Pakistan's Nuclear Strategy

Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • January 2003

    The debate on the rationale for Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons, the concept of nuclear deterrence and the security of Pakistan has been intertwined. Many Pakistani defence analysts see both deterrence and security as synonymous. This paper analyses Pakistan's nuclear strategy in the context of first, its threat perception, second, its plan to achieve parity with India and third, its objective after the tests to portray Kashmir as a nuclear flashpoint to persuade the world community's indulgence and intervention to resolve the issue. Pakistan, like India, has maintained nuclear ambiguity and mentioned the deterrence value of its nuclear strategy.
    This paper also analyses Pakistan's nuclear diplomacy from the perspective of its security and discusses its nuclear doctrine, its nuclear strategy in the context of the Kargil conflict and the recent standoff with India to examine the extent to which it has been able to achieve its objectives of nuclear deterrence. The ambit of the paper further includes the impact that Pakistan's nuclear strategy has had on its Kashmir policy.

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