Nuclear Proliferation and South Asia: Recent Trends

Nuclear Proliferation and South Asia: Recent Trends

Want to dive deeper?

Visit the Education Center

Sharad Joshi

The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Introduction: South Asia and the Security Dilemma

In recent years, experts have closely studied two main aspects of regarding South Asian nuclear issues. First, nuclear modernization in the region continues with the development of longer-range and more reliable delivery systems, as well as qualitative and quantitative increases in fissile material and warheads. Initiatives, such as the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, have brought renewed focus on this issue due to its potential impact on proliferation in South Asia. Second, the A.Q. Khan network confirmed the entry of non-state actors into the realm of nuclear proliferation. Lingering questions regarding the network's activities suggest that its impact has not yet been fully assessed. There is still considerable demand for nuclear technology, both through horizontal proliferation from aspiring nuclear states such as Iran, and terrorist networks looking to augment their capabilities. This study will analyze these varied developments and investigate proliferation trends in the region.

This study examines proliferation trends from three perspectives. The first section looks at the doctrinal issues arising from security disputes that are the driving forces for nuclear modernization in South Asia. The second section examines proliferation linkages between South Asia and other regions, focusing on the A.Q. Khan network, among other issues. This section also highlights a key problem arising from contemporary WMD proliferation-the involvement of non-state actors. The final section addresses the potential impact of a crucial development-the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement.

Nuclear proliferation in South Asia is in part a consequence of the security dilemma existing in the subcontinent. Security dilemmas arise when a state's mechanisms for increasing its security negatively impact the security and threat perceptions of other states.[1] As one expert stated, the South Asian nuclear security complex involves several security dilemmas, including Pakistan/India, India/China, and Russia/United States.[2] A further security dilemma dyad is that of the United States and China, since it has an impact on attitudes in India and Pakistan, and helps shape their nuclear decisions.

It is helpful to analyze the security dilemma briefly through an example. From India's perspective, the threat from China is of prime importance, and therefore New Delhi's nuclear and missile development program is geared, in part, toward countering Beijing with a secure deterrent.[3] However, Beijing's primary threat perception stems from the United States' role in the Asia-Pacific region. Consequently, one must consider the possibility that Beijing may conduct nuclear tests in the coming years if Washington goes ahead with plans to construct newer, more reliable warheads.[4] In addition, analysts have predicted that Washington is likely to abandon the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-I (START-I) when it goes out of force in 2009. The abandonment of START-1 would remove all obstacles for U.S. plans to counter the strategic threat from China and other potential adversaries.[5] To deal with this threat from the United States, Beijing has proceeded with its plan to strengthen its second strike capability through the development of mobile long-range ballistic missiles, both land-based and submarine-launched, according to a May 2007 Pentagon report.[6]

However, China's desire to catch up with the United States would oblige India to prevent an adverse strategic balance. India's need for a reliable nuclear deterrent against China involves expanding New Delhi's nuclear weapons and delivery systems capabilities. Advanced capabilities include the development of a thermonuclear weapon and second strike capabilities through long-range ballistic missiles, such as the Agni-III or submarine launched ballistic missile capabilities, within the proposed nuclear submarine project and the Sagarika missile.

This impacts on the Indo-Pakistani equation because while New Delhi has a China focus for its expanding nuclear arsenal, it naturally increases its capability vis-à-vis Islamabad as well.[7] It is widely accepted that since its inception, Pakistan's nuclear policy has been a constant response to the perceived threat from India.[8] Therefore, in order to maintain the strategic balance or to at least prevent from the present imbalance from widening, Pakistan further expands its own nuclear capabilities. Furthermore, India on one side, and China and Pakistan on the other, are concerned over the extent of U.S. interactions with the other side, and the long-term impact this will have on the strategic balance in South Asia. This was evidenced in the immediate period after 9/11, when the U.S.-Pakistan counter-terrorism alliance was seen as detrimental to Indian interests.

The security dilemma in the South Asian subcontinent operates as a chain reaction that includes regional and extra-regional powers with competing interests. For countries like India and China, it is important to note that while the goals of nonproliferation (especially at a time of potential WMD-related terrorism) are extremely crucial, perceived national interests are a greater factor in shaping the eventual policy direction.[9] With this motivational framework in mind, one must examine recent proliferation-related developments in South Asia, that are likely to have far reaching consequences both regionally and in terms of the global nonproliferation regime. They include the proposed Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation, the significance of the A.Q. Khan network, and links between South Asian and Middle East proliferation dynamics. These developments reflect, partly or in whole, the need for the weaker protagonist to correct the perceived security imbalance against the stronger threat.

Security Disputes, Nuclear Doctrines, and Proliferation Trends

To begin with, proliferation issues in South Asia must be understood in context of vertical and horizontal proliferation. Vertical proliferation takes place as nuclear states modernize their nuclear arsenals with more reliable delivery systems and warheads. Countries including the United States, China, India, and Pakistan, are in the process of modernizing their arsenals through actions such as proposals for "a reliable replacement warhead" (as in the case of the United States). In the context of South Asia, nuclear modernization is mainly a function of prevailing threat perceptions arising from security dilemmas. Modernization of arsenals includes the development and testing of longer-range missiles-such as the tests of the Agni-III by India, and the Shaheen-II by Pakistan in the first half of 2007.

Horizontal proliferation is the spread of nuclear weapons technology from nuclear states to other entities, including aspiring nuclear weapon states, as well as non-state actors such as terrorist groups. Horizontal proliferation generally involves a significant role for WMD supply networks that may or may not have a connection to official entities in a nuclear state. In the South Asian context, this variant of proliferation is especially pertinent, given the history of the A.Q. Khan network and its assistance to states such as North Korea and Iran. In addition, horizontal proliferation includes second-tier proliferation, where developing countries trade and barter nuclear technology with each other.[10] While vertical and horizontal proliferation are variants of the proliferation dynamic, it is entirely possible that a nuclear state (such as Pakistan) could make use of non-state networks in the pursuit of nuclear modernization.

From the subcontinental perspective, one main question arises-given the lack of a comprehensive resolution of the disputes between India and Pakistan and India and China, how do nuclear doctrines in South Asia impact trends in the acquisition of nuclear and missile technology? The answer to this question links threat perceptions and nuclear doctrines with recent proliferation-related developments and requires a brief discussion of existing nuclear postures of India and Pakistan.

Subcontinental Rivalry

So what are the characteristics of the sub-continental rivalry that make nuclear proliferation in South Asia such a crucial security issue? Threat perceptions based on long-standing security disputes shape nuclear doctrines and proliferation dynamics. The intensity of disputes brings in security dilemmas that ensure continued dependence on nuclear weapons in South Asia.

South Asia is one of the most populated regions of the world, with India and Pakistan alone accounting for about 1.35 billion people. Both countries have been bitter rivals since partition of the subcontinent in 1947 that led to the creation of independent Pakistan and independence for India. The two countries have fought two wars over Kashmir (1947, 1965), one over East Pakistan/Bangladesh (1971), one limited war (Kargil, 1999) and the ongoing insurgency in Kashmir (since 1989). The 2001-2002 crisis further highlighted the dangers of terrorist violence provoking a conventional conflict that could lead to a nuclear crisis.[11] Kashmir, which lies at the heart of the dispute, is more than a simple territorial problem. The province has a Muslim majority, and for India it is a symbol of its secular credentials as well as a repudiation of the partition, which was based on religion. For Pakistan, Kashmir is crucial because it is seen as an unfinished agenda of partition, which was supposed to provide a homeland for the subcontinent's Muslim community. Thus, Kashmir is an integral part of both countries' perceived self-identities.

Since the 2001-2002 crisis, Islamabad and New Delhi have conducted several rounds of peace talks aimed at bringing a lasting settlement to the Kashmir issue. This peace process has involved several confidence-building measures such as strengthening of transport links between the two countries. The two sides also signed a crucial agreement on reducing the risk of nuclear accidents in February 2007.[12] Nevertheless, the key dispute, Kashmir, is nowhere near resolution. This implies that both New Delhi and Islamabad are more inclined toward strengthening existing military capabilities, both conventional and non-conventional, to prevent an unfavorable scenario in a future standoff.

Apart from notions of sovereignty and nationhood, Kashmir is also of considerable strategic importance. Rivers originating in the Kashmir region provide crucial water supplies for food producing areas in the heartland. Furthermore, the Siachen glacier is also a region of military significance. The glacier, to the north of Kashmir, commands a strategic overlook of the small border between Pakistan and China[13] and can potentially be used as a point of attack on India from northwest Kashmir. The glacier became a battle ground between the two armies in April 1984 and despite repeated talks, there has been no movement toward demilitarization. The complex rivalry between India and Pakistan involves territorial disputes based on notions of national identity as well as terrorist violence. Another integral element of the subcontinental security dyad is the role of China.

The China Factor

The role of China in South Asian security issues as well as in future conflict scenarios is crucial when considering two realities-(a) the historical animosity between India and China, and (b) the long standing 'all-weather' political and military alliance between Pakistan and China. Indian analysts often cite transfer of nuclear and missile technology from Beijing to Islamabad as evidence of an encircled threat to India.[14] Through nuclear and missile technology transfers to Pakistan, Beijing restricts India to the South Asian strategic framework,[15] and this constrains New Delhi's stated desire to seek a more global presence. From the Chinese political establishment's perspective, the concern is over India's defense expansion, its desire and movement toward a stronger regional and global role, and its increasing strategic connections with Washington.[16]

Thus, any examination of the South Asian proliferation framework takes into account the Sino-Indian rivalry and dispute, the lowest point of which was the 1962 border war. In recent years, Indian and Chinese leaders and special representatives have met for regular talks on the border dispute issue; the most recent session (the 10th such round), took place in April 2007. In early rounds of these talks, China granted de facto recognition of Sikkim as a province of India, while India accepted Tibet as part of China.[17] However, serious differences remain, and strategically important areas such as the state of Arunachal Pradesh have been claimed by China, while India has claimed Aksai Chin and certain parts of Kashmir handed over by Pakistan to China.

