Involving India and Pakistan:
Little more than one year after their nuclear tests in May 1998, India and Pakistan have established themselves as nuclear weapon powers. A quick nuclear policy reversal in either of the two countries is extremely unlikely. Both countries are in the process of weaponizing their nuclear programs and neither has given up the goal of deploying nuclear weapons. Both countries are continuing to invest in nuclear programs that are backed by strong domestic supporters, but are also increasingly opposed by the Indian and Pakistani people. At the same time, India and Pakistan have become more flexible on nuclear arms control issues and continue to insist that they favor a nuclear weapons-free world. The danger of an escalation of the conflict, including the possible use of nuclear weapons was highlighted by the recent fighting in the Kargil region. Unless steps are taken to eliminate nuclear weapons globally it is extremely unlikely that India and Pakistan will reverse their nuclear programs.
There has as yet been no definitive international response to the tests that took place in May 1998. The international community almost unanimously opposes the tests, being pessimistic about the consequences for nuclear disarmament, doubting the utility of sanctions and hoping that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) can be saved. However, differences in approaches exist between the various groups in international politics the P5 , Western group, the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), and Asian states. Differences of opinion and approach are also present within them. In addition, new groups - like the New Agenda Coalition which cut across political and regional lines - have emerged. The international community can be divided into two broad groups: The first group (the "pragmatists") are flexible in dealing with India and Pakistan, while a second group (the "conservatives") fear that pragmatic solutions will damage well-established disarmament and nonproliferation norms. Any solution to the crisis in South Asia will have to find a middle ground between these two approaches.
Three possible developments can be identified: First, the nuclear crisis in South Asia could result in an arms race and might result in further proliferation in the region as well as beyond if India and Pakistan continue to weaponize their nuclear program and no progress in nuclear disarmament will be achieved. Given the developments since the tests, this seems to be the most likely outcome. Secondly, the international community, as well as India and Pakistan, could attempt to consolidate the current situation. However, such attempts are likely to fail for a number of reasons such as the competitive nature of the bilateral relationship, making consolidation an unlikely outcome. Thirdly, non-nuclear weapon states could continue to put pressure on all nuclear weapon states to eliminate their nuclear weapon capabilities and this could lead to new steps towards a world free of nuclear weapons. While this does not seem very likely, it is the only viable long-term solution to the crisis.
Only the latter option has the potential to solve the dilemmas which were highlighted or created by India and Pakistan as well as by the existence of other nuclear weapons powers. India and Pakistan have made it clear that nonproliferation and disarmament are directly linked. Unless decisive steps towards nuclear disarmament are taken, it is likely that attempts to safeguard existing arms control agreements will fail and talks on new arrangements will be blocked. The elimination of nuclear weapons is therefore the only viable option. This demands a concerted effort by all states, nuclear and non-nuclear. Towards this end, a number of steps can be taken.
All of the steps above will contribute to a meaningful NPT Review Process. They will provide a solid basis to enable the 2000 Review Conference to have constructive and substantive discussions on nuclear disarmament as well as nonproliferation and will thus help to safeguard the NPT. If, however, nuclear disarmament remains stuck and proliferation a real danger, the NPT is likely to finally fail.Introduction
India and Pakistan's self-declaration as nuclear weapon states (NWS) has changed the post-World War II nuclear order. The existence of three de-facto nuclear powers, which are not perceived as nuclear weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), was tolerated because they did not aspire to be internationally recognized. This "don't ask don't tell"-policy was shattered on May 11, 1998, not so much by the Indian nuclear tests, but by the following declaration of the government in New Delhi that India now considers itself a NWS. This "coming out" of nuclear powers has confirmed that the existence of new nuclear powers can no longer be ignored.
The international community was unprepared for this development and did not know how to respond. Most politicians and experts were quick to state that "business as usual" would not be possible after the developments in South Asia. But even more than one year after the tests it is not clear what the implications for nuclear nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament are. While India and Pakistan have brought political movement into the discussions on nuclear arms control, they have made arms control more complicated at the same time.
On the positive side, it was agreed at the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD) to commence negotiations for a Fissile Material Treaty (FMT). In addition, new coalitions on nuclear disarmament have formed. The most visible one of these is the New Agenda Coalition, which was able to introduce a resolution into the UN General Assembly that gained the support of 114 nations.
All of these developments will be forgotten if the crisis in South Asia escalates into a nuclear war. This danger is very real despite the modest progress that has been made in early 1999 in the bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan. The military escalation of the conflict in Kashmir has been a serious setback for hopes of improved bilateral relations. Also, the nuclear weapon programs of both countries - just like the nuclear weapon programs of every other nuclear weapon states - cost lives every day, if only because of the wasted resources.
Nevertheless, the current situation contains both risks and opportunities and some of the biggest stumbling blocks still lie ahead: What will the nuclear status of India and Pakistan be? How can they be involved in nuclear arms control? What does this mean for the nuclear status of Israel? How can these questions be addressed in the NPT? And perhaps most importantly: How can a regional nuclear arms race and a nuclear war in South Asia be avoided?
The answers to these questions will, to a large degree, be provided by India and Pakistan themselves. But the international community has an important role to play in dealing with this development. This is especially true for the future of the NPT and nuclear non-proliferation in general: The fact that India and Pakistan have tested nuclear devices in itself does not constitute a crisis in the nuclear non-proliferation regime, as neither India nor Pakistan are members of the NPT. Whether or not the NPT and other existing frameworks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons will survive the recent developments depends largely on the reactions of governments. International NGOs will have a vital role to play in this endeavor.
It is obvious that there are no quick fixes to the dilemmas that India and Pakistan have created as well as to those problems that have been highlighted by Indian and Pakistani action. Neither will there be a quick reversal of India's and Pakistan's nuclear policies, nor will the other nuclear weapon states eliminate their nuclear weapons in the near future.
This study attempts to give an initial overview on the implications of India's and Pakistan's tests on international nuclear arms control. It focuses on the consequences for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as perceived by diplomats who deal with arms control issues in a multilateral context. It summarizes political developments and nuclear weapons programs in the two South Asian nuclear weapon states. The reactions of the international community to the tests in May 1998 are analyzed by traditional groups and new coalitions that have emerged as a result of the nuclear tests. Three scenarios describe the possible impact that these developments might have on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Finally, recommendations are given to outline possibilities for nuclear disarmament that have arisen as a result of these developments.
The study is based to a large degree on a series of more than 30 background interviews with members of national delegations to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, (not all states interviewed were full members of the CD). Because of time limitations, only the most relevant delegations were chosen, but an effort was made to gain an overview of the positions in the political and regional groupings.
Conversations were open and unstructured and lasted between 30 minutes and two hours, most of them around 45 minutes. Generally, the following topics were covered: What kind of challenges do India's and Pakistan's tests pose to existing arms control and non-proliferation agreements? What role does the international community have in dealing with the crisis? What should the nuclear status of the two countries be? What are the consequences for different arms control and non-proliferation regimes? What role can multilateral arrangements play in dealing with the situation? What impact will the developments in South Asia have on existing positions in arms control and disarmament? What further steps to deal with the crisis can be envisaged?
Most of the interviews took place between the middle of June and the middle of July 1998. The majority of interview partners were the respective ambassadors. All interviews were conducted "off-the-record". Many of the positions and arguments are only implicitly contained in the text of the report, without attribution to any specific interview to avoid identification of specific persons or delegations. I hope that most interview partners nevertheless find their arguments represented fairly in this study.
During the period in which I interviewed diplomats, most delegations were still in the process of formulating policies. Nevertheless, the discussions generally took place in a very open atmosphere. Despite the busy Geneva schedule, almost everybody who was asked for an appointment volunteered time. A first draft of this study was distributed to all those interviewed in October 1998 to allow for feedback.
Special thanks go to a number of people at the Berlin Information-center for Transatlantic Security who were deeply involved in the writing of this report: Gerd Busmann, Otfried Nassauer, and Henrietta Wilson. Many people have reviewed the first draft and given useful advice for which I am very thankful. Of course all remaining errors are my own.
"Business as usual" in nuclear arms control is no longer possible after the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan. The challenge posed by the existence of two new declared nuclear weapon states to existing arrangements is too big to pretend that nothing has happened.
The nuclear tests have happened at a time when nuclear disarmament was at a crossroads. Coincidence or not, only three days before India detonated its first nuclear device since 1974, the 1998 NPT PrepCom had ended in a complete political deadlock. Maybe not so much the nuclear explosions of May 11, 1998, but the Indian declarations that India is a nuclear weapon state made clear that the emergence of new nuclear powers is a certainty that has to be dealt with. Since then, it has become clear that the nuclear tests have aggravated the crisis in nuclear disarmament. Nevertheless, the developments in South Asia might still have some positive impact on nuclear arms control.
International nuclear arms control needs some fresh impetus. Prior to the tests, the NPT Review Process had degenerating into a diplomatic exercise with no real meaning for nuclear disarmament. For more than three years the CD had been unable to agree on a new set of negotiations. Entry into force of the CTBT strongly opposed by India was more than uncertain. The bilateral US-Russian nuclear arms control dialogue was stuck, multilateral discussions on nuclear disarmament were nowhere in sight.
The tests by India and Pakistan have complicated nuclear arms control and will continue to have an impact on all these issues and negotiating fora. But not all the consequences are negative and some important changes have occurred already: Negotiations on a Fissile Material Treaty had commenced at the CD for a short period in 1998, and both India and Pakistan have moved closer to the CTBT. The basic choice before the international community will nuclear weapons be eliminated or will they continue to be considered legitimate instruments for national defense has been made clearer.
Indirectly, India and Pakistan have pushed for a decision on the future role of nuclear weapons in international security. This push came at a time when the five declared nuclear weapon states were starting to consolidate their nuclear arsenals after the initial rounds of numerical reductions in the wake of the end of the Cold War. In Russia, a revival of nuclear weapons is still possible, because they are considered by some as "cheap" alternatives to conventional defense and symbols of great power status. In the US, those who are in favor of a role for nuclear weapons in countering the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are gaining ground. And the three smaller nuclear weapon states China, France and the United Kingdom who were all in the process of modernizing their nuclear postures showed few signs of willingness to join the nuclear arms control process.
It is uncertain what influence the Indian and Pakistani test will have on the nuclear weapons policies of these states. But it is hard to imagine that the role of nuclear weapons will remain unaffected by these developments. In the long run, the choice is simple: The old nuclear weapon states "can turn around and welcome India and Pakistan into the club" as somebody described it, thinking that they are "cleaning up the leftovers of a sloppy NPT". Or they will have to go down the road of elimination of nuclear weapons.
Why did India and Pakistan decide to become declared nuclear weapon states? The answer to this question has important implications for dealing with the new declared nuclear powers. Nuclear policies are always a mix of domestic factors and national security considerations. India and Pakistan both cite national security reasons for going nuclear. In both countries, however, strong domestic forces support nuclear weapons programs as well. New Delhi and Islamabad strongly criticize the NPT as discriminatory and favor a universal and non-discriminatory non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Given the relative weakness of both governments and their strong positions on nuclear disarmament, it is very unlikely that either country will reverse its nuclear policy unless substantive steps are taken towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
"(The) tests conducted on 11 and 13 May are a continuation of the policies set into motion that put this country on the path of self-reliance and independence of thought and action."
"India's decision was not the result of its rising impatience with an iniquitous nuclear order but of a cynical determination to benefit from that order as a nuclear weapon state."
India justifies its nuclear tests by pointing first at the lack of willingness "on part of the nuclear weapon states to take decisive and irreversible steps in moving towards a nuclear-weapon-free world". India has always criticized the NPT as discriminatory because it differentiates between five nuclear weapon states and the rest of the world that is not allowed to possess these weapons. Thus, India has consistently called for a comprehensive, universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament regime and for global nuclear disarmament. For India, signing the NPT would have meant to give up its political ability to act independently. The "peaceful nuclear explosion" of 1974 was part of the project to safeguard the national nuclear option. Fears that nuclear capabilities could be affected by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) were one reason behind India's strong opposition to that treaty. The nuclear tests of May 1998 were deemed necessary because India was fearing a deterioration of its nuclear weapons capability, if international pressure should force the country to sign the CTBT prior to exploring the nuclear weapon designs developed domestically.
India argues that the P5 were never serious about their commitments under NPT Article VI to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." The government maintains that the decision to test was made because it became clear that the P5 were ever more reluctant to give up their nuclear weapons after the NPT had been extended indefinitely in 1995. However, India continues to insist that it would be willing to give up its nuclear weapons, if the other nuclear powers would do the same. India like Pakistan strongly rejects the imposition of sanctions against it, because the nuclear tests did not violate any international treaty and neither India nor Pakistan are bound by the CTBT or the NPT.
Secondly, India cites national security factors, namely potential threats from China and Pakistan as reasons for the tests. In the post-Cold War environment, India feels left out of the emerging security structure: "From Vancouver to Vladivostok there came into existence a new club," said Jaswant Singh, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's senior adviser on defense and foreign affairs. "This club extended its reach to the eastern rim of Asia and the Pacific. This left a huge gap, a vacuum, and that vacuum lies in southern Asia and Africa." India's traditional ally, Russia, was in a deep political and economic crisis, while Pakistan and China were cooperating on nuclear and missile technologies. The US, so the Indian view, was ignoring the Chinese proliferation of military technologies and at the same time announcing a new "strategic partnership" between Washington and Beijing.
According to the government's line, this combination of factors led India to prove the "capability for a weaponised nuclear programme". There are however strong indications that domestic factors played and still play a powerful role in India's nuclear weapons decision making. There are a number of reasons to believe that the factors named by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) citing external factors leave out an important part of the explanation for the tests in May 1998:
The Nuclear Tests: How Many Were There?
Up until today, it is unclear exactly how many and what kind of nuclear tests were conducted by India and Pakistan. On May 11, 1998 the Indian government announced that it had conducted three simultaneous nuclear tests. According to a press statement that was released shortly after the tests, "a fission device, a low yield device and a thermonuclear device" were exploded at the Pokhran test range. Only two days later, two more tests were allegedly conducted at Pokhran. Indian officials later specified that a thermonuclear device of 43 kt, a nuclear fission device of 12 kt and three sub-kiloton devices had been tested.
On 28 May, Pakistan stated that it had conducted five nuclear tests. Two days later, on May 30, a sixth nuclear explosive device was detonated at the Chagai underground test site. According to statements made by government officials, all six nuclear devices were boosted fission type, even though Pakistan says it also has the capability to test fusion type bombs. Pakistan's chief scientist, Abdul Quadeer Khan, stated that the total yield of the five tests of May 28 was 40-45 kt, which included one "big bomb" of about 35-36 kt yield. The other four, Khan said, were tests of small, battlefield type weapons, to be used in tactical scenarios. The sixth test is said to have had a yield of 15-18 kt.
It is unclear whether India and Pakistan have actually conducted the number and type of tests that both countries claim. The Australian Geological Survey Organisation, which monitors nuclear tests and earthquakes, stated on July 20 that seismologists registered only one test by India and two by Pakistan. Doubts about the number of tests conducted were also raised by US officials. Asked how many nuclear devices had been tested, US Assistant Secretary of State Rick Inderfurth testified on June 3 in a Congressional Hearing : "Less than they said. The precise numbers are still being looked at." Terry Wallace, of the Southern Arizona Seismic Observatory concluded in September that both the number and yield of Indian and Pakistani tests were probably exaggerated. Based on analysis of data from 22 seismic monitoring stations around the world, Wallace determined that the May 11 explosions in India had a combined force of no more than 15 kilotons. He could not find any proof that the explosions on May 13 have taken place at all. Wallace believes that the Pakistani nuclear explosion(s) on May 28 had a combined yield of between 9 and 12 kilotons, the May 30 test a yield of four to six kilotons. Whether or not India has actually exploded a fusion device on May 11, remains a matter of debate as well.
The discussions about number and yield of the nuclear tests, cannot be used to argue that the CTBT verification system did not work. The international monitoring system - even at the early stage of its implementation - did detect the tests. The only exception is the alleged Indian subkiloton explosion of May 13, 1998, which might not have taken place at all. In fact, there is a considerable amount of data on the tests in South Asia despite the fact that there were no monitoring stations in India or Pakistan because these two countries have not signed the CTBT.
Like India, Pakistan was capable of producing nuclear weapons before it conducted its first nuclear tests on May 28, 1998. Pakistan's nuclear weapons policy has always been more reactive than India's. The decision to develop a nuclear weapons capability was probably made as a reaction to India's nuclear test in 1974. Until it conducted its own nuclear tests, Islamabad linked many of its positions on nuclear disarmament to the Indian nuclear arms control approach. Thus, Pakistan stated that it was supportive of a CTBT but could not sign it because India refused to support the treaty.
Pakistan maintains that the decision to test in May 1998 was made as a reaction to the Indian tests: "Pakistan has been obliged to exercise the nuclear option due to weaponization of India's nuclear programme. This had led to the collapse of the 'existential deterrence' and had radically altered the strategic balance in our region." Other factors that contributed to the decision to test were the perceived threat from the new government in New Delhi and the unsatisfactory response of the international community to the Indian tests: "The international response to the Indian nuclear tests did not factor the security situation in our region. While asking us to exercise restraint, powerful voices urged acceptance of the Indian weaponization as a fait-accompli. Pakistan's legitimate security concerns were not addressed, even after the threat of use of nuclear weapons and nuclear blackmail. We could not have remained complacent about threats to our security. We could not have ignored the magnitude of the threat."
Pakistan's agenda for resolving the crisis consists of four points: "One, measures to avoid a conflict and ease current tensions; two, steps to promote nuclear stabilization in South Asia and ensure against further nuclear proliferation; three, the dangers posed by the imbalance in conventional arms and forces between India and Pakistan; and four, the need for a resolution of the underlying core dispute, over Jammu and Kashmir, which is at the root of the confrontation between India and Pakistan." At the same time, Pakistan remains open to global nuclear disarmament just like India: "Pakistan will continue to support the goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, especially in the Conference on Disarmament, bearing in mind the new realities. We are undertaking a re-evaluation of the applicability and relevance of the global non-proliferation regimes to nuclearized South Asia. We are ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with other countries, especially major powers, on ways and means to promoting these goals, in the new circumstances."
However, Pakistan's nuclear weapons policy is not only a reaction to the perceived threat from India. Like in India, there is a strong domestic lobby behind the nuclear program. Also, the unstable domestic situation limits any Pakistani government's ability to roll back the nuclear program, even if it chose to do so.
