A nuclear triangle of India vs Pakistan and China may explode into a global catastrophe as tensions are growing on the Indian subcontinent.
As the death toll from ceasefire violations along the India vs Pakistan border steadily climbs up (11 people have been killed in the flashpoint area this month alone), India is reportedly considering loosening up its no-first use of nuclear weapons doctrine.
In the world so fixated on the nuclear threat from North Korea, an even scarier conflict is boiling on the Indian subcontinent, as experts warn the heated standoff between Islamabad and New Delhi is spiraling into a global nuclear catastrophe. China, which had remained aloof from the conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations, has recently heightened the threat to global stability.
India’s No-First Use Nukes Doctrine to be Reconsidered?
As Chinese and Indian forces remain locked in a standoff in their own, no-less-volatile border conflict, the greatest possibility of nuclear war is still hovering over the disputed Kashmir area between India vs Pakistan.
Amid a backdrop of former Indian defense minister Mulayam Signh Yadav warning that Beijing was preparing for a military scenario that involves the use of nuclear warheads to resolve the month-long standoff on the China-Indian border, New Delhi may be considering a reinterpretation of its nuclear doctrine, which currently prohibits the first use of nukes.
The nuclear triangle of Pakistan, India and China is as volatile as ever, with tensions rapidly rising on the line of control on the Pak-Indian border. As the two nuclear-equipped nations continue trading accusations for ceasefire violations, reports of India losing its patience with the no-first use nuclear doctrine continue to mount.
The present nukes doctrine of New Delhi orders the nation to resort to its nuclear arsenal, which includes around 120-130 nuclear warheads, only in the event of retaliation against Pakistan, which owns an estimated from 130 to 140 warheads.
India vs Pakistan Nuclear War Would be Devastating For the World
Earlier this month, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s report on nuclear program expansions around the world found that both Islamabad and New Delhi are still actively expanding their nukes stockpiles and improving nuclear capabilities.
But it’s not the mere fact that the two nations are expanding their nuclear arsenals that send shivers down the spine, it’s the instability of their standoff and the high possibility of the two historic rivals resorting to nukes. Not only would an India vs Pakistan war involving nukes be catastrophic for the entire region, but also devastating for the entire world.
The boiling India vs Pakistan conflict could be hinging solely on a single terrorist attack that would be enough to spark a scary nuclear war between the two enemies. The “main problem” of the conflict is that no one can predict what actions by India Pakistan considers nuclear-attack-worthy or if a major terrorist attack could prompt the two neighbors to spiral into a catastrophic war involving nukes, as told by RIA Novosti contributor Ilya Plekhanov to Sputnik News.
The India vs Pakistan Nuclear Conundrum And… Trump
Earlier this year, Islamabad accused New Delhi of expanding its nuclear arsenal and preparing to produce additional 2,600 nuclear warheads, but reports indicate that in fact both India vs Pakistan are polishing their existing nuclear weapons and producing new ones in an apparent preparation for an all-out India vs Pakistan nuclear war.
If any of Pakistan-based terrorist groups launch an assault inside India, it could be enough to ignite an India vs Pakistan nuclear war, experts fear. With the region so concerned about an alleged terrorist threat emanating from Islamabad, a terrorist attack in India by any of Pakistan-based terrorist groups could prompt New Delhi to respond by sending its troops into the neighbor’s territory.
While New Delhi would certainly justify a military intervention on Pakistani soil as its attempt to fight terrorism inside the nation, it’s unclear how would Islamabad react to this and if it would use nuclear weapons to drive Indian troops out.
After all, Pakistan-based terrorist groups, notably Lashkar-e-Taiba, are no strangers to staging terrorist attacks inside India. In 2008, the terrorist group attacked the Indian city of Mumbai and killed 174 people. New Delhi reportedly considered staging a military intervention inside Pakistan to retaliate for the gruesome attack, but the U.S. was able to persuade the Indian side not to.
With Republican Donald Trump being U.S. President, however, it’s unclear what could be the consequences of an India vs Pakistan conflict in the event of a terrorist attack inside India by Pakistan-based terrorist groups. According to Plekhanov, India “believes” it has “much more decision-making freedom in its nuclear policy” now that Trump is in office. “US-Pakistani relations under Trump are also on the decline,” the Russia-based analyst said. “Washington has stopped considering Islamabad a reliable ally in the fight against militants in Afghanistan. India, naturally, is reassured by this.”
India, Pakistan, China Nuclear Triangle: Where Is This All Going?
The fact that China is now actively involved in the nuclear triangle even further creates a bigger possibility of a nuclear conflict in the region. Being a close ally of Islamabad, Beijing has for years been a vocal critic of India’s growing nuclear program. Now that both China and Pakistan have engaged in heated border conflicts against India, what is the likelihood of the two allied nations teaming up against New Delhi?
India vs Pakistan fought three major wars over Kashmir before acquiring nuclear weapons last century. What is the likelihood of the two nations putting their nukes to use to resolve the Kashmir dispute?
These questions remain unanswered and unpredictable, but the possibility of the Asian border conundrum turning into a global catastrophe remains as high as ever.