Despite periodic meetings, little progress has been made on these issues, and from time to time, controversial statements by each side threaten to derail talks.[18] Whether a hardening of positions or a negotiating strategy, it demonstrates that the potential for friction is ever-present.[19] Furthermore, there is also some dispute over an earlier agreement between the two sides to not insist on territorial exchanges of areas with settled populations, reflected in Beijing's recent demands that India cede Arunachal Pradesh, especially the Tawang tract.[20] Therefore, in the absence of a permanent settlement, both India and China have adopted a hedging strategy to guard against any future strategic disadvantages.

A hedging strategy involves bolstering military-related capabilities in an ambiguous way that is not directly threatening to the adversary.[21] At the same time, cooperative ties are encouraged without necessarily making any major concessions. In part, such an approach is chosen due to uncertainty over the adversary's future intentions and capabilities and as a way to safeguard against a downturn in future ties or in the regional or global strategic environment. Therefore, modernization of nuclear arsenals in South Asia has to be considered in this context.

Similarly, in the case of India and Pakistan, despite sustained peace talks and CBMs, the two sides continue a hedging strategy to guard against future uncertainty, such as another crisis situation like Operation Parakram in 2001-2002. This is done by developing more reliable nuclear delivery systems (especially longer range ballistic missiles), perfecting and increasing fissile material stock, and acquiring conventional weaponry in line with contemporary war-fighting doctrines.

Thus, in South Asia, underlying security disputes, based on territorial rivalry and terrorist violence, combined with a need to expand the nation's global and regional position encourages future uncertainties that shape the actors' nuclear policy decision-making. As mentioned earlier, apart from the Indo-Pakistan rivalry, strategic uncertainty, and suspicion in New Delhi is also generated by Pakistan's close military links with China. With China in the picture as a rival of India and a strategic ally of Pakistan, even if Delhi and Islamabad move towards a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Beijing is likely to be the biggest factor in Indian threat calculations.

At the same time, the present threat perceptions between India and China are not the same as between India and Pakistan, which are more immediate and based on a 'hot' territorial dispute and state-sponsored terrorism. Nevertheless, analysts in New Delhi have long pointed to Chinese military modernization as a coercive threat to India. This modernization includes missile development, such as the current deployment of the DF-21 and DF-3 missiles in Qinghai and Yunnan provinces.[22] Furthermore, there is some suspicion among Indian analysts that though Beijing's stated policy is that of minimum deterrence, the stationing of missiles such as DF-3 and DF-21 reflects a posture of nuclear coercion, and under some conditions, does not preclude a first strike against its neighbors.[23] It is also possible that since 1998, Beijing may have deployed nuclear weapons on the Tibetan plateau in response to a perceived Indian conventional military advantage and the May 1998 nuclear tests.[24] Thus, despite growing trade between the two sides, there is some degree of unease in India over China's long-term intentions, more so in light of predictions of increased competition between the two countries for global energy resources.[25] The concern in New Delhi is that if bilateral relations take a negative turn at some point in the future, China's current military modernization will give Beijing a significant advantage.

The Sino-Indian security dilemma is also a function of China's desire to establish close relationships with other countries in the Indian Ocean region (most notably Myanmar), a policy that is seen as a potential threat by India and termed as "strategic containment."[26] For India and China, the security dilemma also arises from threat perceptions based on consequences of future nationalistic tendencies. Both sides fear that a rise in nationalism in the other could lead to more hostile attitudes.[27]

China's concerns over future expansions of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, missile defense and space dominance plans also lessen the possibility of any immediate restraint with respect to Beijing's nuclear plans. Therefore a chain reaction exists in South Asia where New Delhi, at the very least, wants to maintain its current relative capabilities vis-à-vis Beijing, if not actually improve them. The interconnected security dilemmas in the Asia-Pacific region shape defense policies and impact stability.

Non-state Actors and Security in South Asia

As aforementioned, nuclear weapons development and enhancement in South Asia are intricately related to long-standing rivalries between the concerned states. However, instability does not just stem from the risk of nuclear warfare between states in the region. Non-state actors also play a significant role in the nuclear security framework, aside from their role in facilitating nuclear proliferation. First, terrorist groups (such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba) that are connected to the Pakistani religious-political establishment can provoke tensions between India and Pakistan through mass casualty attacks. This was amply demonstrated following the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament by Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, which led to a ten-month stand-off between the two armies.

A second danger is through a Kargil-style episode in which militants, in cooperation with official Pakistani agencies and the military, occupy territory in Kashmir. As the July 2007 siege of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) complex in the heart of Islamabad showed, militant groups are steadily expanding their geographical area of influence, adversely affecting the stability of Pakistan. Although the nuclear weapon complex is under military control, there might be pockets within the military that are sympathetic to fundamentalist groups. At the very least, political and religious instability in Pakistan creates uncertainty in the minds of policymakers within and outside the region.

Finally, fears have been heightened since 9/11 over the possibility of nuclear weapons technology transfers from Pakistan to terrorist networks, especially after it was revealed that some senior Pakistani nuclear scientists met with the Al Qaeda leadership prior to 9/11. A related concern in the aftermath of 9/11 is that a fundamentalist Islamic group with Taliban/Al Qaeda links could take over Pakistan and with it, possession of the country's nuclear arsenal.[28] Thus, Indian (as well as U.S.) threat perceptions include not just bilateral nuclear stability issues between India and Pakistan, but also the consequences of nuclear technology and materials falling into the hands of militant groups.

In general, the complex nuclear weapons scenario in South Asia is shaped by two main factors. First, the intense nature of the dispute between India and Pakistan strikes at the very core of their nationhood. It involves territorial disputes and terrorist violence, and is further complicated by the desire of some terrorist groups to acquire non-conventional technology. Second, South Asia is part of a broader nuclear weapons context that includes China and the United States. Military developments by either Washington or Beijing, which are perceived as a direct threat, also impact military policies (both conventional and non-conventional) in South Asia. At the same time, the continued strategic military collaboration between China and Pakistan (such as the joint development of the JF-17 fighter plane) is a factor that motivates India to continue nuclear and conventional modernization. Furthermore, while the territorial disputes between India and China are relatively dormant, there is no final resolution. As developments in 2006-2007 demonstrated, there is still a considerable gap between the two sides on the territorial issue.[29] Due to this combination of factors, there are no clear incentives for either party to drastically reorient its nuclear policy.

Nuclear Policies in South Asia

Keeping the various security disputes and attitudes in mind, the next step is to consider the nuclear doctrines and policies of protagonists in the region. Both India and Pakistan strive for a minimum deterrent. The objective of India's nuclear strategy is credible minimum deterrence (CMD), meaning a secure and reliable second-strike capability after absorbing an adversary's first strike. The main potential targets of this projected deterrence capability are Pakistan and China. Pakistan's nuclear doctrine also seeks a credible deterrent, against India, and according to one senior nuclear weapons planner, its weapons are "aimed solely at India."[30] In particular it seeks to deter New Delhi from launching a conventional military attack[31] such as an offensive for limited war objectives, including destruction of terrorist training camps, as well as attacks on nuclear facilities.

For both India and Pakistan, key components of their attitudes in nuclear defense demonstrate the incompatibility between their mutual nuclear postures. India's offer of a no-first use pact has been rejected by Pakistan as nuclear weapons are an integral element of its (Islamabad's) defense doctrine.[32] On the other hand, Islamabad has offered New Delhi a no-war pact, which ostensibly would reduce the prospect of full-scale conventional war and the risk of nuclear crises. However, such a proposal does not touch upon the proxy war waged by the Kashmiri militants and therefore has been rejected by New Delhi.[33]

Thus, both India and Pakistan strive for a secure second-strike capability as an integral element of their credible minimum deterrent doctrines. Since neither side has constructed systems that are deemed completely satisfactory and reliable, nuclear modernization continues. For India, this means a survivable delivery mechanism that can conceivably strike major cities in China. At present the longest range deployed missile is believed to be the Agni-II with a range of 2,000-2,500 km, and can reach parts of western China. To have an increased range capability, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing the Agni III intermediate range ballistic missile, which was successfully tested for the first time in April 2007 and has a range of about 3,500 km.[34]

Nevertheless, reports have stated that the Indian military is not altogether satisfied with the nuclear capable missiles that are in its arsenal-Prithvi I (short range ballistic missiles) and the Agni I & II.[35] Thus, India's nuclear delivery systems are deemed far from adequate and for the time being. In the opinion of the Indian Air Force, there will be considerable reliance on fighter bombers such as the Mig 27, Jaguar, and Mirage-2000 for a nuclear delivery role.[36]

This implies that for the foreseeable future, the Indian scientific-military establishment will reinforce their commitment to adequate delivery systems, especially the Agni III and the nuclear submarine project (the Advanced Technology Vessel or ATV) that could carry a sea-based deterrent in the form of a submarine-launched cruise missile (the Sagarika-currently under development).[37] Reports in May 2007 stated that the ATV will be commissioned in 2011-2012 and that two Russian nuclear submarines might be leased before that.[38]

