would be decided on the following aspects. The Indian reconciliation stance wishes to convince any impending invader that:

  1. The intimidation of use of atomic arms against India shall raise measures to retaliate in kind;
  2. Any atomic violence on India and its militaries shall end in punishing reprisal with atomic arms to impose destruction intolerable to the attacker.
  3. The vital resolve of Indian atomic arms is to dissuade the use and intimidation of use of atomic weaponries by any government or body contrary to India and its militaries. Indian will not be the first to start an atomic raid but will react with punishing reprisal if deterrence fails.
  4. India will not use or intimidation of use of atomic armaments against countries which do not hold atomic armaments, or are not allied with atomic armed powers.”[54]

Concurrently, India also told the UN General Assembly’s Disarmament Committee about its intentions of introducing a resolution in UN for worldwide prohibition of nuclear arms and during the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan on 15-18 October 1998 in Islamabad, India allegedly proposed “no nuclear first use” to Pakistan to endorse confidence building measures between the two states.

The central problem with Indian proposal is that it is not taking into account the security enigma of Pakistan, that how a small state will survive a conventional attack from a militarily superior enemy, if it does resort to nuclear use after making such a promise. Moreover, Lawrence Prabhakar points out, India’s no-first-use initiative does not stop its conventional armed attacks against Pakistan nuclear-powered arsenal.[55]As long as circumstances and motivations proceeding to conflict amid the two borders continue exertions to get atomic arms professed by them as armaments of either first or last recourse will remain completely futile.

In January 2003, India issued an approved nuclear doctrine. The 4th January 2003 official report said the following:

1.Erection and preserving a credible minimum deterrence.

2.A stance of "No First Use": nuclear arms will only be used in reprisal against an atomic assault on the Indian land or on the Indian armed forces at some place;

3.Nuclear reprisal to a first strike will be enormous and intended to impose intolerable destruction.

4.The civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority can only approve nuclear reciprocal assaults.

5.Non-use of atomic arms against non-nuclear weapon countries.

6.In the incident of a main attack on India, or its armed forces somewhere, by biological or chemical arms, India will keep the choice of reacting with atomic armaments.

7.The extension of severe controls on spread of atomic and warhead linked supplies and know-how, partaking in the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) discussions, and sustained adherence of the suspension on atomic tests.

8.Continued commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon free world, through global, verifiable and nondiscriminatory nuclear disarmament.

The 4 January 2003 official declaration also declared the establishment of the Nuclear Command Authority. It includes Political Council and an Executive Council. The Prime Minister heads the Political Council. It is the sole body, which can approve the use of nuclear armament. The 4th January 2003 declaration considerably enfeebled the NFU strategy by calling for the right to atomic reprisal if India was attacked by bio-chemical weapons. It is argued that such a pronouncement is the negation of NFU. The National Security Board also recommended renouncement of no-first use policy. It can be the first step towards total renouncement of the no-first use strategy.”[56]

Making a comparison between the US and India on the No First Use posture, Major General (Retd.) Jamshed Ayaz Khan claimed: “Though prior, to display its nature, India was definite in its NFU stance, but now states ‘In the wake of a main attack on India, it would preserve the alternative of reacting with atomic weaponries. It means ‘NFU’ is actually out; it has become vaguer. When they choose to use Atomic Arms against a state, they would say that State was preparing to launch a bio-chemical assault on India, the philosophy of one-sided preventive attack method might be used and India has adopted this measure from the US nuclear doctrine.”[57]

On 11 April 2003, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes called for pre-emptive strike against Pakistan,[58]and such a pre-emption is really perilous for deterrence permanence. As Krieger and Chaffee said the policy of pre-emptive attack by India towards Pakistan is very precarious, mainly given Pakistani limitation in conventional forces. In the case of India’s strategy of preemption, Pakistan probably will come up to its own nuclear weapon store with an even high vigilant position, carrying the two states nearer to deliberate or unintentional conflict, and will speed up the arms race in the region.”[59] P. Terrence Hopmann holds the opinion, that to avoid the threats stemming between rivals with uneven armed abilities, the NFU suggestions ought to be related with hard work at conventional arms control. He suggests the most hopeful method of stabilizing the conventional armed equilibrium and using NFU is all the way through arms control. The offer to connect NFU strategy with conventional arms control would be the first step for discussing a more long-lasting security agreement in the region.”[60] According to Sardar F. S. Lodhi, a Pakistan security expert, in any future war between India and Pakistan, Indian conventional supremacy is probable to exercise unbearable force. In such a worsening state of affairs, Indian attack is going to destroy our defense lines; the management would be left with only one choice, to use atomic arms to alleviate the state. The Indian dominance in conservative arm and men would have to be counterbalanced by atomic armaments. The political resolve to make use of atomic weaponry is necessary to avoid a non-nuclear armed clash which would afterward soar into an atomic warfare. Pakistan's Nuclear Doctrine would thus really base on the nuclear first use policy,[61] that Pakistan will use nuclear weapons if attacked conventionally.

