India’s open invitation to the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

India’s open invitation to a nuclear Armageddon

Published 12 hours ago 

on January 18, 2022

ByAmjed Jaaved

Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that “India was not averse to the possible demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier ,  the world’s highest battleground and an old sore in India-Pakistan ties , provided the neighbour accepted the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) that separates Indian and Pakistani positions. Acceptance of AGPL is the first step towards demilitarisation but the Pakistan side loathes doing that”. He said, ‘The Siachen situation occurred because of unilateral attempts by Pakistan to change status quo and countermeasures taken by the Indian Army’ (Not averse to demilitarisation of Siachen if Pak meets pre-condition: Army chief, Hindustan Times January 13, 2022).

Reacting to the Indian army chief’s statement, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan reminisced that the Siachen could not fructify into a written agreement because India wanted Siachen and Kashmir to be settled together. India’s approach ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ scuttled the agreement. As for Kashmir, “a simultaneous effort was made through the backchannel …in what is commonly known as the Four-Point Formula” (Siachen recollections, Dawn January 16, 2022). Riaz laments Indi’s distrust that hindered a solution.

Shyam Saran, a voice in the wilderness

Shyam Saran, in his book How India Sees the World (pp. 88-93) makes startling revelations about how this issue eluded solution at last minute. India itself created the Siachen problem.  Saran reminisces, in the 1970s, US maps began to show 23000 kilometers of Siachen area under Pakistan’s control. Thereupon, Indian forces were sent to occupy the glacier in a pre-emptive strike, named Operation Meghdoot. Pakistani attempts to dislodge them did not succeed. But they did manage to occupy and fortify the lower reaches’.

He recalls how Siachen Glacier and Sir Creek agreements could not fructify for lack of political will or foot dragging. He says ‘NN Vohra, who was the defence secretary at the time, confirmed in a newspaper interview that an agreement on Siachen had been reached. At the last moment, however, a political decision was taken by the Narasimha Rao government to defer its signing to the next round of talks scheduled for January the following year. But, this did not happen…My defence of the deal became a voice in the wilderness’.

Saran says, `Kautliyan template would say the options for India are sandhi, conciliation; asana, neutrality; and yana, victory through war. One could add dana, buying allegiance through gifts; and bheda, sowing discord. The option of yana, of course would be the last in today’s world’ (p. 64, ibid.).

India’s current first option

It appears that Kautliya’s last-advised option,yana, as visualised by Shyam Saran, is India’s first option nowadays. Kautlya also talks about koota yuddha (no holds barred warfare), and maya yuddha (war by tricks) that India is engaged in.

Cartographic annexation

By unilaterally declaring the disputed Jammu and Kashmir its territory does not solve the Kashmir problem. This step reflects that India has embarked upon the policy “might is right”. In Kotliyan parlance it would be “matsy nyaya, or mach nyaya”, that is big fish eats the small one. What if China also annexes disputed borders with India?  India annexed Kashmir presuming that Pakistan is not currently in a position to respond militarily, nor could it agitate the matter at international forums for fear of US ennui.  

India’s annexation smacks of acceptance of quasi-Dixon Plan, barring mention of plebiscite and division of Jammu. . Dixon proposed: Ladakh should be awarded to India. Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (including Gilgit and Baltistan) should remain with Pakistan. Whole Kashmir valley should have a plebiscite with no option to independence. Jammu should be divided on religious basis. The river Chmab should be the dividing line. Northern Jammu (Muslims dominated) should go to Pakistan and Hindu majority parts of Jammu to remain with India.

In short Muslim areas should have gone with Pakistan and Hindu-Buddhist majority areas should have remained with India.

India’s annexation has no legal sanctity. But, it could have bbeen sanctified in a mutually agreed Kashmir solution.

India’s propaganda

India portrays the freedom movement in Kashmir as `terrorism’. What about India’s terrorism in neighbouring countries?

The world is listless to accounts of former diplomats and RAW officers about executing insurgencies in neighbouring countries. B. Raman, in his book The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane makes no bones about India’s involvement up to the level of prime minister in Bangladesh’s insurgency.

 Will the world take notice of confessions by Indi’s former intelligence officers and diplomats?B. Raman reminds `Indian parliament passed resolution on March 31, 1971 to support insurgency. Indira Gandhi had then confided with Kao that in case Mujib was prevented from ruling Pakistan, she would liberate East Pakistan from the clutches of the military junta. Kao, through one RAW agent, hijacked a Fokker Friendship, the Ganga, of Indian Airlines hijacked from Srinagar to Lahore.

India’s ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, with the consent of then foreign minister Jaswant Singh, `coordinated military and medical assistance that India was secretly giving to Massoud and his forces’… `helicopters, uniforms, ordnance, mortars, small armaments, refurbished Kalashnikovs seized in Kashmir, combat and winter clothes, packaged food, medicines, and funds through his brother in London, Wali Massoud’, delivered circuitously with the help of other countries who helped this outreach’. When New Delhi queried about the benefit of costly support to Northern Alliance chief Massoud, Kumar explained, “He is battling someone we should be battling. When Massoud fights the Taliban, he fights Pakistan.”

