EDITORIAL: India’s detonation of a nuclear device … not far from the Pakistan border, has caused profound dismay … among peace lovers. … The troubled South Asian sub-continent has ceased to be a nuclear-free zone. … Prime Minister Bhutto put the whole thing into perspective … with his remark that “India has dynamited and shattered into pieces the Non-Proliferation Treaty. …” The explosion constitutes a minatory sign which Pakistan can ill afford to ignore. In these circumstances, Mr Bhutto’s argument that this necessitates “the irreducible minimum of protection” in the form of a “nuclear umbrella of all the five Great Powers, or … at least one of them” is founded on the basic premises of the [NPT], which this country has signed. …

India’s decision … has implications for the … region’s balance and for this country’s security. The Permanent Members of the Security Council and the countries which by their direct … assistance … made the option available to India have an obvious duty to … devise effective ways of preventing India from using its nuclear capability to blackmail its neighbours.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2024

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