Escalation of India-Pakistan Conflict ‘Threatens World With Nuclear Catastrophe’

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

SputnikNews.com
25.07.2017

Tensions are growing between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. So far this month, 11 people have been killed and another 18 injured amid violations of the ceasefire along the line of control. RIA Novosti contributor Ilya Plekhanov warns that the conflict risks turning into a threat to global stability.

So far in the month of July, nearly a dozen people have been killed, with 4,000 more forced to leave their homes amid rising tensions on the line of control, the military delineation between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled portions of Jammu and Kashmir. Delhi and Islamabad have traded accusations over the crossfire.

The Indian Defense Ministry accused Pakistani forces of targeting civilians in artillery attacks. Meanwhile, following ceasefire violations on July 21, Pakistan blamed India for violating ceasefire norms, and summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to discuss the issue.

Amid the flaring of tensions, Indian ex-minister of information and broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu, recently nominated as the National Democratic Alliance party’s candidate for vice president, said on Sunday that Pakistan should remember its loss in the 1971 India-Pakistan War, after which Bangladesh broke with Islamabad and gained independence.
Meanwhile, last week, former Indian defense minister and opposition Samajwadi party chairman Mulayam Signh Yadav claimed that China was preparing to attack India, and was looking to use the Pakistani nuclear arsenal against Delhi.

Earlier this year, analysts told The New York Times that there was circumstantial evidence to suggest that Delhi was considering a reinterpretation of its nuclear doctrine, which presently prohibits the first use of nuclear weapons. Under the current doctrine, India prescribes the use of its nuclear arsenal for a massed retaliatory strike against enemy cities in the event of Pakistani attack.

Now, experts warn, the Indian military is considering modifying its doctrine to include limited preemptive strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, ostensibly for self-defense. For now, the idea remains speculation, and based on an analysis of recent statements by Indian officials.

According to RIA Novosti contributor Ilya Plekhanov, even such speculation carries the risk of pushing Pakistan to increase its own nuclear capabilities, and unleashing a nuclear arms race between the two nuclear powers. Secondly, the journalist warned, a revision of India’s doctrine could lead Islamabad to consider any escalation as a pretext for an Indian first strike.

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