Ukraine's Lesson For Pakistan: Never Give Up Nuclear Weapons

Commenting on Ukraine, Russian analyst  Alexey Kupriyanov told Indian journalist Nirupama Subramanian: "For us, Ukraine is the same as Pakistan for India". What he failed to mention is that Pakistan has developed and retains its nuclear arsenal while Ukraine gave up its nukes in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. Many Ukrainians now regret this decision. Ukrainians know that no country with nuclear weapons has ever been physically invaded by a foreign military. They now understand the proven effectiveness of nuclear deterrence.  They realize that all the talk about "rules-based order" is just empty rhetoric. The reality is the Law of the Jungle where the strong prey on the weak. The US military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that Washington is just as guilty of violating the "rules-based order" as Moscow. 

Ukraine Gave Up Nukes in 1990s. Source: Utica Phoenix

Denuclearization of Ukraine:

When Ukraine became independent in the early 1990s,  it was the third-largest nuclear power in the world with thousands of nuclear arms. In the years that followed, Ukraine made the decision to denuclearize completely based on security guarantee from the U.S., the U.K. and Russia, known as the Budapest Memorandum.  Ukrainian analyst Mariana Budjeryn explained in an interview with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly as follows: 

"It is clear that Ukrainians knew they weren't getting the exactly - sort of these legally binding, really robust security guarantees they sought. But they were told at the time that the United States and Western powers - so certainly, at least, the United States and Great Britain, they take their political commitments really seriously. This is a document signed at the highest level by the heads of state".

US Efforts to Stop Pakistan's Nukes:

The order to conduct Pakistan's nuclear tests came from Mr. Nawaz Sharif who was Pakistan's prime minister in 1998. It came on May 28, just over two weeks after India's nuclear tests conducted May 11 to May 13, 1998. Pakistan went ahead with the tests in spite of the US pressure to abstain from testing.  US President Bill Clinton called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif immediately after the Indian tests to urge restraint.  It was followed up by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's visit to Islamabad on May 16, 1998.

In his 2010 book titled "Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb", Secretary Talbott has described US diplomatic efforts to dissuade Pakistan in the two weeks period between the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests. Here are a few excerpts of the book divided into four sections covering Clinton's call to Sharif, Talbott's visits to the Foreign Office (FO), general headquarters (GHQ) and Prime Minister's House:

Clinton's Call to Sharif: 

Clinton telephoned Sharif, the Pakistani PM, to whet his appetite for the planes, huge amounts of financial aid, and a prize certain to appeal to Sharif—an invitation for him to make an official visit to Washington.

“You can almost hear the guy wringing his hands and sweating,” Clinton said after hanging up.

Still, we had to keep trying. Our best chance was an emergency dose of face-to-face diplomacy. It was decided that I would fly to Pakistan and make the case to Nawaz Sharif.

Meeting at Foreign Office in Islamabad:

On arrival in Islamabad, we had about an hour to freshen up at a hotel before our first official meeting, which was with the foreign minister, Gohar Ayub Khan, and the foreign secretary (the senior civil servant in the ministry), Shamshad Ahmad.

When we got to the foreign ministry, we found that the Pakistani civilian leaders had finally figured out how to handle our visit, and the result was a bracing experience. My two hosts rolled their eyes, mumbled imprecations under their breath, and constantly interrupted.

They accused the United States of having turned a blind eye to the BJP’s preparations for the test.

As for the carrots I had brought, the Pakistanis gave me a version of the reaction I had gotten from General Wahid five years earlier. Offers of Pressler relief and delivery of “those rotting and virtually obsolete air- planes,” said Gohar Ayub, were “shoddy rugs you’ve tried to sell us before.” The Pakistani people, he added, “would mock us if we accepted your offer. They will take to the streets in protest.”

I replied that Pakistanis were more likely to protest if they didn’t have jobs. Gohar Ayub and Shamshad Ahmad waved the point aside. The two Pakistani officials were dismissive. The current burst of international outrage against India would dissipate rapidly, they predicted.

Visit to General Headquarter (GHQ) in Rawalpindi:

We set off with police escort, sirens blaring, to (Chief of Army Staff) General Karamat’s headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Karamat, who was soft-spoken and self-confident, did not waste time on polemics. He heard us out and acknowledged the validity of at least some of our arguments, especially those concerning the danger that, by testing, Pakistan would land itself, as he put it, “in the doghouse alongside India.”