The Pakistani defense apprehensions concerning the military equilibrium support its resistance to the missile arrangements in the area. Responding to the Indian approval[62] of American declaration of May 2001 to install National Missile Defenses (NMD), former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf showed it anxiety that this progress could put at risk to tactical stability, start a new arms race and weaken global hard work intended at arms control and disarmament.”[63]

Pakistan’s former Air Chief Marshal, Kaleem Saadat pointed out in the same way about Israel’s sophisticated weapons sale to India, that the sale further tilts the armed balance in Indian favour. He cautioned that if disparities keep on growing at the current pace, it will soon give confidence to India to overwhelm Pakistan easily. The probability of blunders then turns out to be yet bigger.[64]

The possession of a refined air security system with anti-missile ability by India would restrain Pakistan also to balance Indian military protection with parallel arrangements.[65] India would counteract such actions and as a result both states would get involved in a devastating and threatening missile proliferation.[66]

Indian Cold Start Doctrine and Pakistan’s Response

In 2004, India launched a new aggressive military doctrine called Cold Start Doctrine. According to the doctrine India plans to start a limited conventional war against Pakistan. Indian defense expenditure is more than hundred billion dollars. Indian attack would focus on three surgical strike forces, which comprise armoured divisions. Along with it, there would be eight integrated battle groups IBGs to fight a swift and surprise war at eight different places along the border. The basic purpose of CSD is to destroy Pakistan military forces, punish it for terrorist activity and occupy some areas to use as bargaining chip in future negotiations with Pakistan. Moreover, India is also bringing preemptive strikes in its military doctrine.[67]

A timely response came Pakistan which poured cold water on CSD, is the introduction of Tactical Nuclear weapon Hatf-IX or Nasr Missiles in 2011. Tactical nuclear weapons are meant for battle field use in a conventional war to halt attacking enemy forces. These are short distance and low yield nuclear weapons. Feroz khan, a former official of Pakistan Strategic Plan Division has accepted that “Nasr missile is meant to boost the conventional deterrence by creating strong barriers that will deter assaulting forces at the tactical level, and that the missile is slated as a battlefield weapon system.”[68]

So, we can say that TNWs are forming an important place in Pakistan Nuclear doctrine. India has also tested its TNWs in 2011, named Prahaar (Strike) having 60 Km Range in response to Pakistan’s Nasr Missile, but India is more interested in Cold Start rather than TNWs. Pakistan wants to counterbalance Indian Cold Start Doctrine, Maleeha Lodhi wrote about Pakistan’s interests in TNWs in 2012.[69] Lieutenant General Khalid Kidwai , Director of SPD said the aim of TNWs is to “pour cold water on Cold Start.”[70]


The divergence in their physical condition, mass, safety surroundings, danger awareness and national politics, Pakistan and India the two South Asian nuclear rivals, have implemented fundamentally dissimilar nuclear policies. In the words of Ashley J. Tellis, if the word nuclear arms is taken as the frame of reference, India would give more importance to adjective nuclear, thus by means of this expression to mean state possessions that assure protection against tactical threat of atomic utilize. Contrary to it, Pakistan is probable to put superior stress on the noun “arms”, means armed devices that may have to be used for sure state security.[71]

How these diverse doctrinal viewpoints affect arms control between India and Pakistan? The usual understanding suggests that as arms control agreements assume a sort of collaboration or mutual act amid the members concerning the armed structures, they eventually finish up sinking the probability of conflict.[72] So, it is vital that both the states have to work jointly to develop an arms control management to decrease the damaging effect of the precarious arms race and to attain tactical constancy.[73]In spite of their renowned soothing affects,[74] arms control accords are hard to accomplish between India and Pakistan. A lot of causes are there for lack of arms control system in the Subcontinent. The chief among them is the common truth that security managements are hard to launch in the defense area than in the financially viable sphere for the reason that of the innately aggressive shed of safety measures, the intolerant character of the tribulations and the complexity in shaping security paradigm.[75]

