While diplomacy between Pakistan and India dawdles, nuclear capabilities are moving forward at a brisk pace. Since testing nuclear devices in 1998, both countries have flight-tested no fewer than 17 types of missiles that are capable of delivering nuclear weapons – a pace of more than one per year. New families of cruise missiles are joining expanded families of ballistic missiles. Nuclear weapon delivery systems are moving out to sea.
No other state possessing nuclear weapons has proceeded at a faster pace since 1998 than Pakistan and India.
In contrast, nuclear risk reduction agreements appear paltry by comparison. Efforts by New Delhi and Islamabad to seek more normal relations have proceeded at a snail’s pace. There have been modest overtures, such as the release of fishermen captured in contested waters, and promises to do more, but little has come of them.
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This op-ed first appeared in Dawn on December 19, 2013
Cover illustration by Lita Ledesma