His government was still “wrestling” with the question of what to do he said, which sounded like a euphemism for civilian dithering. There was more in the way Karamat talked about his political leadership, a subtle but discernible undertone of long-suffering patience bordering on scorn.   For example, he noted pointedly “speculation” that Pakistan was looking for some sort of American security guarantee, presumably a promise that the US would come to Pakistan’s defense if it was attacked by India, in exchange for not testing. “You may hear such a suggestion later,” Karamat added, perhaps referring to our upcoming meeting with Nawaz Sharif. I should not take such hints seri- ously, he said, since they reflected the panic of the politicians. Pakistan would look out for its own defense.

What Pakistan needed from the United States was a new, more solid relationship in which there was no “arm- twisting” or “forcing us into corners.” By stressing this point, Karamat made clear that our arguments against testing did not impress him.

Meeting at Prime Minister's House:

I shared a car back to Islamabad with Bruce Riedel and Tom Simons to meet Nawaz Sharif.

What we got from the Prime Minister was a Hamlet act, convincing in its own way—that is, I think he was genuinely feeling torn—but rather pathetic.

On this occasion Nawaz Sharif seemed nearly paralyzed with exhaustion, anguish, and fear. He was—literally, just as Clinton had sensed during their phone call—wringing his hands. He had yet to make up his mind, he kept telling us. Left to his own judgment, he would not test.

His position was “awkward.” His government didn’t want to engage in “tit-for-tat exchanges” or “act irresponsibly.” The Indian leaders who had set off the explosion were “madmen” and he didn’t want “madly to follow suit.”

But pressure was “mounting by the hour” from all sides, including from the opposition led by his predecessor and would-be successor, Benazir Bhutto. “I am an elected official, and I cannot ignore popular sentiment.” Sharif was worried that India would not only get away with what it had done but profit from it as well. When international anger receded, the sanctions would melt away, and the BJP would parlay India’s new status as a declared nuclear weapons state into a permanent seat on UN SC. I laid out all that we could do for Pakistan, although this time I tried to personalize the list a bit more.

Clinton told me two days before that he would use Sharif’s visit to Washington and Clinton’s own to Pakistan to “dramatize” the world’s gratitude if Sharif refrains from testing. This point aroused the first flicker of interest I’d seen. Nawaz Sharif asked if Clinton would promise to skip India on his trip and come only to Pakistan. There was no way I could promise that. All I could tell Nawaz Sharif was that Clinton would “recalibrate the length and character” of the stops he made in New Delhi and Islamabad to reflect that Pakistan was in favor with the United States while India was not. Sharif looked more miserable than ever.

Toward the end of the meeting, Sharif asked everyone but me to wait outside. (Foreign Secretary) Shamshad (Ahmad) seemed miffed. He glanced nervously over his shoulder as he left. When we were alone I gave the prime minister a written note from Secretary Albright urging him to hold firm against those clamoring to test.  The note warned about the economic damage, to say nothing of the military danger, Pakistan faced from an escalating competition with India. Sharif read the note intently, folded the paper, put his head in his hands for a moment, then looked at me with desperation in his eyes.

At issue, he said, was his own survival. “How can I take your advice if I’m out of office?” If he did as we wanted, the next time I came to Islamabad, I'd find myself dealing not with a clean-shaven moderate like himself but with an Islamic fundamentalist “who has a long beard.” He concluded by reiterating he had not made up his mind about testing. “If a final decision had been reached I'd be in a much calmer state of mind. Believe me when I tell you that my heart is with you. I appreciate and would even privately agree with what you're advising us to do.”


After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Ukrainians are now regretting the decision to give up their nuclear weapons in 1990s based on western security assurances. In 1998, Pakistan flatly refused to do what the Ukrainians did. It is clear from Secretary Talbot's description that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not want to go forward with the nuclear tests but he had no choice. Fearing that he would be removed from office if he decided not to conduct atomic test, he told Talbott, “How can I take your advice if I’m out of office?”  Summing up the failure of the US efforts to stop Pakistan's nuclear tests, US Ambassador to Pakistan Ann Patterson said the following in a cable to Washington in 2009 :  "The Pakistani establishment, as we saw in 1998 with the nuclear test, does not view assistance -- even sizable assistance to their own entities -- as a trade-off for national security vis-a-vis India".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

US-Pakistan Civilian Nuclear Deal?

India's Hostility Toward Pakistan 

Modi's India: A Paper Elephant?

