Vol. 3 No. 1 (2024): MUNDI

Nuclear Volatility in South Asia

Published 2024-06-12


South Asia's nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, have a longstanding rivalry, particularly over Kashmir. This paper examines how their recent domestic political developments impact their foreign policy choices and contribute to the risk of nuclear conflict. India's rise in far-right nationalism under Modi and Pakistan's deep-seated military influence are analyzed through relevant frameworks of nuclear proliferation and conflict. The paper argues that Modi's "Akhand Bharat" vision and Pakistan's proxy war strategy fueled by groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed challenge classical deterrence theory. The stability-instability paradox plays out through Pakistan's asymmetric warfare and India's conventional responses. With Modi showing an inclination for forceful reactions, the risk of escalation towards nuclear brinkmanship intensifies. The paper concludes by highlighting the urgent need for de-escalation measures and dialogue to avert a catastrophic nuclear incident in South Asia.