Death of back-channel

In his memoirs In the line of fire (pp.302-303), president Musharraf had proposed a personal solution of the Kashmir issue.  This solution, in essence, envisioned self-rule in demilitarised regions of Kashmir under a joint-management mechanism.   The solution pre-supposed* reciprocal flexibility.

Death of dialogue and diplomacy

Riaz warns of “incalculable” risks as the result of abrogation of Kashmir statehood (Aug 5, 2019). Both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. In the absence of a dialogue on outstanding issues, war, perhaps a nuclear one,  comes up as the only option.

Concluding remark

Sans sincerity, the only Kashmir solution is a nuclear Armageddon. Or, perhaps divine intervention.

Can the Pakistani nuclear horn stop India?

Can Pakistan counter India’s new S-400 air defense system?

Jan 16, 05:30 PM

ISLAMABAD — Overconfidence in its newly acquired S-400 air defense system may give India a false sense of invulnerability and increase the likelihood of a military miscalculation involving archrival Pakistan, analysts warn.

“Indian rhetoric appears to suggest a belief that the S-400 effectively makes its airspace impenetrable and its forces invulnerable,” Mansoor Ahmed, a senior fellow at the Pakistan-based think tank Center for International Strategic Studies who studies the country’s nuclear program and delivery systems, told Defense News.

Consequently, there are concerns “India may be emboldened to resort to military adventurism, believing its ‘Cold Start’ doctrine for punishing strikes and destabilizing incursions into Pakistan” is an assured success, he said.

Deliveries of India’s five S-400 regiments began in December 2021, with initial deployments along the Indo-Pakistan border.

On paper, the defensive — and potentially offensive — anti-access, area denial capabilities of the S-400 appear formidable. The system is reportedly effective against aircraft, UAVs, and ballistic and cruise missiles, with the latter capability potentially neutralizing Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent.

Its layered coverage is provided by a combination of the 40-kilometer-range 9M96E, 120-kilometer-range 9M96E2, 250-kilometer-range 48N6, and 400-kilometer-range 40N6E missiles, enabling it to protect large areas, high-value targets and itself from attack.

It is also highly mobile, can be made operational 5 minutes after arriving at a new location and therefore can be regularly relocated to avoid detection.

However, aerospace expert Douglas Barrie at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, told Defense News the S-400 “should not be underestimated, neither should it be over-estimated.”

A notable claimed feature of the S-400 is its potential offensive capability that would restrict an adversary’s use of its own airspace. For Pakistan, due to its geography and the long border it shares with India, the weapon system would cover most of the country.

Archrivals Pakistan and India share a tense border, and both countries have nuclear weapons. (Racide/Getty Images) 

However, Barrie is unconvinced. “Its much-touted maximum engagement range is dependent on the variant of surface-to-air missile deployed, the acquisition ranges of the associated radars in the operational area, the capacity of the personnel to effectively exploit the system, and also the steps and countermeasures any opponent might take.”

India plans to integrate the S-400 into its existing air defense network, which consists of indigenous and Indo-Israeli systems.

Consequently, Barrie said, India might “use the system more often to defend high-value targets or critical national infrastructure from air attack, rather than forward-deploy to hamper the Pakistani Air Force’s use of its own airspace [thereby] putting the systems at greater risk of attack.”

“In and of itself, I see the S-400 acquisition having little to no impact on the overall credibility of the Pakistani [nuclear] deterrent,” he added.

Similarly, Ahmed believes “its effectiveness against ballistic or cruise missiles is open to question and will depend on a variety of factors,” such as the effective engagement range. This specific factor takes into account the curvature of the Earth, the nature of nearby terrain and the location from which the system was deployed.

If deployed too far forward, an S-400 — or at least elements of the system, such as the launch vehicle — could be in danger of direct targeting. Ahmed specifically pointed to the Fatah-1, Pakistan’s 150-kilometer-range guided round for the Chinese A-100 multiple launch rocket system, as a weapon that could jeopardize the S-400. The Fatah-1 round was successfully tested in August 2021.

Additionally, suppression or even destruction of the S-400 could be aided by effective electronic warfare measures — a capability Pakistan demonstrated when its Air Force successfully launched retaliatory strikes into Indian-held territory during a flare-up in February 2019.

Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division, or SPD, develops and protects all aspects of the country’s nuclear deterrent, and it’s likely the organization will be charged with determining the threat posed by the S-400 and how to respond.

Defense News tried to contact the SPD via the Army’s Inter Services Public Relations media branch, but received no response.

However, Ahmed pointed to improvements Pakistan is making to its existing arsenal to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent.

“Pakistan’s missile tests over the past several years appear to demonstrate enhanced accuracy and penetration capability in view of India’s growing investment in missile defenses. It has also introduced the [multiple independent reentry vehicle]-capable Ababeel ballistic missile system, designed to defeat any dedicated Indian anti-missile system,” he said. “While the S-400 remains a highly capable air defense system at best, its utility against missiles has yet to be proven in real-time conditions.”

Nevertheless, the S-400 does pose a considerable threat to Pakistan’s conventional deterrent.

