18 Years On: Examining State of India-Pakistan Nuclear CBMs

Eighteen years ago this month, India and Pakistan surprised the international community by testing nuclear weapons within weeks of each other. In the aftermath of the tests, the two countries formulated a set of confidence-building measures (CBMs) to mitigate risk and enhance strategic stability. But how effective have these initiatives been? Have they managed to achieve their objective or is a new approach needed? SAV contributors Arka Biswas, Sitara Noor, Sobia Paracha, and Tanvi Kulkarni will explore some of these themes in this series.

In India-Pakistan Nuclear CBMs: Focusing on the Sub-Conventional, Arka Biswas argues that as long as the sub-conventional, conventional, and nuclear conflicts (and their prospects) remain connected, a broader framework comprising complementary conventional and sub-conventional CBMs will be needed in support of nuclear CBMs to instill any confidence in the India-Pakistan relationship.

In India-Pakistan Nuclear CBMs: Addressing Mutual Concerns, Sitara Noor contends that though strategic competition in South Asia will always be a reality, it is essential to increase confidence in areas that are equally threatening for both states, such as in cyberspace and nuclear terrorism.

In India-Pakistan Nuclear CBMs: Internal Dialogue As Catalyst for Peace?, Sobia Paracha calls for wider internal discussion in India and Pakistan on Kashmir and terrorism as a measure to strengthen confidence-building as a whole between the two countries.

In India-Pakistan Nuclear CBMs: A New Approach, Tanvi Kulkarni proposes a strategic nuclear dialogue mechanism as well as a joint nuclear lexicon as meaningful and promising nuclear confidence-building measures (NCBMs) between the two countries.