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The Urgency of Denuclearization in South Asia: A Global Imperative



The urgent need for disarmament in the area is brought to light by recent developments in China's quick nuclear expansion in South Asia. Even though this new development focuses on China, India, and Pakistan, it is important to understand that disarmament is a global issue that crosses national borders.


Three South Asian superpowers - China, India, and Pakistan - have long maintained a stable nuclear balance. All three nations' choice of a "minimum deterrent" nuclear posture showed a dedication to deterrence rather than active fighting in a war. The majority of the time, rather than being used as weapons for direct combat, their arsenals were seen as political tools. This strategy reduced the possibility of an unintentional or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons and helped prevent a nuclear arms race.


The age of minimum deterrence, however, appears to be in jeopardy given recent events in South Asia. With the most powerful nuclear arsenal, China is a revisionist state looking to overthrow the status quo. To confront India's conventional dominance, Pakistan, supported by China, seeks to forsake minimal deterrence in favour of "full-spectrum deterrence". India faces a more challenging security environment as a result of Pakistan's changing nuclear posture, despite the fact that it is largely focused on China.


China's nuclear breakthrough and prospective arsenal growth raise questions about how quickly it would be able to unleash nuclear retaliation. India would be seriously threatened if China were to put a sizeable portion of its growing arsenal on high alert. Additionally, China's potential development of air and missile defences may make India's deterrence calculations much more challenging.


The emphasis is still on maintaining a minimum deterrent policy that emphasises severe damage to opponents' cities, even though India and China might match one other's arsenals. India might take advantage of stealth and mobility by deploying more mobile road and rail missile launchers and creating a nuclear ballistic missile submarine force, for example.


To solve the problems caused by the spread of nuclear weapons in South Asia, international cooperation is essential. Rather than being seen as a regional issue, denuclearization initiatives must be seen as a global imperative. In order to reduce the nuclear threat and guarantee the long-term survival of humanity, the international community, including Western and Asian nuclear countries, must acknowledge their shared responsibilities.


An opportunity for improved cooperation is provided by the trilateral security agreement known as AUKUS, which includes Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In order to improve deterrence capabilities, expanding this deal to include other regional states might make it easier to share expertise. However, for this to happen, the regional countries must be willing to reconsider their nonaligned strategic autonomy and embrace tighter connections with other like-minded countries.


The dangers posed by unrestrained nuclear proliferation put the survival of the human species and world peace in jeopardy. Nuclear states from South Asia and the West must cooperate in their pursuit of complete nuclear disarmament and put communication before of competition. Only by doing so will it be possible to safeguard the planet for coming generations and avert the devastating effects of a nuclear collision path.


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