Center for International Strategic Studies and International Institute of Strategic Studies organized a joint workshop on ‘Defense, Deterrence and Stability in South Asia’ in DEC 13, 2016 in Islamabad. Professionals and experts as well as representatives of policy making institutions and academia specializing in geopolitical and strategic issues were present at the event. It is the fifth CISS-IISS workshop being held for the fourth year. IISS delegation is led by Mr. Mr. Rahul Roy Chaudry, in charge of South Asian Program at IISS. Ms. Tasnm Aslam Pakistan’s Additional Secretary for UN & EC at the Foreign Office delivered the key note address.
Workshop attempted to unpack regional problems more directly for a fulsome and a meaningful discussion. Workshop was divided into three themes. First, Tensions with India, the second theme is Doctrine and Deterrence and the third was regarding politics of cartels in the nuclear diplomacy.
During the past twelve months, tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated both in words and action. In the wake of a genuine and peaceful Kashmiri uprising against brutal Indian rule, India has been upping the ante on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. Meanwhile the dialogue process remains in deep freeze as India has recently scuttled both bilateral and regional forums of diplomacy with Pakistan. Domestic indicators within India also point toward increased Hindu nationalism and enhanced anti-Pakistan rhetoric under Modi administration.
Nuclear discourse about the region in the sub-continent and beyond remains troubling. India continues acquisition of advanced weapons system to challenge Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence. Meanwhile, Indian entry into export control arrangements will upend the strategic balance in the region and may trigger an arms race. Thus, a detail assessment of impact of technologies on postures and doctrines will be undertaken.
Similarly, attempts are being made to grapple with the challenges facing global nuclear order. The place of de facto nuclear weapons’ states, currently outside the non-proliferation regime is being hotly debated in policy and scholarly communities. Politics of expansion of nuclear supplier groups and inclusion of non-NPT nuclear weapons states, include setting some normative benchmarks, needs to be deliberated threadbare.