“Suppression or destruction of enemy air defense (SEAD/DEAD) will likely have taken greater priority for the Pakistani Air Force in response to the S-400 acquisition,” Barrie said. “Options include acquiring more capable anti-radiation missiles, improved electronic countermeasures and aircraft self-protection.”

Outsmarting the system

Pakistan potentially has something in development that could be used against the S-400.

A stealthy combat drone design, the ZF1 was specifically created to attack heavily defended targets. It was promoted at Pakistan’s biennial arms exhibition IDEAS in 2018 by the UAS Global, whose CEO Rafay Shaik told Defense News at the time the aircraft would make its first flight soon.

The concept is not new to South Asia. India has its own stealthy UCAV program, the Ghatak, run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Despite requests for information on the state of the program sent to UAS Global, there has been no news regarding its development since early 2019, and it’s unclear if ZF1 work is even ongoing.

Pakistan might also benefit from military exercises “with friendly countries that operate the S-400, such as China and Turkey, who may at least indirectly help identify its strengths and weaknesses for exploring opportunities to suppress and defeat Indian S-400 systems,” Ahmed said.

A Russian Antonov military cargo plane, carrying the S-400, is unloaded after landing at a Turkish military base on July 12, 2019. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images) 

For its part, China has “multiple options” available for Pakistan, according to Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

“It is very likely that, to the degree that China has aided North Korea’s new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) missile warhead, it has or will similarly assist a Pakistani HGV, or simply sell the DF-17,” he said, referring to a medium-range missile system equipped with an HGV. “Or Beijing now has the option of allowing North Korea to sell its HGV to Pakistan.”

China could also help Pakistan redress the balance with a similar air defense system, Fisher added, and its ability to do so “can be expected soon.”

“In contrast to China’s flagrant abuse of the intellectual property of [Russia’s] Sukhoi Corporation, S-300 and S-400 maker Almaz-Antey in the 1990s agreed to sell China the means to make their own fourth-generation SAMs [surface-to-air missiles] along with sales of their SAMs,” he explained.

Fisher noted that Pakistan’s recently acquired Chinese-made HQ-9B missile — which reportedly has a 240-kilometer range and is locally referred to as the HQ-9/P — is based on Almaz-Antey technology. He said this transfer of advanced Russian technology enabled China to develop the initial land-based HQ-9 and ship-based HHQ-9 systems, which have a range of 125 kilometers and entered service in the mid-2000s.

HQ-9 surface-to-air missile launchers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2015. Pakistan acquired a variant of the weapon in 2021. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) 

These Chinese systems are quite advanced, Fisher added. “Like later variants of the S-300 family acquired by China, the HQ-9 featured a hard-to-jam phased array guidance and tracking radar, and its missile uses an active radar for terminal guidance.”

The longer-range HQ-9B is reported to have a dual semi-active radar homing/passive infrared seeker, while the HQ-9C, which is under development, will reportedly feature active guidance.

Citing the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as the civil wars in Libya and Syria, Ahmed noted that “increasingly more potent and sophisticated” air defense systems are being “matched by systems and technologies designed to beat them, such as standoff weapons, anti-radiation missiles, electronic countermeasures, UCAVs and drone swarms, and low-flying cruise missiles.”

“The race for offense-defense dominance is therefore increasingly favoring the offense,” he said.

Dialogue before the First Nuclear War? Revelation 8

Return to dialogue to resolve issues, peaceniks urge Pakistan, India

January 16, 2022

NEW DELHI: Even as there looks no immediate headway towards deescalating tensions between South Asian nuclear neighbours, at least 50 politicians, former officials, and peace activists have come together urging Pakistan and India to attend to their differences and work for durable peace in the region.

Indian peace activist Om Prakash Shah is planning to release compilations of 50 articles in the form of a book — In Pursuit of Peace: Improving Indo-Pak Relations — in the Indian capital New Delhi over the weekend, requesting both countries to at least start talks to find solutions to their political issues.

The authors, who have contributed to the book include former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, former Information Minister Javed Jabbar, former Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha and former Chief Minister of occupied Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, among others.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency ahead of the release of the book, Shah said there was a general recognition on both sides to find a way to co-exist in a peaceful productive manner and to make sure that the differences do not spin out of control, especially given the developmental challenges faced by both countries.

“The main aim of this book is to deepen our mutual understanding of the different points of view in Pakistan and India and to speed up the process of dialogue, which I believe is an important tool for bridging the trust deficit between India and Pakistan,” said Shah, who is working on improving Pakistan-India relations for the last three decades.

He said the book has taken the stock of Indo-Pak relations as both countries are approaching the 75th anniversary of their independence in August 2022.

Relations between India and Pakistan plummeted to a new low after August 5, 2019, when India not only revoked the longstanding special status but also bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic ties.

Desirable to turn to dialogue

Pakistan has been maintaining the normalization of ties with New Delhi is linked to a review of the August 5 decision and ultimate resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

Stating that India Pakistan relationship, “like any complicated multi-faceted relationship, has its ups and downs,” Shah said that it is important to maintain a focus on bridging the gaps between the two neighbours that share a long border.