As stated earlier, Pakistan's deployed missile systems can reach most parts of India. These deployed missiles include the Ghaznavi (Hatf-3, range 290 km), Shaheen-I (Hatf-4, range 600-800 km), and the Ghauri-I (Hatf-5, range 1,500 km).[39] Development is also taking place on the Shaheen-II (Hatf-6, range 2,000-3,000 km), which was successfully tested in February 2007. These missile developments illustrate Pakistan's desire for a more secure deterrent, once the range issue had been dealt with. In addition, Pakistan is also seeking a more secure second-strike capability through the acquisition of the Agosta 90B class submarine in late 2007. This vessel, the second to be added to Pakistan's navy, can carry the nuclear capable Harpoon cruise missiles.[40]

Both countries have also achieved considerable progress in manufacturing another delivery system-cruise missiles. India, in partnership with Russia, has developed the BrahMos, while Pakistan has the Babur. These missiles are meant to have land, sea, and air versions, and at least in the case of the BrahMos, will also have a variant for export. In the near future, Indian defense planners hope to introduce land attack cruise missiles with the capacity to carry a nuclear warhead over 1,500 km.[41] In addition, submarine and air force versions of the BrahMos are due to be tested in 2007. The missile is also being installed on ships and IL-38D maritime reconnaissance aircraft to give "strategic relevance" to the Indian Navy.[42] Similarly, Pakistan has successfully tested its nuclear capable Babur (Hatf VII) cruise missile (range 700 km), most recently in March 2007.[43]

In sum, in order to strengthen their nuclear delivery capabilities both India and Pakistan are seeking to perfect their missile arsenals, both ballistic and cruise. The dynamic nature of the pursuit of more reliable deterrence capabilities is also affected by strategic developments involving extra-regional actors, especially China and the United States.

Fissile Material Accumulation

The final factor with an impact on nuclear acquisition dynamics is fissile material production. The renewed discussion on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) in 2006 focused attention on the attitudes of India and Pakistan (among other concerned states). The argument put forward by some is that capping the production of fissile material in South Asia would be an important step toward nuclear stability in the subcontinent. However, issues arising from the South Asian security dilemma play a role in stalled FMCT negotiations.

As some analysts have stated, a key motivation for Washington's support of the FMCT is to limit China's nuclear arsenal.[44] Beijing is unlikely to agree to the FMCT under the current circumstances without amelioration of its concerns. If Beijing does not accept the treaty, there is little chance that New Delhi would accept it either resulting in Islamabad's refusal as well.[45] While the Chinese government considers the FMCT to be crucial, its concern also lies in progress on a framework for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS). Beijing has effectively linked progress on the FMCT to that on PAROS.[46] Further, while Beijing is supposed to have stopped fissile material production, there is no official confirmation of this. In addition, theoretically the Chinese government can restart production of fissile material.

The lack of progress on PAROS is said to have been one of the reasons behind China's anti-satellite test in January 2007. Certain policymakers and analysts in the United States perceived the tests as symbolic of the potential military threat from China,[47] a view that reinforces their arguments for the need for dominance in space. In response, China needs to counter a future U.S. national missile defense (NMD), possibly by increasing its quantity of warheads through increased fissile production.[48] China's concern is that U.S. policies under the Bush administration, such as the withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and the reinforced focus on NMD, degrade Beijing's deterrent, which relies on about two dozen intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).[49] Also, Washington's reluctance to consider a "no first use" policy increases the threat perception of the U.S. use of nuclear weapons in a Taiwan crisis.[50]

From the Indian perspective, Beijing's anti-satellite test refocused the attention of analysts on the considerable gap between Indian and Chinese aerospace capabilities and its consequences for the strategic balance.[51] Indian defense scientists have stated that India would take appropriate measures to deal with this expansion of Beijing's offensive capabilities, possibly through collaboration between the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).[52] The test came at a time when both India and China are pushing ahead with space-based projects (especially lunar missions) and this would be the sign of a new rivalry.[53] Thus, security perceptions in South Asia (including by extension China and the United States) contain a reinforced belief in the necessity of nuclear weapons and delivery systems development.

Even if China maintains its undeclared moratorium on fissile material production, it is unclear if India would consent to capping its fissile stock at a level much lower than that of China.[54] This also strengthens the argument of Indian analysts who advocate more than just the minimum deterrent-related warheads stockpile and propose a thermonuclear arsenal.[55] Furthermore, the Indian government also has a problem with the lack of verification measures in the existing FMCT proposals.[56] Pakistan for its part has opposed any FMCT that would effectively perpetuate the fissile material asymmetry in the subcontinent, and wants negotiations to cover existing stocks as well.[57] Pakistan's contention is that since its nuclear weapons program is a product of the threat from India, Islamabad would consent to a cap on fissile material production only as part of a bilateral moratorium.[58]

However, since New Delhi's nuclear weapon expansion is driven by the need to construct a secure deterrent against Beijing, such a proposal is a non-starter in the present circumstances. Thus, while Pakistan may have reached the fissile material capacity to suit its credible minimum deterrent needs, this is not necessarily the case for India. Nevertheless, in the context of the proposed FMCT, some Indian analysts have stated that New Delhi has to decide whether its existing stocks are adequate for "strategic purposes," and if so, the FMCT could be beneficial for international stability.[59]

In sum, from the South Asian perspective, there are no credible proliferation disincentives that would surmount security concerns driving India and Pakistan toward strengthening their nuclear capabilities. In essence, nuclear modernization, or vertical proliferation is likely to continue in South Asia. Next, we turn to the issue of horizontal proliferation in the South Asian context.

South Asia and Horizontal Proliferation

As a starting point, it is helpful to focus on cases of horizontal proliferation elsewhere that are connected to South Asia. This includes potential WMD supply routes as well as entities that might be involved, some of whom may be operating outside state control. In particular, the focus is on connections between entities in Pakistan and proliferation dynamics in other regions. Three major issues need to be addressed-(i) the North Korean nuclear program, and in particular the impact of the October 2006 nuclear test on South Asia; (ii) the current state of the A.Q. Khan network and its implications for WMD supply trends; and (iii) proliferation links between South Asia and the Middle East.

The North Korean Nuclear Test and South Asia

As expected, North Korea's nuclear test put renewed focus on the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and policymakers in India assumed it would lead to more stringent criticism of its nuclear agreement with the United States. Indian experts expected the North Korean test to impact especially on any nuclear test-related provisions of the nuclear agreement with the United States.[60] Consequently, New Delhi swiftly condemned the test and indirectly highlighted Islamabad's contribution to Pyongyang's nuclear test.[61] Some Indian officials even stated that Pyongyang's illegal acquisition of nuclear technology would actually spur reluctant supplier countries (such as Australia) to legitimately sell nuclear fuel to India, especially since it would be used for civilian purposes.[62]

On the other hand, Islamabad refuted any suggestion that the activities of the A.Q. Khan network had contributed to Pyongyang's test, stating that North Korea's nuclear program is based on plutonium while Pakistan relies on uranium.[63] In this manner, both India and Pakistan tried to ensure that proliferation in South Asia was not equated with proliferation in Northeast Asia. To a certain extent, the Bush administration obliged the subcontinental nuclear powers, as senior officials dismissed any parallels between North Korea's path to nuclear weapons to those of India and Pakistan.[64] However, while Pakistan denied any links to the test, it did not help Islamabad's case when Japanese sources stated that days before Pyongyang's test, several Pakistani nuclear technicians arrived in North Korea through China.[65] This augmented the suspicions that Pakistani agencies may have had some role in the test, perhaps through data sharing before or after the explosion.

The A.Q. Khan Network and Proliferation Dynamics

The A.Q. Khan network, which provided nuclear assistance to North Korea and Iran, has represented the most serious proliferation problem in recent years. Since Khan's public confession in February 2004, the Musharraf regime has consistently asserted that this network was the work of a rogue scientist and that the Pakistani government and its military leaders were not involved in these activities. However, it is not clear to what extent this assertion is accurate. Analysts and officials in Pakistan as well as in the United States have expressed skepticism over Khan's confession as well as the implicit professed innocence of the Pakistani political and military establishment.[66] A highly publicized report released in April 2007 by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, also stated that individuals and entities involved in the network could still be dormant and can conceivably be reactivated in the future.[67]

So far, Islamabad has refused to allow foreign interrogators to question Khan even though the U.S. government has regularly expressed dissatisfaction over information released by Pakistan.[68] > Furthermore, most individuals connected to the network are still at large, including important figures such as B.S.A. Tahir, while others, such as Henk Slebos, have been given light sentences.[69] Moreover, the Khan claimed in a signed statement that successive army chiefs in the 1990s (Generals Mirza Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karamat) had authorized the sales of nuclear technology.[70] While this could be taken as Khan's attempts to remove the burden of guilt, it is true that the military was closely associated with the nuclear and missile programs. In fact, in 1990, Gen. Beg warned U.S. government officials that Pakistan would be forced to provide nuclear technology to Tehran if Washington did not offer support to Pakistan.[71]

Other circumstantial evidence, such as visits by the Pakistani military leadership to North Korea throughout the nineties, suggests that there was a barter deal between Pyongyang and Islamabad (uranium enrichment technology in exchange for missiles).[72] Additionally, in August 2005, Gen. Musharraf conceded that Khan had transferred centrifuge machines to North Korea through which uranium hexafluoride (which was also transferred) can be enriched for eventual processing into civilian reactors fuel or for military purposes.[73] Shipping out such large centrifuge machines without the military's knowledge would have been impossible. Therefore, it would have been highly unlikely that these activities were carried out without the military's acquiescence. On a side note, it is possible that Washington's attitude was colored by the need to retain Islamabad's support in the anti-Taliban/Al Qaeda campaign in Afghanistan.