The Scientific development and technical knowhow has also produced disputes and problem by making possible for more nations to obtain armaments that were at time possessed by super powers only. Technology also helped to make new kinds of weaponry and by authorizing undersized states and non-state actors to get hold of deadly armaments. Shaun Gregory has recognized eight issues so as to obstruct the materialization of an arms control management in the region. These comprise: power unevenness between India and Pakistan, irregularity between bipolar and multi polar idea of safety, the divergence in general insight, the inclination to apply arms control plans for political motives, be short of institutionalization, be deficient of political resolve and be short of faith among India and Pakistan.

From the time of nuclear tests in May 1998, both the states have followed the pathway of security negotiations which have given way to a number of atomic and confidence-building measures intended to regulate the life of their security rivalry. The most important of these comprise: Lahore Declaration of 1999, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the Foreign Secretaries and a mutual declaration by the heads of governments, August 2005, contract to give advanced notification of ballistic missile tests. The winding up of joint agreements together with the 1991 Accord on the Non-Attack of Nuclear Facilities underline a rising understanding on both sides that they must move towards the atomic menace lessening by recognizing areas of common interest. The commencement of official Indo–Pak Composite Dialogue ever since January 2004, encompassing all exceptional issues including Kashmir together with prolonged opinionated and admired links between the two states has made the deterrence equation strong one and more established.