Debunking Haqqani's Op Ed: "Pakistan's Elusive Quest For Parity

Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb

Cyberwars Across India, Pakistan and China

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High-Tech

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

India-Pakistan Military Balance

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The Wisconsin Project

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Global Firepower Comparison

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Only the Paranoid Survive

India Races Ahead in Space

21st Century High-Tech Warfare'


Ednan Syed said…
In 1994 Ukraine agreed under American pressure to give up its nuclear weapons on the guarantees that EU and America will protect it.
To All The Pakistani LIBTARDS:
Are you still against our nuclear program ? It is the biggest deterrent against attacks.
Riaz Haq said…
Ukraine, Nuclear Weapons, and Security Assurances at a Glance | Arms Control Association

In late April 1993, 162 Ukrainian politicians signed a statement to add 13 preconditions for ratification of START, frustrating the ratification process. The preconditions required security assurances from Russia and the United States, foreign aid for dismantlement, and compensation for the nuclear material. Additionally, they stated that Ukraine would dismantle only 36 percent of its delivery vehicles and 42 percent of its warheads, leaving the rest under Ukrainian control. Russia and the United States criticized these demands, but Ukraine did not budge. In May 1993, the United States said that if Ukraine were to ratify START, Washington would provide more financial assistance. This began subsequent discussions between Ukraine, Russia, and the United States over the future of Ukrainian denuclearization.

1993 Massandra Accords

Ukrainian and Russian officials reached a set of agreements, including protocols on nuclear weapons dismantlement, procedure, and terms of compensation. However, the two sides could not agree on the final document, and the summit ultimately failed.

1994 Trilateral Statement

The Massandra Accords set the stage for the ultimately successful trilateral talks. As the United States mediated between Russia and Ukraine, the three countries signed the Trilateral Statement on January 14, 1994. Ukraine committed to full disarmament, including strategic weapons, in exchange for economic support and security assurances from the United States and Russia. Ukraine agreed to transfer its nuclear warheads to Russia and accepted U.S. assistance in dismantling missiles, bombers, and nuclear infrastructure. Ukraine’s warheads would be dismantled in Russia, and Ukraine would receive compensation for the commercial value of the highly enriched uranium. Ukraine ratified START on February 3, 1994, repealing its earlier preconditions, but it would not accede to the NPT without further security assurances.

1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances

To solidify security commitments to Ukraine, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances on December 5, 1994. A political agreement in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Accords, the memorandum included security assurances against the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territory or political independence. The countries promised to respect the sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine. Parallel memorandums were signed for Belarus and Kazakhstan as well. In response, Ukraine officially acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state on December 5, 1994. That move met the final condition for ratification of START, and on the same day, the five START states-parties exchanged instruments of ratification, bringing the treaty into force.

2009 Joint Declaration by Russia and the United States

Russia and the United States released a joint statement in 2009 confirming that the security assurances made in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum would still be valid after START expired in 2009.

2014 Russian Annexation of Crimea

Following months of political unrest and the abrupt departure of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Russian troops entered the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine in March 2014. On March 18, over the protests of the acting government in Kiev, the UN Security Council, and Western governments, Russia declared the annexation of Crimea. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine called the action a blatant violation of the security assurances in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. However, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, “the security assurances were given to the legitimate government of Ukraine but not to the forces that came to power following the coup d'etat.”
Riz said…
Another most important lesson for the sovereign countries that no brother countries no super power no QUAD will come to save you from the aggressors , you will have to fight alone
Riaz Haq said…
#India avoids condemning #Russian invasion of #Ukraine, keeps aloof from #Biden’s coalition against #Moscow. #Modi’s balancing act is proving increasingly difficult this week as Russian tanks and fighters bear down on #Kyiv. #China #Pakistan #geopolitics

Today, Russia has leased a nuclear submarine to India. Russian scientists are helping develop India’s hypersonic missile program. Russian T-90 tanks form the backbone of India’s ground forces, and Russian MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets are mainstays in its air force. The Indian navy’s flagship is an aircraft carrier — a “Kiev-class” — purchased from Russia.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia is by far India’s largest arms supplier, accounting for 70 percent of India’s imports between 2011 and 2015 and roughly half between 2015 and 2020. India recently purchased Russian S-400 antiaircraft missiles, which could trigger U.S. sanctions.


Since Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a large-scale attack against Ukraine on Thursday, the Biden administration has sought to rally allies and partners to condemn Russian aggression and join in trade and financial sanctions.

One country that has conspicuously rebuffed Biden’s appeals is India, a rising Asian power that relies on Moscow for almost all its advanced weapons.