“To bridge this inherited chasm, it is desirable to turn to dialogue, which is an important tool that is available to all of us. It is important that we do not leave the challenging task of establishing a climate of trust and confidence between India and Pakistan to our respective governments only,” he said.

Shah urged the civil society in both countries to take a lead in progressing the peace talks and to resolve our mutual differences, in addition to the efforts made by the two governments.

Asked about the central idea in the articles written by a divergent group of people across the borders, Shah said, all authors are committed to finding ways to improve India and Pakistan relations.

Cultural affinity

Mohammad Mukhtar Ansari, a former top official in the Indian government, who has also contributed to the book, said both countries should not be oblivious of emotional attachment between the divided families and cultural affinity among the people of both sides.

“The countries, which support cultural exchange programs across the regions and promote economic and business trade, do not engage themselves in war-like activities or maintain adversarial relations.

Both the countries must give a chance to its people to establish contacts at various levels, which will pave the way for establishing a friendly relationship with all the neighbouring countries,” he said.

He added that it is important that the protection of sociocultural identities is duly factored “in the dialogue process to respect and promote traditional bondage between the people living beyond the borders.”

India’s nuclear horn recently went up the sophistication curve

Photo: @Twitter
Photo: @Twitter

India’s nuclear arsenal recently went up the sophistication curve

In the final months of 2021, India conducted two major missile tests. The first was the Shaurya hypersonic weapon test, which was conducted in October. The second was the Agni-P missile test conducted on Christmas Eve. Both missile tests indicate that India is on course to fielding a more sophisticated nuclear arsenal with greater diversity of delivery systems. These developments have triggered a flurry of analyses ranging from satisfaction over improvements in the Indian arsenal’s level of readiness to dangerous prognostications about what these missile developments might mean for strategic stability, especially between India and Pakistan.

Let us begin with what Shaurya and Agni-P imply for the state of readiness of India’s arsenal. These two missiles highlight the importance of expanding the repertoire of our nuclear-capable missile forces. India also tested a hypersonic weapon that is estimated to travel at a speed of Mach 5 and designed to dodge missile defences. Hypersonic weapons such as Shaurya are likely to be highly effective in taking out enemy early radars, static military installations such as airbases and command and control (C&C) facilities, although Shaurya may require a few additional tests to establish the credibility of its operational capabilities.

The Agni-P missile is believed to be capable of delivering multiple independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) or multiple warheads against a single target. This creates an opportunity for India to strengthen nuclear deterrence through ambiguity. Several analysts have inferred that Agni-P and Shaurya together represent a shift in India’s no-first-use policy. However, officially there is no evidence to suggest a change; India’s declaratory doctrine has remained steadfastly committed to no-first-use even as the country’s operational posture in the form of higher readiness levels undergoes a shift. The latter part is increasingly manifesting itself in the form of the ‘canisterization’ of India’s missiles, not only for longer range missiles such as intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), but also for the Agni-P, which is a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM).

Canistering missiles enables more rapid deployment, as warheads could already be mated with missiles and placed in climate-controlled tubes, preventing damage, for launch on short notice. Further, canisterized missile capabilities give India counter-force strike options, especially against Pakistan, according to some analysts who fear an intensification of strategic instability emerging from India’s missile progress.

Thus, because of India’s putative MIRV-based and canisterized ballistic missile forces, one school of thought holds that India could launch a pre-emptive strike against Pakistan’s nuclear facilities in the heat of a crisis. This view conveniently overlooks the fact that Pakistan has a larger nuclear arsenal than India’s and Rawalpindi’s refusal to adopt a no-first-use policy, despite past entreaties to do so. Pakistan also pursues an asymmetric escalation posture that involves the development and deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, but most critically early use of atomic weapons in a conflict with India, leaving us exposed to stand-off missile attacks. Moreover, it is misleading to argue that India’s canisterized and MIRV capabilities sow “strategic instability” when it is more the result of Pakistan’s pursuit of an offensive posture that involves the tactical use of nuclear weapons against a potential Indian conventional attack.

Indeed, the Pakistani presumption that the tactical and strategic use of atomic weapons can be kept separate is the primary source of instability. New Delhi has generally rejected the notion that decoupling the tactical and strategic use of atomic weapons is possible or sustainable because there can be no real distinction between counter-value and counter-force strikes involving such weapons, at least against Pakistan. Also, India’s pursuit of higher readiness levels in the form of Agni-P and Shaurya is only par for the course in that it is a justifiable insurance against a risk-prone adversary such as Pakistan. Although India has a stated no-first-use policy, combining it with a higher degree of operational readiness of its nuclear tipped-missile forces is also about pursuing nuclear deterrence, though through ambiguity, as it sows uncertainty and induces caution in India’s two nuclear adversaries, China and Pakistan. If anything, it complicates the first strike options of Beijing and Rawalpindi.