Additionally, for a country to acquire a nuclear delivery system (such as the No Dong missiles transferred to Pakistan), the decision-making process incorporates several factors, as well as the opinions of numerous government agencies to ensure compatibility among the various systems.[74] It is therefore not very plausible that a nuclear-missile barter deal with such serious and risky international consequences could have been approved without cooperation from senior levels of the political-military establishment in Pakistan.[75] The issue of the Pakistani military-scientific establishment's involvement (or endorsement) in the Khan's network activities is crucial due to its implications for contemporary proliferation routes and processes. If these elements within and outside Pakistan (including non-Pakistani nationals) and their methods and routes remain undiscovered, it has two broad consequences for proliferation in South Asia.

First, it allows Islamabad to potentially procure missile and nuclear technology in the future, in an attempt to catch up with India. In this regard, a Pakistani national, Mohammed Aslam, working at the Tabani Corporation's Moscow office, was named by the Russian government in 2006 as having attempted to acquire dual-use technology and other materials for Pakistan's nuclear and missile development programs.[76] This example demonstrates that elements of the network are still active, though it is unclear if they are directly connected to Pakistani nuclear and missile development programs. Given Islamabad's need to construct a secure deterrent against India (especially long-range missiles that can reach southern and eastern India), it is possible that the above case is an instance of continuing efforts to exploit non-state networks to procure prohibited equipment. As one analyst noted, due to Pakistan's apparent inability to acquire nuclear weapons components legally, it is encouraged to look toward illegal sources.[77] Furthermore, according to some experts, apart from Pakistan, other countries can easily utilize the same supply networks. The Iranian government has made use of these networks for its nuclear and missile programs.[78] As the previously mentioned IISS report states, Tehran controls a clandestine nuclear materials network comparable to the one run by Khan, and in the past has procured technology from some of the same suppliers used by Khan.[79] In context of nuclear proliferation networks, a further concern is that if North Korea dismantles its nuclear weapons program, it will create a potential source of unwanted nuclear materials in the process.[80] Such discarded, but nevertheless lethal technology, could be bought by illegal nuclear supply entities that may or may not have had any connection to the Khan network.

Second, the continued existence of the kind of middlemen that the network generated increases the possibility of nuclear technology leakage out of Pakistan in the event of a coup or widespread instability from radical groups. Since 9/11, there have been periodic fears of internal upheavals in Pakistan, especially from groups linked to the Taliban. Recent reports have also stated that two nuclear scientists from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) were kidnapped by the Taliban in late 2006, and as of March 2007 remained in captivity in the Waziristan area.[81] > Soon after that kidnapping, there was an aborted attempt to capture six more PAEC officials in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan in January 2007.[82] While it is not clear if the officials and scientists were targeted specifically because of their links to Pakistan's nuclear program, these incidents demonstrate the potential danger of non-state actors' participation in the illegal market in nuclear technology.

In order to demonstrate to the international community that it is a responsible nuclear power, Islamabad has decided to set up a "Strategic Export Control Division" in its foreign ministry that will ostensibly prevent prohibited WMD-related technology from being exported.[83] However, this does not necessarily address the problem of possible involvement of government entities and officials that have remained under the radar even after the network was uncovered. In general, the proliferation-related fear for U.S. policymakers is twofold-first, that nuclear technology could be transferred to a terrorist organization; and second, that the Musharraf regime could be overthrown,[84] resulting in uncertainty for the counter-terrorism as well as nonproliferation campaigns.[85]

The case of Pakistan demonstrates the difficulty that arises when nonproliferation goals collide with other strategic imperatives such as counter-terrorism. While the Khan network problem is one of the reasons why Washington has refused to offer a nuclear cooperation agreement to Pakistan, the perceived tilt toward India (through the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement) can also be a reason why Washington has not pressured Islamabad any further on the A.Q. Khan issue. Nevertheless, in January 2007, in a proactive step, the U.S. Congress under the Democratic leadership passed the Nuclear Black Market Counter Terrorism Act, which authorizes the administration to implement "punitive actions" against states condoning or cooperating with entities actively engaged in nuclear proliferation.[86]

South Asia and the Middle East: Proliferation Links

While an analysis of proliferation in the Middle East is outside the scope of this study, it is necessary to highlight existing and potential links between the Middle East and South Asia, apart from the A.Q. Khan network mentioned above. Khan's network provided significant know-how to Iran in the late eighties and early nineties (including centrifuge technology), though the full extent of these transfers has still not been confirmed. While nuclear links between Iran and Pakistan have ended for now, Islamabad's nuclear connection to the Middle East remains, such as through possible collaboration with Saudi Arabia.

From the South Asian proliferation perspective, the close ties between Saudi Arabia and the development of Pakistan's nuclear program is a crucial development. News reports as well as official U.S. government analyses have claimed that Riyadh provided considerable financing for Pakistan's nuclear and missile program in the past,[87] but some reports now suggest a more proactive role by Saudi Arabia-in terms of nuclear energy development itself. This is in line with the announcement in November 2006 by six Arab states-Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates-that they would develop civilian nuclear programs.[88] Earlier, in 2005, Saudi Arabia applied for and was granted exemption from nuclear inspections through the IAEA's 'small quantities protocol.'[89] Before that, a widely quoted 2003 report in The Guardian stated that Riyadh was considering three nuclear options: (a) building a nuclear deterrent, (b) allying with a nuclear power, or (c) working toward a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.[90] Recent developments suggest that a combination of the first two options might be adopted given that it is highly unlikely that Iran and Israel relinquish their nuclear programs in the near future.

This is where Pakistan's role could be significant. German news reports stated in early 2006 that Pakistani scientists assisted Saudi efforts to develop a nuclear program and that this was done under the guise of pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2005.[91] Several high-ranking Saudi royals as well as government officials are among the few non-Pakistanis who have toured Islamabad's nuclear facilities. These include defense minister Prince Sultan (now also crown prince) who visited the Kahuta uranium enrichment facility in 1999, and a son of the current Saudi ruler, King Abdullah, who attended a test of the nuclear-capable 950-mile range Ghauri missile in 1999.[92] These developments suggest that if Riyadh decides to acquire nuclear weapons, the spotlight could be on Pakistan as one of the sources. A factor that could prompt Saudi Arabia to pursue nuclear weapons would be if Tehran unambiguously builds it own nuclear weapon, prompting Israel to shed the opacity over its arsenal.

While disincentives for Pakistan to go along this route are considerable (most notably, U.S. opposition), there are also incentives for Islamabad to aid the Saudis in their quest-cheap oil from Saudi Arabia, and a favorable endorsement for the Musharraf regime (or a successor regime) from powerful conservative Sunni religious and political groups within Pakistan. A 2003 news report quoted an anonymous Pakistani official who claimed that Riyadh and Islamabad had concluded a secret agreement under which Pakistan would receive subsidized oil in exchange for transferring nuclear technology.[93] In 2004, Iranian government sources also claimed that they had information that confirmed this agreement,[94] but there was no further corroboration of this from other sources. Therefore, even if there is no immediate possibility of such a transfer, Saudi Arabia could pursue this with Pakistan in the future to hedge against nuclear developments in the Middle East.

A key incentive for Pakistan could also be to use Saudi Arabia for strategic depth purposes. Islamabad's traditional geographic buffer against Indian military campaigns was Afghanistan, but that was lost after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Ostensibly, Pakistan requires strategic depth to protect its forces (conventional and nuclear) from an armored offensive by the Indian military, which could cut off the country similar to the 1971 war.[95] Saudi Arabia could provide a base for stationing Pakistani nuclear devices[96] that would be safe from the reach of Indian missiles and give Islamabad a semblance of second-strike capability. This idea of looking towards the Middle East for strategic depth is not new. In the 1990s, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, skeptical of the reliance on Afghanistan, recommended Iran as a more useful ally for purposes of strategic depth.[97]

Apart from the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia link, concerns have also been expressed (especially in the U.S. Congress) over India's ties to Iran, at a time when the IAEA and western powers led by the United States are working toward controlling Tehran's uranium enrichment program. These concerns have arisen during the broader debate in Washington on the nuclear agreement with India. In particular, attention has focused on India's long-standing political and diplomatic relationship with Iran as well as the imposition of sanctions on two private Indian companies suspected of transferring chemicals meant for rocket fuel as well as chemical weapons.[98] The Indian government claimed that both companies (Balaji Amines Ltd. & Prachi Poly Products) were doing legitimate business with Iranian firms.[99] Balaji Amines insisted that they had been supplying products used for manufacturing life-saving drugs such as ampicillin and other antibiotics, but nevertheless, New Delhi ordered the company to stop all trade with Iran.[100]

Both India and Pakistan have attempted to ensure that they are in compliance with the latest international regulations against Tehran's nuclear program. In February 2007, Pakistan froze assets of several individuals and other entities connected to Tehran's nuclear and missile projects in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1737.[101] In the same month, New Delhi banned exports of equipment and technologies to Iran that could be used in nuclear and missile development projects.[102]