  1. Surah Anfal, Quran, 8:60
  2. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, “Bayan Ul Quran” Sura e Anfal, 8:60
  3. . Analysts of South Asian security have drawn attention to at least three such paradoxes: the instability/stability paradox, the vulnerability/invulnerability paradox and the independence/dependence paradox. Simply put, the instability/stability paradox states that by precluding general war, the destructiveness of nuclear weapons seems to open the door to limited conflicts. The vulnerability/invulnerability paradox refers to the increased risks of unauthorized use, accidents and theft of nuclear assets that arise from attempts to secure them against preemptive strikes. The dependence/independence paradox refers to the inability of the feuding nuclear rivals to effectively manage situations of crisis without the involvement of the third parties. Michael Krepon, “The Stability-Instability Paradox: Misperceptions and Escalation Control in South Asia,” Stimson Centre Report ,Washington, D.C.: Henry L. Stimson, May 2003, also see Scott D. Sagan, “Perils of proliferation” Asian Survey (November 2001), and see Feroz Hassan Khan, “the Independence-Dependence Paradox: Stability Dilemmas in South Asia,” ArmsControl Today (October 2003).
  4. . The first nuclear age was before 1998, which was the time of ambiguity between India and Pakistan and second nuclear age means after the nuclearization of South Asia. See, Bumitra Chakma (2011). South Asian Nuclear Security. New York: Routledge Publishers,
  5. . Salik Naeem (2001).The Genesis of South Asian Nuclear Deterrence: Pakistani Perspective. London: Oxford University Press.
  6. . Andrian Levy and Catherine Scott (2007) Deception: Pakistan, US and the Global Conspiracy. New York: Atlantic Books.
  7. . Gordon Corena (2006) Shopping For the Bomb: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity and the Rise and fall of Dr AQ Khan. New York: Oxford University Press
  8. . Lt Gen (Retd) Sardar F.S.Lodhi. “Analysis of Pakistan’s Doctrine vis-à-vis it’s Nuclear Capability”, Islamabad: Defence Journal, Apr 1999, p. 78.
  9. Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, 2010, “Indian Nuclear Deterrence: its evolution, development, and implications for South Asian Security”, p.316-317.
  10. Bernard Brodie, 1946, “The Absolute Weapons: Atomic Power and World Order, New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, p.76.
  11. . Henry Kissinger, 1957, “Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy” New York: Harper and Brothers, pp.7-8
  12. . Ibid, p. 18
  13. . Ibid, p. 23
  14. John J. Mearsheimer, 2001, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, New York: Norton and Company, p.31.
  15. . Ibid, p. 35
  16. . Ibid, pp. 138-139.
  17. . Alastair Johnston, “Thinking about Strategic Culture’, International Security, vol. 19, no. 4 (Spring 1995), p. 46.
  18. . Keith R. Krause, 1999, Culture and Security: Multilateralism, Arms Control and Security Building London: Frank Cass, pp. 17-18.
  19. . Andrew Latham, “Constructing National Security: Culture and Identity in Indian Arms Control and Disarmament Practice,” ,Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 131-132.
  20. Mahesh Shankar And T. V. Paul, “Nuclear doctrines and stable strategic relationships: the case of south Asia”, International Affairs 2016 The Royal Institute of International Affairs. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford ox4 2dq, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA
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  23. . Peter R. Lavoy, 2005, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Doctrine”, in Rafiq Dossani and Henry S. Rowen, Prospects for Peace in South Asia, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, pp. 280-300.
  24. . See The News, 29 May 2000.
  25. . Michael Ryan Kraig, “The Political and Strategic Imperatives of Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia,” India Review, vol.2, no, 1 January 2003, p. 37.
  26. . Agha Shahi, “Command And Control of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia,” Strategic Issues, March 2000, p. 5
  27. Walter C. Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars,” International Security 32, no. 3 (Winter 2007/2008), 158-90. 19 Ibid.
  28. Agha Shahi, Zulfiqar Khan and Abdul Sattar, “Securing Nuclear Peace,” The News International, October 5
  29. Pakistan Responds to India’s Nuclear Doctrine,” Disarmament Diplomacy, 41 (November 1999),
  30. Ibid., 55.Mr Agha Shahi gave the statement inan international Seminar on the Command and Control of nuclear Weapons held in Islamabad on Oct 5,1999.
  31. Abdul Sattar, “Foreign Policy After the Cold War,” address at the National Defence College, Islamabad, May 24, 2000
  32. President Musharaf address to the nation on May 28,2000
  33. . Lawrence Freedman, “I Exist, Therefore I Deter,” International Security 13 (Summer 1988), p. 184
  34. . Zafar Iqbal Cheema, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Use Doctrine and Command and Control” in Peter Lavoy, Scott. D Sagan and Jim Wirtz, Eds.“Planning the Unthinkable”, New York: Cornel University Press, p. 169
  35. . Brian Brian Cloughley, 1999, “A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections”, Karachi: Oxford University Press, p. 340
  36. .Kamal Matinuddin, 2002, “ Nuclearization of South Asia”, Karachi: Oxford University Press, p. 242
  37. . Abdul Sattar, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Strategy: Inaugural Address,” Strategic Issues (March 200), p. 3.
  38. . Scott Baldauf and Howard LaFranchi, “Why Pakistan might turn to nukes,” The Christian Science Monitor, 4 June 2002
