On record, India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons of mass destruction. The responsibility to avoid confrontation to flare up and lead to mutually assured destruction is on both countries and the insurmountable consequences of it will be borne by both countries, albeit in different proportions.
In India’s quest to avoid a confrontation flaring up to a nuclear scenario does not give Pakistan a right to engage in low-profile border conflicts or proxy war (read terrorism through non-state actors with unacknowledged active state support) and take the shelter of threat of nuclear war when confronted with its own uncalled for provocations.
This can be summed up in the following prose :
“You have a gun, I have one too;
Firing them may injure one or both;
Our quest to avoid it, does not give a right to our opponents to slap us at will.”
A possible scenario of Nuclear War between Indian and Pakistan will be suicidal for Pakistan without taking into account the possible disproportionate Indian response.
he Indian Sub-Continent is a contiguous mass of land with various rivers dissecting through it. This is substantially different from the case of Japan (the only country to have suffered Nuclear destruction during World War II) which is relatively isolated group of islands in the sea.
I believe even a few Nuclear Warheads detonated in the Sub-Continent will be more disastrous due to contamination of Land and Water than what was in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during WW2.
In case Pakistan goes for the N-option, without taking into account the possible Indian reaction, would be self-destructive. The River Indus (Sindhu) and its tributaries originates in the Tibet Autonomous Region occupied by China and passes through India and from here to Pakistan. So a Pak strike somewhere in Punjab or Himachal or in Kashmir (for which it is fighting) – the contamination of water will destroy Pakistan’s lifeline – people and economy, especially in Pakistan’s two most populous and economically prosperous provinces Punjab (which thrives on Agriculture) and Sind.
Any action eastwards in India will affect the Indian-Gangetic Plain, in which around 60% of the Indian Muslims (in Uttar pradesh / Bihar / West Bengal) and the entire population of Bangladesh, largely Muslim live.
While it is too much to ask for, Pakistan must behave as a responsible nuclear power to demonstrate its eligibility for membership of Exclusive Technology Clubs such as Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) it strives for to balance India in South Asia and on the global stage.
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