One of the major bottlenecks in military nuclear programs is the production of weapons-grade fissile material, i.e. highly enriched uranium (HEU) or plutonium. It is expensive, complicated and time-consuming to produce these materials. While both the US and Russia possess vast amounts of excess weapons grade nuclear material because of the dismantlement of part of their Cold War nuclear arsenals, India and Pakistan's nuclear capabilities are severely limited by access to weapons grade fissile materials.
No official data on national stockpiles of weapons grade fissile materials for India and Pakistan exist. Neither India nor Pakistan are subject to comprehensive IAEA safeguards since neither country is member of the NPT. Pakistan probably does not possess enough plutonium for a weapons program, but has considerable stockpiles of weapons grade uranium. The biggest part of Pakistan's HEU stocks are believed to have been produced at the enrichment plant at Kahuta, near Islamabad. This facility is said to be based on technology secretly acquired. From the mid-1980s to at least the early 1990s, Pakistan produced weapon-grade uranium at Kahuta. In addition, other enrichments facilities may now be operational. Pakistan is currently constructing a research reactor and a reprocessing plant that would also enable it to produce plutonium for weapons purposes. Experts estimate that Pakistan possesses roughly 335 to 400 kg of HEU, which is enough to produce 16 to 20 nuclear weapons.
It is assumed that India relies on plutonium to build its nuclear weapons. Most of this plutonium is produced at two research reactors at the Babha Atomic Research Centre, near Bombay, where India is also operating a plutonium separation plant ("Trombay"). It is unclear whether six heavy-water power reactors, its breeder program and a second reprocessing plant in Tarapur are also used to generate fissile material for weapons purposes. Experts estimate India's current stockpiles to be around 400 kg, enough for 75 weapons. This comparative Indian advantage could become smaller though, if it is correct that the Pakistani production rate of weapons grade fissile material is bigger than the current Indian output. India has two plutonium production reactors, Cirus and Dhruva, and separates its weapons plutonium in the Trombay reprocessing facility at the Babha Atomic Research Center. Pakistan is producing the HEU for its nuclear weapons in secret gas-centrifuge enrichment facilities.
The nuclear tests deeply affected the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan. In the period following the tests, only modest attempts were made to initiate a meaningful dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad. Later attempts to establish confidence building and security mechanisms have been shattered by the military escalation of the conflict in the region of Kargil in Kashmir.
The first meeting after the tests between the Indian and Pakistani heads of state took place on the sidelines of the regional summit in July 1998 in Colombo without producing any results. Prime Ministers Sharif and Vajpayee met again during the UN General Assembly in New York in September 1998. In a joint statement both sides at that time "reaffirmed their common belief that an environment of durable peace and security was in the supreme interest of both India and Pakistan, and of the region as a whole." They expressed "their determination to renew and reinvigorate efforts to secure such an environment." The meeting marked the beginning of a slow moving process to improve the direct dialogue between both sides. In the middle of October 1998, both sides on the level of Foreign Secretaries met for three days of talks on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and on the crisis in Kashmir. Even if no progress on the substance was made during this meeting, at least it was agreed to continue the dialogue and to work towards a set of CBMs.
The most notable attempt to improve the bilateral dialogue on security issues was made on February 20-21, 1999, when the Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee used the opening of the first direct bus line between India and Pakistan to visit Lahore in Pakistan. The outcome of the two-day summit seemed to show a willingness to continue the bilateral dialogue. In addition, measures to reduce the risk of escalation of a military crisis between the two countries were taken. Prime Ministers Sharif and Vajpayee agreed on the "Lahore Declaration". In this documents, both governments declare that their intention to "refrain from intervention and interference in each other's internal affairs", to "intensify their composite and integrated dialogue process for an early and positive outcome of the agreed bilateral agenda," and to "take immediate steps for reducing the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons and discuss concepts and doctrines with a view to elaborating measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional fields, aimed at prevention of conflict".
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both Foreign Secretaries, details some of these general intentions. It contains the intention of both countries to start "bilateral consultations on security concepts, and nuclear doctrines, with a view to developing measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional field aimed at avoidance of conflict". Towards this end India and Pakistan agreed to negotiate an agreement on early notification on ballistic missile flight tests, to reducing the risks of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons and improve the information exchange on such matters. India and Pakistan also announced their intention to start talks on an agreement on prevention of incidents at sea. Besides establishing a regular review mechanism for CBMs, both countries "announced bilateral consultations on security, disarmament and non-proliferation issues within the context of negotiations on these issues in multilateral fora".
Only three months later, on May 26, 1999 hopes that the meeting in Lahore had marked the beginning of a process of confidence and security building were shattered when India launched an air and ground campaign to evict intruders from territory on its side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. It soon became clear that from February to April, Islamic armed forces had secretly crossed the LoC in Kashmir and seized territory that had been vacated by the Indian army during winter. India claimed that the regular Pakistani Armed Forces were part of the occupying force, while the Pakistani government insists that it was lending only moral support to Kashmiri "freedom fighters".
The resulting military conflict made clear how big the potential for escalation between the two countries is. In the absence of stable governments in New Delhi and Islamabad, threats of general war were quickly exchanged. Estimates of casualties were in the hundreds. Even if neither side openly contemplated the threat or use of nuclear weapons the conflict showed that such restraint could be lost under conditions of an all-out conventional war. On July 4, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Clinton issued a Joint Statement, in which Pakistan pledged that "concrete steps will be taken for the restoration of the Line of Control". Accordingly, Pakistan's government "called on" the "freedom fighters" in Kashmir to leave territory on India's side of the LoC.
The conflict in the Kargil region reinforced calls for a permanent dialogue between India and Pakistan on nuclear weapon issues. Whether this aim can be achieved, will depend to a large degree on the domestic climate. Both, Prime Ministers Sharif and Vajpayee, were criticized by hard-liners in their respective countries for the Lahore summit. With the fall of the BJP led government and elections that will not take place before September, it is extremely unlikely that New Delhi will be able to undertake any initiative that has the goal of improving relations with Pakistan. Likewise, the Pakistani government has come under increased pressure as a result of the decision to push for a withdrawal of forces from Kargil. NGOs and the media in India and Pakistan will have an important part to play in protecting both governments from this criticism regardless of how they stand on the other issues around India's and Pakistan's nuclear weapon programs. It will be very hard to start a new dialogue if this attempt fails because of sabotage by extremists.
Contrary to public perception, there was no unanimous response to India and Pakistan's nuclear tests. While the international community was united in protesting the tests, responses have demonstrated different degrees of condemnation from the early stages of the crisis. Many of the issues underlying these differences have still not been resolved. A variety of opinions exists on the role of sanctions and how to involve India and Pakistan in nuclear arms control and non-proliferation regimes, as well as a variety of assessments of the relative utility of regional or global approaches for dealing with the South Asian crisis.
Differences of opinion on how to deal with India and Pakistan exist across the political and regional spectrum. It is impossible to capture existing opinions on how to deal with the nuclear crisis in South Asia by only using the existing political group system because a variety of views exist within each of the groupings such as the Western Group and the Non-aligned states. First, the positions of the following existing groups are described:
The members of these groups, however, hold contradictory views on the consequences of India and Pakistan's test for nuclear arms control. In addition, two basic approaches to the situation exist. These can be described according to their views on how to deal with the situation created by India and Pakistan:
Needless to say that various overlaps exist between almost all of these groups. The groups are however considered useful for an analysis of the core convictions and opinions existing across the spectrum of the international community.
Despite the different approaches to the South Asia nuclear crisis, it is important to note that on a number of points a consensus or near consensus exists in the international community.
First, practically all states disapprove of India and Pakistan's decisions to test. There is a general conviction that the nuclear tests would be detrimental to disarmament and non-proliferation. This consensus was maybe best described in a Joint Statement by 47 States that Ambassador Clive Pearson of New Zealand read out at a Special Session of the CD on June 2, 1998. The signatories stated that they "condemn all nuclear testing" because they "consider such acts to be contrary to the international consensus" banning nuclear explosions.
The international isolation of India and Pakistan was demonstrated again during debates in the UN and the NPT, both of which have almost universal membership. During the Third Meeting of the NPT Preparatory Committee in May 1999 in New York the question of how to react to the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan did not turn out to be a divisive factor in the international community. The PrepCom failed to agree on substantive issues, but language on the nuclear tests in South Asia was not objected to in informal session. The revised version of the Chairman's Working Paper urged "all States not yet party to the Treaty, Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States, at the earliest possible date, without condition or further delay, particularly those States that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities." There was also unanimous support for a call "on those States which possess the capabilities to produce nuclear weapons and which have not yet acceded to the NPT to reverse clearly and urgently the pursuit of all nuclear-weapon development or deployment (...)".
Second, there is very broad-based skepticism about the efficiency of sanctions. While some diplomats are of the opinion that sanctions are justified and should be upheld to set a strong precedent, nobody has argued that sanctions can play a positive role, either in de-escalation of the crisis or in initiating nuclear arms control in India and Pakistan. Almost nobody suggested that imposing multilateral and coordinated sanctions, e.g. through a Security Council resolution was an option in the case of India and Pakistan because the two countries did not violate any international treaties and it would be hard to argue that their nuclear weapons programs pose a threat to international security. Instead, sanctions were only employed unilaterally, avoiding the necessity to coordinate these measures among states or give them an international legal basis.
Many of those interviewed believed that keeping sanctions in place might be counterproductive because outside pressure may weaken domestic opposition against the nuclear policies in India and Pakistan. One Western group representative also pointed out that the Western policy on sanctions is "illusive because the West will undermine its own position. Why does France that lives in the safest part of the world and lives under the American nuclear deterrence protection need nuclear weapons? Why will the three new NATO members have nuclear deterrence protection? Why don't we sanction Poland?"
Third, despite their nuclear tests, almost nobody sees a problem of principle in India and Pakistan joining the CTBT and many states see this as a major milestone in dealing with the two countries. In fact, the June 2, 1998 Joint Statement to the CD on behalf of 47 States called on India and Pakistan to cease nuclear testing, and to "renounce their nuclear weapons programmes and sign and ratify, unconditionally, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." While there is consensus that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty itself is non-discriminatory, very few of the diplomats interviewed stated that an Indian or Pakistani signature might cause problems because "the treaty was negotiated under the assumption that there are five nuclear weapon states, not seven or eight."
Fourth, there is consensus that neither India, Israel nor Pakistan will be granted the status of nuclear weapon states under the NPT. Repeated calls on India and Pakistan to join the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states are therefore mainly rhetorical: none of the diplomats interviewed saw any chance of this happening soon. There is a common feeling that there will not be a solution to the crisis triggered by the nuclear tests of May 1998 for quite a long time.
"We are defending our principles here, not our privileges."
"What the five are doing is just a damage limitation exercise. They do not see that India and Pakistan will abolish their nuclear weapons capability for nothing."
The five nuclear weapon states defined by the NPT (China, France, Russia, the UK and USA), are abbreviated here as the P5, because they are coincidentally also the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. They play a crucial role in dealing with India and Pakistan for several reasons.
First, they form the "club" that at least India wants to become a member of. Second, the P5 set the pace of nuclear disarmament and therefore hold one key for involving India and Pakistan in nuclear arms control. Third, no decision on sanctions in the UN Security Council will be taken without consent among the P5. Fourth, two of the P5, China and Russia, are the most important allies of Pakistan and India respectively and do have special influence on these two countries. Finally, and most important, the P5 can pave the way for a nuclear-weapons-free world. If these countries would agree on specific steps to eliminate their nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and probably also Israel would be forced to follow suit.
Conversely, there is a danger associated with the counter side of this argument. Were the P5 to welcome India and Pakistan into their club for example by acknowledging them as nuclear weapon states or giving active assistance to them then this would send a clear signal that India and Pakistan are neither expected, nor willing, to give up their nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future.
Although from the outset of the crisis there were visible differences in dealing with India and Pakistan among the P5, nevertheless there are some common features in their attitudes towards the two new nuclear weapon powers.
The P5 are not prepared to welcome India and Pakistan officially as nuclear weapon states under the NPT. This was agreed upon during a meeting of the P5 foreign ministers in Geneva on June 4, 1998 and reaffirmed in later unilateral and bilateral statements. In any case, changing or amending the NPT would be impossible for practical reasons because any such an altered treaty would need to be ratified again by all members. More than this, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is also afraid that formal recognition might set a bad precedent: "We will not amend the NPT to accommodate India and Pakistan for that would send a message that every nation is free to test its way into the nuclear club."
At the same time, the P5 have repeatedly called on India and Pakistan to adhere to or accede to the NPT. A UN Security Council Resolution that was adopted two days after the P5 meeting on June 4 1998 "urges India and Pakistan, and all other States that have not yet done so, to become Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions". Similar statements have since been passed by the UN General Assembly and the NPT Preparatory Committee.
All of the P5 believe that calls for reversal of India's and Pakistan's nuclear weapons programs are unrealistic at least in the short term. They know that their calls to India and Pakistan to become non-nuclear Parties to the NPT are merely rhetorical. The P5 have a pragmatic approach to dealing with India and Pakistan, seeking to: refrain from further nuclear tests; prevent the deployment of their nuclear forces; prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapon technologies from these countries; and persuade them to sign the CTBT and support negotiations on a FMT. All of the P5 would be willing in some way or another to accommodate India and Pakistan as de facto nuclear weapon states to achieve these goals.
Russia, for example, attaches little importance to the question of the future status of India and Pakistan. The Russian Ambassador to India on May 23, 1998, i.e. before Pakistan's tests, showed a basic willingness to recognize India as a nuclear weapon state: "Every nuclear weapon state has some rights. But for getting recognition it must have some obligations. Once it is ready to show these obligations (...) its recognition as a nuclear weapons power will follow."
The Russian reaction to the Indian tests was weaker than those of the rest of the P5. Russian President Boris Yeltsin stated on May 12, 1998 that "[India is] a friendly country with which we have good relations. During my visit to India later this year I will try to solve this problem. (...) India has let us down with its explosions but I think that by diplomatic means (...) we should bring about a change in its position." Furthermore, then Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov that same day stated that Russia "will not support sanctions. (...) We plan to use our special relationship with India, and our influence there." This careful response to the tests can be explained in terms of India's strategic and economic importance for Russia. India is the largest buyer of Russian weapons, which make up the bulk of India's conventional arms.
China is concerned about India's nuclear weapons policy, but it feels that an open condemnation of India would be perceived as contradictory to its declared policy non-interference in other states' domestic matters. One observer of Chinese nuclear weapons policy has concluded that "in China's view, India wished to achieve great power status by acquiring nuclear weapons", but that "the Chinese government has tried to balance outright condemnation with insistence that the Indian government maintain stable relations with China."
The US probably plays the most important role in determining the future nuclear status of India and Pakistan. In the early stages of the bilateral dialogue it was important that the (mandatory and comprehensive) sanctions that were imposed on India and later Pakistan by Congress provided the US with a "stick". The agenda of the bilateral discussions with India and Pakistan, headed by US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, was outlined by Secretary of State Albright on July 27, 1998:
"Our goal is not to point fingers but to point the way to stability, security and peace. (...) We ask India and Pakistan to adhere to the CTBT without conditions. We ask that they not produce fissile material for nuclear weapons pending conclusion of a treaty to halt such production permanently. We ask that they not deploy nuclear weapons or missiles capable of carrying them. We ask that they commit to effective means of controlling exports of dangerous weapons, materials and technologies. We ask them to resume high-level dialogue with each other to address the full range of issues that divide them, including Kashmir. (...)
Our purpose is not to isolate either country. On the contrary; we have been trying to deepen our partnership with them in recent years. That effort can continue if they do what virtually every nation in the world is now asking them to do, if they do what is in any case profoundly in their self-interest."
What the US might be willing to offer in return for Indian and Pakistani cooperation is a matter of much speculation. Some believe that indirect recognition of the countries' new status could be part of the deal:
"In return, the United States would lift sanctions and restrictions on technology transfers including nuclear and would recognize that the Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapon programs are driven by changed security considerations. If India was to be anointed a nuclear-weapon state it would be impossible not to do the same for Pakistan, and eventually for Israel, as all three countries are covertly developing nuclear weapons."
Such an indirect recognition for example in the course of negotiations on a FMT is highly problematic for many non-nuclear weapon states, which are very suspicious of the deals that might be struck in bilateral negotiations between both India and Pakistan and the United States. As one Western group representative put it:
"Certainly if you see Strobe Talbott meeting [Shri Jaswant Singh, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission] in Frankfurt and then following up with another meeting in Delhi, this is all very flattering to the Indians. This is the type of attention they have not been getting until they detonated a nuclear weapon. But at the same time, you have to talk to them. I think for us, India and Pakistan would have to be told very firmly that at the end of the day they are not going to be regarded as nuclear weapon states, they are not going to get special status under the existing agreements. I think they have to give up their weapons, but then, what are they going to get in exchange and that is a very difficult question."
The Indian position, however, seems to remain firm. India is "aiming for acceptance by Washington of India's claim to be a responsible nuclear power and its earnest desire not to get in the way of global non-proliferation efforts" as Jaswant Singh has been quoted.
Not surprisingly, the P5 deny any linkage between their possession of nuclear weapons and Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons policies. For example, the first statement of the P5 after the meeting of their foreign ministers in Geneva on June 4, 1998, contains only one sentence on nuclear disarmament, reaffirming their "commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT." The view that no causal link exists between the speed of global nuclear disarmament and the nuclear weapons decisions of India and Pakistan was clearly expressed by US Ambassador Grey in the CD on June 25, 1998 when he took "strong exception to the [Indonesian] statement (...) that the recent developments in South Asia were triggered in 'large measure' by a lack of substantive progress in nuclear disarmament in recent years."
While agreeing with this argument, the British government sees the tests as (one further) obstacle for the elimination of nuclear weapons. This was made explicit in the UK Defence Review, released on 8 July, 1998.
"[E]limination of nuclear weapons cannot be achieved in isolation from wider political and security realities, including the recent nuclear tests in India and Pakistan. The challenge is to create the conditions in which no state judges that it needs nuclear weapons to guarantee its security."
The Review goes on to point out the dangers that India and Pakistan's tests pose for nuclear non-proliferation.
"We have to stop nuclear proliferation to reach our goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. There is a clear international consensus that the way to achieve this is through the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). By testing, India and Pakistan have challenged this consensus. They risk igniting a dangerous arms race and endangering stability in and beyond their region. This is the wrong way to go. Our goal continues to be the adherence by all states, including India and Pakistan, to the NPT as it stands. This treaty is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament."
China also sees global implications to India and Pakistan's nuclear tests.
"The nuclear tests successively conducted by India and Pakistan have seriously impeded the international nuclear weapons non-proliferation efforts and produced grave consequences on peace and stability in the South Asian region and the rest of the world. The task for the international community to strengthen non-proliferation mechanisms has become even more pressing now."
