The Case for a South Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

  • Samina Yasmeen


Thirty years ago, on 16 February 1967, Latin American countries concluded the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America. Nine years later, in December 1975, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution which identified nuclearweapon-free zones (NWFZ) as ‘constitut[ing] one of the most effective means of preventing the proliferation, both horizontal and vertical, of nuclear weapons and for contributing to the elimination of the danger of a nuclear holocaust’.1 Since then the world has witnessed the formation of NWFZ in the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa.2 Suggestions are also being made for a NWFZ encompassing all countries of the southern hemisphere. Meanwhile, South Asia remains locked in an undeclared nuclear deterrence involving its two major states, India and Pakistan. The question arises as to whether these two states need to follow examples set by other countries and establish a NWFZ in South Asia.


International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Weapon Fissile Material Ballistic Missile Nuclear Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cited by Mahmoud Karem, A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East: Problems and Prospects (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p. 2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ramesh Thakur, ‘The Treaty of Raratonga: The South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone’, in David Pitt and Gordon Thompson, eds, Nuclear-Free Zones (London: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 23–45;Google Scholar
  3. Sola Ogunbanwo, ‘The Treaty of Pelindaba: Africa is Nuclear-Weapon Free’, Security Dialogue 27 (February 1996), pp. 185–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    Samina Yasmeen and Aabha Dixit, Confidence-building Measures in South Asia (Washington DC: Henry Stimson Center, Occasional Paper No. 24, 1995).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    US Government, Report to Congress on Progress Toward Regional Nonproliferation in South Asia, (1993), cited by Amitabh Mattoo, ‘India’s Nuclear Status Quo’, Survival 38 (Autumn 1996), p. 42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 5.
    David Albright, William M. Arkin, Frans Berkhout, Robert Norris and William Walker, ‘Inventories of Fissile Materials and Nuclear Weapons’, SIPRI Yearbook 1995: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press for SIPRI, 1995), p. 321.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    David Albright, Frans Berkhout and William Walker, SIPRI World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium, 1992 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for SIPRI, 1993), pp. 161–2.Google Scholar
  8. Eric Arnett, ‘Implications of the comprehensive test ban for nuclear weapon programmes and decision making’, in Eric Arnett, ed., Nuclear Weapons After the Comprehensive Test Ban: Implications for Modernization and Proliferation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 13.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    W. P. S. Sidhu, ‘India’s Nuclear Tests: Technical and Military Imperatives’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, April 1996, pp. 171–2.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Shafgat Ali Khan, ‘Pakistan’, in Arnett, ed., Nuclear Weapons After the Comprehensive Test Ban, pp. 74–7;Google Scholar
  11. W. P. S. Sidhu, ‘Pakistan’s Bomb: a quest for credibility’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1996, pp. 278–9.Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    See, for example, Zahid Malik, Dr A. Q. Khan and the Islamic Bomb (Islamabad: Hurmat Publications, 1992), ch. 18.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    See, for example, Devin T. Hagerty, ‘Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia: The 1990 Indo-Pakistani Crisis’, International Security 20 (Winter 1995–96), pp. 79–114;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Najam Sethi, ‘Indo-Pak Nuclear Future’, Friday Times (Lahore), 18–24 April 1996, pp. 6–7.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    See, for example, Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam, 1995);Google Scholar
  16. Anthony Stevens, The Roots of War: A Jungian Perspective (New York: Paragon House, 1989).Google Scholar
  17. 16.
    Michael Krepon and Mishi Faruqee, Conflict Prevention and Confidence Building Measures in South Asia: The 1990 Crisis (Washington DC: Henry Stimson Center, 1994).Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    S. Rashid Naim, ‘After Midnight’, in Stephen P. Cohen, ed., Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia: The Prospects for Arms Control (Boulder: Westview, 1991), pp. 48–58.Google Scholar
  19. 28.
    Savita Pande, Pakistan’s Nuclear Policy (Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1991), pp. 139–40.Google Scholar
  20. 30.
    J. N. Dixit, Anatomy of a Flawed Inheritance: Indo—Pak Relations 1970–1994 (Delhi: Konark Publishers, 1995).Google Scholar
  21. 36.
    Raj Chengappa, ‘“We had no option”: Interview with I. K. Gujral’, India Today, 15 September 1996, p. 78; emphasis added.Google Scholar
  22. 38.
    Vipin Gupta, ‘Sensing the Threat’, in Cohen, ed., Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia, pp. 225–61.Google Scholar
  23. 39.
    Richard Kokoski, Technology and the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Oxford: Oxford University Press for SIPRI, 1995), pp. 209–15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samina Yasmeen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations