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Anand asked: What is China’ real motive behind nuclear deal with Pakistan? What may the reaction of India in this context?

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  • Jaganath Panda replies: China’s nuclear deal with Pakistan by and large implies two things: first, the Chinese plan of empowering Pakistan and preserving a counter-balancing posture to the rising Indo-US strategic engagement. In that context, the nuclear deal is a constructive assurance from the Chinese that it remains an “all-weather” friend to Islamabad. Second, the Chinese intention is to balance the regional order and slowly make a productive impact on smaller countries in the South Asian region through strategic agreements and deals. It is a progressive Chinese attempt to revitalize its current South Asia policy and uphold regional supremacy. The impact of this deal is huge. The deal would facilitate states that falls outside the nonproliferation purview and accord them the amenities and rights originally intended for members who follow nonproliferation rules, and may prompt a severe arms race in South Asia. As far as India is concerned, there is bound to be concerns as the nuclear deal between China and Pakistan would free-up Pakistani resources for research reactors at Khusab, which would result in greater quantities of plutonium available for the nuclear weapons programme. At the same time, India is also worried about Pakistan’s vulnerable domestic political situation and poor proliferation record which could de-stabilize the region.