None of the P5 seems to believe that sanctions can have a positive impact on the nuclear policies of India and Pakistan. The Clinton Administration was forced by law to impose sanctions on India, something it did on May 13 without much enthusiasm. A lot of political efforts then went into trying to prevent other states (especially US allies) from taking advantage of US sanctions by strengthening their economic ties with India.
The French government is very skeptical of imposing sanctions.
"The French Government does not encourage the Americans to pursue sanctions because this is surely not the right method for attempting to assure that India joins those nations wishing to sign the non-proliferation treaties (...)."
China, because of its declared policy of non-interference, took an even stronger stand on the question of sanctions. The Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan after the tests by India and Pakistan stated:
"We have no intention of imposing sanctions. As an integrated stance of Chinese foreign policy, we cannot approve other countries' imposing sanctions at any time on any country."
Already four months after the tests, the US Congress had granted the administration the power to partially lift sanctions in return for Indian and Pakistani compliance with US demands with regard to arms control. The US meanwhile has lifted the sanctions partially for what it sees as Indian and Pakistan responsiveness to the US arms control agenda. Another important reason for easing sanctions were concerns that Pakistan will face bankruptcy and possible political instability.
In November 1998, the US tried to facilitate an agreement between the International Monetary Fund and Pakistan and lifted some prohibitions on Indian and Pakistani participation in U.S. foreign investment and trade promotion programs. The fact that military training programs were also resumed underscores the fact that the lifting of sanctions was not only motivated by concerns about the financial stability of both countries. The step-by-step lifting of sanctions has been an ongoing process, with the US also allowing India to get access to a US-$ 150 million World Bank loan. The lifting of sanctions, however, is not coordinated among Western nations. During a G-8 meeting in Tokyo on February 11, no common approach on the question of sanctions was agreed upon.
On June 8, the US Senate passed an amendment that would suspend most sanctions against India and Pakistan for a five year period if it is passed by the House of Representatives as well. The so called "Brownback bill" has the goal of placing the decision about sanctions in the hand of the executive. The Clinton-Administration has signaled that it does not want to completely lift sanctions against India and Pakistan.
The members states of the Western Group's positions differ substantially on many core issues around the South Asian crisis. Neither the Western Group, nor multilateral Western institutions like the EU or NATO, have been able to establish themselves as relevant actors in the crisis after the tests in South Asia.
The European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on India and Pakistan's tests on June 19, 1998. The resolution refers to the work of the Canberra Commission and states that the Russian-US nuclear arms reductions "do not, as yet, point to rapid progress towards full elimination of these weapons". The EP condemns India and Pakistan's tests and "urges the Indian and Pakistani governments to refrain from any further nuclear tests, to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without any modification of this Treaty and to adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally". In the context of addressing India and Pakistan's tests, the EP "calls on the five nuclear weapons states to interpret their Treaty obligations as an urgent commitment to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons". It must be kept in mind that resolutions of the European Parliament do reflect more party politics than common EU governments' positions.
The positions of some Western governments are also reflected in NATO statements on India and Pakistan's tests. Not surprisingly, no mention of nuclear disarmament is made in this context. NATO condemned India and Pakistan's test and urges "all countries, which have not yet done so, to accede to and fully implement the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." Neither NATO nor the EU have launched relevant political initiatives to deal with India and Pakistan.
The non-aligned movement (NAM) has been seriously affected by India and Pakistan's tests. The group has a strong anti-nuclear record, but suddenly counts two declared nuclear weapon powers among its members. Basically, there are two views of the role the NAM can play in dealing with India and Pakistan. Some believe that the NAM can have a moderating influence on the two new nuclear powers, while others view this as "ridiculous". The former believe that India and Pakistan will have to be isolated in the NAM. The latter fear that Indian and Pakistani vetoes will prevent any substantive agreement of the NAM on nuclear issues in the future.
The first two NAM meetings that took place after the tests did send mixed signals in this regard. The Ministerial meeting on May 19-20, 1998 in Cartagena, Columbia failed to agree on language addressing the nuclear tests, partly because it took place before the Pakistani tests. The XII NAM Summit in Durban, South Africa, was the first NAM meeting fully reflecting the new developments that have taken place. During the meeting, India came under political pressure, especially from the South African hosts. When Nelson Mandela, in his opening speech, raised the issue of Kashmir and called for international mediation, this provoked strong Indian protest. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, dropped out of the meeting, citing domestic problems.
The final document of the NAM Summit addresses the nuclear tests in South Asia in a very careful manner. In it, the Heads of State or government
"expressed their concern at the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament, which constitutes their primary disarmament objective. They noted the complexities arising from nuclear tests in South Asia, which underlined the need to work even harder to achieve their disarmament objectives, including elimination of nuclear weapons. They considered positively the commitment by the parties concerned in the region to exercise restraint, which contributes to regional security, to discontinue nuclear tests and not to transfer nuclear weapons-related material, equipment and technology. They further stressed the significance of universal adherence to the CTBT, including by all Nuclear Weapon States, and commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on fissile materials (decision CD/1547), which, inter-alia, should accelerate the process of nuclear disarmament."
Many Asian states share some important views on dealing with India and Pakistan that makes this state a group that deserves separate attention.
Most but not all states in the region are very skeptical about the role regional institutions can play in moderating the crisis. In their view, institutions like the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF, of which India but not Pakistan is a member) or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC, of which both India and Pakistan are members) are too weak to play a mediating role. At best, they can provide a platform for dialogue. Generally speaking, regional states believe that differences in security interests, political systems and economic standards among them are too big to allow for an institutionalization of security policies. Some people also suggested that one of India's motives behind the tests was to gain more political influence in the region (a few spoke of Indian ambitions for regional "hegemony"). If political dominance in the region is the goal of Indian policy, it is of course unrealistic to expect New Delhi to support a stronger role for multilateral regional institutions.
One Asian representative pointed out that by dealing with the issue on a regional level one would play into the hands of the P5, who want to de-link India and Pakistan's nuclear programs from their own nuclear weapons policy.
The regional summits that have taken place since the nuclear tests seem to confirm that regional institutions will not be able to play a substantive role in solving the crisis. A meeting of ASEAN officials on July 21 1998, in Manila failed to reach agreement on language to describe the Indian and Pakistani tests. The proposed text for a chairman's statement of ARF was rejected by the majority of member states. Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Lauro Baja told reporters, that his draft of the statement was refused because the wording directed towards India was felt to be too strong. According to other press reports, there was objection to the ARF "condemning" India's tests. The final communiqué of the Ministerial meeting did not contain the "c"-word either. India "disassociated" itself from the statement nevertheless.
The SAARC member states could not even agree to include the Indian and Pakistani tests on the agenda of a summit that took place at the end of July 1998 in Colombo. In Colombo, the Pakistani and Indian heads of government met for the first time directly after the tests, they did not, however, agree on a resumption of the bilateral dialogue.
Many states in the Asian region closely follow the Indian line of argument that the nuclear tests were a reaction to the lack of disarmament on part of the P5. Indonesia, for example on 18 June 1998 in the CD stated that "recent developments in South Asia were triggered in large measure by a lack of substance progress in nuclear disarmament in recent years, the perception that nuclear weapon states are determined to maintain their arsenals in perpetuity, resentment of hegemony and domination, the selective implementation of the NPT's provisions as well as defiance of the international consensus on the illegality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons." This feeling is echoed by a lot of regional and non-aligned states, which in turn call for a binding commitment for nuclear disarmament. They believe that as long as nuclear weapons exist and "untenable privileges" are conferred on nuclear weapon powers, incentives to acquire nuclear weapons exist for non-nuclear weapon states. As one Asian representative put it: "The situation in its entirety should be seen. It is not limited to India and Pakistan."
Many regional states feel that the South Asian nuclear crisis has to be addressed in the context of the NPT Review Process. The purpose of the NPT, as laid out in Article VI is to eliminate nuclear weapons globally. The existence of nuclear weapon states be they recognized, de facto or de jure therefore "is the hole in the system, not the loophole", as one NAM representative put it.
The nuclear tests of India and Pakistan will have to be addressed in the NPT Review Process, the argument goes, simply because the Resolution on the Middle East was part of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference deal. This argument is supported by many states from the Middle East that see India and Pakistan's tests as an opportunity to address Israel's nuclear program. The question then is how the situation in South Asia can be addressed, given the fact that the resolution on the Middle East already caused so many problems during the 1998 NPT PrepCom.
One of the few substantive proposals at the third meeting of the NPT PrepCom in this regard came from an Asian state. In its opening statement to the PrepCom, Malaysia had stated that "[t]he nuclear tests in South Asia in May 1998, have posed a particular challenge to the Treaty which makes it even more imperative for States parties to strengthen the NPT regime. It thereby triggers (...) an urgent need for the establishment of an appropriate mechanism to respond and address this issue by States parties." Later on in the PrepCom, Malaysia submitted a Working Paper, in which it proposed "the Establishment of a High Level Consultation Mechanism" towards universality of the NPT. Malaysia proposed regular high-level meetings between representatives of the NPT members and those states outside the treaty based on the belief that "[o]ngoing dialogue with the four states still outside of the Treaty (Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan) would pave the way for accession to the Treaty when circumstances would allow".
Many regional states believe that it is necessary to deal with India and Pakistan as nuclear weapon states and that no time should be lost in "theological discussions" about status. They see arguments about the nuclear weapon status as something that is "not helpful" to the people in South Asia who, after all, have to live with two new nuclear weapon powers in their neighborhood.
In this context, many regional states do not see "recognition" of the nuclear weapon status of India and Pakistan by the P5 as dangerous. On the contrary, some pointed out that not facing reality can prevent the international community from finding a solution. "We can either face reality or hide our faces in the sand", as one NAM representative put it. A final point in this regard was that the status of a nuclear weapon state is temporary anyway, since even the P5 are obliged to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons under Article VI of the NPT.
"However coincidental these developments may be, they can be seen now as justifying, indeed validating, the necessity of this Declaration. The existence of three nuclear weapon-capable states - India, Pakistan and Israel - in regions of the world where some of the worst long term tension exists, are a demonstration, if any were needed, of the high cost of inaction on the part of the international community."
A new group in nuclear disarmament is the New Agenda Coalition (NAC). This group consists of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden. It is representing states from the non-aligned, Western and Eastern Group as well as from Africa, Europe and Latin America and the Pacific region. The new agenda statement "Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: The Need for a New Agenda" was released on June 9, 1998.
The NAC, however, was initiated long before India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons. The intention of a core group of states was to push nuclear disarmament by issuing a statement that cut across political and regional lines. The initiative was launched because the governments behind it perceived the nuclear weapon states to not be willing to fulfill their nuclear disarmament commitments: "It was in this pitiable and worrying environment that my colleagues and I decided that a new initiative had to be taken now if the prospect of the retention of nuclear weapons was not to continue for the indefinite future."
After the tests, the language of the statement was then adapted to the new circumstances, addressing nuclear weapon states and nuclear weapon capable states, urging these states to make "a clear commitment to the speedy, final and total elimination of their nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons capability and we urge them to take that step now." Like many other states, the New Agenda supporters sensed that there was a unique nuclear disarmament opportunity associated with the tests:
"The international community must not enter the third millennium with the prospect that the maintenance of these weapons will be considered legitimate for the indefinite future, when the present juncture provides a unique opportunity to eradicate and prohibit them for all time. We therefore call on the governments of each of the nuclear-weapon states and the three nuclear-weapons-capable states to commit themselves unequivocally to the elimination of their respective nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons capability and to agree to start work immediately on the practical steps and negotiations required for its achievement."
The statement then makes practical suggestions how the elimination of nuclear weapons can be advanced. The signatories stated that the United States and Russia should take the lead in nuclear arms control and
"that they be joined in a seamless process by those with lesser arsenals at the appropriate juncture. (...)
[T]here are a number of practical steps that the nuclear weapon states can, and should, take immediately. We call on them to abandon present hair-trigger postures by proceeding to de-alerting and de-activating their weapons. They should also remove non-strategic nuclear weapons from deployed sites."
The statement was criticized by some nuclear weapon states because of the timing, which was perceived to be counterproductive in dealing with India and Pakistan. There was also a feeling that the statement which was later endorsed by the Indian government was too closely along the Indian line of argument, because it implicitly linked the slow progress in global nuclear disarmament to developments in South Asia. Some nuclear weapon states also felt uncomfortable because the NAC in their view does not differentiate clearly enough between the P5 and the other nuclear weapon states. The statement does, however, place specific demands on India, Israel and Pakistan:
"In order for the nuclear disarmament process to proceed, the three nuclear-weapons-capable states must clearly and urgently reverse the pursuit of their respective nuclear weapons development or deployment and refrain from any actions which could undermine the efforts of the international community towards nuclear disarmament. We call upon them, and all other states that have not yet done so, to adhere to the Non-Proliferation treaty and take the necessary measures which flow from adherence to this instrument. We likewise call upon them to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions."
Some NATO states criticized the tactics behind the statement, because the core group of initiators confronted them with a fait accompli, leaving little or no space for input by other potential signatories. They also felt that they could support some of the points while others (with regard to tactical weapons for example) were going too far. The New Agenda states, however, reject such a selective approach towards nuclear disarmament and maintain that nuclear disarmament has to be pursued on many fronts, dealing with several issues at the same time:
"These measures all constitute essential elements which can and should be pursued in parallel: by the nuclear-weapon states among themselves; and by the nuclear -weapon states together with the non-nuclear weapon states, thus providing a road map towards a nuclear weapon-free world."
Developments at the UN First Committee, the UN General Assembly in fall 1999 and the Third NPT PrepCom in May 1999 have shown that the New Agenda Coalition has the potential to provide a basis for a way out of the political deadlocks in nuclear disarmament. The UN General Assembly resolution based on the resolution was watered down in some aspects to take into account concerns about addressing negative security assurances and the first use of nuclear weapons as well as the categorization of India, Israel and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan both voted against the New Agenda resolution. They were united in this opposition with the other nuclear weapon states but cited different reason for opposing the initiative. The Western nuclear weapon states criticized the resolution as being alarmist, unrealistic and for not taking into account the progress made in nuclear disarmament over the last couple of years. It was also argued that the resolution would undermine nuclear deterrence. In addition, the resolution was criticized for not explicitly naming the tests in South Asia.
India on the other hand founded its criticism of the New Agenda resolution - among other things - on the fact that it singled out those "three States that are nuclear-weapons capable and that have not acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)". Pakistan sided with the Western nuclear weapon states in saying that it opposes the resolution because it runs counter to its need for deterrence. Thus, India and Pakistan, even if they were not able to gain formal recognition as nuclear weapon states, could join the P5 in opposing nuclear disarmament. The nuclear weapon states could not, however, prevent that the New Agenda was adopted by a broad majority of states. In the General Assembly, 114 states voted for the resolution, 18 against, and 38 abstained.
India and Pakistan suffered another setback also. Both states tried very hard to prevent a resolution introduced by Australia, Canada and New Zealand that expressed "grave concern over and strongly deplores the recent nuclear tests conducted in South Asia". This resolution however, was adopted overwhelmingly in the General Assembly with 118 states voting for it and only nine opposing, with 33 abstentions.
At the Third PrepCom, the New Agenda initiative was taken one step further. In the Cluster One debate, Brazil, on behalf of the 29 States made a statement that repeated many of the points contained in the original initiative. Later, a Working Paper that was supported by 44 states was delivered to the PrepCom. Both inputs proved to be valuable for the meeting as a whole. Several of the substantive points raised made their way into the Chairman's Working Paper.
"India is now a nuclear weapons state, as is Pakistan. That reality can neither be denied nor wished away. This category of 'nuclear weapons state' is not, in actuality, a conferment. Nor is it a status for others to grant. It is, rather, an objective reality."
In order to stabilize the situation in South Asia and prevent an escalation of the current arms race, it is important to involve India and Pakistan in nuclear arms control and non-proliferation. This could entail the open or implicit recognition of the NWS status of India and Pakistan. However, such pragmatic steps might be perceived by other non-nuclear weapon states as a new nuclear realpolitik. If the two countries are perceived to have been rewarded for going nuclear, this could not only weaken the global non-proliferation norm, but other states might be tempted to follow the same road to nuclearization.
One major challenge is therefore to involve India and Pakistan in such a way in nuclear arms control and non-proliferation regimes that the nuclear competition between India, China and Pakistan is stabilized and eventually reversed while guarding global non-proliferation norms. The reactions of the international community as described above can be grouped into two broad reactions: Some states favor a pragmatic approach towards India and Pakistan. Others emphasize the protection and conservation of those global nonproliferation norms that have been violated by India and Pakistan. Eventually, it will be necessary to find a middle road between these two approaches characterized below.
"A nuclear South Asia is here to stay. Pragmatic arms control strategies must therefore focus on accommodation, not appeasement or confrontation. South Asia is sufficiently different from other regions of conflict that an accommodation strategy need not set a precedent."
The majority of states follow a pragmatic approach in dealing with India and Pakistan. Even though there are many variations of this approach, a number of common features can be described.
Many states see debates on the future status of India and Pakistan as merely academic. According to this line of thinking, the two states (and Israel) are nuclear weapon states. While they do not fit the NPT definition of a nuclear weapon state, it would be useless to ignore the fact that India and Pakistan have exploded nuclear devices and openly declared this fact. "At some point in time we are just going to have to recognize reality, deal with it and go on with it," one regional state representative said, summarizing a view that is held by many "pragmatists". "Pragmatists", however, draw a clear line when it comes to formal recognition of the nuclear power status of India and Pakistan. They maintain that it is neither possible nor desirable nor necessary that the two states receive nuclear weapon state status under the NPT.
The debate between those who primarily see the risks resulting from the nuclear crisis in South Asia and those that see the opportunities that could arise from these developments, the "pragmatists" are often on the optimistic side. If the changes in the international situation can be used to advance nuclear arms control then this opportunity should be seized. Problems arising from a possible recognition of the new status are secondary. "If the nuclear test were the price to pay for the [FMCT] why not?", one Western group representative stated.
Most of the pragmatic states, even if they have imposed sanctions on India and Pakistan, do not believe that sanctions will have a (positive) impact on India and Pakistan's nuclear weapons policies. In addition, there is the problem of ending sanctions: under what conditions will they be lifted? If India and Pakistan give up their nuclear weapons? If they refrain from further tests? If they refrain from deployment? If they sign the CTBT? The "pragmatists" do not believe that common criteria for applying sanctions can be found. Furthermore, sanctions tend to unravel. This can already be seen in the US, where shortly after sanctions were imposed farmers wanting to maintain wheat exports to India were able to create an exception in the sanctions for them.
