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How India & Pakistan Deal With The Bomb -“Brokering Peace in Nuclear Envi­ronments “

Diplomacy In The Nuclear Age, Kashmir Observer, HAIDER NIZAMANI • Aug 28, 2018, How India & Pakistan Deal With The Bomb

India and Pakistan ‘gatecrashed’ the nuclear club in May 1998. Children who were born right after the nuclear tests, carried out by the two countries in that year, are now able to vote — a generation, particularly in Pakistan, that has grown up on a steady diet of nuclear national­ism that portrays weapons of mass destruction as guarantors of national security and sources of col­lective pride. In times when the country can showcase little by way of achievements, we always console ourselves by saying that we have nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons and their delivery systems are made by experts trained in science and engineering but there is also another ‘nuclear expert’ whose bread and butter is linked to writing about these. There was only a small group of such ex­perts two decades ago but nuclear tests by India and Pakistan have opened up many new spots for them. They are camped mainly in think tanks in New Delhi, Islam­abad and Washington DC.

An overwhelming majority of them use the lens of political realism that sees states as key actors who pursue their national interests in competition with each other. Moeed Yusuf also belongs to this tribe of nu­clear experts. He defines the crises explored in his book as “exercises in coercion through  adversaries seek to enhance their relative bargaining strength vis-à-vis their opponents”………..

limitations of Yusuf’s book Brokering Peace in Nuclear Envi­ronments   are, in fact, the limitation of realist theory that focuses on state actors and their actions and does not delve into the social, economic, political and strategic fac­tors that cause those actions and determine their direction and outcome. Additionally, many Indian and Pakistan security experts consciously or un­wittingly end up echoing official versions as the true versions of history. In many parts, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments also follows the same path which makes its analysisa bit lopsided and its prescriptions a little too Pakistan-centric.

Its strength, however, is the large number of interviews that Yusuf has conducted with poli­cymakers, especially from the United States and Pakistan, who played key roles during the three crises mentioned above. For this reason alone, if for nothing else, his book should be seen as a good addition to the academic literature available on war and peace between India and Pakistan. https://kashmirobserver.net/2018/feature/diplomacy-nuclear-age-35464

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August 29, 2018 - Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war

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