Post-independence India and Pakistan have shared hostile relation with a number of wars and near-war situations. Through mutual hostility, war and war rhetoric have developed as their strategic cultures. India, the bigger power by many measures, and Pakistan, throughout their post-colonial-history(that extends to the present day) have faced a security dilemma, reinforcing each other’s threat perception. Besides an arms race and ‘alliance-counter alliance policy’, both have embarked on nuclear programs to maintain the regional balance of power. While the US-Soviet Cold War experience established that ‘nuclear weapon states do not fight with each other’, India and Pakistan fought the Kargil War in 1999 in the immediate aftermath of nuclear tests. Today’s security dilemma further increases as asymmetry develops through India’s steady economic rise and military modernization. Therefore, this paper explores the security environment of South Asia and suggests that there are some stabilizing effects to nuclear weapons yet the triggers of conflict remain.
Ⅱ. The history of rivalry and an evolving strategic environment
Ⅲ. Indo-Pakistani security in a nuclear perspective
Ⅳ. Implications of nuclear weapons on security and stability in South Asia