There is a general impression that India and Pakistan pose a challenge to the international community's efforts to prevent proliferation. "Pragmatists" tend to maintain that India and Pakistan pose no direct threat to the existing non-proliferation regime because they are not members of the NPT. As one person put it: "The non-proliferation firewall has been hit but we have to wait and see whether it remains intact." "Pragmatists" argue that the NPT cannot be directly affected by actions of non-members. Since the purpose of the treaty is to prevent proliferation among its members, the treaty cannot be expected to influence actions of states that have decided not to join.
From the "pragmatists'" view, talks between the P5 and India and Pakistan are a necessary way of dealing with India and Pakistan. While some think that a broader involvement of other states into the consultations with India and Pakistan may be desirable, most believe that the P5 have to be part of these attempts simply because they have most influence on the politics of India and Pakistan.
"Pragmatists" generally deny a linkage between global nuclear disarmament and the Indian and Pakistani tests, except in a very general sense. They cite security threats, domestic factors and prestige as factors that lead the two countries to obtain nuclear weapons, but do not think that this development could have been averted had there been a stronger push for global nuclear disarmament.
Nevertheless, "pragmatists" do not claim that the P5 positions on nuclear arms control have no effect on the crisis. However, they see the link as indirect, i.e. the P5 create the international climate in which nuclear arms control takes place. Most "pragmatists" do not understand why the United States refuse to enter a multilateral dialogue or consultations on nuclear arms control in the CD, for example. While many support the argument a multilateral disarmament process would be counterproductive, there is a strong feeling that some kind of dialogue involving non-nuclear weapon states on these issues is necessary.
A small but influential group of states are afraid that the nuclear tests of May 1998 could trigger a development that might lead to the destruction of important non-proliferation norms. Since international norms are set and upheld by the international community itself, it is important that a number of principle guidelines should not be violated in dealing with India and Pakistan. In the words of one diplomat: "Whether this development will develop into a crisis will depend on the response that the international community will give". Another Western state representative said that the crucial "difference (is) how people react to the declarations (that India and Pakistan are now nuclear weapon states), not the declarations themselves".
According to "conservatives", there are only five nuclear weapon states, i.e. China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA which qualify under the NPT definition of a nuclear weapon state. One of the interviewees pointed out that all other states do not and cannot fall under this definition, and any attempts to change this definition would result in a collapse of the NPT as a whole:
"Can you imagine that a country like mine which has accepted for years IAEA safeguards and IAEA manipulations for commercial reasons of the nuclear weapon states that we would welcome such a thing? (...) That would be a failure for the non-proliferation treaty! Not only in practice but also in theory. If you accept (India and Pakistan) would that mean you would have to accept Israel as well? Could you imagine what the reaction would be? To accept Israel as a de facto nuclear weapon state? Will Russia do that? Will China do that? What about the reactions of the Arab states?"
For some "conservatives", one problem with the New Agenda Coalition-statement was the fact that it does not differentiate clearly enough between the nuclear weapon states that meet the NPT criteria and those de facto nuclear weapon states that do not, thereby indirectly raising the status of India and Pakistan. Some cite the Indian support for the NAC as proof for the statement playing into the hands of India and Pakistan. Some New Agenda states clearly share the "conservatives'" perspective without seeing the "recognition" problem in the June 9 statement.
"Conservatives" strongly believe that any rewards given to the two new declared nuclear weapon states would set a bad precedent. Rewarding India and Pakistan including by indirectly recognizing their new status will lead other countries to follow the nuclear path. Thus, "conservatives" think that in dealing with the two countries "sticks" can (or should) be applied, but "carrots" must not be given.
Among the conservatives are differences in the perception of what "rewards are. Some believe that lifting sanctions would be a reward, while others believe that rewards entail granting indirect recognition of nuclear weapon state status or assisting nuclear weapons programs, for example by sharing data for computer simulations of nuclear explosions.
Public opinion plays an important role in many of the conservatives countries. In some countries like Japan, domestic politics makes governmental support for a policy that involves giving rewards to India and Pakistan impossible. In other countries, governments have imposed or tightened sanctions against India and Pakistan as a result of public pressure.
"Conservatives" believe in international norms and believe that a violation of these norms must be punished. They reject the Indian and Pakistani argument that the imposition of sanctions is unfair because neither country violated any treaties, and feel that any recognition indirect or direct would be "the end of the NPT", as one NAM representative put it.
While "conservatives" mostly agree that sanctions have only a limited role to play in actually stopping or reversing India and Pakistan's nuclear weapons programs they do insist that sanctions are important signals to "register one's discontent". These signals are directed first at other potential proliferators, and secondly at the own home audience and electorate. India and Pakistan "have violated norms of international behavior by our standards" one Western state representative stated to justify the imposition of sanctions.
Such a discussion surfaced at the end of the 1998 session of the CD. Australia, Canada and New Zealand had proposed language for the Annual Report that explicitly named India and Pakistan and referred to the many exchanges in the CD on the matter of their nuclear tests. India and Pakistan, however, blocked any mentioning of these debates. One argument advanced by them was that explicit reference to the developments would be a "precedent" as other nuclear tests, e.g. the ones conducted by China and France in 1995/96, were not mentioned in the final reports of the CD.
Ambassador Pearson of New Zealand in a statement on behalf of Australia, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, and the US countered this by stating that clearly the CD can deal with unprecedented developments. Furthermore, in answer to India and Pakistan's argument that there were precedents for their tests, Pearson stated that there is no precedent for the tests in May "either in substance or in context. (...) Never before have two non-nuclear-weapon states non-parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) openly carried out nuclear weapons testing. Never before have such actions been carried out in such blatant disregard of an international norm (...). There is therefore absolutely no possibility of our acceptance, explicitly or implicitly, of such an argument."
In the end, India and Pakistan were able to prevent any direct mentioning of the debates resulting from the nuclear tests in the final report of the CD. Thus, any person reading only the 1998 Report of the Conference on Disarmament would not be able to reconstruct the exchanges in the CD on this important matter.
From an arms control and nonproliferation perspective, the major challenge is to involve India and Pakistan in such a way in nuclear arms control and non-proliferation regimes that the nuclear competition between India, China and Pakistan is stabilized and eventually reversed while guarding global non-proliferation norms. India and Pakistan bear the main responsibility for finding this balance. However, much will also depend on the flexibility of the international community at large, and especially the willingness of all nuclear weapon states to enter into a process that has the elimination of nuclear weapons as its clear goal.
As an analytical exercise, we can distinguish three possible developments. These scenarios reflect what many interviewees described as the risks and opportunities associated with the nuclear weapon tests. First, the nuclear crisis in South Asia might lead to further proliferation. Secondly, the current situation could be consolidated. Third, the international community might move towards nuclear disarmament. The paper will discuss each of these three possible outcomes in turn.
The biggest potential dangers associated with the nuclear weapon tests in South Asia are an unchecked regional arms race, possibly resulting in a (regional) nuclear war as well as the danger of further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, many indications point in this direction.
While India and Pakistan are primarily responsible for preventing conflict escalation between themselves, the international community has a large part to play in preventing further proliferation. China certainly has a role to play in avoiding a regional arms race. If China were to continue its present policy of increasing the size and quality of its nuclear arsenal, this would increase India's threat perception. This would be amplified if China were to assist Pakistan in increasing its nuclear capabilities.
Many observers fear that the Indian and Pakistani behavior could trigger horizontal proliferation in the region, especially if both countries continue to develop, produce and deploy nuclear weapons. Currently, there are many indications that India and Pakistan will continue to develop an arsenal of at least medium and short range nuclear missiles as well as nuclear free fall bombs. The intention to "weaponize" was voiced early on by both sides. The Indian Foreign Minister was quoted as saying "if the (nuclear) weaponization option was not exercised" the whole exercise of nuclear testing would be rendered "inconsequential". On another occasion the scientific advisor to the Defense Minister A.P.J. Abdul Kamal indirectly confirmed that Agni and Prithvi missiles can carry nuclear warheads: "Weaponisation is now complete. We have reliable size, weight, performance and environmental condition for nuclear weaponisation. (...) Missiles are designed to carry any kind of warhead. They can even carry flowers." The Indian Defense Minister said: "Without weaponisation this whole question of being a nuclear weapons state does not make any sense.(...) Nuclear weaponisation is necessary and in the ultimate analysis, inevitable.'' On May 31, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan indirectly confirmed that Pakistan was able to weaponize its nuclear capability: "Having tested our nuclear devices, a total of six so far, and also our missiles, which have an optimum range of approximately 1,500 km [900 miles], it puts us now slightly ahead of the Indian nuclear missile capability."
Both sides are continuing to develop delivery systems for nuclear weapons. Indian possesses a variety of short and medium range missiles, including a 150 km short range missile (Prithvi). The development of the Agni which is said to be able to carry nuclear warheads is complete for a 1,400 km range. The Indian Air Force is capable of delivering nuclear weapons. India possesses Soviet made aircraft which are capable to deliver nuclear weapons. The Indian Air Force is one of the biggest in the region and numerically superior to its Pakistani counterpart.
While Pakistan's nuclear program is less ambitious than its neighbor's, it also aims at the development and deployment of a "robust", second strike safe deterrent capability. Pakistan's government intends to deliver its nuclear weapons by land-based missiles or aircraft. Both legs of this nuclear diad are already put in place. Pakistan has developed a domestic medium-range ballistic missile, the Ghauri (also called Hatf V), which was successfully tested on 6 April, 1998. The Ghauri is believed to have 1,500 km range with a 700 kg warhead. Pakistan probably also has more than 30 M-11 short range missile with a range 300 of km of Chinese origin, but this fact has never been acknowledged by Pakistan. Pakistan possesses aircraft, mainly 34 F-16A/B, which could, in principle, be made nuclear capable.
In spring 1999, the arms race between the two opponents was again accelerated. On April 11, 1999 - exactly eleven months after the second Indian nuclear test - India tested an improved version of the Agni. This first launch of the Agni II was announced to have been successful. The Agni II is a solid fuel, two-stage, intermediate-range ballistic missile with a range of more than 2,000 kilometres and it is believed to be able to carry a nuclear warhead. India said that the missile was launched from a rail mobile vehicle. The test, however, does not mean that the Agni II can necessarily be introduced as weapon system soon. According to some reports, especially the solid fuel motor of the missile might need further tests before its reliability is considered sufficient for operational purposes. On April 13, 1999, Pakistan's government announced that it had successfully tested a Ghauri II with a range of over 2,000 km. One day later, the first-ever test launch of the short-range Shaheen missile with an estimated range of 600 km was announced. The solid-fuel missile is reported to be able to carry a 1,000 kg warhead, making it nuclear weapons capable.
Further proliferation beyond India and Pakistan could take place under two scenarios. Despite the announcements made by India and Pakistan shortly after their tests that they have not and will not proliferate nuclear weapons technologies or materials, both countries could decide to export nuclear weapons knowledge and/or related resources to other states. Since the nuclear installations in India and Pakistan are not under comprehensive IAEA-Safeguards, it is currently not possible to verify that the two countries are not exporting fissile materials. Furthermore, neither India nor Pakistan are members of a multinational nuclear export control regime. The sanctions imposed on India and the cash-strapped Pakistan could increase pressures on them to sell nuclear-weapons-related technologies.
Secondly, proliferation could take place if non-nuclear weapon states decide to copy India and Pakistan's nuclear weapons policies. This could happen if other states perceive India and Pakistan as having been "successful", for example if both states are seen to have increased their security, influence or prestige. If sanctions are dropped quickly, and rewards are given to India and Pakistan such as a formal recognition of their nuclear weapon status, technical assistance or even a permanent seat in the UN Security Council in exchange for their support of certain arms control measures, this could lead non-nuclear weapon states to seek to acquire nuclear weapons for themselves.
These factors may be emphasized for states geographically close to India and Pakistan, who may perceive an additional threat. But states outside the region could also succumb to horizontal proliferation if no further steps towards nuclear disarmament are taken. If there is a growing perception that the nuclear weapon states are no longer fulfilling their NPT commitments then other states may reassess their non-nuclear weapon policies. This could endanger the NPT Review Process in one of two ways: Member states could invoke Article X and leave the NPT (as North Korea threatened to do in 1993) or the NPT could become subject to a slow erosion. The current NPT Review Process was agreed upon in 1995 to strengthen the treaty and its implementation. If a majority of state parties feel that the nuclear weapon states are not implementing certain Articles of the NPT, they might no longer feel bound by treaty clauses. As a result, the NPT could become meaningless even if no states decide to leave the NPT.
The P5 have been criticized for some time for not fulfilling their commitments under the NPT. This criticism has come from two quarters:
The NPT was in a sorry state even before the Indian and Pakistani tests. The Second Preparatory Committee Meeting of the 2000 Review Conference of the NPT ended without any substantive result in Geneva just three days before the first Indian test on May 11, 1998. The Third PrepCom which took place in May 1999 in New York did agree to disagree, but little progress on how to strengthen the NPT was achieved. The erosion of the NPT could be amplified if no progress is made in other areas of nuclear arms control, for example:
The combined effect of such potential difficulties might lead non-nuclear weapon states to rethink their policies of not possessing nuclear weapons. So far, no state has ever left the NPT and become a nuclear weapon power, but this might change if no serious steps are taken to save the treaty.
A lot of political energy is being invested in measures to consolidate the current situation, such as encouraging India and Pakistan to freeze their nuclear weapons programs while keeping their nuclear weapon status ambiguous, deflecting pressures towards multilateral nuclear disarmament, and saving the NPT without giving substance to the NPT Review Process.
Consolidation requires the prevention of an escalation of the crisis. A nuclear "freeze" by India and Pakistan is high on the political agenda of many countries involved in the crisis, including the P5. As one P5 representative said: "The first thing we have to do is stabilize the situation." A freeze would include a moratorium on nuclear weapon tests, no (open) deployment of nuclear forces and possibly an end to the production of fissile materials. In order to stabilize the current situation it might also be necessary to address the conventional imbalances between India and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have already announced a moratorium on nuclear tests. In addition, they might be willing to refrain from open deployment of their nuclear forces. Both governments have stated that nuclear deterrence is in place without deploying nuclear weapons. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to declare, in concert with the other nuclear weapon states, a moratorium on fissile material production once FMT negotiations get started. Pakistan however is opposing a moratorium because it possesses smaller stocks of fissile materials than India. India has so far also not declared its readiness to declare a moratorium on fissile material production.
Both India and Pakistan maintain that they want to develop a "minimum nuclear deterrent", but neither New Delhi nor Islamabad have defined what their requirements for such a deterrent are. In the absence of a stable relationship between the two countries, an early end to the bilateral arms race seems unlikely. Attempts to consolidate the current situation are therefore likely to fail even if China decides not to join a regional arms race.
Attempts to stop a nuclear arms build-up and establish a situation of "stable" nuclear deterrence are likely to fail for a number of reasons:
It has also been suggested that consolidation of the current situation might entail a more controversial aspect, that is the US (and/or other nuclear weapon states) providing assistance to India and Pakistan to prevent an accidental or unintended launch of a nuclear weapon. As part of its discussions with India and Pakistan, the USA has explored ways and means to assist India and Pakistan in making their nuclear arsenals safer. Which specific steps can be allowed are among the most controversial topics under discussion.
Any assistance the US might give could violate the US Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1994 and may violate the NPT as well, both of which have the purpose of limiting the spread of nuclear weapon technologies to non-nuclear weapon states. In contrast to this, some argue that helping India and Pakistan might be a way of making a nuclear confrontation less likely, e.g. by reducing the likelihood of the accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons. It has been suggested that the US could supply nuclear safety and security technologies, such as Permissive Action Links or Enhanced Nuclear Detonation Safety-Systems to the "young" nuclear weapon states to achieve this goal. US Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth, who was personally involved in the negotiations with Indian officials, acknowledged the problem in Congressional hearing: "We are very concerned that the two countries are marching in a direction they are not prepared for." However, if the USA were to share command and control technologies with proliferating nations, this would contradict official calls on India and Pakistan to refrain from weaponization and deployment of nuclear weapons: "We don't want to encourage them to cross those thresholds by the kind of assistance we are prepared to give them," said US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Robert Einhorn. Strobe Talbott has also argued that providing technical assistance could be perceived as rewarding India and Pakistan: "A lot of responsible persons have made the suggestion (...) that we provide technical assistance to the two Governments on the maintenance of safety, command and control and so forth of their nuclear weapons. It is the judgment of our Government that this would be a mistake (...) if we were to provide what I might call a user's manual to Pakistan and India we would be conceding a fundamental point and that its okay to have these (nuclear weapons)(...).''
The US, however, meanwhile officially concedes that India and Pakistan are nuclear weapon states. Given this fact, both sides are urged to develop, and possibly deploy, nuclear weapons at the minimum level. Strobe Talbott in February 1999 called on India and Pakistan to "stabilise their nuclear competition at the lowest possible level.''
Consolidating the current situation is in the interest of the P5, who want to deflect political pressure to take further steps in nuclear disarmament. The Indian linkage between their nuclear weapons policy and global nuclear disarmament is a threat to those among the P5 that wanted to avoid dramatic changes in the nuclear arms control regime. If, for example, the involvement of the P5 in a multilateral arms control dialogue were made a prerequisite for India taking any steps towards de-escalation of the nuclear crisis and nuclear arms control, this could put the P5 in an uncomfortable position.
It is also thought that, in order to stabilize the current situation it is essential to avoid the collapse of the NPT. It is widely held that the P5 have two ways to achieve this goal. Either they can commence serious talks on eliminating nuclear weapons in accordance with Article VI of the NPT. Or they can try to continue the current policy of turning "the review process into a four year text-drafting process for the five-yearly Review Conferences, and nothing more."
India and Pakistan pose a real threat in this regard because they have shattered the nuclear status quo that existed for 30 years after the NPT was opened for signature. In order to consolidate the current situation, the international community will have to tread a thin line. Consolidation requires a number of measures such as convincing India and Pakistan not to proceed with their nuclear weapons programs and not to proliferate; finding a political formula that addresses the nuclear status of India and Pakistan; saving the NPT without major changes in nuclear disarmament.
A third possible outcome of the nuclear weapons tests by India and Pakistan is that new opportunities may emerge for nuclear disarmament. Much will depend on India and Pakistan's nuclear arms control policy: If the two countries decide to remain outside international arms control and nonproliferation regimes such as the CTBT and continue to increase their nuclear arsenals, this will have a negative impact on disarmament efforts.
Both, India's and Pakistan's policies send mixed signals in this regard. India favors the elimination of nuclear weapons, where most other nuclear weapon states oppose a nuclear weapon free world, or are reluctant to commit themselves to concrete steps in that direction. In contrast to the other nuclear weapon states, India still criticizes the NPT as discriminatory. India is advocating an alternative non-proliferation regime which would not "discriminate" between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, possibly through an universal Nuclear Weapons Convention.