Beyond Pakistan, the advances in India’s missile capabilities are geared to deterring the People’s Republic of China. The latter has significantly superior capabilities than India. Beijing has deployed its Dong-Feng (DF)-26 IRBMs in the Xinjiang region of Western China. India’s Shaurya hypersonic weapon is equally a response China’s DF-17 Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) with a range of 1,800-2,500km, which Beijing is believed to have been fielding since at least 2019. Notwithstanding the caveat that New Delhi has generally rejected distinctions between counter-value and counter-force targets and tactical and strategic capabilities, Indian counter-force strike options are more plausible against China than Pakistan simply because a large number of the former’s land-based nuclear forces are more distant from population centres. Pakistan is acutely vulnerable to strategic interdiction due to its narrow geography as opposed to the geographic and strategic depth China enjoys. In any case, Beijing’s’s submarine-based nuclear capabilities give it a near invulnerable second-strike capacity, making India’s counter-force strikes against Chinese nuclear targets difficult. Thus, India’s hypersonic and canisterized Agni SRBM and IRBM capabilities are equally about preserving strategic deterrence and enhancing regional strategic stability.

Harsh V. Pant & Kartik Bommakanti are, respectively, professor of international relations, King’s College London and a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation

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A new nuclear age before the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

nuclear, South Asia, nuclear weapons, US–Russia, US–China, missile defences, strategic non-nuclear weapons, SNNW, Belt and Road Initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, US–Pakistan, US–India, counterterrorism, Third Nuclear Age

A new nuclear age in South Asia?

7 January 2022

South Asia is deeply impacted by the disruption in the balance of the current global nuclear order due to the growing power rivalry and advancement in military technologies

There is a feeling amongst academics, professionals, and some policymakers that the global nuclear order is in a period of flux and perhaps transformation. This shift is being driven by the development and deployment of a range of different military technologies with possible strategic effects and by a concurrent shift in the context and environment within which nuclear weapons issues are thought about and nuclear peace is maintained.

However, with a few notable exceptions, this discussion has focused primarily on the US–Russia and US–China relationship. The strategic balance between these three major nuclear powers is undoubtedly important, but far less attention has been given to the impact—both directly and indirectly—of these developments in South Asia. While the potentially transformative impact of disruptive, often non-nuclear weapons technologies and associated systems may be at an early stage in South Asia, we can already see how such developments could lead to new types of nuclear risks, the undermining of stability, and perhaps an increased chance of nuclear use.

This combination creates new problems across the global nuclear order, but perhaps is nowhere more acute than in Southern Asia.

The global challenge appears on the surface to be principally technological: The development and deployment of increasingly sophisticated missile defences; the emergence of non-nuclear long-range precision strike capabilities (including hypersonic weapons), as well as renewed interest in exotic means of nuclear delivery; new and more conspicuous methods of counter-space, anti-submarine, and cyber warfare, all of which are unfolding in a real-time and porous nuclear information space. These challenges are playing out at the same time as a return to great power competition between the US, Russia, India, and China in a more competitive geopolitical landscape. This combination creates new problems across the global nuclear order, but perhaps is nowhere more acute than in Southern Asia. Indeed, these developments could alter regional nuclear deterrence dynamics, trigger an already simmering arms race between India and Pakistan, and increase the risk of unintended escalation.

Both India and Pakistan have demonstrated a growing appetite for new types of strategic weaponry, and while not always in public, they are clearly beginning to factor in the possible impact of new types of capabilities by each other for deterrence and security. One author has already warned of a possible move towards an “Indian counterforce” doctrine, possibly involving strategic non-nuclear as well as, or even instead of, nuclear weapons, and the possible impact of a multi-layered Indian BMD—and its link with new Pakistani nuclear delivery systems—has been part of this debate for over a decade. The worry, of course, is that the introduction of more sophisticated and destructive technologies in South Asia is going to lock India and Pakistan in a security dilemma and create a vicious cycle that will become increasingly difficult to break.

South Asia is currently lagging behind the US, China, and Russia in the development of SNNW capabilities and doctrine, and the role that these technologies will play in the region will largely depend on the geostrategic and political interests and the evolution of the strategic dynamics. 

The existing academic literature on technological change in military capabilities, and especially the advent of strategic non-nuclear weapons (SNNW) and South Asia tends to focus on the capabilities of these technologies and to emphasise the risks inherent in their use, but limited attention is paid to the political discourse and perceptions on how India and Pakistan intend to use these technologies in the future, and how this is going to affect their doctrines. For sure, South Asia is currently lagging behind the US, China, and Russia in the development of SNNW capabilities and doctrine, and the role that these technologies will play in the region will largely depend on the geostrategic and political interests and the evolution of the strategic dynamics.  That said, the impact of these technologies in South Asia could be more acute given the past history of confrontation, unsettled strategic balance, incendiary political flashpoints, and the short decision-making times resulting from geography and a contiguous border. To understand the impact that SNNW, in particular, will have on South Asia, we need to look at the broader picture. The increasing interdependence between the international and regional levels has contributed to creating a domino effect, linking the United States, China, India, and Pakistan. These dynamics will not only shape security relations between the great powers, but will also have dangerous spillover effects in South Asia and in other regions too.  In the last few years, the US’ nuclear and military modernisation and growing reliance on non-nuclear technologies with strategic impact have pushed China to develop more sophisticated technologies of their own. Growing concerns about China’s intentions and capabilities —especially the fear of a rapid increase in nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles—have triggered a cascade effect whereby India will respond by expanding its nuclear programme and seeking to develop SNNW, while Pakistan will follow to catch up with India.

