Nuclear Doctrine of Pakistan
Offensive or Defensive?
Mian Majid Ali Afzal
South Asia could not be isolated from the worldwide enthusiasm towards atomic energy after China’s nuclear tests of 1964. India, with the help of the United States, had already started its nuclear program on 2 March 1944 – nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha, who is Colloquially known as the ‘father of the Indian nuclear programme’, began persuading the Indian Congress towards the harnessing of nuclear energy and a year later he established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Indian programme started more than a year before the ‘Trinity’ nuclear test and about a year and a half before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over three years before the country’s independence. Pakistan, after India’s tests in 1974, also followed the suit. During the 80s and early 90s, the debate was whether the two countries actually had the nuclear capability or they were just ‘paper tigers’. Whatever the scenario, one thing is clear: this situation successfully averted wars between the two countries in that period of time. The debate settled with the successful tests by both India and Pakistan in 1998. The ensuing debate and major questions were related to nuclear policies and postures of both countries.
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