On other issues, India has become more flexible since it declared itself a nuclear weapon state. Directly after the first tests, on May 11, 1998, the government in Delhi announced a major shift by stating that it would "be happy to participate in the negotiations for the conclusion of a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Geneva based Conference on Disarmament." In August 1998, India agreed to the establishment of an Ad hoc Committee in the CD with a negotiating mandate.
Whether or not India will sign on to the CTBT remains to be seen. The old Indian position that it will sign the CTBT "not now, not later" has certainly been given up. "We can maintain the credibility of our nuclear deterrent in the future without testing", Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told the Indian parliament on August 6. "India remains committed to this dialogue with a view to arriving at a decision regarding adherence to the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty).'' A month later, Vajpayee said that India's decision to refrain from conducting more nuclear tests amounted to "adherence of the nuclear test ban treaty in spirit," and that "a final decision on signing the (treaty) will be taken soon.''
This decisions seems to have been made when Prime Minister Vajpayee announced on September 24, 1998 before the UN General Assembly:
"India, having harmonized its national imperatives and security obligations and desirous of continuing to cooperate with the international community is now engaged in discussions with key interlocutors on a range of issues, including the CTBT. We are prepared to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion, so that the entry into force of the CTBT is not delayed beyond September 1999. We expect that other countries, as indicated in Article XIV of the CTBT, will adhere to this Treaty without conditions."
There are reasons for caution when interpreting this statement as a complete reversal of India's opposition against the CTBT: The statement suggests that a lifting of sanctions is expected in return for signing the CTBT. India also links its signature and ratification to that of all other 43 states named in Article XIV of the treaty. It will be up to the new Indian government, which will probably be elected in September 1999, to make final choices about accession to the CTBT.
Since the tests the government in Islamabad has de-linked its stance on nuclear disarmament from the Indian policy in order to gain bargaining power vis-à-vis the United States. Thus, the willingness to agree to enter talks on a specific issue was bought off by lifting certain sanctions. It can be assumed that Pakistan's decision on July 30, 1998 to agree to the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to negotiate an FMT in the CD was related to a change in the US sanctions policy. Pakistan's Ambassador Munir Akram stated that "during discussions" with the US, a decision was reached to support the commencement of FMT negotiations. It remains to be seen whether Pakistan will be as flexible on the substance of the treaty as well.
Pakistan's position on the CTBT has also become more flexible. Like India, Pakistan has announced a moratorium after the completion of its test series. Six weeks after the tests, Pakistan officially "de-linked" its position on the CTBT from the Indian position. On September 23, 1998 Prime Minister Sharif signaled a willingness to join the CTBT:
"Pakistan has consistently supported the conclusion of a CTBT for over 30 years. We voted for the Treaty when it was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1996. We have declared a moratorium on further testing; so has India. There is no reason why the two countries cannot adhere to the CTBT. In a nuclearized South Asia, CTBT would have relevance if Pakistan and India are both parties to the Treaty. The Non-Aligned Summit has called for universal adherence to the CTBT, specially by the nuclear weapon states. This demand is consistent with the Treaty's requirement, that all nuclear capable states, including India, must adhere to the CTBT before it can come into force. Pakistan will oppose any attempt to change this fundamental requirement at the Conference of States Parties to the Treaty scheduled to be held in September 1999. Such a change can only be made by consensus. Pakistan is, therefore, prepared to adhere to the CTBT before this Conference. However, Pakistan's adherence to the Treaty will take place only in conditions free from coercion or pressure."
Pakistan's flexibility on nuclear arms control issues meets some serious limitations. First, the government is under immense pressure from domestic opponents. Any sign of "softness" on national security or the policy towards India might increase the likelihood of a political turnover. This danger has been highlighted by domestic Pakistani reactions to the US attacks on alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan in September 1998. The attacks provided the religious Pakistani opposition with an opportunity to accuse the current government of playing into the hands of the United States.
Second, Pakistan perceives its conventional forces to be quantitatively inferior to India's. Therefore some of the positions taken on arms control issues arise from genuine security concerns: Pakistan lacks the strategic depth of India therefore is harder to defend. This makes it necessary to have a stringent and effective command and control system in case of an attack. Pakistan probably possesses smaller stocks of fissile material and fewer nuclear weapons, even though it may have a "sufficient" nuclear capability to threaten a devastating nuclear response by any standard.
But not only India and Pakistan have redefined their nuclear arms control policies since May 1998, there is new political movement in the international community on nuclear disarmament issues as a result of the nuclear tests. It will be important to exploit these opportunities to make further progress in strengthening existing nonproliferation and arms control agreements.
Any policy towards India and Pakistan must serve three aims:
Desirable steps on the way to fulfilling these aims are outlined below.
A nuclear freeze by India and Pakistan, including politically binding commitments to refrain from nuclear tests, not to openly deploy nuclear weapons, and to stop the production of fissile materials would fulfill several goals:
India and Pakistan have already declared a moratorium on nuclear testing and both have agreed to participate constructively in negotiations on an FMT. Moreover, both sides have stated that nuclear deterrence is in place. This should enable them to avoid further arming. A moratorium on the production of fissile materials is currently difficult for Pakistan, because of its smaller stocks of weapons grade materials. But Pakistan has declared that nuclear deterrence can work even with current stocks, so inequality in stocks should be no absolute obstacle to a freeze on production.
It is essential that a nuclear freeze be accompanied by a dialogue on confidence and security building measures. The current situation remains highly unstable and susceptible to first-strike scenarios. Confidence and security building measures should include, inter alia, seminars on nuclear weapons policy with the participation of military commanders from both India and Pakistan, and governmental and non-governmental experts from a range of countries. The main purpose would be to correct misperceptions of the other side's intentions.
Such information exchanges might be supplemented by other transparency measures, such as each country publishing its nuclear weapons budget. At Lahore, both sides stated their intention to also exchange information on nuclear weapons holdings. While such a step is positive in principle, because misperceptions can be avoided, certain transparency measures can be highly problematic in deterrence scenarios where relatively small numbers of nuclear weapons are involved. The disclosure of number, type and location of weapons can be counterproductive under certain conditions because it might lead to the possibility of first strike scenarios. These problems have to be taken into account, once the bilateral confidence building process gets to a stage where they become relevant.
For the time being, transparency measures should be voluntary and, wherever possible, reciprocal. In the case of India and Pakistan, de-alerting measures are more important but also harder to implement than for bigger nuclear weapon states. Because of the relatively small size of the nuclear arsenals, both sides are likely to oppose any transparency measures which could lead to the disclosure of the locations of nuclear weapon storage sites. Nevertheless, in order to lessen the danger of a nuclear escalation, it will be important to implement some de-alerting measures and improve communication links, for example by establishing a hotline between command centers. The Lahore declaration points in that direction by stating that India and Pakistan will "take immediate steps for reducing the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons". However, this intention has yet to be followed up with concrete measures.
The international community should facilitate these steps by constructively engaging India and Pakistan. As an interim step, both India and Pakistan should align themselves with international nuclear arms export regimes. As long as proliferation of nuclear and missile technology from India and Pakistan remains a real danger, both states should be put under pressure to fulfill their non-proliferation pledges and adhere to arms export arrangements such as the MTCR, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Zangger Committee. It must be made clear that these arrangements are temporary measures to deal with proliferation until a non-discriminatory and universal nonproliferation regime is established.
In response to any future arms control and nonproliferation measures by India and Pakistan, which would indicate that India and Pakistan are willing to downgrade their nuclear programs, the remaining sanctions should be (partially) lifted. Even though this might be perceived as "rewarding" the two states, it is important to provide some incentives for Indian and Pakistani cooperation.
Constructive engagement, however, should stop short of giving active assistance to the nuclear (or conventional) weapons programs of the two countries. Also, no positive security assurances should be given. Any such steps would clearly indicate that India and Pakistan were considered part of the "nuclear club". Such a perception would almost certainly lead to a weakening of the NPT, if not its collapse.
Even though governments will have to play a crucial part in the de-escalation of the crisis, long-term confidence building has to have a transnational dimension. The role of NGOs is very important, particularly in maintaining and intensifying a dialogue with domestic anti-nuclear forces in India and Pakistan. This dialogue is of crucial importance in strengthening policy alternatives and increasing public pressure on the governments of both countries to move towards de-nuclearization. As a first step, the Indian and Pakistani government must be held accountable for ensuring that representatives of civil society can work freely and without any threats to their security.
While it is true that bilateral talks can be more productive in certain areas of nuclear arms control, the P5 can and should start multilateralizing the nuclear disarmament process. Such a process will have three components: Starting negotiations among nuclear weapon states on deep cuts in nuclear arsenals, initiating a plurilateral dialogue on nuclear arms control among all nuclear weapon states, and starting consultations between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states on future steps in nuclear disarmament.
First, negotiations on cuts in nuclear weapons arsenals will have to be plurilateralized as soon as possible. Further progress on the reduction of nuclear weapons is needed now more than ever. Since START II was signed in 1993, no new talks on the reduction of nuclear weapons have been initiated. But deep cuts are in the interest of both the United States and Russia: Parts of the US administration are already planning a START IV agreement, which would reduce the number of strategic weapons in US and Russian arsenals to 1,000-1,500. And Russia, if only for financial reasons, will be unable to maintain the force levels envisaged under START II and START III. Both countries should therefore overcome the current political deadlock preventing further progress by starting talks on a START II follow-on agreement immediately. One way to achieve this while avoiding the difficulties of negotiating a new arms control agreements might be to augment the START process "with immediate, parallel and reciprocal actions" regarding force levels, alert status and fissile material stocks.
Both countries also could benefit from including tactical nuclear weapons in future arms reduction agreements: the US because it is worried about the safety and security of Russian tactical nuclear weapons as well as a possible redeployment or even increase in Russian tactical nuclear weapons; and Russia because it is worried about US tactical nuclear weapons deployments in Europe, especially because these weapons could reach Russian territory and after NATO's expansion could be deployed even further east on new NATO members' territory. Inclusion of tactical nuclear weapons in the bilateral arms control process was in principle agreed upon during the US-Russian summit in March 1997, but no formal talks on reduction of these weapons have started yet. An agreement on deep cuts in nuclear arsenals could be helpful in overcoming the Russian opposition to START II because it could correct some of the perceived "injustices" of that agreement.
The START process should be made more comprehensive in scope and participation as soon as possible. If Russia and the US move towards deep cuts into their force levels, this would set the stage for a participation of China, France and the United Kingdom and eventually India, Israel and Pakistan. As the first nuclear weapon state, the United Kingdom has already stated that it is in favor of five power consultations on nuclear arms control.
Secondly, a multilateral dialogue among all nuclear weapon states on issues like nuclear doctrine, postures, confidence and security building measures, de-alerting measures and arms control should be initiated as soon as possible. These problems are much more effectively solved in a plurilateral setting than in a bilateral context because they require the participation of all nuclear weapon states in order to be effective.
Finally, consultations on future steps in nuclear disarmament will eventually have to involve all states, nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. Such a dialogue will not focus on the "hard issues" of nuclear disarmament in the early stages, because this would unnecessarily complicate the process. Rather, a multilateral dialogue on nuclear disarmament should be used to inform non-nuclear weapon states of the progress made in nuclear disarmament by the nuclear weapon states as well as intended future steps. One concrete such proposal was put forward by five non-nuclear NATO members. On February 2, 1999, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway proposed to the CD to "establish an ad hoc working group to study ways and means of establishing an exchange of information and views within the Conference on endeavours towards nuclear disarmament."
Both, a plurilateral dialogue among nuclear weapon states and multilateral consultations among nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states have already been agreed upon. In the Permanent Joint Council, Russia and NATO member states (nuclear and non-nuclear) have agreed to regularly discuss a broad range of nuclear arms control issues which could entail issues such as the possible reduction of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, de-alerting and de-targeting measures and nuclear safety and security issues. Suggestions that multilateral talks on nuclear arms control and disarmament are impossible and counterproductive are therefore wrong.
For the majority of states, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament are directly linked. All nuclear weapon states should send a clear signal that they are willing to move towards a nuclear weapons free world otherwise steps in dealing with India and Pakistan might be interpreted as collaboration. The New Agenda Coalition statement provides a good basis on which such a commitment could be formulated because it calls on all nuclear weapon states to commit themselves "to the speedy, final and total elimination of their nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons capability".
India's and Pakistan's tests have made clear that the nuclear weapon states face critical choices about the future of nuclear weapons in their security policies. All nuclear weapon states should refrain from any steps that could be interpreted as expanding the role of nuclear weapons. Such steps have already and will continue to signal to non-nuclear weapon states that repeated statements on nuclear disarmament are not serious.
In this regard, the outcome of NATO's Strategy Review has sent the wrong signal: By keeping concepts as "first use" and nuclear sharing in place it conveys to many non-nuclear weapon states that nuclear weapons will remain important for the national security not only of the three Western nuclear weapon states, but also non-nuclear NATO allies. However, NATO has also initiated a review of its nuclear weapons and arms control policies at the Washington Summit in April 1999. It is important that in this review NATO paves the way to changes in its nuclear weapons policy. Such changes should include
These steps should be echoed by individual nuclear weapon states, i.e. France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States should also declare unilaterally and politically binding that they will never use nuclear weapons first.
It is essential that the developments in South Asia will not lead to a collapse of arms control and nonproliferation agreements already reached. The CTBT has been named as the most promising approach to involve India and Pakistan in nuclear arms control. Now, that both countries have signaled a willingness not to block entry into force of the Test Ban Treaty this opportunity should be seized.
The Special Conference of States Parties in October 1999 is unlikely to debate amending the treaty or its EIF clause. The issue, however is unlikely to go away. If one or several countries will not have signed and ratified the treaty at the next Special Conference to take place in 2000 or 2001, every political effort necessary should be taken to secure the entry into force of the CTBT nevertheless. The conference of states parties which is likely to convene therefore could consider provisional entry-into-force or provisional application of the treaty.
A treaty banning production of fissile materials has been ranging high on the arms control agenda for a long time. During the three years the Shannon mandate has existed, the function and scope of a FMT has become a topic that is highly politically charged. No doubt, negotiations of an FMT will probably be long and technically complicated. It is all the more important that these negotiations get off to a good start and do not get stuck in discussions over procedural issues during the early stages of deliberations. A FMT naturally mainly affects nuclear weapon states, as it deals with materials for weapons purposes. It is therefore up to the nuclear weapon states to take meaningful steps that will ensure a good start for the FMT negotiations. These should include:
Involving India and Pakistan in talks on an FMT will remain a big challenge and a hard test of finding ways to involve India and Pakistan in nuclear arms control and non-proliferation. Almost all of India's nuclear facilities - civil and military - remain outside international safeguards. India and Pakistan are probably the only nuclear weapon powers which would be affected by an end of production of fissile materials because all six other states possessing nuclear weapons either have declared a moratorium or are in position to do so. Negotiations on an FMT are in effect taking place between the eight de facto nuclear weapon states because the other NNWS are already under safeguards and are not assumed to possess weapons materials anyway. This inevitably will raise the question of the status of India and Pakistan because the treaty has to be "non-discriminatory and universal". Both India and Pakistan so far have shied away from any transparency measures relating to their nuclear weapon complexes. An end to production would have serious implications for the stability in the region because it is assumed that existing stocks of fissile materials are probably very different with India possessing the bigger stocks. Overcoming these difficulties, however, will be crucial for solving some of the dilemmas that have been created by the nuclear tests of India and Pakistan.
All of the steps above will contribute to a meaningful NPT Review Process. They will provide a solid basis to enable the 2000 Review Conference to have constructive and substantive discussions on nuclear disarmament as well as nonproliferation and will thus help to safeguard the NPT. If, however, nuclear disarmament remains stuck and proliferation a real danger, the NPT is likely to finally fail.
"We condemn the nuclear tests which were carried out by India on 11 and 13 May. Such action runs counter to the will expressed by 149 signatories to the CTBT to cease nuclear testing, to efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime and to steps to enhance regional and international peace and security. It has been met by immediate international concern and opposition, from governments and more widely. We underline our full commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We express our grave concern about the increased risk of nuclear and missile proliferation in South Asia and elsewhere. We urge India and other states in the region to refrain from further tests and the deployment of nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles. We call upon India to rejoin the mainstream of international opinion, to adhere unconditionally to the NPT and the CTBT and to enter into negotiations on a global treaty to stop the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. India's relationship with each of us has been affected by these developments. We are making this clear in our own direct exchanges and dealings with the Indian Government and we call upon other states similarly to address their concerns to India. We call upon and encourage Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint in the face of these tests and to adhere to international non-proliferation norms."
On 11 May a statement was issued by Government announcing that India had successfully carried out three underground nuclear tests at the Pokhran range. Two days later, after carrying out two more underground sub-kiloton tests, the Government announced the completion of the planned series of tests. The three underground nuclear tests carried out at 1545 hours on 11 May were with three different devices - a fission device, a low-yield sub-kiloton device and a thermonuclear device. The two tests carried out at 1221 hours on 13 May were also low-yield devices in the sub-kiloton range. The results from these tests have been in accordance with the expectations of our scientists.
In 1947, when India emerged as a free country to take its rightful place in the comity of nations, the nuclear age had already dawned. Our leaders then took the crucial decision to opt for self-reliance, and freedom of thought and action. We rejected the Cold War paradigm whose shadows were already appearing on the horizon and instead of aligning ourselves with either bloc, chose the more difficult path of non-alignment. This has required the building up of national strength through our own resources, our skills and creativity and the dedication of the people. Among the earliest initiatives taken by our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, was the development of science and inculcation of the scientific spirit. It is this initiative that laid the foundation for the achievement of 11 and 13 May, made possible by exemplary cooperation among the scientists from Department of Atomic Energy and Defence Research & Development Organisation. Disarmament was then and continues to be a major plank in our foreign policy now. It was, in essence, and remains still, the natural course for a country that had waged a unique struggle for independence on the basis of 'ahimsa' and satyagraha'.
Development of nuclear technology transformed the nature of global security. Our leaders reasoned that nuclear weapons were not weapons of war, these were weapons of mass destruction. A nuclear-weapon-free-world would, therefore, enhance not only India's security but also the security of all nations. This is the principle plank of our nuclear policy. In the absence of universal and non-discriminatory disarmament, we cannot accept a regime that creates an arbitrary division between nuclear haves and have-nots. India believes that it is the sovereign right of every nation to make a judgment regarding its supreme national interests and exercise its sovereign choice. We subscribe to the principle of equal and legitimate security interests of nations and consider it a sovereign right. At the same time, our leaders recognised early that nuclear technology offers tremendous potential for economic development, especially for developing countries who are endeavouring to leap across the technology gaps created by long years of colonial exploitation. This thinking was reflected in the enactment of the Atomic Energy Act of 1948, within a year of our independence. All the numerous initiatives taken by us since, in the field of nuclear disarmament have been in harmony and in continuation of those early enunciations.
