May 11, 2016
The Hindu ArchivesTit for tat: "While India’s decision to test was a proactive one, the Pakistani call to test was a reaction.” File photo of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Pokhran.
Exchanging information on nuclear doctrines and discussing confidence-building measures could be the best scenario for India and Pakistan on the 18th anniversary of Pokhran-II
Eighteen years after India and Pakistan tested nuclear devices in Pokhran and Chagai on May 11, 13, and 28, 1998, there remains a yawning gap in perception on what this nuclear “deterrent” spells for the other country.
It must be remembered that while India’s decision to test was a proactive one, the Pakistani call to test was a reaction, a response. Had India not gone first, it would have been nearly impossible for Islamabad to test.
Though nuclear devices were clearly available to Pakistan for some time, the country’s permanent establishment lay low, choosing a policy of ambiguity or suggesting through the media that they possessed a nuclear deterrent.An emboldened neighbour