Pakistan and India: Can NRRCs Help to Strengthen Peace?

Analysis and Briefings

Pakistan and India: Can NRRCs Help to Strengthen Peace?

India and Pakistan could benefit greatly from the establishment of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers according to a report released by the Henry L. Stimson Center. The Stimson Center's report, Pakistan and India: Can NRRCs Help to Strengthen Peace?, was authored by Colonel Rafi uz Zaman Khan of the Strategic Plans Directorate, a joint service body in Pakistan that works on a wide range of policies associated with that country's nuclear deterrent. Col. Khan argues that, “[T]he establishment of NRRCs in India and Pakistan would serve as an effective, exclusive and a dedicated technical means of official communication for exchanging rapid, accurate and factual information.” Colonel Khan, who wrote this report while on a visiting fellowship at the Stimson Center, believes that the NRRCs can serve as a "verification mechanism" for training exercises and strategic deployments. He argues that, while the NRRCs “may thus become the highest-level central coordinating institution for the implementation of confidence-building measures,” they cannot be seen as replacement to political and diplomatic lines of communication. NRRCs should not be viewed as the panacea for crisis management, rather, they are a tool to prevent misperceptions or miscalculations that can otherwise lead to unintended escalation. He writes that, while “the proposal for creation of the NRRCs may appear to be optimistic at this stage," the general concept of NRRCs should form part of the agenda during any future discussions between the two countries.