In the 50's, nuclear weapons testing took place above ground and the characteristic mushroom cloud became the visible symbol of the nuclear age. India then took the lead in calling for an end to all nuclear weapon testing as the first step for ending the nuclear arms race. Addressing the Lok Sabha on 2 April, 1954, shortly after a major hydrogen bomb test had been conducted, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru stated that "nuclear, chemical and biological energy and power should not be used to forge weapons of mass destruction". He called for negotiations for prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and in the interim, a standstill agreement to halt nuclear testing. The world had by then witnessed less than 65 tests. Our call was not heeded. In 1963, an agreement was concluded to ban atmospheric testing but by this time, countries had developed the technologies for conducting underground nuclear tests and the nuclear arms race continued unabated. More than three decades passed and after over 2000 tests had been conducted, a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was opened for signature in 1996, following two and a half years of negotiations in which India had participated actively. In its final shape, this Treaty left much to be desired. It was neither comprehensive nor was it related to disarmament.
In 1965, along with a small group of non-aligned countries, India had put forward the idea of an international non-proliferation agreement under which the nuclear weapon states would agree to give up their arsenals provided other countries refrained from developing or acquiring such weapons. This balance of rights and obligations was absent when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) emerged in 1968, almost 30 years ago. In the 60's our security concerns deepened. But such was our abhorrence of nuclear weapons and such our desire to avoid acquiring them that we sought instead security guarantees from major nuclear powers of the world. The countries we turned to for support and understanding felt unable to extend to us the assurances that we then sought. That is when and why India made clear its inability to sign the NPT.
The Lok Sabha debated the NPT on 5 April, 1968. The then Prime Minister, late Smt. Indira Gandhi assured the House that "we shall be guided entirely by our self-enlightenment and the considerations of national security". She highlighted the shortcomings of the NPT whilst reemphasising the country's commitment to nuclear disarmament. She warned the House and the country "that not signing the Treaty may bring the nation many difficulties. It may mean the stoppage of aid and stoppage of help. Since we are taking this decision together, we must all be together in facing its consequences". That was a turning point. This House then strengthened the decision of the Government by reflecting a national consensus.
Our decision not to sign the NPT was in keeping with the basic objective of maintaining freedom of thought and action. In 1974, we demonstrated our nuclear capability. Successive Governments thereafter have continued to take all necessary steps in keeping with that resolve and national will, to safeguard India's nuclear option. This was also the primary reason underlying the 1996 decision in the country not subscribing to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); a decision that met the unanimous approval of the House yet again. Our perception then was that subscribing to the CTBT would severely limit India's nuclear potential at an unacceptably low level. Our reservations deepened as the CTBT did not also carry forward the nuclear disarmament process. On both counts, therefore, yet again our security concerns remained unaddressed. The then Minister for External Affairs, Shri I. K. Gujral had made clear the Government's reasoning to this House during the discussions on this subject in 1996.
The decades of the 80's and 90's meanwhile witnessed the gradual deterioration of our security environment as a result of nuclear and missile proliferation. In our neighbourhood, nuclear weapons increased and more sophisticated delivery systems were inducted. Further, in our region there has come into existence a pattern about clandestine acquisition of nuclear materials, missiles and related technologies. India, in this period, became the victim of externally aided and abetted terrorism, militancy and clandestine war through hired mercenaries.
The end of the Cold War marks a watershed in the history of the 20th century. While it has transformed the political landscape of Europe, it has done little to address India's security concerns. The relative order that was arrived at in Europe was not replicated in other parts of the globe.
At the global level, there is no evidence yet on the part of the nuclear weapon states to take decisive and irreversible steps in moving towards a nuclear-weapon-free-world. Instead, the NPT has been extended indefinitely and unconditionally, perpetuating the existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of the five countries who are also permanent members of the UN Security Council. Some of these countries have doctrines that permit the first use of nuclear weapons; these countries are also engaged in programmes for modernisation of their nuclear arsenals.
Under such circumstances, India was left with little choice. It had to take necessary steps to ensure that the country's nuclear option, developed and safeguarded over decades not be permitted to erode by a voluntary self-imposed restraint. Indeed, such an erosion would have had an irremediably adverse impact on our security. The Government was thus faced with a difficult decision. The only touchstone that guided it was national security. Tests conducted on 11 and 13 May are a continuation of the policies set into motion that put this country on the path of self-reliance and independence of thought and action. Nevertheless, there are certain moments when the chosen path reaches a fork and a decision has to be made. 1968 was one such moment in our nuclear chapter as were 1974 and 1996. At each of these moments, we took the right decision guided by national interest and supported by national consensus. 1998 was borne in the crucible of earlier decisions and made possible only because those decisions had been taken correctly in the past and in time.
At a time when developments in the area of advanced technologies are taking place at a breathtaking pace, new parameters need to be identified, tested and validated in order to ensure that skills remain contemporary and succeeding generations of scientists and engineers are able to build on the work done by their predecessors. The limited series of five tests undertaken by India was precisely such an exercise. It has achieved its stated objective. The data provided by these tests is critical to validate our capabilities in the design of nuclear weapons of different yields for different applications and different delivery systems. Further, these tests have significantly enhanced the capabilities of our scientists and engineers in computer simulation of new designs and enabled them to undertake sub-critical experiments in future, if considered necessary. In terms of technical capability, our scientists and engineers have the requisite resources to ensure a credible deterrent.
Our policies towards our neighbours and other countries too have not changed; India remains fully committed to the promotion of peace with stability, and resolution of all outstanding issues through bilateral dialogue and negotiations. These tests were not directed against any country; these were intended to reassure the people of India about their security and convey determination that this Government, like previous Governments, has the capability and resolve to safeguard their national security interests. The Government will continue to remain engaged in substantive dialogue with our neighbours to improve relations and to expand the scope of our interactions in a mutually advantageous manner. Confidence building is a continuous process; we remain committed to it. Consequent upon the tests and arising from an insufficient appreciation of our security concerns, some countries have been persuaded to take steps that sadden us. We value our bilateral relations. We remain committed to dialogue and reaffirm that preservation of India's security create no conflict of interest with these countries.
India is a nuclear weapon state. This is a reality that cannot be denied. It is not a conferment that we seek; not is it a status for others to grant. It is an endowment to the nation by our scientists and engineers. It is India's due, the right of one-sixth of human-kind. Our strengthened capability adds to our sense of responsibility; the responsibility and obligation of power. India, mindful of its international obligations, shall not use these weapons to commit aggression or to mount threats against any country; these are weapons of self-defence and to ensure that in turn, India is also not subjected to nuclear threats or coercion. In 1994, we had proposed that India and Pakistan jointly undertake not to be the first to use their nuclear capability against each other. The Government on this occasion, reiterates its readiness to discuss a "no-first-use" agreement with that country, as also-with other countries bilaterally, or in a collective forum. India shall not engage in an arms race. India shall also not subscribe or reinvent the doctrines of the Cold War. India remains committed to the basic tenet of our foreign policy - a conviction that global elimination of nuclear weapons will enhance its security as well as that of the rest of the world. It will continue to urge countries, particularly other nuclear weapon states to adopt measures that would contribute meaningfully to such an objective.
A number of initiatives have been taken in the past. In 1978, India proposed negotiations for an international convention that would prohibit the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. This was followed by another initiative in 1982 calling for a 'nuclear freeze'- a prohibition on production of fissile materials for weapons, on production of nuclear weapons and related delivery systems. In 1988, we put forward an Action Plan for phased elimination of all nuclear weapons within a specified time frame. It is our regret that these proposals did not receive a positive response from other nuclear weapon states. Had their response been positive, India need not have gone for the current tests. This is where our approach to nuclear weapons is different from others. This difference is the cornerstone of our nuclear doctrine. It is marked by restraint and striving for the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.
We will continue to support such initiatives, taken individually or collectively by the Non-Aligned Movement which has continued to attach the highest priority to nuclear disarmament. This was reaffirmed most recently, last week, at the NAM Ministerial meeting held at Cartagena which has "reiterated their call on the Conference on Disarmament to establish, as the highest priority, an ad hoc committee to start in 1998 negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time, including a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The collective voice of 113 NAM countries reflects an approach to global nuclear disarmament to which India has remained committed. One of the NAM member initiatives to which we attach great importance was the reference to the International Court of Justice resulting in the unanimous declaration from the ICJ, as part of the Advisory Opinion handed down on 8 July, 1996, that "there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control". India was one of the countries that appealed to the ICJ on this issue. No other nuclear weapon state has supported this judgment; in fact, they have sought to decry its value. We have been and will continue to be in the forefront of the calls for opening negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, so that this challenge can be dealt with in the same manner that we have dealt with the scourge of two other weapons of mass destruction-through the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. In keeping with our commitment to comprehensive, universal and non-discriminatory approaches to disarmament, India is an original State Party to both these Conventions. Accordingly, India will shortly submit the plan of destruction of its chemical weapons to the international authority - Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We fulfill our obligations whenever we undertake them.
Traditionally, India has been an outward looking country. Our strong commitment to multilateralism is reflected in our active participation in organisations like the United Nations. In recent years, in keeping with the new challenges, we have actively promoted regional cooperation-in SAARC, in the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation and as a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum. This engagement will also continue. The policies of economic liberalisation introduced in recent years have increased our regional and global linkages and the Government shall deepen and strengthen these ties.
Our nuclear policy has been marked by restraint and openness. It has not violated any international agreements either in 1974 or now, in 1998. Our concerns have been made known to our interlocutors in recent years. The restraint exercised for 24 years, after having demonstrated our capability in 1974 is in itself a unique example. Restraint, however, has to arise from strength. It cannot be based upon indecision or doubt. Restraint is valid only when doubts are removed. The series of tests undertaken by India have led to the removal of doubts. The action involved was balanced in that it was the minimum necessary to maintain what is an irreducible component of our national security calculus. This Government's decision has, therefore, to be seen as part of a tradition of restraint that has characterised our policy in the past 50 years.
Subsequent to the tests Government has already stated that India will now observe a voluntary moratorium and refrain from conducting underground nuclear test explosions. It has also indicated willingness to move towards a de-jure formalisation of this declaration. The basic obligation of the CTBT are thus met; to refrain from undertaking nuclear test explosions. This voluntary declaration is intended to convey to the international community the seriousness of our intent for meaningful engagement. Subsequent decisions will be taken after assuring ourselves of the security needs of the country.
India has also indicated readiness to participate in negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. The basic objective of this treaty is to prohibit future production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. India's approach in these negotiations will be to ensure that this treaty emerges as a universal and non-discriminatory treaty, backed by an effective verification mechanism. When we embark on these negotiations, it shall be in the full confidence of the adequacy and credibility of the nation's weaponised nuclear deterrent.
India has maintained effective export controls on nuclear materials as well as related technologies even though we are neither a party to the NPT nor a member of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group. Nonetheless, India is committed to non-proliferation and the maintaining of stringent export controls to ensure that there is no leakage of our indigenously developed know-how and technologies. In fact, India's conduct in this regard has been better than some countries party to the NPT.
India has in the past conveyed our concerns on the inadequacies of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. It has explained that the country was not in a position to join because the regime did not address our country's security concerns. These could have been addressed by moving towards global nuclear disarmament, our preferred approach. As this did not take place, India was obliged to stand aside from the emerging regime so that its freedom of action was not constrained. This is the precise path that has continued to be followed unwaveringly for the last three decades. That same constructive approach will underlie India's dialogue with countries that need to be persuaded of our serious intent and willingness to engage so that mutual concerns are satisfactorily addressed. The challenge to Indian statecraft is balancing and reconciling India's security imperatives with valid international concerns in the regard.
The House is aware of the different reactions that have emanated from the people of India and from different parts of the world. The overwhelming support of the citizens of India is a source of strength for the Government. It not only tells that this decision was right but also that the country wants a focused leadership, which attends to national security needs. This the Government pledges to do as a sacred duty. The Government have also been greatly heartened by the outpouring of support from Indians abroad. They have, with one voice, spoken in favour of the Government's action. The Government conveys its profound gratitude to the citizens of India and to Indians abroad, and looks to them for support in the difficult period ahead.
In this, the fiftieth year of our independence, India stands at a defining moment in our history. The rationale for the Government's decision is based on the same policy tenets that have guided the country for five decades. These policies were sustained successfully because of the underlying national consensus. The present decision and future actions will continue to reflect a commitment to sensibilities and obligations of an ancient civilisation, a sense of responsibility and restraint, but a restraint born of the assurance of action, not of doubts or apprehension. The Gita explains (Chap.VI-3) as none other can.
(This passage interprets as: Action is a process to reach a goal; action may reflect tumult but when measured and focused, will yield its objective of stability and peace)
Pakistan today successfully conducted five nuclear tests The results were as expected. There was no release of radio- activity. I congratulate all Pakistani scientists, engineers and technicians for their dedicated team work and expertise in mastering complex and advanced technologies. The entire nation takes justifiable pride in the accomplishments of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories and all affiliated Organizations. They have demonstrated Pakistan's ability to deter aggression. Pakistan has been obliged to exercise the nuclear option due to weaponization of India's nuclear programme. This had led to the collapse of the "existential deterrence" and had radically altered the strategic balance in our region. Immediately after its nuclear tests, India had brazenly raised the demand that "Islamabad should realize the change in the geo-strategic situation in the region" and threatened that "India will deal firmly and strongly with Pakistan".
Our security, and peace and stability of the entire region was thus gravely threatened. As a self-respecting nation we had no choice left to us. Our hand was forced by the present Indian leadership's reckless actions. After due deliberation and a careful review of all options we took the decision to restore the strategic balance. The nation would not have expected anything less from its leadership. For the past three decades Pakistan repeatedly drew attention of the international community to India's incremental steps on the nuclear and ballistic ladder. Our warnings remained unheeded. Despite the continuing deterioration in Pakistan's security environment, we exercised utmost restraint. We pursued in all earnest the goal of non-proliferation in South Asia. Our initiatives to keep South Asia free of nuclear and ballistic weapon systems were spurned. The international response to the Indian nuclear tests did not factor the security situation in our region. While asking us to exercise restraint, powerful voices urged acceptance of the Indian weaponization as a fait-accompli. Pakistan's legitimate security concerns were not addressed, even after the threat of use of nuclear weapons and nuclear blackmail. We could not have remained complacent about threats to our security. We could not have ignored the magnitude of the threat.
Under no circumstances would the Pakistani nation compromise on matters pertaining to its life and existence. Our decision to exercise the nuclear option has been taken in the interest of national self-defence. These weapons are to deter aggression, whether nuclear or conventional. Pakistan will continue to support the goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, especially in the Conference on Disarmament, bearing in mind the new realities. We are undertaking a re-evaluation of the applicability and relevance of the global non-proliferation regimes to nuclearized South Asia. We are ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with other countries, especially major powers, on ways and means to promoting these goals, in the new circumstances. Pakistan has always acted with utmost restraint and responsibility. We will continue to do so in the future. We are prepared to resume Pakistan-India dialogue to address all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as peace and security. These should include urgent steps for mutual restraint and equitable measures for nuclear stabilization. Pakistan has already offered a non-aggression pact to India on the basis of a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. I would like to reiterate this offer. We have instituted effective command and control structures. We are fully conscious of the need to handle these weapon systems with the highest sense of responsibility. We have not and will not transfer sensitive technologies to other states or entities.
At the same time, Pakistan will oppose all unjust embargoes aimed at preventing it from exercising its right to develop various technologies for self-defence or peaceful purposes. I would like to again assure all countries that our nuclear weapon systems are meant only for self-defence and there should be no apprehension or concern in this regard. The Pakistani people are united in their resolve to safeguard, at all costs, Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. I would like to congratulate the nation on the achievements of our scientists and engineers. They have made it possible for the people of Pakistan to enter the next century, with confidence in themselves and faith in their destiny."
Statement read by Ambassador Clive Pearson, New Zealand, Special Session of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 2 June 1998
"I am taking the floor at this Special Session to read into the record a statement from the following Member States and Observers of the Conference on Disarmament:
Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Canada, Ukraine, Greece, Slovakia, Sweden, Hungary, Norway, Belarus, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Philippines, Denmark, Italy, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Japan, Malta, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, France, China, Turkey, Spain, Chile, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, Venezuela, Portugal, Slovenia, Ecuador and Belgium
Mr President, they are alarmed and deeply concerned at nuclear testing by India and Pakistan.
They condemn all nuclear testing and consider such acts to be contrary to the international consensus which bans the testing of nuclear weapons and other explosive devices.
The tests undertaken by India and Pakistan's decision to respond with its own tests blatantly undermine the international regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The actions of India and Pakistan threaten and undermine the process of disarmament and the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons altogether.
The testing of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan is totally irreconcilable with claims by both countries that they are committed to nuclear disarmament.
International security will not be enhanced by provocative and dangerous acts. Nor will regional or global security be improved or maintained by indulging in competitive manoeuvres to further develop nuclear capability and delivery systems. The approach that India and Pakistan seem determined to pursue belongs to a bye-gone age.
Peace in the Asia region is a global concern. Tensions will only be resolved permanently through constructive dialogue and negotiation.
It is now crucial that India and Pakistan announce immediately a cessation to all further testing of these weapons, renounce their nuclear weapons programmes and sign and ratify, unconditionally, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This is a matter of urgency and essential for generating the confidence necessary for security differences to be resolved through dialogue and negotiation.
We also call on India and Pakistan to accede, without delay, to the Non-Proliferation treaty, to join all States in ensuring the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and to engage in negotiations to conclude a ban on the production of fissile material. These are further essential steps that should be taken in the process of working collectively and constructively towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
This is a moment for all countries to exercise calm and maximum restraint. We call on India and Pakistan to abandon immediately the course of action they are pursuing and to settle their security concerns and differences through political engagement. Such an approach will have the full support of the international community which is striving towards nuclear disarmament."
1. Bearing in mind the responsibility of their countries for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Geneva on June 4, 1998 to coordinate their response to the grave situation created by the nuclear tests carried out in May 1998 by India and then by Pakistan. The Ministers condemned these tests, expressed their deep concern about the danger to peace and stability in the region, and pledged to cooperate closely in urgent efforts to prevent a nuclear and missile arms race in the Subcontinent, to bolster the non-proliferation regime, and to encourage reconciliation and peaceful resolution of differences between India and Pakistan.