The Iran nuclear issue has been an important point of discussion in context of the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement. The Hyde Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2006, endorses nuclear cooperation between India and the United States, but it also states that New Delhi should assist the international community in clamping down on Iran's nuclear program. Furthermore, in May 2007, a group of U.S. senators sent a joint letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh articulating their dissatisfaction over India's military ties with Iran, especially a 'joint defense working group' between the two countries.[103] Nuclear ties between India and the United States are not limited to nuclear trade between the two, but also extends to discussions over restricting proliferation elsewhere.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stated in the past that New Delhi does not favor another nuclear power in the neighborhood,[104] and India voted against Iran at the IAEA in September 2005 and February 2006. However, two factors have restrained the Indian government from opposing Iran's nuclear weapons program more forcefully. First, the scramble for energy resources has made the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) natural gas pipeline a crucial economic issue for India. Stern Indian opposition to Iran's nuclear program would jeopardize the proposed IPI pipeline from Iran to India. The pipeline is considered to be of crucial importance to India in order to sustain high economic growth rates in the coming years. Thus, economic imperatives, specifically the need for energy sources, are an important factor in nonproliferation positions of countries such as India and China. In this context, New Delhi has reiterated that the construction of the pipeline will proceed in spite of pressures from Washington to cancel the project.[105]

Second, for New Delhi, another variable is satisfying domestic political constituencies that are skeptical of the nuclear overtures from Washington that come at the cost of long-standing ties with Tehran. Since the Congress Party-led coalition government depends on parliamentary support from Communist parties, the government is obliged to periodically hold positions on contentious issues such as the Iranian nuclear program. The Manmohan Singh government has stated that it would be guided by India's national interest on the Iran nuclear issue, but this does not clarify to what extent India would be willing to go along with the United States on this issue. Some recent reports have also stated that New Delhi could play a more formal role in mediating the growing tensions over Iran's nuclear program in conjunction with the UN Security Council.[106] However, it is unclear what form this would take.

In sum, nuclear issues in South Asia cannot be examined in isolation from developments elsewhere. Historically close political ties have existed between the South Asian subcontinent and the Middle East, and therefore, regional rivalries and bilateral relations play an important role in shaping decisions that impact broader nuclear issues, including horizontal proliferation.

Indo-U.S. Nuclear Cooperation

Since July 2005, when the U.S. and Indian governments unveiled their nuclear cooperation agreement, a debate has risen over its impact on the global nonproliferation regime. This agreement will allow India to acquire nuclear technology and materials from the United States and other suppliers. In return, New Delhi will designate which of its nuclear facilities are for civilian use and which are for military use. The former list would be opened up for international inspections. Prior to implementation, New Delhi will have to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, while the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will have to effect changes in its rules to enable nuclear cooperation between its member states and India.

The Hyde Act passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2006, authorized the Bush administration to bring into place a nuclear cooperation mechanism with India, after concluding a bilateral agreement under Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act. Negotiations on the '123' agreement began in early 2007, but as of early June, talks were stalled on a few contentious issues. The disagreement is over five main items; (i) the right to reprocess spent fuel, (ii) the conversion of a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing into a legal commitment by India, (iii) the assured supply of fuel by the United States, (iv) the return of all equipment to the United States if India conducts a nuclear test, and (v) the level of inspections of Indian facilities.[107]

The nuclear deal reflects an influential view in India that the nonproliferation regime embodied in the NPT is defective.[108] According to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the regime is ineffective and that the international community should introduce measures that restrict nuclear proliferation more effectively without suppressing peaceful uses of nuclear energy.[109] At the same time, the contention is that India is a responsible nuclear state that has adhered to the guidelines of nonproliferation (without legally being part of the NPT regime) through strict export controls and denying nuclear assistance to other states, unlike the record of some nuclear weapon states.[110]

A basic feature of this agreement is that by acquiring uranium from foreign sources (to free up domestic supplies) and by placing a set of nuclear facilities on the military list, India can increase its fissile material production for weaponization purposes. However, a different line of analysis examines the implications of increased uranium supplies in the context of India's fledgling nuclear submarine project. This perspective views that rather than increasing nuclear warhead production, New Delhi would use the expansion of its uranium supplies and enrichment capability to fuel its nuclear submarine project,[111] a key element of India's desire to achieve a secure second strike capability under its credible minimum deterrence doctrine.

There are two separate lines of criticism of the deal; the first focuses on the nonproliferation objective, and the second on India's strategic needs. The first perspective is that the agreement will weaken the global nonproliferation regime by condoning India's nuclear weapons program. The argument is that by introducing India-specific changes to global as well as domestic U.S. nonproliferation laws, it will be more difficult to prevent nuclear transfers involving other countries such as China-Pakistan and Russia-Iran.[112] A further objection is that even with 14 reactors under safeguards, 8 others will remain on the military list, free to manufacture plutonium for several nuclear weapons annually.[113] Additionally, critics have stated that the agreement so far does not commit India to eschew nuclear testing formally, or to end fissile material production.[114]

The second criticism comes most notably, from members of the nuclear scientific community in India, who contend that elements of the agreement would in effect cap India's nuclear program and constrain its thorium-based three stage nuclear project. They argue that while New Delhi has maintained a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, it does not want such a clause legalized in a bilateral treaty.[115] The argument here is that India might have to reconsider its moratorium in the event that China or Pakistan conducts a nuclear test.[116]

In addition, India's scientific community and government have insisted that it be explicitly granted the right to reprocess spent fuel for the three stage nuclear project that exploits the ample thorium reserves in the country (about 30% of the global supply).[117] The Indian government wants to retain reprocessing rights as part of an advanced nuclear fuel cycle. This would involve recycling uranium oxide fuel while the consequent plutonium would be used with thorium in fast breeder reactors.[118] However, some Indian scientific experts have stated that even if reprocessing rights and technology are not granted under the 123 agreement, it is likely that the initial reactors bought by New Delhi will come from Russia and France, rather than the United States.[119] It is entirely possible that trade with these two countries, especially Russia, will involve reprocessing rights and sale of reactors and fuel.[120] On the other hand, Indian analysts criticize the reported objective of the U.S. government of insuring that India's nuclear trade with other supplier states has equally rigorous conditions attached.[121] Finally, Indian analysts have faulted the U.S. position of not allowing assurances of fuel supplies and of prohibiting India from stockpiling nuclear fuel.[122]

Thus, the nuclear agreement between India and the United States has been criticized on the grounds of its potential impact on the global nonproliferation regime as well as its impact on India's strategic nuclear program. It must also be noted that since the bilateral 123 agreement between India and the United States is still under negotiation, it is too early to assume the eventual direction of the nuclear agreement framework. Even if the two countries conclude the 123 agreement satisfactorily (for both sides), India still must obtain approval for nuclear trade from the NSG and has to negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The China Issue

Several rationales have been offered as justification for the nuclear agreement (such as economics, strategic alliance, and nonproliferation benefits), but perhaps the most intriguing is one has been left largely unstated by the two governments-that of balancing China.[123] Both India and the United States are concerned about the future direction of Chinese foreign and security policy.[124] For the United States, aiding India through nuclear cooperation as well as a strategic partnership, Washington would be able to balance China more effectively in the region. In the process it would divert China from its main security issue-Taiwan. For India, the agreement is a significant diplomatic and strategic addition to its capabilities vis-à-vis China, with both the possible increase in fissile material production and a strengthened strategic partnership with the United States.

One argument supportive of the Indo-U.S. agreement stresses that China has built up Pakistan as a counter to India for several decades, a policy that involved transfers of nuclear and missile technology.[125] It must also be noted that more than a year before the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement was first announced in July 2005, there were reports in March 2004 that China was planning to provide Islamabad with a nuclear reactor.[126] The implication is that that the Beijing-Islamabad nuclear partnership might have continued in any case. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the current pattern of nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan in the light of the Indo-U.S. deal. Regardless of the pros and cons of the deal, it can be used by Beijing to lay the grounds for legitimizing continued nuclear collaboration with Pakistan. A sign of this has been China's argument that any changes in the NSG rules should be criteria-based rather than country specific.[127]

In December 2005, China began construction of the 300 MW second phase of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (contracted in May 2004), subsequent to the commissioning of the first phase in September 2000.[128] Parallel to the Indo-U.S. deal, China and Pakistan also reportedly agreed to a nuclear cooperation arrangement under which as many as six nuclear reactors of at least 600 MW capacity would be provided to Islamabad. As of now, no other details are available so it is not clear what kind of safeguards will be installed, though some sources have stated that this initiative is being opposed by the NSG.[129]

Reports of a possible Beijing-Islamabad nuclear agreement gained ground ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Pakistan in November 2006.[130] However, no such deal was announced during the visit, leading to a conclusion that Beijing is possibly waiting to see the final shape of the Indo-U.S. agreement to gauge its impact on China.[131] However, one influential Pakistani analyst stated that the lack of a public nuclear cooperation agreement between Beijing and Islamabad does not mean that such an arrangement will not come about; China can supply Pakistan with the required nuclear technology at a more politically convenient time.[132]

Pakistan's desire for a stronger and more public nuclear relationship with China is in part because Islamabad failed to obtain a similar arrangement with the United States.[133] Some Pakistani commentators have in fact argued that their country needs nuclear cooperation with the United States (and other suppliers, for that matter) more than India because the gap between existing energy supplies and future energy requirements is far more serious for Pakistan that it is for India.[134] A senior Pakistani official connected to the nuclear program, stated in October 2006 that Washington's nuclear policy should be guided by a "criteria-based" approach rather than one geared toward a single country.[135] However, U.S. government officials have stated that they have no intention of considering a similar agreement with Pakistan.[136] It is likely that this refusal has much to do with the activities of the A.Q. Khan network as well as Islamabad's reluctance to allow a full interrogation of Khan by U.S. experts that would shed light on some unanswered questions related to the network.

