Friday, February 16, 2001

"Nuclear Restraint and Risk Reduction in South Asia"

Speaker: P.R. Chari, Director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi

Mr. P.R. Chari asserted that India's security deteriorated as a result of the nuclear tests. He began his presentation by stating that there was no credible security rationale to impel the tests. Pointing primarily to the ideological motivations of the ruling BJP party and their associated strategists who see power in military terms, and identify military power with nuclear weapons. He pointed out the dangers of escalation from conventional war along the Line of Control (LoC). He addressed the Draft Nuclear Doctrine, saying that inter-service rivalry in India will drive political leadership to higher levels of nuclear weapons, thus questioning the viability of a "minimal" credible deterrent.

Mr. Chari argued that a space exists for India not to weaponize. He recommended implementing existing proposals for confidence-building measures in the Lahore Declaration, such as establishing better communications between New Delhi and Islamabad.