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The Evolved Security Dynamics of South Asia: Challenges to Pakistan’s Nuclear Threshold

The longstanding unresolved issue of Kashmir serves as a nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan. Since 2019, the prevalent security environment of the region has dominated the discourse surrounding the regional and global security architecture. India’s policies during the Pulwama-Balakot crisis and the revocation of Kashmir’s constitutional status demonstrate the country’s intentions of dominating the escalation ladder in the region and marginalizing the muslim community of Kashmir. Because of the conventional disparity in South Asia where India is big interms of size, economy and military build-up, Pakistan has been further threatened by India’s aggressive policies and provocative military modernization. Consequently, Pakistan may be compelled to further revisit its nuclear threshold level to overcome India’s aggression.

The Evolved Security Dynamics of South Asia Challenges to Pakistan
 

 

 

Background

 

Soon after their nuclear-weapon status was announced in May 1998, the two South Asian rivals, India and Pakistan, witnessed a 1999 crisis (the Kargil conflict). Despite rapid escalation from both countries leading to a limited war, both sides were deterred from expanding the conflict, given the presence of nuclear weapons. The next big crisis was the military stand-off from 2001-2002, which went on for more than eight months and was seen as the region’s first real nuclear deterrence test. Given its conventional military superiority, India remained deterred from conducting an international-border military offensive fearing a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan. The crisis ultimately dissipated after each side declared that its diplomatic and security goals had been achieved.1

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