  39. . In a rare revelation of the possible circumstances under which Islamabad might contemplate resort to defensive nuclear use, General Kidwai, Head of Pakistan’s Strategic Planning Division, which acts as a Secretariat for the Nuclear Command Authority set up in February 2000, reportedly outlined the following four contingencies: a) India attacks Pakistan and takes a large part of its territory; b) India destroys a large part of Pakistani armed forces; c) India imposes an economic blockade on Pakistan; and d) India creates political destabilization or large-scale internal subversion in Pakistan. These conditions or “Red Lines” would warrant considerations of nuclear use by Pakistan only if they created a situation in which “the very existence of Pakistan as a state is at stake.” Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Stability and NuclearStrategy in Pakistan: A Concise Report of a Visit by Landau Network –Centro Volta. Available at accessed on 15 May, 2013.
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  41. . Agha Shahi, “Pakistan’s Response to the Indian Nuclear Doctrine”, Strategic Issues (March 2000), p. 10.
  42. . Andrew C. Winner, Toshi Yoshihara, “Nuclear Stability in South Asia”, Tufts University: IFPA, 2002,p. 3
  43. Herbert L. Abrams, 2001 “Weapons in Jeopardy: Human Instability in the Nuclear Forces,” UnpublishedManuscript, Stanford University, p.123.
  44. Brian Cloughley, 1999 “A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections”, Karachi: Oxford University Press, pp. 355-357.
  45. . the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference: “New Leaders: New Directions” 19 June 2001, Washington, D.C.
  46. Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Organization of Pakistan’s National Command Authority.Available at .accessed on May 15, 2013.
  47. . Farah Zhara “Pakistan’s road to a minimum nuclear deterrent,” Arms Control Today (March 2001).
  48. . Air Commodore Tariq Mahmud Ashraf, 2004, “A Nuclear Pakistan”: The Way Ahead, Islamabad: UnpublishedManuscript, p. 6.
  49. . Ibid, p.6
  50. . R Rajaraman, M.V. Ramana,ZiaMian, “Possession and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia,” Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai, June 22, 2002, p.76.available at accessed on May 13, 2013
  51. . Paul Bracken, 1983, “The Command and Control of Nuclear Forces”, New Haven: Yale University Press,p. 202.
  52. . W. Lawrence Prabhakar, 2002 “The Challenge of Minimal Nuclear Deterrence,” in Michael Krepon and Chris Gagne, Eds. The Impact of US Ballistic Missile Defenses on Southern Asia Report No. 46, Washington, D C.: The Henry L. Stimson Center, p. 51.
  53. . Ibid, p.54
  54. . “No First Use and India’s Nuclear Transition,” Pugwash Meeting no. 279, London: November 2002, pp. 4-6.
  55. . W. Lawrence Prabhakar, “The challenge of Minimal Nuclear Deterrence,” in Michael Krepon, The Impact of US Ballistic Missile Defenses on Southern Asia Report No. 46, Washington, D.: The Henry L. Stimson Center, p. 56.
  56. . M.V. Ramana and Zia Mian, 2003, “The Nuclear Confrontation in South Asia,” in SIPRI Yearbook 2003, Disarmament and International Security London: Oxford University Press, SIPRI, p. 201.
  57. . Maj Gen (Retd) JamshedAyaz Khan, "India’s Nuclear Doctrine” The Nation, 31 January 2003.
  58. . Quoted in David Krieger and Devon Chaffee, “Facing the Failures of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Regime.”Available at .
  59. . Ibid.
  60. . P. Terrence Hopmann, 1986, ”Negotiating Security in Europe,” in John B. Harris And Eric Markusen, (eds.)“Nuclear Weapons And the Threat of Nuclear War”, Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,, pp. 209-220.
  61. . The Nation, Islamabad, 21 July 2000.
  62. . Rajesh Basrur, “Missile Defense and South Asia: An Indian Perspective,” in Michael Krepon and Chris Gagne, eds., July 2002, The Impact of US Ballistic Missile Defenses on Southern Asia,Washington, D.C.: The Henry L. Stimson Center, pp. 1-20.
  63. . B. Muralidhar Reddy, “Musharraf opposes NMD,” The Hindu, 13 May 2001.
  64. . Address by Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force at Global Air Chiefs Conference, Washington, D.C. 2002. Centre For Aerospace Power Studies, Karachi: November 2003, pp. 12-13.
  65. . Andrew Feickert and K. Alan Kronstradt, “Missile Proliferation and the Strategic Balance in South Asia,” CRS Report for Congress RL32115s, Washington D.C., Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 2003, p. 17.
  66. . Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, “India’s Endorsement of the US BMD: Challenges for Regional Stability,” IPRI Journal, vol. 1, no. 1 (Summer 2001), pp. 28-43.
  67. Masood Ur Rehman Khattak, “Indian Military’s Cold Start Doctrine: Capabilities, Limitations and Possible Response from Pakistan”, SASSI Research Paper 32, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI), March 2011, p.7-8.
  68. Mahesh Shankar And T. V. Paul, “ Nuclear doctrines and stable strategic relationships: the case of south Asia”,International Affairs 92: 1, 2016
  69. Maleeha Lodhi, ‘‘Pakistan’s Nuclear Compulsions,’’ The News International, November 6, 2012, E2% 80%99s-/ nuclear-/compulsions
  70. David O. Smith, ‘‘The U.S. Experience with Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Lessons for South Asia’’ Stimson Center, March 4, 2013, 32, http:// www. uploads/research-/pdfs/ David_ Smith_T actical_Nuclear _Weapons.pdf.
  71. . Ashley J. Tellis, 2001, “India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture: Between Recessed Deterrent and Ready Arsenal”, Santa Monica, CA.: Rand, , p. 279.
  72. . Jeffrey A. Larson, “An Introduction to Arms Control,” p. 1.
  73. . Tariq Rauf, “Confidence-building and security building measures in the nuclear area with relevance for South Asia,” Contemporary South Asia, vol. 14, no. 2 (June 2005), p. 181.
  74. . Stephen Philip Cohen, “Policy Implications,” in Stephen Philip Cohen,1991, , Ed. Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia: The Prospects for Arms Control, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, p. 347
  75. . Ibid, p. 251