Islamabad has cited the fact that Washington declined to offer Pakistan a nuclear cooperation agreement as a motivation for increased self-reliance on nuclear energy, through indigenous fuel manufacturing capabilities.[137] In this context, government officials in Pakistan stated in April 2007 that the country would set up an installation for fuel testing for use in nuclear plants in a quest for "complete technological capability."[138]

As highlighted previously, Pakistan's overall agenda is to redress the perceived widening of the nuclear imbalance with India. Nevertheless, Pakistani experts have admitted that Islamabad's quest for increased nuclear capability is a result of the tacit rivalry between Beijing and New Delhi and the latter's desire to catch up with China.[139] Apart from the impending nuclear technology transfers from Beijing, recent reports have also stated that the Musharraf regime has commenced construction of a 1,000 MW heavy water reactor that will potentially produce adequate plutonium for as many as 50 warheads per year.[140] In addition, Islamabad is setting up a commercial scale nuclear reprocessing plant to allow production of weapons grade plutonium.[141] Such activities would enable Islamabad to stockpile as much fissile material as possible before a future FMCT comes into force.[142]

These developments suggest that Islamabad is attempting to diversify its nuclear weapons program through plutonium, as opposed to its traditional reliance on uranium as fissile material.[143] Plutonium allows for more compact weapons and provides increased flexibility for the arsenal. For Islamabad, this is critical for developing a second strike capability against India.[144] However, some Indian scientific experts have stated that even with the new Pakistani reactor, India will still be able to maintain an insurmountable lead in fissile material production through unsafeguarded reactors under the nuclear agreement.[145]

Chinese support is key to Pakistan's quest for some strategic benefits vis-à-vis India, especially if the U.S.-India nuclear agreement reaches the implementation stage. In a possible attempt to reduce Chinese opposition to the nuclear deal with Washington, New Delhi has committed itself, in principle, to civilian nuclear cooperation with Beijing, a declaration announced during President Hu's visit to New Delhi in November 2006.[146] This could be viewed as an incentive from Beijing to dissuade India from a potential anti-China partnership with Washington. Nuclear trade between India and China is not necessarily an empty proposal; it has a precedent. In 1995, India acquired low enriched uranium from China for the Tarapur nuclear reactors.[147] The official Chinese position is opposition to any NSG amendments that would adversely effect the non-proliferation regime, and that they would consider viable arrangements at the NSG, and not bilaterally.[148] Beijing's response reiterates its view that any exceptions should not be India-specific and should include other states.

Interestingly, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee stated in November 2006 that New Delhi does not have any problem with a similar nuclear agreement between Pakistan and China.[149] If this attitude is indeed the Indian government's position, the implication could be that New Delhi is confident that the benefits it will accrue from the agreement with the United States far outweigh the possible increase in nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Commercial Issues

The Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement also demonstrates that changes in the nuclear supplier regimes will not be restricted only to bilateral nuclear trade between the United States and India. Nuclear energy firms from several countries other than India are already lining up to negotiate commercial nuclear deals with India. NSG member states such as Australia are considering approval of changes in the group's rules to permit nuclear cooperation with New Delhi.[150] Even though Australia (a major uranium producer) has not yet agreed to revoke the prohibition of supply to India, Australian companies such as BHP Billiton are anticipating lucrative sales.[151] Other important members of the NSG have also supported civilian nuclear cooperation with India, within the appropriate IAEA safeguards framework.[152] French and Canadian companies have also contacted the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (one of the main government nuclear energy entities), in connection with the supply of light-water nuclear power related equipment.[153]

Thus, nuclear energy companies are important players in the future of this agreement as well as the broader nonproliferation regime. Firms such as General Electric and Bechtel have lobbied the Bush administration in favor of the agreement.[154] Besides deals in the nuclear energy sector, the expectation is also that such cooperation will facilitate contracts in the conventional military sector, especially with respect to the impending deal for 126 fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force, a deal worth about $9 billion.[155] Aerospace giants such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing are among the contenders for the contract. Therefore, the implication is that the incentives go well beyond the nuclear energy sector.

Finally, it is instructive to consider the scenario if the nuclear agreement between India and the United States is scrapped, either because of insurmountable differences over the 123 agreement or later in the implementation stage. In India, several members of the influential atomic energy scientific community have expressed reservations over the agreement as have the communist parties and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the United States as well, there has been considerable opposition from nonproliferation experts as well as sections of the political establishment. It is not certain if the reservations expressed by the Indian government towards certain clauses of the December 2006 Hyde Act will be rectified in New Delhi's favor in the bilateral 123 agreement, which again has to be approved by the U.S. Congress. Given these complicating factors, the implications of scrapping the agreement are immense; affecting broader bilateral ties between India and the United States, the nonproliferation regime in general, and the global nuclear energy market.


It is clear that proliferation dynamics in the subcontinent are affected by numerous factors centered around security issues, regional and global power politics, and domestic considerations. While both India and Pakistan realize the need to support nonproliferation efforts, agendas driven by national interests take priority. This is especially so considering that long-standing territorial disputes in South Asia have not yet been resolved despite sustained peace talks. Broadly speaking, proliferation dynamics in South Asia are driven by a need to establish some measure of relative parity against their principal adversaries-India against China and Pakistan against India. Such competing security agendas ensure that nuclear modernization, through production of fissile material and development of more effective delivery systems will continue for the time being.

Though there have been significant confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, including an agreement on reducing nuclear risk as well as reestablishment of transport links, they have not yet brought about any significant progress on basic security disputes, such as Kashmir and terrorist violence. Similarly, Sino-Indian negotiations on resolving the border question, while reiterating the need for a long-term solution, have not made any headway. In general, concerns of negative shifts in the future balance of power persuade the protagonists to adopt a more cautious policy. Thus, the driving forces for nuclear modernization remain in place. At the same time, the threat of horizontal proliferation has not abated; even more so given the rising political instability in Pakistan and the growing strength of terrorist networks in the Waziristan area. The fact that there is still much to be uncovered about the A.Q. Khan network adds to the uncertainty.

An additional factor affecting nuclear decision-making is the role of political parties, and various interest groups. In Pakistan, the Musharraf regime has been under attack from various quarters, including political parties, and militant and fundamentalist organizations, and therefore the room to maneuver on concessions, whether on nuclear issues or territorial disputes, is limited. In India, there is considerable opposition from political parties, both within and outside the ruling Congress Party-led coalition, and from the influential scientific community, to any loss of independence with respect to the strategic nuclear program.

Finally, from the U.S. perspective, its nonproliferation policy is also conducted in context of other foreign and security imperatives. Thus, Washington's objectives include countering the spread of terrorism from Pakistan, ensuring the safety of Islamabad's nuclear arsenal, and forming a strategic partnership with India, which would have important conventional military and nuclear cooperation components. In sum, the present state of affairs demonstrates that perceptions of national interest force consideration of other factors apart from the ideals of nonproliferation.

The author would like to thank Jing-Dong Yuan for his valuable comments. The shortcomings of this article are solely the responsibility of the author.


