By Nadra Ghazan
South Asian region is considered as one of the most fragile region in the world, as it contains countries of diverse natures in terms of their strategic planning, economic conditions, population accommodation, alliances, some are land locked and others have their major territorial exposure to Indian Ocean. This diversity which, unfortunately, has not yielded the positive outcomes, is principally motivated by four major factors. These are: historical memories, colonial legacies, ethnicity and foreign linkages. These factors have resulted into a very complex structure of the region, which further fosters the inter-state wars, interstate insurgencies, sectarian-based violence that is increasing at an alarming pace, poor conflict resolution, an ever-increasing conventional and non-conventional arms race, particularly between India and Pakistan, interventionist politics i.e. regional intervention; extra-regional intervention.
And when one tries to found out the root causes or fundamental/primary actors who are causing these crises, either directly or indirectly, ironically, one finds the name of “India” linked with every detrimental activity that causes harm to the stability of the region both at strategic and sub-strategic level. It is India that’s causing hindrance in the cooperative and successful operations of SAARC, and it is also India that’s sponsoring the foreign intervention (US) in the region just to contain China economically and to maintain the status quo in the region. But despite of all this it is Pakistan that is labelled as trouble-maker, terrorist, extremist in the International community, and it is also Pakistani soil that is being used against the region.
India has got an immunity in this regard as it has become the best friend forever of the world’s super power but actually it is just playing the role of strategic pawn for US to keep US influence in the region. India is taking full advantage from this –though temporary- bilateral alignment and is increasing its nuclear pile with remarkable advancements. Not only this, India is also reaping fruits by being the only useful ally of the US in the region by signing different nuclear trade agreements for “peaceful purposes”.
India is also favored by the US to have membership in the NSG, despite of the fact that India is a non-signatory of NPT. But all the initiatives of Indo-US alliance and its impacts on the South Asian security are justified and legitimized as only the counterbalance measures against China from whom India has a serious and persistent threat since 1962 in spite that China has invested $80 Billion in India (almost 100% more than in Pakistan). But what is just a defensive measure by India becomes offensive when it is carried out by Pakistan. Not only is this “offensive” but also creates a security dilemma in the region which was not already created due to the hideous desire of great powers for more power and they pursued this desire by both military and non military means by sky-rocketing their nuclear piles, by launching newest technologies for warhead delivery systems, and not ending up here, by creating huge defense markets and making offensive war loving countries like India their biggest customer. This environment created the security dilemma, at the first place, not only in one specific region instead in the whole world.
Now the question is; if India can and is mounting up its defense budget every year under the banner of “threat from china” who has invested billions in the state, whom it’s going to blow up, why Pakistan can’t do so, when even it has genuine threat from India, when both have fought three major wars, one minor war, where Pakistan have found authentic proof of India’s involvement in every atrocity occurred inside Pakistan, where violations of LoC are everyday routine even in the presence of UNMOGIP, where Kashmir-that is the most militarized land in the world- is the core issue between two, where human rights violations are carried out only because the “humans” want to determine their future by their own free will, where the blame of every home-made adventure is put on the other party (Uri attack, Pathankot attack).
Under such dire conditions how can one say that any military advancement by one nation will not be perceived as a threat by the other. How can one sit peacefully in the growing environment of Ballistic Missile Defense System?. Consequently Pakistan also has tested multiple successful tests of different delivery systems and has created sustainable, credible, and capable nuclear deterrence. One can clearly draw out that the certain measures taken up by Pakistan at certain “time periods” are just to counter India’s threat not only to Pakistan but to whole region as well.