by Usman Ali Khan 16 May 2019
In South Asia, an Aesopian nuclear struggle to achieve the maximum is underway by India, keeping in mind the continuous development of its defence capabilities. Its struggle to achieve the peak is moving steadily forward without great exertion but with abundant support.
India since independence has sought to carve out a special exception for itself in the nuclear sphere. Currently, the situation is starkly different. India is expanding its capacity to produce bombs, thermonuclear weapons, adding more and more cruise missiles to its arsenals, deploying nuclear weapons at sea and now diverting these weapons to space at a massive pace. Slowing this trajectory will be difficult as long as the power to keep India at bay.
Interestingly, after the 1974 nuclear test by India, it was barred from nuclear trade by the United States and other major powers. It converted the materials and equipment acquired from Canada and the United States, ostensibly for peaceful purposes. This has encouraged India more to keep expanding a nuclear weapons program and tested again in 1998. Whatever their misgivings were, India still refuses to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which commits all states (except the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China) to forsake nuclear weapons.
Amusingly, keeping aside the irresponsible behavior of India, the situation changed altogether when George W. Bush administration signed a nuclear agreement with India to build nuclear power plants. In 2008 the United States signed a civilian nuclear trade deal with India. This step was a potential game changer with severe consequences in the region. Such favours given to India in the past must have been calculated with clinical logic and must have pursued keeping in mind the long-term interests of the country.
At present, one has to wonder why Indian nuclear history goes unchecked. New Delhi was denied access to global nuclear order for three decades, and the reasons are well known to everyone:
(a) the country has never signed the non-proliferation treaty or the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
(b) It misused civilian nuclear technology in 1974
(c) And it continues to fabricate nuclear weapons at a rapid pace
Darkness was always necessary to nourish the nuclear program of India. The world remains in delusions, and most Indians are unaware of the risks attached to Indian safety and security structure that are always kept in the dark.
In 2016, the EU mandated Conflict Armament Research’s (CAR) report published upon weapons’-specific issues in the conflict area, stated that seven Indian companies along with others had been found incorporating components used by the IS to fabricate improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
With all companies figured by the CAR list, the seven India-based companies reportedly contributing to the supply chain of IS IEDs include: Gulf Oil Corporation: Detonating cord, Solar Industries: Detonating cord, Premier Explosives: Detonating cord, Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals: Detonating cord, Chamundi Explosives: Safety fuse, Economic Explosives: Detonators, IDEAL Industrial Explosives: Detonators.
Paradoxically, these ripe evidential scenarios land on deaf ears.
Efforts have been invested in tackling the Iranian nuclear issue. The West has been attempting to bring in the rules-based system for countries such as Iran. The Iranian problem has uncovered substantial weaknesses under the NPT, especially the absence of a clear divide between civilian and nuclear programs. But the question that arises is, did India separate its civilian and military nuclear programmes? Is India trustworthy, keeping in view its current and past track record?
At the bottom of this entire debate are vexatious secrecy and the irresponsible attitude of India towards the non-proliferation regime. A disturbing fact emerges concerning how a country can be trusted with uranium and nuclear deals with over dozens of countries ignoring its habitual nature of diverting the technology.
The global order is based on the biased perceptions of having and have not.
What might change India’s calculation that more deals and weapons would not equate to more security? One way is for New Delhi to take steps to improve relations and to “take away the enemy image,” similar to what Mikhail Gorbachev accomplished when he was the leader of the Soviet Union in his dealings with the United States. The safest route to reduce nuclear dangers on the subcontinent is through concerted efforts to improve relations. A nuclear arsenal built by proliferation, as India did in 74, is inherently unstable.