[1] Charles L. Glaser, "The Security Dilemma Revisited," World Politics, 50:1 (1997), p. 174.
[2] Tariq Rauf, "Learning to Live With the Bomb in South Asia: Accommodation not Confrontation," CNS Reports, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, December 30, 1998,
[3] For a discussion of security dilemmas in South Asia see Sukanta Acharya, "Security Dilemmas in Asia," International Studies, 44, 1 (2007), pp. 57-60.
[4] G. Parthasarathy, "India-US Nuclear Deal–The Politics of Proliferation," Business Line, January 25, 2007,
[5] Nathan Hughes and Peter Zeihan, "The INF Treaty: Implications of a Russian Withdrawal," Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report, February 20, 2007,
[6] "Annual Report to Congress: Military Power of the Peoples' Republic of China 2007," Office of the Secretary of Defense,; Demetri Sevastopulo, "Beijing Upgrades Nuclear Arsenal," The Financial Times, May 25, 2007,
[7] For a summary of this argument see Lowell Dittmer, "South Asia's Security Dilemma," Asian Survey, November/December 2001, Vol. XLI, No. 6, p. 901.
[8] Naeem Ahmad Salik, "Pakistan and the Future of Non-Proliferation," IPRI Journal, Winter 2006, Vol. VI, No. 1, pp. 21-45.
[9] For more, see James R. Holmes, "When Interests Collide," The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, May/June 2007, Vol. 63, No. 3, pp. 21-23.
[10] Chaim Braun and Christopher F. Chyba, "Proliferation Rings: New Challenges to the Nuclear Proliferation Regime," International Security, Fall 2004, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 5-6.
[11] The crisis was provoked by the December 13, 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists. In response, New Delhi alerted its troops through a massive buildup on the border with Pakistan in pursuit of certain demands against Islamabad. The troops stood down after 10 months in October 2002.
[12] "India, Pakistan Sign Nuke Deal in Defiance of Train Attacks," February 21, 2007,
[13] "Siachen pullback: India seeks guarantee," The Times of India, November 11, 2006.
[14] See for example, Raja Menon, "China's proliferation and India's security," Seminar, June 2006.
[15] For a comprehensive analysis of China's nuclear and missile dealings with Pakistan, see T.V. Paul, "The Causes and Consequences of China-Pakistani Nuclear/Missile Collaboration," in Lowell Dittmer, (ed.) South Asia's Nuclear Security Dilemma, (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2005), pp. 175-188.
[16] Jing-dong Yuan, "The Dragon and the Elephant: Chinese-Indian Relations in the 21st Century," The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2007, 30:3, p. 135.
[17] M.K. Razdan, "India, China Sign Accord," The Tribune, June 24, 2003,
[18] For example, just prior to Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India in November 2006, Chinese Ambassador to New Delhi Sun Yuxi stated, 'In our position, the whole of the state of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory. And Tawang is just one of the places in it. We are claiming all of that. That is our position." This statement generated considerable controversy in New Delhi. See Abanti Bhattacharya, "China's claims over Arunachal," IDSA Strategic Comments, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, November 21, 2006,
[19] The last major military crisis between the two sides was in 1986-1987 in the Sumdorung Cho area of Arunachal Pradesh, in northeastern India.
[20] C. Raja Mohan, "India Plays the Taiwan Card," ISN Security Watch, June 18, 2007,
[21] For a brief analysis of a hedging strategy adopted by the U.S. against China see Xue Fukang, "Hedging Strategy Won't do Relationship Good," China Daily, November 21, 2005,
[22] "Promoting Strategic and Missile Stability in Southern Asia," IPCS Special Report 17, New Delhi, April 2006, p. 12,
[23] Gurmeet Kanwal, "China's War Concepts," Air Power Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3, July-September 2006, pp. 68-69.
[24] Ming Zhang, China's Changing Nuclear Posture: Reactions to the South Asian Nuclear Tests, (Washington: DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1999), p. 45.
[25] Simon Long, "China, South Asia, and India," Himal, September 2006.
[26] John W. Garver, "The Security Dilemma in Sino-Indian Relations," India Review, October 2002, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 3-4.
[27] Rajesh M. Basrur & Shiping Tang, "Calming Ruffled Feathers," Daily News and Analysis, April 17, 2007,
[28] According to one account, the United States prepared contingency plans to take over Pakistan's nuclear arsenal in the event of an impending takeover of the country by fundamentalist groups. See Seymour Hersh, "Watching the Warheads: The Risks to Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal," The New Yorker, November 5, 2001. See also Farzana Shaikh, "Pakistan's Nuclear Bomb: Beyond the Nonproliferation Regime," International Affairs, 78, 1, 2002, pp. 40-41.
[29] C. Raja Mohan, "India Plays the Taiwan Card," ISN Security Watch, June 18, 2007.
[30] Statement made by Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, head of Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division, quoted in "Pakistanis see new aggression in Indian nuclear doctrine," Daily Times (Lahore), January 24, 2003,
[31] Zafar Iqbal Cheema, "The Role of Nuclear Weapons in Pakistan's Defense Strategy," IPRI Journal, Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Summer 2004,
[32] Ibid.
[33] "India rejects 'no-war' pact plea," The Hindu, January 25, 2002,
[34] According to defense scientists, at least 2 to 3 more tests would be required before it will be part of the arsenal.
[35] Shiv Aroor & Amitav Ranjan, "Armed forces wait as showpiece missiles are unguided, way off mark," The Indian Express, November 12, 2006.
[36] Shishir Gupta, "Down to Brasstacks," India Today, May 28, 2001.
[37] For more, see Robert S. Norris & Hans M. Kristensen, "India's Nuclear Forces, 2005," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, September/October 2005, Vol. 61, No. 5, pp. 73-75.
[38] Rahul Bedi, "India's N-Powered Submarine Project Moves Ahead," The Tribune, May 19, 2007,
[39] "Pakistan's Nuclear Forces, 2007," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 63, No. 3, pp. 71-73, May-June 2007; "Pakistani Nuclear Forces, 2006," Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI),
[40] S.M. Hali, "Second, Strike Capability," The Nation (Pakistan), August 15, 2006, Lexis-Nexis.
[41] Rajat Pandit, "India-made BrahMos to Hit Global Arms Market," The Times of India, January 3, 2007,
[42] Rahul Bedi, "India Nears BrahMos Submarine Test Firing," Jane's Missiles and Rockets, July 1, 2007.
[43] "Pakistan military test fires missile," USA Today, March 22, 2007,
[44] See for example Siddharth Varadarajan, "Arms Control in a Unipolar World," The Hindu, May 31, 2006,
[45] Hui Zhang, "FMCT and PAROS: A Chinese Perspective," INESAP Information Bulletin, Issue 20, August 2002, International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation,
[46] Sharon Squassoni, Andrew Demkee, and Jill Marie Parillo, "Banning Fissile Material Production for Nuclear Weapons: Prospects for a Treaty (FMCT)," Congressional Research Service Report, July 6, 2006.
[47] For more on this see Bates Gill and Martin Kleiber, "China's Space Odyssey," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2007, vol. 86, Issue 3.
[48] Jenni Rissanen, "Time for a Fissban-Or Farewell," Disarmament Diplomacy, Winter 2006, Issue 83,
[49] Hui Zhang, "Action/Reaction: U.S. Space Weaponization and China," Arms Control Today, December 2005.
[50] Ibid.
[51] "Spaced Out?" (Editorial), Indian Express, January 20, 2007,; Shiv Aroor, "Beijing Test a Reminder, But India Not Interested," Indian Express, January 20, 2007,
[52] "India to counter China's anti-satellite test, says DRDO," The Tribune (Chandigarh), January 21, 2007,
[53] Mark Sappenfield, "India Raises the Ante on its Space Program," Christian Science Monitor, January 11, 2007; Jo Johnson & Mure Dickie, "China and India in 'race to the moon,'" The Financial Times, May 30, 2007.
[54] Rissanen, "Time for a Fissban-Or Farewell."
[55] See for example, Bharat Karnad, "India's Force Planning Imperative: The Thermonuclear Option," in D.R. SarDesai & Raju G.C. Thomas, (eds.) Nuclear India in the Twenty-First Century, (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2002), pp. 105-138.
[56] See Rajesh Kumar Mishra, "India and the Draft US FMCT Text," IDSA Strategic Comments, June 15, 2006,
[57] Rissanen, "Time for a Fissban-Or Farewell."
[58] Sridhar Krishnaswami, "Pakistan would say 'yes' to fissile material moratorium," Press Trust of India, Lexis-Nexis, July 13, 2006.
[59] K. Subrahmanyam, quoted in Siddharth Varadarajan, "Fissile treaty is India's next challenge," The Hindu, March 28, 2007,
[60] Siddharth Varadarajan, "For India, North Korea's test poses key challenge," The Hindu, October 11, 2006.
[61] In March 2003, the Bush administration sanctioned the Khan Research Laboratories in Pakistan for missile technology dealings with North Korea.
[62] Bruce Loudon, "Nuclear terror threat raised," The Australian, October 10, 2006.
[63] "Pak distances itself from N. Korean N-programme," The Tribune, October 10, 2006,, and Thom Shanker & David E. Sanger, "North Korean Fuel Identified as Plutonium," The New York Times, October 17, 2006.
[64] "India, Pakistan, North Korea all different: US," The Hindustan Times, October 11, 2006.
[65] "Pakistani nuclear technicians reportedly in N. Korea before test-Japanese weekly," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, October 27, 2006.
[66] Seymour Hersh, "The Deal," The New Yorker, March 8, 2004.
[67] "CIA Did Not Focus Enough on Khan Network: Researcher," Reuters, May 8, 2007,
[68] See "Crocker wants 'whole story' of A.Q. Khan issue," Balochistan Times, LexisNexis, October 3, 2006.
[69] For a complete update see Kenley Butler, Sammy Salama, & Leonard S. Spector, "Where is the justice?" Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2006.
[70] David Armstrong, "Khan Man?" The New Republic, November 9, 2004,
[71] "Pakistan threatened to give nukes to Iran, ex-officials say," USA Today, February 27, 2004,
[72] John Lancaster & Kamran Khan, "Musharraf Named in Nuclear Probe," Washington Post, February 3, 2004.
[73] Salman Masood & David Rohde, "Musharraf's disclosure a factor in N. Korea Talks," International Herald Tribune, August 26, 2005.