2. The Ministers agreed that quick action is needed to arrest the further escalation of regional tensions stimulated by the recent nuclear tests. India and Pakistan should therefore stop all further such tests. They should refrain from the weaponization or deployment of nuclear weapons, from the testing or deployment of missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and from any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. They should also halt provocative statements, refrain from any military movements that could be construed as threatening, and increase transparency in their actions. Direct communications between the parties could help to build confidence.
3. To reinforce security and stability in the region and more widely, the Five strongly believe that India and Pakistan should adhere to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally, thereby facilitating its early entry into force. The Five also call upon India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations with other States in the Conference on Disarmament for a Fissile Material Cut-off Convention with a view to reaching early agreement. The Five will seek firm commitments by India and Pakistan not to weaponize or deploy nuclear weapons or missiles. India and Pakistan should also confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them, and should undertake appropriate commitments in that regard.
4. The Ministers agreed that the international non-proliferation regime must remain strong and effective despite the recent nuclear tests in South Asia. Their goal continued to be adherence by all countries, including India and Pakistan, to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as it stands, without any modification. This Treaty is the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Notwithstanding the recent nuclear tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear-weapons States in accordance with the NPT.
5 The Ministers concluded that efforts to resolve disputes between India and Pakistan must be pursued with determination. The Ministers affirm their readiness to assist India and Pakistan, in a manner acceptable to both sides, in promoting reconciliation and cooperation. The Ministers pledged that they will actively encourage India and Pakistan to find mutually acceptable solutions, through direct dialogue, that address the root causes of the tension, including Kashmir, and to try to build confidence rather than seek confrontation. In that connection, the Ministers urged both parties to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, or other provocative acts.
6. The Ministers also considered what actions the Five could take, individually or collectively, to foster peace and security in South Asia. They will encourage India and Pakistan to adopt practical measures to prevent an arms race. They confirmed their respective policies to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons. They also undertook to do all they could to facilitate a reduction of tensions between those States and to provide assistance, at the request of both parties, in the development and implementation of confidence- and security building measures. They remain determined to fulfill their commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT.
7. The Ministers viewed their meeting in Geneva as setting in motion a process aimed at strengthening peace and stability in South Asia, at encouraging restraint by India and Pakistan, at promoting the resolution of outstanding differences, and at bolstering the international non-proliferation regime. They will remain fully engaged in pursuing these goals, and will work actively to build broad support in the international community for the objectives agreed today.
Resolution 1172, adopted unanimously, 6 June 1998
"The Security Council,
Reaffirming the statements of its President of 14 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/12) and of 29 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/l7),
Reiterating the statement of its President of 31 January 1992 (S/23500), which stated, inter alia, that the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
Gravely concerned at the challenge that the nuclear tests conducted by India and then by Pakistan constitute to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and also gravely concerned at the danger to peace and stability in the region,
Deeply concerned at the risk of a nuclear arms race in South Asia, and determined to prevent such a race,
Reaffirming the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty for global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament,
Recalling the Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the successful outcome of that Conference,
Affirming the need to continue to move with determination towards the full realization and effective implementation of all the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and welcoming the determination of the five nuclear-weapon States to fulfill their commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of that Treaty,
Mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,
1. Condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May 1998;
2. Endorses the Joint Communiqué issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America at their meeting; in Geneva on 4 June 1998 5/1998/473);
3. Demands that India and Pakistan refrain from further nuclear tests and in this context calls upon all States not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
4. Urges India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, or other provocations in order to prevent an aggravation of the situation;
5. Urges India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue between them on all outstanding issues, particularly on all matters pertaining to peace and security, in order to remove the tensions between them, and encourages them to find mutually acceptable solutions that address the root causes of those tensions, including Kashmir;
6. Welcomes the efforts of the Secretary-General to encourage India and Pakistan to enter into dialogue;
7. Calls upon India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponisation or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, to confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them and to undertake appropriate commitments in that regard;
8. Encourages all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering; such weapons, and welcomes national policies adopted and declared in this respect;
9. Expresses its grave concern at the negative effect of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan on peace and stability in South Asia and beyond;
10. Reaffirms its full commitment to and the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and as essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament;
11. Expresses its firm conviction that the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons should be maintained and consolidated and recalls that in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons India or Pakistan cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State;
12. Recognizes that the tests conducted by India and Pakistan constitute a serious threat to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament;
13. Urges India and Pakistan, and all other States that have not yet done so, to become Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions;
14. Urges India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on a treaty banning; the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, with a view to reaching early agreement;
15. Requests the Secretary-General to report urgently to the Council on the steps taken by India and Pakistan to implement the present resolution;
16. Expresses its readiness to consider further how best to ensure the implementation of the present resolution;
17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
Joint Declaration by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of: Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden
1. We, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden have considered the continued threat to humanity represented by the perspective of the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons by the nuclear-weapon states, as well as by those three nuclear-weapons-capable states that have not acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the attendant possibility of use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The seriousness of this predicament has been further underscored by the recent nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan.
2. We fully share the conclusion expressed by the commissioners of the Canberra Commission in their Statement that "the proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used - accidentally or by decision - defies credibility. The only complete defence is the elimination of nuclear weapons and assurance that hey will never be produced again."
3. We recall that the General Assembly of the United Nations already in January 1946 - in its very first resolution - unanimously called for a commission to make proposals for "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction." While we can rejoice at the achievement of the international community in concluding total and global prohibitions on chemical and biological weapons by the Conventions of 1972 and 1993, we equally deplore the fact that the countless resolutions and initiatives which have been guided by similar objectives in respect of nuclear weapons in the past half century remain unfulfilled.
4. We can no longer remain complacent at the reluctance of the nuclear-weapon states and the three nuclear-weapons-capable states to take that fundamental and requisite step, namely a clear commitment to the speedy, final and total elimination of their nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons capability and we urge them to take that step now.
5. The vast majority of the membership of the United Nations has entered into legally-binding commitments not to receive, manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. These undertakings have been made in the context of the corresponding legally binding commitments by the nuclear-weapon states to the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We are deeply concerned at the persistent reluctance of the nuclear-weapon states to approach their Treaty obligations as an urgent commitment to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.
6. In this connection we recall the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice in its 1996 Advisory Opinion that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.
7. The international community must not enter the third millennium with the prospect that the maintenance of these weapons will be considered legitimate for the indefinite future, when the present juncture provides a unique opportunity to eradicate and prohibit them for all time. We therefore call on the governments of each of the nuclear-weapon states and the three nuclear-weapons-capable states to commit themselves unequivocally to the elimination of their respective nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons capability and to agree to start work immediately on the practical steps and negotiations required for its achievement. 8. We agree that the measures resulting from such undertakings leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons will begin with those states that have the largest arsenals. But we also stress the importance that they be joined in a seamless process by those with lesser arsenals at the appropriate juncture. The nuclear-weapon states should immediately begin to consider steps to be taken to this effect.
9. In this connection we welcome both the achievements to date and the future promise of the START process as an appropriate bilateral, and subsequently plurilateral mechanism including all the nuclear-weapon states, for the practical dismantlement and destruction of nuclear armaments undertaken in pursuit of the elimination of nuclear weapons.
10. The actual elimination of nuclear arsenals, and the development of requisite verification regimes, will of necessity require time. But there are a number of practical steps that the nuclear-weapon states can, and should, take immediately. We call on them to abandon present hair-trigger postures by proceeding to de-alerting and de-activating their weapons. They should also remove non-strategic nuclear weapons from deployed sites. Such measures will create beneficial conditions for continued disarmament efforts and help prevent inadvertent, accidental or unauthorized launches.
11. In order for the nuclear disarmament process to proceed, the three nuclear-weapons-capable states must clearly and urgently reverse the pursuit of their respective nuclear weapons development or deployment and refrain from any actions which could undermine the efforts of the international community towards nuclear disarmament. We call upon them, and all other states that have not yet done so, to adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and take the necessary measures which flow from adherence to this instrument. We likewise call upon them to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions.
12. An international ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (Cut-off) would further underpin the process towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. As agreed in 1995 by the States Parties to the NPT, negotiations on such a convention should commence immediately.
13. Disarmament measures alone will not bring about a world free from nuclear weapons. Effective international cooperation to prevent the proliferation of these weapons is vital and must be enhanced through, inter alia, the extension of controls over all fissile material and other relevant components of nuclear weapons. The emergence of any new nuclear-weapon state, as well as any non-state entity in a position to produce or otherwise acquire such weapons, seriously jeopardises the process of eliminating nuclear weapons.
14. Other measures must also be taken pending the total elimination of nuclear arsenals. Legally binding instruments should be developed with respect to a joint no-first-use undertaking between the nuclear-weapon states and as regards non-use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states, so called negative security assurances.
15. The conclusion of the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba, establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones as well as the Antarctic Treaty have steadily excluded nuclear weapons from entire regions of the world. The further pursuit, extension and establishment of such zones, especially in regions of tension, such as the Middle East and South Asia, represents a significant contribution to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. 16. These measures all constitute essential elements which can and should be pursued in parallel: by the nuclear-weapon states among themselves; and by the nuclear-weapon states together with the non-nuclear-weapon states, thus providing a road map towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.
17. The maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons will require the underpinnings of a universal and multilaterally negotiated legally binding instrument or a framework encompassing a mutually reinforcing set of instruments.
18. We, on our part, will spare no efforts to pursue the objectives outlined above. We are jointly resolved to achieve the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons. We firmly hold that the determined and rapid preparation for the post-nuclear era must start now.
The numbering of the paragraphs in this Glossary corresponds to the relevant paragraphs in the Declaration.
1. The nuclear weapon states also known as the P5 are Britain, China, France, the Russian Federation and the US. Nuclear weapons-capable states are: India, Pakistan and Israel. They are not declared nuclear weapon states.
2. The Canberra Commission was an initiative of the Australian government and reported in 1996. The conclusions of the Report are considered a moderate and authoritative presentation of the case for nuclear disarmament in the post Cold War era. There are many parallels between its approach and that of the present Declaration.
3.(a) The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force in 1993 [this is wrong: it was opened for signature in 1993, and entered into force last April - I've pointed this out to contacts in Dublin.] It represents a model for nuclear disarmament. The CWC is a total ban on development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of CW and includes a comprehensive verification mechanism to oversee its implementation by States Parties.
(b) The Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC) which was concluded in 1972 bans biological weapons but lacks a verification mechanism. Currently negotiations are taking place in Geneva to develop this Treaty in depth. Ireland is an original State Party to both the CWC and the BTWC.
4. The nuclear weapon states interpret their obligations under Article VI of the NPT as requiring nuclear disarmament in the context of general and complete disarmament. The non-nuclear states reject this. The language of the Treaty supports this interpretation. However, in view of the nuclear weapon states' interpretation, there is required - in addition to what is contained in the Treaty but without amending the Treaty - a statement of political commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons, as such a political commitment would require a novel approach to nuclear force reductions - each step being premised on elimination.
5. The adherence to the NPT and the halt of nuclear weapons development by the vast majority of states represented a restraint which was premised on rapid nuclear disarmament. The nuclear weapon states are clearly in default in the performance of their obligations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
6. The ICJ agreed that the nuclear weapon states were obliged to pursue negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. This obligation is not couched in terms of general and complete disarmament as the nuclear weapons states have attempted to interpret Article VI of the NPT, and it is therefore a landmark statement.
7. Nuclear weapons like other weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons will have to be prohibited in due course. The ICJ Opinion has undermined the arguments for the retention of nuclear weapons. The possibility of the use of nuclear weapons consistent with humanitarian law, the laws of neutrality etc., are presented in the Opinion as unreal and implausible. However, to adopt an approach that foresees the rapid abolition of these weapons will require a political decision, on the basis of which a legal framework giving effect to that inevitable conclusion can be begun.
8. The United States and the Russian Federation have by far the largest arsenals and they must therefore begin the process of force reductions premised on their rapid elimination. However, Britain, France and China will have to be integrated into this process at the appropriate time as once the US and RF reduce their nuclear forces to a certain point, the security of all the nuclear weapon states becomes interlinked in a more fundamental way. The most unstable period in nuclear disarmament will occur when nuclear arsenals are a minimum. It is therefore necessary to integrate the smaller nuclear states and the nuclear capable states into that process from the start. Appropriate arrangements relating to India, Pakistan and Israel will also have to be included in this process.
9. The Declaration does not follow recent approaches to nuclear disarmament which call for a programme with fixed time-frames for the complete dismantlement of existing nuclear weapons negotiated multilaterally. Instead, the Declaration proposes the use of existing bilateral machinery and its development to take account of the need to incorporate the other nuclear weapon states at an appropriate stage in the process.
10. The nuclear weapon states themselves have been considering what measures should be taken to stabilize existing nuclear weapon deployments. The most urgently needed of such measures are called for in the Declaration.
11. This paragraph is addressed expressly at the nuclear weapons-capable states, India, Pakistan and Israel to secure their renunciation of nuclear weapons. It includes a call to join the NPT - clearly with non-nuclear weapon status - as South Africa and the Ukraine have done in the wake of democratization and to take the necessary measures, such as submitting to full-scope safeguards and dismantling their nuclear weapons capability. They are also called upon to sign and ratify the CTBT without conditions. Israel has signed but not ratified the CTBT.
12. The control of fissile material has always been central to the process of nuclear disarmament. In a nuclear weapons-free world, all fissile material will be controlled by the IAEA as is now the case with the fissile material in Ireland and other non-nuclear weapons states. The negotiation of a cut-off of the production of fissile material is an obvious first step.
13. This paragraph develops paragraph 12 and emphasizes that the verification regime which will be required to secure the world free from nuclear weapons will require controls on all fissile material and controls over all other relevant components of nuclear weapons and weapons systems. The emergence of any new nuclear weapons-capable states (or the acquisition of a nuclear device by terrorists) during this process clearly jeopardizes the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, leaving as it does a state or entity with a capacity to threaten at the same time as that capacity is being relinquished by the existing nuclear weapon states.
14. Negative security assurances or guarantees by the nuclear weapon states that they will not attack any non-nuclear weapon state, are considered important as interim measures which should be in place during the process of nuclear disarmament. There are currently different approaches by the nuclear weapon states in this regard and indications from some that they are moving away from earlier more comprehensive assurances in this regard.
15. The conclusion of nuclear weapon-free zones is considered to be an important contributory step in preventing proliferation at regional level. The two areas of tension where there are no such zones are the Middle East and South Asia. Nuclear weapon-free zones are an incremental means of preventing nuclear armaments' development and deployment.
16. The multilateral negotiating structures required to elaborate the treaty or treaties that will make up the regime to prohibit and destroy nuclear weapons for all time, is not outlined here in detail. However, there is clearly a role for multilateral diplomacy in nuclear disarmament. The final abolition and prohibition of nuclear weapons will require a non-discriminatory Convention prohibiting these weapons, and this will have to be negotiated by sovereign states in equality and in a multilateral environment.
17. While the Declaration does not define the types of treaty or conventions required, it is clear that there will be a legal instrument or set of instruments to prohibit these weapons. Many proposals have been put forward, including the possibility of amending the NPT or adding protocols, or even the elaboration of a single nuclear weapons convention.
18. This Declaration represents a call for the launching of a reinvigorated process. It acknowledges the efforts that have been made but it also recognizes that these have been inadequate and that the international community needs to proceed with a novel commitment to nuclear disarmament. This initiative will be followed up at the General Assembly of the United Nations later this year.
1. We, the Foreign Ministers of eight major industrialised democracies and the Representative of the European Commission, held a special meeting in London on 12 June 1998 to consider the serious global challenge posed by the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan. Recalling the statement issued by our Heads of State or Government on 15 May, and emphasising the support of all of us for the communiqué issued by the P5 in Geneva on 4 June and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172, we condemn the nuclear tests carried out by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 May and 30 May. These tests have affected both countries' relationships with each of us, worsened rather than improved their security environment, damaged their prospects of achieving their goals of sustainable economic development, and run contrary to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.
2. The negative impact of these tests on the international standing and ambitions of both countries will be serious and lasting. They will also have a serious negative impact on investor confidence. Both countries need to take positive actions directed towards defusing tension in the region and rejoining the international community's efforts towards non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Urgent action is needed both to halt an arms race on the Sub-Continent, which would divert resources from urgent economic priorities, and to reduce tension, build confidence and encourage peaceful resolution of the differences between India and Pakistan, so that their peoples may face a better future.
3. With a view to halting the nuclear and missile arms race on the Sub-Continent, and taking note of the official statements of the Indian and Pakistani Governments that they wish to avoid such an arms race, we consider that India and Pakistan should immediately take the following steps, already endorsed by the United Nations Security Council:
stop all further nuclear tests and adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally, thereby facilitating its early entry into force; refrain from weaponisation or deployment of nuclear weapons and from the testing or deployment of missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and enter into firm commitments not to weaponise or deploy nuclear weapons or missiles; refrain from any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations with other states in the Conference on Disarmament for a Fissile Material Cut-Off Convention with a view to reaching early agreement; confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials and technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them, and undertake appropriate commitments in that regard.
We believe that such actions would be strongly in the interest of both countries.
4. With a view to reducing tension, building confidence and encouraging peaceful resolution of their differences through dialogue, India and Pakistan should:
undertake to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, including infiltrations or hot pursuit, or other provocative acts and statements;
discourage terrorist activity and any support for it;
implement fully the confidence- and security-building measures they have already agreed and develop further such measures;
resume without delay a direct dialogue that addresses the root causes of the tension, including Kashmir, through such measures as early resumption of Foreign Secretary level talks, effective use of the hot-line between the two leaders, and realisation of a meeting between Prime Ministers on the occasion of the 10th SAARC Summit scheduled next month
allow and encourage progress towards enhanced Indo-Pakistani economic cooperation, including through a free trade area in South Asia.
We encourage the development of a regional security dialogue.
5. We pledge actively to encourage India and Pakistan to find mutually acceptable solutions to their problems and stand ready to assist India and Pakistan in pursuing any of these positive actions. Such assistance might be provided, at the request of both parties, in the development and implementation of confidence- and security-building measures.
6. The recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan do not change the definition of a nuclear weapon state in the NPT, and therefore, notwithstanding those tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear weapon states in accordance with the NPT. We continue to urge India and Pakistan to adhere to the NPT as it stands, without any conditions. We shall continue to apply firmly our respective policies to prevent the export of materials, equipment or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons.
