Nuclear Doctrine of Pakistan


Nuclear Doctrine of Pakistan

The Nuclear Doctrine of Pakistan describes the nuclear strategy policy employed by Pakistan in the event of a war, particularly against India.

In the event of any future war between Pakistan and India, the Indian numerical superiority in men and conventional arms is likely to exert pressure beyond endurance on Pakistan. In a deteriorating military situation, when an Indian conventional attack is likely to break through Pakistani defences, or has already breached the main defence line causing a major set-back to the defence, which cannot be restored by conventional means at Pakistan's disposal, the government would be left with no other option except to use nuclear weapons to stabilize the situation. India's superiority in conventional arms and manpower would have to be offset by nuclear weapons. The political will to use nuclear weapons is essential to prevent a conventional armed conflict, which could later on escalate into a nuclear war.

Pakistan's Nuclear Doctrine would therefore essentially revolve around the first-strike option. In other words, the Pakistani government will use nuclear weapons if attacked by India even if the attack is with conventional weapons. With his experience of a graduated nuclear response, Professor Stephen P. Cohen feels that Pakistan would use what he calls an 'option-enhancing policy'. This would entail a stage-by-stage approach in which the nuclear threat is increased at each step to deter India from attacking. These stages are as follows:

# A public or private warning.
# demonstration explosion of a small nuclear weapon on Pakistani soil.
# The use of (a) nuclear weapon(s) on Pakistani soil against Indian attacking forces.
# The use of (a) nuclear weapon(s) against critical but purely military targets on Indian soil, probably in thinly populated areas in the desert or semi-desert, causing the least collateral damage.

Some weapon systems would be in reserve for the counter-value role. These weapons would be safe from Indian attack as some would be airborne while the ground based ones are mobile and could be moved around the country.

External links

* [http://www.defencejournal.com/apr99/pak-nuclear-doctrine.htm Pakistan’s Nuclear Doctrine]


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