[74] "Pakistan and North Korea: Dangerous Counter-Trades," Strategic Comments, 8.9, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, November 2002.
[75] "Pakistan and North Korea: Dangerous Counter-Trades."
[76] "The Russian Federation and Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Delivery Systems: Threats, Assessments, Problems and Solutions," Translation of Russian Government white paper on nonproliferation policy, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey, CA, August 2006,
[77] Paul Anderson, "Is Pakistan's nuclear programme dying?" BBC News, March 3, 2004,
[78] Kenley Butler, Sammy Salama, and Leonard S. Spector, "Where is the justice?" p. 29.
[79] Elaine Shannon, "A New Nuke Black Market for Iran?" Time, May 9, 2007,
[80] Ibid.
[81] "Top Pakistan nuclear scientists in Taliban custody," Zee News, March 8, 2007,
[82] "Pakistan 'nuclear kidnap' foiled," BBC News, January 15, 2007,
[83] "Non-proliferation Move," (editorial), The Nation (Islamabad), May 2, 2007, Open Source Center, SAP20070502005021.
[84] David E. Sanger & Thom Shanker, "U.S. Debates Deterrence for Nuclear Terrorism," The New York Times, May 8, 2007.
[85] In this context, Pakistani sources quoting diplomatic contacts stated in March 2007 that U.S. agencies, led by the CIA, were actively looking for potential replacements for General Musharraf from within the senior military leadership. See Amir Mir, "CIA Hunts for New Head of State in Pakistan's Army," Daily News and Analysis, March 23, 2007,
[86] "Anti-Proliferation Bill Passed," The Hindu, January 28, 2007,
[87] See Amir Mir, "Where Terror and the Bomb Could Meet," Asia Times, July 7, 2005,; "US Denies Saudi-Pak Nuclear Links," The Times of India, October 26, 2003,
The 2003 report in the Times of India included an official U.S. government denial of Pakistan-Saudi nuclear links, though it also quoted U.S. reports of past.
[88] Richard Beeston, "Six Arab states join rush to go nuclear," The Times, November 4, 2006.
[89] "Saudis can skip nuclear checks," The Record (Waterloo, Ontario), June 17, 2005. This provision permits states to possess up to 10 tons of natural uranium and 2.2 pounds of uranium without informing the IAEA and also lets them forgo reporting the existence of any new nuclear installations till six months before they start operating, see "Saudi Arabia Begins talks to ease IAEA Oversight," Global Security Newswire, Nuclear Threat Initiative, April 20, 2005,
[90] Ewen MacAskill and Ian Traynor, "Saudis Consider Nuclear Bomb," The Guardian, September 18, 2003,
[91] "Saudi Arabia Working on a Secret Nuclear Program with Pakistan Help-Report," Forbes Magazine, March 28, 2006,
[92] Arnaud de Borchgrave, "Islamabad Trades Weapons Technology For Oil," The Washington Times, October 22, 2003.
[93] Ibid.
[94] Ze'ev Schiff, "Iran: Pakistan Helping Saudis Develop Nukes," Haaretz, December 8, 2004,
[95] G. Parthasarathy, "Pakistan's 'Strategic Depth' Idea," The Hindu, August 12, 2004. See also Tom Donnelly, "The Islamabad Dilemma," Armed Forces Journal, November 2006,
[96] Stephen Blank, "Saudi Arabia's Nuclear Gambit," Asia Times, November 7, 2003,
[97] V.R. Raghavan, "Strategic Depth in Afghanistan," The Hindu, November 7, 2001.
[98] "U.S. Sanctions Seven Firms For Iran Trade,", August 4, 2006,
[99] Somini Sengupta, "Big U.S. Business Troupe Is Being Readied for India," The New York Times, August 8, 2006,
[100] "Targeted firm supplied Iran with medicine," The Asian Age, August 6, 2006. The Iranian firms mentioned are Zakari-Tabriz Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company and the Antibiotic Sazi Iran Company.
[101] Naeem Mustafa, "Pakistan freezes accounts, assets of organizations, companies, individuals related to Iran's nuclear program," Jinnah (in Urdu), February 16, 2007, Open Source Center SAP20070217005002.
[102] "Putting sanctions regime in place, India bans export of tech Iran may use for nukes," The Indian Express, February 22, 2007,
[103] Glenn Kessler, "India Official Dismisses Iran Reports," The Washington Post, May 2, 2007,
[104] "'Iran has inalienable right to nuclear energy',", September 18, 2005,; "India Bans Export of N-Technology to Iran," The Hindustan Times, May 9, 2007, Open Source Center FEA20070510139666.
[105] "India to go ahead with Iran pipeline project," Business Standard, March 27, 2007,
[106] Ramesh Ramachandran, "India is likely to be Iran nuclear monitor," The Asian Age, January 25, 2007.
[107] Rajeev Sharma, "123: High on Confidence, Stuck on 4 Plus 1," The Tribune, June 2, 2007,
[108] See for example, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee terming the NPT as "flawed"; Anil K. Joseph, "We consider NPT a flawed treaty: India,", March 23, 2007,
[109] T.S. Subramanian, "Non-proliferation Regime Puts Curbs on Responsible Powers: Manmohan," The Hindu, October 24, 2004,
[110] Shyam Saran, "Nuclear Non-Proliferation and International Security," Strategic Analysis, July-September 2005, Vol. 29, No. 3, p. 363.
[111] Scott Woods, "Analysis of the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal," Defense & Security Analysis, September 2006, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 325-328.
[112] Gary Milhollin, "The U.S.-India Nuclear Pact: Bad for Security," Current History, November 2006, p. 371.
[113] Ibid, p. 373.
[114] Michael Krepon, "The Nuclear Flock," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2007, Vol. 63, No. 2, p. 17.
[115] Amit Baruah, "India for keeping future test out of '123 agreement,'" The Hindu, March 23, 2007,
[116] M.R. Srinivasan, "The India-U.S. Nuclear Stalemate," The Hindu, May 31, 2007.
[117] Ibid.
[118] "Sticking points in US-India talks," World Nuclear News, April 2, 2007,
[119] R. Rajaraman, "A Fruitless Venture," The Hindustan Times, April 30, 2007.
[120] Ibid.
[121] Brahma Chellaney, "Fission for Trouble," The Hindustan Times, May 28, 2007.
[122] Ibid.
[123] See Paul Richter, "In Deal With India, Bush Has Eye on China," Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2006. A March 2006 op-ed piece by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice specifying the objectives behind the agreement, did not mention balancing China as a rationale; see Condoleezza Rice, "Our Opportunity With India," The Washington Post, March 13, 2006.
[124] Thomas Donnelly and Melissa Wisner, "A Global Partnership Between the U.S. and India," Asian Outlook, American Enterprise Institute, August-September 2005.
[125] Mohan Malik, "China Responds to the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal," Jamestown Foundation, China Brief, Vol. 6, Issue 7, March 29, 2006.
[126] Henry Sokolski, "Proliferation Pass," National Review Online, March 16, 2004,
[127] C. Raja Mohan, "Musharraf to Press China for 2 Reactors," The Indian Express, June 12, 2006.
[128] "China building second phase of Pakistan nuclear power plant,", Lexis-Nexis, January 3, 2006.
[129] "Pakistan, China to sign Nuclear Cooperation Deal During Hu's Visit Next Month," Karachi Islam in Urdu, October 19, 2006, FBIS.
[130] C. Raja Mohan, "As India Debates N-Deal, China & Pak Move to Close Rival Pact," The Indian Express, August 17, 2006.
[131] Sudha Ramachandran, "Good deals, but no nukes for Pakistan," Asia Times, November 28, 2006,
[132] Phone interview with Brig. (retd.) Feroz Hassan Khan, Monterey, CA, January 2007.
[133] Nirupama Subramanian, "Pakistan presses U.S. for civil nuclear energy pact," The Hindu, October 26, 2006.
[134] Shameem Akhtar, "US nuclear policy and South Asia," Dawn, March 31, 2006,
[135] Nirupama Subramanian, "Pakistan presses U.S. for civil nuclear energy pact."
[136] "State's Joseph Sees Nonproliferation Gains in U.S.-India Deal," U.S. State Department, September 9, 2005,
[137] Ihtasham ul Haque, "Move for indigenous N-fuel capability," Dawn, February 21, 2007, Open Source Center, SAP20070221081001.
[138] Ihtasham ul Haque, "Plan to set up facility for nuclear power plants," Dawn, April 4, 2007,
[139] Dean Nelson, "Pakistan upgrades nuclear arsenal," The Sunday Times, July 30, 2006.
[140] Randeep Ramesh & Julian Borger, "Pakistan launches huge nuclear arms drive," The Guardian, July 25, 2006.
[141] Shahid-ur-Rehman Khan, "Pakistan Nuclear Reprocessing Plant May Yield Weapons-Grade Plutonium," Kyodo World Service, May 7, 2007, Open Source Center, JPP20070507053001.
[142] Shahid-ur-Rehman Khan, "Pakistan Nuclear Reprocessing Plant May Yield Weapons-Grade Plutonium."
[143] Joby Warwick, "Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Program," The Washington Post, July 24, 2006.
[144] Dean Nelson, "Pakistan upgrades nuclear arsenal."
[145] Gopalan Balachandran, "It's not about Pakistan's reactor but US reaction," The Indian Express, July 27, 2006.
[146] "India, China on Path of Nuke Cooperation,", November 21, 2006,
[147] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies, July 1999,
[148] "Hu Refuses Nuke Deal Help," The Asian Age, November 23, 2006.
[149] John Cherian, "Towards Lasting Ties," Frontline, December 2-15, 2006, Vol. 23, Issue 24.
[150] Katharine Murphy, "Howard's U-turn on India," The Age (Melbourne), March 30, 2007,
[151] Andrew Trounson, "BHP sees India as a major buyer," The Australian, October 27, 2006,
[152] "Brazil, South Africa for Civil Nuke Cooperation With India," Times of India, July 17, 2007.
[153] "Foreign firms make a beeline to reap N-deal benefits," The Times of India, November 12, 2006.
[154] Neil King, Jr., "U.S.-India Talks on Nuclear Pact Enter Endgame," Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2007; Michael Forsythe and Veena Trehan, "Hoping for Influence, India Makes U.S. Allies," International Herald Tribune, July 16, 2006.
[155] See Santanu Choudhury & Bibhudatta Pradhan, "India Clears Biggest Fighter Jet Contract in 15 Years,", June 29, 2007,

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest on nuclear and biological threats.

Sign Up

Eric Brewer on the War in Ukraine and Nonproliferation
nuclear symbol with no symbol circle with line through it


Eric Brewer on the War in Ukraine and Nonproliferation

Deputy Vice President for NTI’s Nuclear Materials Security Program Eric Brewer writes that “although Russia’s war [in Ukraine] has created nuclear risks, the risk that it will unleash a wave of nuclear proliferation is lower than many believe.”


My Resources