ABSTRACT

Since the nuclear testing by India and Pakistan in May 1998, many countries have expressed the need for introducing an effective restraint regime in South Asia. The continuing confl ict over Kashmir was seen as a potential fl ashpoint that could cause a nuclear exchange between the two countries. Unable to convince India and Pakistan to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), many Western countries began to describe South Asia as an unstable region, which could witness the fi rst nuclear war between the two countries. This may have been an important strategy to pressurize the two countries into signing the treaty, or, possibly, to warn them of the impending doomsday. While it is diffi cult to deny the risks involved in acquiring and maintaining nuclear weapons, to insinuate that both India and Pakistan were irresponsible nations was more than a little unreasonable.