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Nuclear weapons potential triggers escalation in South Asia

Nuclear arms potential triggers escalation in South Asia’

New report cites fears that region could break into 2 camps, with China, Pakistan on one side while India, US on other, Express Tribune 

Anadolu Agency April 02, 2021, KARACHI:

Expressing concerns over “external trends filtering into the region,” a new report on nuclear challenges in South Asia sees nuclear warheads as “potential triggers for accidents or further escalation,” particularly when deployed at a tactical level.

It also warned that the contrasting focus and pattern of nuclear engagement between China and the US could break the volatile region into two camps, with Washington and New Delhi on one side, and Beijing and Islamabad on the other.

The report, “South Asia’s Nuclear Challenges: Interlocking Views from IndiaPakistan, China, Russia, and the United States,” was released by Sweden-based think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Thursday.

According to the institute, the report is “without attribution” based on 119 interviews conducted last year with experts, researchers, military officials, and politicians from India, Pakistan, China, Russia, and the United States.

It said: “Their [the experts’] insights demonstrate the need for a greater and more flexible engagement to enhance not merely understanding of South Asia, but rather how it interlocks with broader international nuclear dynamics.”

The discussions revealed a number of interlocking points that offer building blocks for both official and unofficial engagement on issues such as “no first use (NFU), lowered nuclear thresholds, conventional and nuclear entanglement, escalate to de-escalate, and emerging technology development.”

The report has cited a slew of “escalatory events” in South Asia involving China, India, and Pakistan under “nuclear shadow” – in which these nuclear countries conduct low-intensity military operations against each other over disputed territories.

These included the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan following attacks on the Indian parliament in 2001, in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and in Balakot in 2019, as well as the China–India tensions over the Depsang incursion, the 2017 Doklam stand-off, and the 2020 Galwan River Valley skirmishes.

“While each case has elicited debate, less attention has been given to the role of nuclear weapons, or lack thereof, in these various stand-offs,“ the report said………..

April 2, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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