The intensification of the competition between the United States and China, together with the efforts of Washington and Beijing to establish stronger ties with India and Pakistan respectively, are also transforming South Asia’s strategic landscape. In the last few years, the US–India civil nuclear deal culminated in the establishment of a strategic partnership,  exacerbated a marked deterioration of US–Pakistani relations, and has led to the strengthening of China-Pakistan cooperation through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Belt and Road Initiative. At first glance, it this may appear to have created two distinct blocs (US-India vs China-Pakistan), but the reality is more nuanced and complex.

Nuclear developments in and by India and Pakistan have never quite fitted with the predominantly western notion of splitting nuclear history into distinct “ages” either side of the end of the Cold War.

At the moment, relations between the US and Pakistan are at a low point, but the Biden administration wants to continue to cooperate with Pakistan because of its support for US counterterrorism initiatives, to monitor its nuclear capabilities, and to keep the lines of communication open to the Pakistani military. Pakistan, in turn, wants to keep a stable relationship with both the US and China. This is because Pakistan has a long history of cooperation with the US that dates back to the Cold War, and it has been one of the main recipients of US foreign aid, while China remains a crucial economic and military partner.  Finally, India shares US concerns about China and how to manage its rise in the Indo-Pacific region, but the Indian government does not want to be embroiled in a formal alliance with the US because it wants to preserve its strategic autonomy and does not want to be caught in a conflict that could hamper its economic growth.

Whether it is right to conceive of South Asia as entering into a “Third Nuclear Age”; whether it is in the same way as other nuclear-armed actors is a matter of debate: Each region and each state may experience this shift in global nuclear order differently. Nuclear developments in and by India and Pakistan have never quite fitted with the predominantly western notion of splitting nuclear history into distinct “ages” either side of the end of the Cold War. But irrespective of the terminology, Third Nuclear Age dynamics: Disruptive, often non-nuclear-technologies with strategic effect, geopolitical competition, and a complex and fluid nuclear information environment, will impact the future of the region, and particularly the nature and shape of nuclear risks. There is still time to, in effect, get ahead of these developments and perhaps even mitigate some of the worst possible implications before they fully materialise in the region, but this will require a genuine interest in dialogue, risk reduction, and restraint that has been conspicuously absent in recent times.


This article is based on research funded under a European Research Council grant.  More information about the project is available here.The views expressed above belong to the author(s).

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Israel Tried To Derail the Pakistan Nuclear Horn

The Karachi nuclear power plant site in Pakistan (Image: CNNC)

Israel Tried To Derail Pakistan Nuclear Program In 1980s – OpEd

January 5, 2022

The Karachi nuclear power plant site in Pakistan (Image: CNNC)

Reportedly, Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad is suspected of detonating bombs and issuing threats to German and Swiss companies in the 1980s that helped Pakistan in its nascent nuclear weapons program. 

Lately, the prominent Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) reported on the findings. According to the paper, “The suspicion that the Mossad might be behind the attacks and threats soon arose. For Israel, the prospect that Pakistan, for the first time, could become an Islamic state with an atomic bomb posed an existential threat.”

The paper reported that Pakistan and Iran worked closely together in the 1980s on the construction of nuclear weapons devices. According to the NZZ, the intensive work of companies from Germany and Switzerland in aiding Iran’s nuclear program “has been relatively well researched.”

The paper quoted the Swiss historian Adrian Hänni who said the Mossad was likely involved in the bomb attacks of Swiss and German companies added, there was no “smoking gun” to prove the Mossad carried out the attacks.

The Organization for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia, a previously unknown entity, claimed credit for the explosions in Switzerland and Germany.

The NZZ reports on the role of the late Pakistani nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons program. He crisscrossed Europe during the 1980s to secure technology and blueprints from Western institutions and companies. The paper wrote that Khan met in a Zurich hotel with a delegation of Iran’s Organization for Atomic Energy in 1987.  The Iranian delegation was led by the engineer Masud Naraghi, the chief of Iran’s nuclear energy commission.

Two German engineers, Gotthard Lerch and Heinz Mebus, along with Naraghi, who earned his PhD in the USA, met with Khan’s group in Switzerland. Additional meetings took place in Dubai.

With the fast-moving efforts by Pakistan to jumpstart its nuclear weapons program, the US government sought, without success, to get the German and Swiss governments to crack down on companies in their countries that were aiding Pakistan. Suspected Mossad agents allegedly took action in Switzerland and Germany against the companies and engineers involved in aiding Pakistan.

According to the NZZ, “A few months after the unsuccessful intervention of the US State Department in Bonn and Bern, unknown perpetrators carried out explosive attacks on three of these companies: on February 20, 1981 on the house of a leading employee of Cora Engineering Chur; on May 18, 1981  on the factory building of the Wälischmiller company in Markdorf;  and finally, on November 06, 1981, on the engineering office of Heinz Mebus in Erlangen. All three attacks resulted in only property damage, only Mebus’s dog was killed.”

