Like no other geographical region in the world, three nuclear powers converge in the South Asian region.
However, none can afford to use their atomic arsenals because this would lead to untold
devastation for their own lands, their regions – and for a big chunk of the globe.

By Amna Nisar Abbasi | December 2020


Pakistan requires that all regional and international disputes be resolved through a meaningful dialogue leading to a peaceful solution. The doctrine has been strongly put forth by the country at every forum in the context of regional and international disputes.

India and Pakistan, both nuclear nations, have confronted each other many times and have fought many conventional wars. Over the years, India has engaged in continuous violations at the Line of Control (LoC), particularly in the J&K region. The heightened tensions between India and Pakistan rose to a new level after India scrapped the special status of the State of Jammu & Kashmir in August 2019. At this point, defence analysts even predicted a nuclear war between the two rivals. But it is obvious that better counsels prevailed on both sides.

India is said to have four times more military capability at the conventional level as compared to Pakistan but the latter’s parity or even superiority in terms of a nuclear arsenal has neutralized India’s conventional advantage. There is always the grim chance of a nuclear confrontation between the two countries. The Kashmir dispute is a potential flashpoint and has continued to remain for decades under consideration of the UN Security Council whose major members are its financiers and supporters as well. These states have their own interests in the Himalayan region and would always quell a nuclear conflagration. The third nuclear nation in the region, China, also has proven nuclear capability.

India is currently reported to have some 150 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan is said to have 160. The total nuclear arsenal of both countries could further expand to more than 350 warheads by 2025. China too is reported to currently possess more than 320 nuclear warheads and this number too is growing.

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The writer is an M.Sc. in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Quaid e Azam University, and is working as a research officer at the Institute of Regional Studies in Islamabad. She can be reached at

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