7. It is our firm view that the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan reinforce the importance of maintaining and strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the non- proliferation regime and as the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We all, nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states alike, reiterate our determination to fulfill the commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT. These commitments were reaffirmed at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and included the determined pursuit by the nuclear weapon states of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons. We note the progress already made in this direction and welcome the firm intention both of the United States and of the Russian Federation to bring START II into force, and to negotiate and conclude a START III agreement at the earliest possible date. We also note contributions made by other nuclear weapon states to the reductions process. We call upon all states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty rapidly to ensure its entry into force, and welcome the determination of the member governments of the G8 that have not yet ratified the Treaty to do so at the earliest possible date. We continue to look for the accession to the NPT of the remaining countries which are not yet parties to it.
8. We call on all the member states of the Conference on Disarmament to agree on the immediate opening of the Cut-Off negotiation at the CD.
9. Both India and Pakistan face enormous challenges in developing their economies and building prosperity. However, the recent nuclear tests have created an atmosphere of regional instability which will undermine the region's attractiveness to both foreign and domestic investment, damaging business confidence and the prospects for economic growth. The diversion of their resources to nuclear and other weapons programmes displaces more productive investment and weakens their ability to pursue sound economic policies. It calls into question the commitment of both governments to poverty reduction and undermines the regional cooperation between SAARC countries on social and economic issues. In line with the approach to development set out in the Naples, Lyon, Denver and Birmingham Communiqués, we call on both governments to reduce expenditure that undermines their objective of promoting sound economic policies that will benefit all members of society, especially the poorest, and to otherwise enhance cooperation in South Asia.
10. We believe it is important that India and Pakistan are aware of the strength of the international community's views on their recent tests and on these other subjects. Several among us have, on a unilateral basis, taken specific actions to underscore our strong concerns. All countries should act as they see fit to demonstrate their displeasure and address their concerns to India and Pakistan. We do not wish to punish the peoples of India or Pakistan as a result of actions by their governments, and we will therefore not oppose loans by international financial institutions to the two countries to meet basic human needs. We agree, however, to work for a postponement in consideration of other loans in the World Bank and other international financial institutions to India and Pakistan, and to any other country that will conduct nuclear tests.
11. We pledge to convey the common views of our Governments on these matters to those of India and Pakistan with a view to bringing about early and specific progress in the areas outlined above. We plan to keep developments under review and to continue the process of pursuing the goals on which we are all agreed.
As adopted by the European Parliament on 19 June 1998
B4-0604, 0619, 0638, 0647, 0657 and 0663/98
The European Parliament,
-having regard to its previous resolutions on nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear testing and the work of the Canberra Commission for a nuclear weapon-free world,
-having regard to the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
-having regard to the terms of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT),
-having regard to the statements made by the Council of the European Union, the G7, the UN Security Council and the meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council,
A. whereas the signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty have committed themselves to the objective of the elimination of all nuclear weapons,
B. whereas over the past decades the two main nuclear powers have reduced the number of their nuclear warheads and envisage continuing this reduction through a number of bilateral agreements,
C. whereas these reductions do not, as yet, point to rapid progress towards full elimination of these weapons,
D. noting with great concern that India carried out five nuclear tests during the period 11-13 May 1998,
E noting with great concern that Pakistan then carried out six nuclear tests during the period 28-30 May 1998,
F. whereas on 6 June 1998 the UN Security Council unanimously condemned these tests and called for both countries to refrain from further testing and sign the CTBT and the NPT,
G. noting that these tests have caused a serious escalation in tension between the two countries and are an additional threat to peace and security on the continent as a whole; noting that this situation could deteriorate further if both countries continue to direct their nuclear capacity towards the manufacture of weapons,
H. noting that a number of countries, including some EU Member States, the United States and Japan, have decided to impose sanctions on both countries in response to these nuclear tests,
I. noting that both countries already allocate a disproportionate part of both their GNP and their budget on military spending and on military, nuclear research and development,
J. whereas the nuclear tests are likely to damage both the Pakistani and Indian economies, in view of their effect on foreign loans and investment, which in turn will affect the already low social condition of the population,
K .emphasizing that in order to strengthen stability and security in the region and in the world as a whole it is necessary for India and Pakistan on the one hand to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without any modification thereof, and on the other hand to adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally, thus facilitating its entry into force,
L. noting the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there is an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict international control,
1.Condemns the recent nuclear tests carried out in May 1998 by India and then by Pakistan and expresses its deep concern about the danger to peace, security and stability in the region and in the world as a whole provoked by these tests; remains convinced that the NPT and the CTBT are the cornerstones of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential bases for progress towards nuclear disarmament;
2.Urges the Indian and Pakistani governments to refrain from any further nuclear tests, to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without any modification of this Treaty and to adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally;
4.Calls on the Indian and Pakistani Governments to start
talks immediately to reduce tension in the region, to establish a framework for
reconciliation and cooperation and thus to promote peace, security and stability in South
Asia and throughout the continent; calls on the Council and the Member States to assist
the Governments of India and Pakistan, where necessary and possible, in this process of
reconciliation and cooperation, possibly by
5.Calls on the Council and the Member States to prevent the export of equipment, materials and/or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of carrying such weapons;
6.Calls on Member States which have not yet done so to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty immediately, in order to facilitate its entry into force as soon as possible;
7.Calls on the five nuclear weapons states to interpret their Treaty obligations as an urgent commitment to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons;
8.Asks the Council and the Commission to examine ways and means to promote further progress towards the gradual elimination of nuclear weapons and calls on the Council to present a regular progress report to Parliament;
9.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the UN Security Council, the governments of the Member States and the governments and parliaments of India and Pakistan.
Disarmament and International Security:
The Heads of State or Government reiterated that with the end of the cold war, there is no justification for the maintenance of nuclear arsenals, or concepts of international security based on promoting and developing military alliances and policies of nuclear deterrence. They noted and welcomed the various international initiatives, which stress that with the end of the cold war the opportunity now exists for the international community to pursue nuclear disarmament as a matter of the highest priority. They also noted that the present situation whereby Nuclear Weapon States insist that nuclear weapons provide unique security benefits, and yet monopolise the right to own them, is highly discriminatory, unstable and cannot be sustained. These weapons continued to represent a threat to the survival of the mankind. The Heads of State or Government recalled their principled positions on nuclear disarmament and the related issues of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear tests. They expressed their concern at the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament, which constitutes their primary disarmament objective. They noted the complexities arising from nuclear tests in South Asia, which underlined the need to work even harder to achieve their disarmament objectives, including elimination of nuclear weapons. They considered positively the commitment by the parties concerned in the region to exercise restraint, which contributes to regional security, to discontinue nuclear tests and not to transfer nuclear weapons-related material, equipment and technology. They further stressed the significance of universal adherence to the CTBT, including by all Nuclear Weapon States, and commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on fissile materials (decision CD/1547), which, inter-alia, should accelerate the process of nuclear disarmament. They also stressed their positions against unilateral, coercive or discriminatory measures which have been applied against Non-Aligned countries. They reiterated the need for bilateral dialogue to secure peaceful solutions on all outstanding issues and the promotion of confidence and security building measures and mutual trust. They recalled that the Cartagena Summit had called for the adoption of an action plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework. They once again called upon the international community to join them in negotiating and implementing universal, non-discriminatory disarmament measures and mutually agreed confidence-building measures. They called for an international conference, preferably in 1999, with the objective of arriving at an agreement, before the end of this millennium on a phased program for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time to eliminate all nuclear weapons, to prohibit their development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use and threat of use, and to provide for their destruction.
Their discussions covered the whole range of bilateral relations. The two Prime Ministers also carried out a detailed review of new developments in the region during the past few months.
They reaffirmed their common belief that an environment of durable peace and security was in the supreme interest of both India and Pakistan, and of the region as a whole. They expressed their determination to renew and reinvigorate efforts to secure such an environment. They agreed that the peaceful settlement of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, was essential for this purpose.
The two leaders reiterated their commitment to create conditions which would enable both countries to fully devote their resources, both human and material, to improving the lives of their people, particularly the poorest among them.
The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the agreement reached between the Foreign Secretaries on operationalizing the mechanism to address all items in the agreed agenda of 23rd June, 1997 in a purposeful and composite manner. They directed the Foreign Secretaries, accordingly, to resume the dialogue on the agreed dates.
September 23, 1998
"The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan reaffirm the continued commitment of their respective Governments to the principles and purposes of the UN charter; Reiterating the determination of both countries to implementing the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit. "The agreement follows the agreement between their Prime Ministers of September 23, 1998 that an environment of peace and security is in the supreme national interest of both sides and that resolution of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, is essential for this purpose. "This is pursuant to the directive given by their respective Prime Ministers in Lahore, to adopt measures for promoting a stable environment of peace and security between the two countries, have on this day, agreed to the following:
The two sides shall engage in bilateral consultations on security concepts, and nuclear doctrines, with a view to developing measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional field aimed at avoidance of conflict.
3. The two sides are fully committed to undertaking national measures to reducing the risks of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons under their respective control. The two sides further undertake to notify each other immediately in the event of any accidental, unauthorised or unexplained incident that could create the risk of a fallout with adverse consequences for both sides, or an outbreak of a nuclear war between the two countries, as well as to adopt measures aimed at diminishing the possibility of such actions, or such incidents being misinterpreted by the other. The two sides shall identify/establish the appropriate communication mechanism for this purpose.
4. The two sides shall continue to abide by their respective unilateral moratorium on conducting further nuclear test explosions unless either side, in exercise of its National sovereignty decides that extraordinary events have jeopardized its Supreme interests. 5. The two sides shall conclude an agreement on prevention of incidents at sea in order to ensure safety of navigation by naval vessels, and aircraft belonging to the two sides. l
The two sides shall periodically review the implementation of existing confidence building measures (CBMs) and where necessary, set up appropriate consultative mechanisms to monitor and ensure effective implementation of these CBMs.
The two sides shall undertake a review of the existing communication links (e.g. between The respective Directors-general, military operations) with a view to upgrading and improving these links, and to provide for fail-safe and secure communications.
The two sides shall engage in bilateral consultations on security, disarmament and non-proliferation issues within the context of negotiations on these issues in multilateral fora. Where required, the technical details of the above measures will be worked out by experts of the two sides in meetings to be held on mutually agreed dates, before mid 1999, with a view to reaching bilateral agreements.
Done at Lahore on 21st February 1999 in the presence of Prime Minister of India Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee and Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
Declaration signed by Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India on
The Prime Ministers of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:- Sharing a vision of peace and stability between their countries, and of progress and prosperity for their peoples; Convinced that durable peace and development of harmonious relations and friendly cooperation will serve the vital interests of the peoples of the two countries, enabling them to devote their energies for a better future: Recognizing that the nuclear dimension of the security environment of the two countries adds to their responsibility for avoidance of conflict between the two countries; Committed to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and the universally accepted principles of peaceful co-existence; Reiterating the determination of both countries to implementing the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit; Committed to the objectives of universal nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; Convinced of the importance of mutually agreed confidence building measures for improving the security environment; Recalling their agreement of 23 September, 1998, that an environment of peace and security is in the supreme national interest of both sides and that the resolution of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, is essential for this purpose; Have agreed that their respective Governments:- Shall intensify their efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Shall refrain from intervention and interference in each other's internal affairs.
Shall intensify their composite and integrated dialogue process for an early and positive outcome of the agreed bilateral agenda.
Shall take immediate steps for reducing the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons and discuss concepts and doctrines with a view to elaborating measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional fields, aimed at prevention of conflict.
Reaffirm their commitment to the goals and objectives of SAARC and to concert their efforts towards the realisation of the SAARC vision for the year 2000 and beyond with a view to promoting the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development.
Reaffirm their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and their determination to combat this menace.
Shall promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
National Security Advisory Board Indian Nuclear Doctrine
1.1. The use of nuclear weapons in particular as well as other weapons of mass destruction constitutes the gravest threat to humanity and to peace and stability in the international system. Unlike the other two categories of weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical weapons which have been outlawed by international treaties, nuclear weapons remain instruments for national and collective security, the possession of which on a selective basis has been sought to be legitimised through permanent extension of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May 1995. Nuclear weapon states have asserted that they will continue to rely on nuclear weapons with some of them adopting policies to use them even in a non-nuclear context. These developments amount to virtual abandonment of nuclear disarmament. This is a serious setback to the struggle of the international community to abolish weapons of mass destruction.
1.2. India's primary objective is to achieve economic, political, social, scientific and technological development within a peaceful and democratic framework. This requires an environment of durable peace and insurance against potential risks to peace and stability. It will be India's endeavour to proceed towards this overall objective in cooperation with the global democratic trends and to play a constructive role in advancing the international system toward a just, peaceful and equitable order.
1.3. Autonomy of decision making in the developmental process and in strategic matters is an inalienable democratic right of the Indian people. India will strenuously guard this right in a world where nuclear weapons for a select few are sought to be legitimised for an indefinite future, and where there is growing complexity and frequency in the use of force for political purposes.
1.4. India's security is an integral component of its development process. India continuously aims at promoting an ever-expanding area of peace and stability around it so that developmental priorities can be pursued without disruption.
1.5. However, the very existence of offensive doctrine pertaining to the first use of nuclear weapons and the insistence of some nuclear weapons states on the legitimacy of their use even against non-nuclear weapon countries constitute a threat to peace, stability and sovereignty of states.
1.6. This document outlines the broad principles for the development, deployment and employment of India's nuclear forces. Details of policy and strategy concerning force structures, deployment and employment of nuclear forces will flow from this framework and will be laid down separately and kept under constant review.
2.1. In the absence of global nuclear disarmament India's strategic interests require effective, credible nuclear deterrence and adequate retaliatory capability should deterrence fail. This is consistent with the UN Charter, which sanctions the right of self-defence.
2.2. The requirements of deterrence should be carefully weighed in the design of Indian nuclear forces and in the strategy to provide for a level of capability consistent with maximum credibility, survivability, effectiveness, safety and security.
2.3. India shall pursue a doctrine of credible minimum nuclear deterrence. In this policy of "retaliation only", the survivability of our arsenal is critical. This is a dynamic concept related to the strategic environment, technological imperatives and the needs of national security. The actual size components, deployment and employment of nuclear forces will be decided in the light of these factors. India's peacetime posture aims at convincing any potential aggressor that :
(a) any threat of use of nuclear weapons against India shall invoke measures to counter the threat: and (b) any nuclear attack on India and its forces shall result in punitive retaliation with nuclear weapons to inflict damage unacceptable to the aggressor.
2.4. The fundamental purpose of Indian nuclear weapons is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons by any State or entity against India and its forces. India will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.
2.5. India will not resort to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against States which do not possess nuclear weapons, or are not aligned with nuclear weapon powers.
2.6. Deterrence requires that India maintain:
(a) Sufficient, survivable and operationally prepared nuclear forces,
(b) a robust command and control system,
(c) effective intelligence and early warning capabilities, and
(d) comprehensive planning and training for operations in line with the strategy, and
(e) the will to employ nuclear forces and weapons
2.7. Highly effective conventional military capabilities shall be maintained to raise the threshold of outbreak both of conventional military conflict as well as that of threat or use of nuclear weapons.
3. Nuclear Forces
3.1. India's nuclear forces will be effective, enduring, diverse, flexible, and responsive to the requirements in accordance with the concept of credible minimum deterrence. These forces will be based on a triad of aircraft, mobile land-based missiles and sea-based assets in keeping with the objectives outlined above. Survivability of the forces will be enhanced by a combination of multiple redundant systems, mobility, dispersion and deception.
3.2. The doctrine envisages assured capability to shift from peacetime deployment to fully employable forces in the shortest possible time, and the ability to retaliate effectively even in a case of significant degradation by hostile strikes.
4. Credibility and Survivability
The following principles are central to India's nuclear deterrent:
4.1. Credibility: Any adversary must know that India can and will retaliate with sufficient nuclear weapons to inflict destruction and punishment that the aggressor will find unacceptable if nuclear weapons are used against India and its forces.
4.2. Effectiveness: The efficacy of India's nuclear deterrent be maximised through synergy among all elements involving reliability, timeliness, accuracy and weight of the attack.
(i) India's nuclear forces and their command and control shall be organised for very high survivability against surprise attacks and for rapid punitive response. They shall be designed and deployed to ensure survival against a first strike and to endure repetitive attrition attempts with adequate retaliatory capabilities for a punishing strike which would be unacceptable to the aggressor.
(ii) Procedures for the continuity of nuclear command and control shall ensure a continuing capability to effectively employ nuclear weapons.
5. Command and Control
5.1. Nuclear weapons shall be tightly controlled and released for use at the highest political level. The authority to release nuclear weapons for use resides in the person of the Prime Minister of India, or the designated successor(s).
5.2. An effective and survivable command and control system with requisite flexibility and responsiveness shall be in place. An integrated operational plan, or a series of sequential plans, predicated on strategic objectives and a targetting policy shall form part of the system.
5.3. For effective employment the unity of command and control of nuclear forces including dual capable delivery systems shall be ensured.
5.4. The survivability of the nuclear arsenal and effective command, control, communications, computing, intelligence and information (C412) systems shall be assured.
5.5. The Indian defence forces shall be in a position to, execute operations in an NBC environment with minimal degradation.
5.6. Space based and other assets shall be created to provide early warning, communications, damage/detonation assessment.
6. Security and Safety
6.1. Security: Extraordinary precautions shall be taken to ensure that nuclear weapons, their manufacture, transportation and storage are fully guarded against possible theft, loss, sabotage, damage or unauthorised access or use.
6.2. Safety is an absolute requirement and tamper proof procedures and systems shall be instituted to ensure that unauthorised or inadvertent activation/use of nuclear weapons does not take place and risks of accident are avoided.
6.3. Disaster control: India shall develop an appropriate disaster control system capable of handling the unique requirements of potential incidents involving nuclear weapons and materials.
7. Research and Development
7.1. India should step up efforts in research and development to keep up with technological advances in this field.
7.2. While India is committed to maintain the deployment of a deterrent which is both minimum and credible, it will not accept any restraints on building its R&D capability.
8. Disarmament and Arms Control
8.1. Global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament is a national security objective. India shall continue its efforts to achieve the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world at an early date.
8.2. Since no-first use of nuclear weapons is India's basic commitment, every effort shall be made to persuade other States possessing nuclear weapons to join an international treaty banning first use.
8.3. Having provided unqualified negative security assurances, India shall work for internationally binding unconditional negative security assurances by nuclear weapon states to non-nuclear weapon states.
8.4. Nuclear arms control measures shall be sought as part of national security policy to reduce potential threats and to protect our own capability and its effectiveness.
8.5. In view of the very high destructive potential of nuclear weapons, appropriate nuclear risk reduction and confidence building measures shall be sought, negotiated and instituted.