The paper highlighted, “The explosives attacks were accompanied by several phone calls in which strangers threatened other delivery companies in English or broken German. Sometimes the caller would order the threats to be taped. ‘The attack that we carried out against the Wälischmiller company could happen to you too’ – this is how the Leybold-Heraeus administration office was intimidated. 

Siegfried Schertler, the owner of VAT at the time, and his head salesman Tinner were called several times on their private lines. Schertler also reported to the Swiss Federal Police that the Israeli secret service had contacted him. This emerges from the investigation files, which the NZZ was able to see for the first time.”

Schertler said an employee of the Israeli embassy in Germany named David, contacted the VAT executive. The company head said that David urged him to stop ‘these businesses’ regarding nuclear weapons and switch to the textile business.

Swiss and German companies derived significant profits from their business with the Khan nuclear weapons network. The NZZ reported “Many of these suppliers, mainly from Germany and Switzerland, soon entered into business worth millions with Pakistan. Leybold-Heraeus, Wälischmiller, Cora Engineering Chur, Vakuum-Apparate-Technik (VAT, with the chief buyer Friedrich Tinner) or the Buchs metal works, to name a few. They benefited from an important circumstance. The German and Swiss authorities interpreted their dual-use provisions very generously. Most of the components that are required for uranium enrichment, for example, high-precision vacuum valves, are primarily used for civil purposes.”

The NZZ reported that recently the National Security Archive in Washington published diplomatic correspondence from the US State Department from Bonn and Bern in 1980.

“This shows how the US resented the two countries’ casual handling of the delicate deliveries to Pakistan. In a note from an employee, Bern’s behavior was described as a ‘hands-off approach’ – the local authorities were accordingly accused of turning a blind eye. In the now released dispatches, which were previously classified as secret, those companies are listed for the first time that the US has accused of supporting the Pakistani nuclear weapons program with their deliveries. The list included around half a dozen companies each from Germany and Switzerland

How Europe helped the Pakistani Nuclear horn

Pakistan flag
Pakistan flag (Representational image) Pixabay

German and Swiss Companies Aided Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Bombshell Report Reveals

By R. Ghosh On 1/4/22 at 4:55 PM

The Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, bombed and threatened German and Swiss companies in the 1980s as they played a major role in helping Pakistan develop nuclear weapon’s program, a bombshell report from the Swiss media claims. Pakistan and Iran worked closely during the 1980s to develop nuclear weapons and German and Swiss companies assisted them, the report mentions.

The bombshell story was first broken by Switzerland-based newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), on Sunday. And interestingly the United States then under the President Jimmy Carter also played a major role in helping Swiss companies, according to the report.

Mossad Threatened Pak Allies

During the 1980s, Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran worked closely together on the construction of nuclear weapons devices. German and Swiss companies were actively involved in assisting the two countries in developing their nuclear program.

However, the secret mission, soon got exposed to Mossad, and months later, at least three facilities linked to the European companies helping Pakistan were bombed. The three facilities were a Cora Engineering Chur employee’s house on May 18, 1981, a Wälischmiller company factory building on May 18, 1981, and the Heinz Mebus engineering office on November 6th, 1981, the report says.

Also, the Mossad sent threatening messages to other firms by phone.

However, the United States also had a role to play in this. According to the report, the then-US president Jimmy Carter’s administration also sent diplomatic advances to the Swiss and German companies aiding this project to fight the progression of Pakistan’s nuclear program, according to NZZ.

“The suspicion that the Mossad might be behind the attacks and threats soon arose,” the report said.

“For Israel, the prospect that Pakistan, for the first time, could become an Islamic state with an atomic bomb posed an existential threat.”

Mossad Felt Threatened?

Israeli Flag
Israeli Flag Pxfuel

The report comes almost four daces later and two decades after Pakistan tested it first nuclear weapon in 1998. However, ever after that, not too many said anything about the involvement of German and Swiss companies in providing support to Pakistan and Iran.

Following the bombings on these German and Swiss facilities, Organization for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia, claimed the responsibility.

However, the entity prior to the explosions was completely unknown to the world but everyone believed in that. However, Organization for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons never gave an explanation into the bombings and why it would suddenly attack German and Swiss companies.

Moreover, the organization was also never “never heard from” again following the incident, the NZZ report cities. It is possible that Mossad bombed the facilities after it got an intelligence report and felt that Pakistan could become the first Islamic state to possess an atomic bomb which could become an exponential threat.

However, even then there is no proof that Mossad was behind those attacks.

Israel hampers the Pakistani Nuclear horn

Report: Israel's Mossad hampered Pakistan's nuclear program

Report: Israel’s Mossad hampered Pakistan’s nuclear programs

Swiss daily says that in the 1980s, the Mossad intelligence agency allegedly targeted German and Swiss companies involved in developing Pakistan’s nuclear program, deemed “an existential threat” to Israel. Intelligence expert says there is no concrete evidence to prove Israel’s involvement.

Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency allegedly targeted German and Swiss companies that assisted in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program in the 1980s, Neue Zurcher Zeitung (NZZ), a daily based in Switzerland, reported on Sunday.

During the 1980s, Pakistan and Iran worked closely together on the construction of nuclear weapons devices, the report explained.

