Conflict between India and Pakistan: the avoidance of nuclear weapons would prevent major conflict in this region?
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The two nuclear powers in the Indian subcontinent, India and Pakistan, have a longstanding dispute that dates back to independence in 1947, which led to the partition of the subcontinent and the creation of predominantly Muslim Pakistan, on behalf of the "two-nation theory" put forward by Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
The partition left in its wake much shedding of blood and done that partition in the blood and leads to millions of deaths and displaced original trauma that was never cleared, the two countries will continue to maintain perpetually strained relations putting in jeopardy the stability of the region. Especially as the issue of Kashmir immediately crystallized and unrest broke out with the support of Pakistani forces, and the first confrontation between the two armies ceased fire owing to intervention by the UN.
The cease-fire called for a withdrawal of troops and a referendum to decide on self-rule in Kashmir, it was not so and the line of control has thus become an India-Pakistan border.] Kashmir has since been the 'recurring element of contention between the two countries.
The logic of cold war exacerbated tensions. Pakistan received weapons and money from the Western world, while India, despite an official policy of Non-alignment remained closer to the Soviet Union, benefiting from export of arms and technological know-how. India became wary after China decided to support Pakistan following the Sino-Soviet schism of 1960-61. The inclusion of India-Pakistan conflict in the Cold War accelerated the arms race between the two countries and promoted their access to nuclear weapons: India conducted its first "peaceful explosion" in 1974.
In 1965, on September 1, Pakistan launched a major attack on Indian Kashmir; India retaliated and soon enough ceasefire was achieved, via brokering by the UN. This was the second conventional conflict between the two countries. In 1971 a third conflict broke out between the two countries when India decided, against the advice of the international community to support the rebels in East Pakistan, which rejected the authority of Islamabad; this consequently led to the birth of Bangladesh.
After the humiliation it suffered in 62 in a crushing defeat against China on the issue of Sino-Indian border, India took a very dim view of the nuclearization of China. Especially as the latter quickly approached Pakistan, reinforcing the theory of encirclement that could be potentially dangerous to India.
In 1948, under Nehru, the civil nuclear program of India began with the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). In 1954, especially with the help of the United States and Canada, the Ministry of Atomic Energy was created. Early in the Indian civilian program, the military option was considered, with great discretion, however: in the land of Mahatma Gandhi and the birth of the policy of non-violence, the acquisition of nuclear weapons does not come naturally. The defeat against China in 1962 and the accession of China to the status of nuclear power in 1964, however, increased the pressure for development of nuclear weapons. The test in 1974, called "peaceful explosion", led to the cessation of all international cooperation for the program and was followed three years later by a solemn commitment of the Prime Minister Desai that India would not acquire nuclear weapons.
Tags: nuclear proliferation, Atomic Energy Commission, Indo-Pak wars