Indiens und Pakistans offene Nuklearisierung und ihre widersprüchlichen Folgen

  • Citha D. Maass (Autor/in)

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In May 1998 India conducted two series of nuclear tests, immediately provoking Pakistan to follow suit with two test series. With the decision of “going nuclear”, both countries openly demonstrated their nuclear capabilities, covertly developed during several decades. Thus, the South Asian enemies have qualitatively changed their mutual threat potential, and, at the same time, have irrevocably broken the global monopoly of the five nuclear weapon states (NWSs).
The Indian decision was basically determined by a status motivation, claiming the same international status as China, India wants to join the exclusive group of the five NWSs, which are also the sole members with the right of veto in the UN Security Council. The Pakistani response was based on the security motivation. preventing India’s nuclear domination, re-establishing a strategic balance, and countering the weaponization of India’s nuclear programme.
India’s and Pakistan’s nuclearization may give rise to contradictory developments: on the one hand, destabilizing repercussions beyond the South Asian region can be expected because the “open threat triangle” between China, India, and Pakistan encourages a nuclear and missile “arms race” between these unequal neighbouring countries; on the other, the tests have given a new impetus to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, putting severe pressure on India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to cooperate in negotiations on a “Fissile Materials Production Cut-off Treaty”. If both countries join the CTBT by September 1999, non-proliferation regimes will further progress towards universal validity.