Then-president Jimmy Carter’s administration sent diplomatic advances to the Swiss and German companies also aiding this project to fight the progression of Pakistan’s nuclear program, according to NZZ.

A few months later, three facilities linked to the European companies were bombed – a Cora Engineering Chur employee’s house on May 18, 1981, a Walischmiller company factory building on May 18, 1981, and the Heinz Mebus engineering office on Nov. 6, 1981.

Threatening messages were also sent to other firms by phone, NZZ claimed.

“The suspicion that the Mossad might be behind the attacks and threats soon arose,” the report said. “For Israel, the prospect that Pakistan, for the first time, could become an Islamic state with an atomic bomb posed an existential threat.”

Additionally, NZZ points to the fact that the Organization for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia, a previously unknown entity that claimed responsibility for the explosions, was “never heard from” again following the incident.

Adrian Hanni, a contemporary historian and intelligence service expert, told the daily that the Mossad’s participation in the bombings was probable, but there is no “smoking gun” to prove involvement.

i24NEWS contributed to this report.

Indian nuclear missile proliferation before the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Indian nuclear missile proliferation | By Amber Afreen Abid

January 2, 2022

Indian nuclear missile proliferation


THE nuclear capability of Pakistan is purely security based and depends upon the changing technological developments in the region.

Pakistan maintains a posture of credible minimum deterrence and ensures strategic stability in the region.

However, India continually pushes Pakistan towards arms race, by the development and induction of new aggressive technology and incorporation of offensive doctrines.

The proliferation of supersonic and hypersonic weapons is echoing in South Asia which could be disastrous for the regional peace and stability.

Ever since the mass nuclear power has been invented, the deterrence stability in the region is maintained by keeping the mutual vulnerability intact, which India tries its best to sabotage.

The introduction of supersonic and hypersonic weapons could be devastating as it travels with immensely high speed and the enemy can’t be certain whether it is carrying conventional or non-conventional weapon, hence the chances and risks of nuclear war are manifolds.

India recently test-fired the air version of Brahmos supersonic missile. The supersonic missile is a joint venture of the Indian DRDO and the Russian NPOM.

It is basically an offensive missile, and India intends to develop a series of supersonic missiles. India is most likely to supplement it with the nuclear missile as well, which would intensify the already volatile scenario in South Asia.

Moreover, India has also tested the Supersonic missile assisted torpedo (SMART), which indicates the continuous modernization of its technology. Recently Indian Defence Minister said that India wants to go for hypersonic missile in line with credible minimum deterrence.

Owing to the volatile situation in South Asia, with the absence of any conflict resolution treaties and agreements, the innovation in technology in South Asia leads to the change in the nuclear doctrines as well.

Pakistan maintains a policy of minimum credible deterrence, but that minimum is directly proportional to the advancements made by the adversary in offensive technology and ultimately in the nuclear doctrine.

The Indian posture of NFU is also questionable, as the statements from the Defence Minister of India comes otherwise. The recent development indicates India’s move towards a counterforce targeting, which is a highly destabilizing factor for South Asia.

The Indian military modernization is far exceeding the ‘minimum’ in minimum credible deterrence and there is no reasonable justification of credible and minimum in the recent developments.

Such doctrines only exist when a country prepares for the offensive first strike targeting and pre-emption strikes, hence leading to a full scale war.

India doesn’t have any security concern for which it is going for the acquisition of hypersonic weapons or change in doctrine.

It doesn’t have any potent threat from the neighbouring countries to go for such ventures; hence, the drive is totally out of the prestige factor, as India wants to come at par with US, Russia and China in leading world technologies, without realizing the effect of such technologies on the regional stability.

India needs to withdraw its hegemonic ambitions if the stability and regional peace is required or if the arms race needs to be withheld.

As a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan always maintains a modest nuclear posture, and any military development is the part of strategic chain in South Asia, and or because of its allies.

—The writer is Research Associate, at Strategic Vision Institute, Islamabad.

6 rebels, Indian soldier killed before the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Police: 6 rebels, Indian soldier killed in Kashmir fighting

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Six suspected rebels and an Indian soldier were killed in two separate counterinsurgency operations in disputed Kashmir, police said Thursday.

The killings came during a surge in the government’s offensive against anti-India rebels in Kashmir, which is divided between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan and claimed by both. 

Fighting erupted after government forces cordoned off two southern villages in Anantnag and Pulwama districts Wednesday night in search of militants reportedly hiding there, police said.

Six militants were killed in the two incidents, police said. Three soldiers and one police officer were also injured, and one of the soldiers died later at a hospital, officials said.

Police said in a statement that two of the slain suspected militants were Pakistani nationals but offered no evidence. It said three of the dead, including a Pakistani, were involved in an attack on a police bus in the outskirts of the region’s main city of Srinagar on Dec. 13 in which three police officers were killed and 11 others wounded. 

According to government records, at least 168 militants, 34 civilians and 30 Indian troops have been killed this year in the Kashmir Valley.

Rebels in Indian-controlled Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. 

Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebels’ goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

India insists the Kashmir militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the charge, and most Kashmiris consider it a legitimate freedom struggle.

Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.

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This story corrects that one police officer was injured, not two.

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