Since testing nuclear weapons in 1998, Pakistan has lost while India has gained regional and international standing. Pakistan has also become less confident of its national security as the United States has gravitated toward India and as Pakistan’s own ties with states in the region have frayed. This wasn’t supposed to happen: Pakistan tested nuclear devices and has expanded its nuclear stockpile to improve its security and profile. Understanding why these objectives are receding is crucial to Pakistan’s well-being and to figuring out why Islamabad’s talking points have fallen on deaf ears in foreign capitals. Blaming misfortune on the lure of India’s market is too convenient an excuse. India most certainly gains sway because of its market, but the profit motive does not explain why Pakistan has lost the benefit of the doubt abroad.
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