For years, India has juggled its close relations with Russia — an enduring legacy of the Cold War — with its fast-growing ties with the United States, which has envisioned India as a crucial partner in its long-term strategy to counter China’s rise.

Blinken pulls India closer amid challenges in Afghanistan, China

But India’s balancing act is proving increasingly difficult this week as Russian tanks and fighters bear down on Kyiv in a war that has drawn a thick line between the West and Russia, with only China as Moscow’s major economic and diplomatic backer.

While Japan, Australia and the United States all unveiled new export bans against Russia on Thursday and Friday, India — the fourth leg of the grouping known as the Quad — demurred, highlighting a glaring fissure in one of the key American partnerships that Biden has pledged to repair and strengthen.

In remarks Thursday, Biden urged countries to take a stand against Putin, saying that “any nation that countenances Russia’s naked aggression against Ukraine will be stained by association.” The United States was pressing India about its stance toward Russia, Biden told reporters. “We haven’t resolved that completely,” he added.

Shortly after Biden spoke, the State Department said Secretary Antony Blinken held a call with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, to discuss “the importance of a strong collective response to Russian aggression.” India issued only a terse acknowledgment that the call took place.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Putin and called for “concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations,” according to a readout from the Indian government. Modi’s language diverged sharply from the Western characterization of the Russian attack as a one-sided, unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation.

Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corp. think tank, said the Quad grouping — a cornerstone of Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China — “could easily fray.” In recent weeks, other Quad nations have condemned Moscow as Russian troops massed around Ukraine — but not India.

The Russian operation “is clearly breaking the rules-based order, which is whole reason the Quad got together in the first place,” Grossman said. “For India to continue to sit on the sidelines — that’s going to become increasingly an untenable position if they want to maintain good ties not just with the Quad but also Europe.”
Riaz Haq said…
President Zelensky: #Ukraine 'left alone' to defend against #Russian invasion. “Today, I asked the twenty-seven leaders of #Europe whether Ukraine will be in #NATO. I asked directly. Everyone is afraid. They do not answer.” | TheHill

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech Thursday that Ukraine has been “left alone” to defend against the Russian invasion that began less than 24 hours earlier.

“Today Russia attacked the entire territory of our state,” Zelensky said. “And today our defenders have done a lot.”

“They defended almost the entire territory of Ukraine,” he continued. “Which suffered direct blows. They regain the one that the enemy managed to occupy.”

Zelensky said of the Ukrainian people that “we are supported,” citing conversations he had with world leaders after the invasion.

However, he added that Ukraine is “left alone in defense of our state.”

“Who is ready to fight with us?” Zelensky asked. “Honestly — I do not see such.”

Zelensky brought up a potential Ukrainian membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which he previously asked about during remarks on Saturday afternoon.

“I ask them,” Zelensky said of Ukraine’s allies on Thursday. “Are you with us? They answer that they are with us. But they are not ready to take us to the alliance,” referring to NATO.

He continued: “Today, I asked the twenty-seven leaders of Europe whether Ukraine will be in NATO. I asked directly. Everyone is afraid. They do not answer.”

Zelensky also addressed rumors that he and his family had left the Ukrainian capital.

“I know that a lot of fakes are being produced now,” he said. “In particular, that I allegedly left Kyiv. I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day, I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our country. And I will stay in the capital."

“My family is also in Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine.”

Most of Zelensky’s speech honored the hundreds of soldiers that were wounded or killed by Russian forces during the day. At the time of the speech, he said 137 Ukrainians had died, 10 of whom were officers, and 316 were wounded.

“On our Zmiinyi Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically,” Zelensky said. “But did not give up. All of them will be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.”

Zelensky concluded: “Now the fate of the country depends entirely on our army, on our heroes, our security forces, all our defenders. And on our people, your wisdom and the great support of all friends of our country. Glory to Ukraine!”
Riaz Haq said…
Could #SWIFT be used to sanction #Russia? Swift as a weapon could erode the #dollar-dominated global financial system, including by fostering alternatives to Swift being developed by Russia and the world’s second largest economy, #China. #Trade via @WSJ

Russia’s assault on Ukraine triggered a surge of calls for Western allies to completely sever Russia from the global financial system by disconnecting it from the so-called Swift global payment system. Fear in places like the U.S. and Germany of potential collateral damage have put the idea on hold for now.

What is Swift?
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, is the financial-messaging infrastructure that links the world’s banks. The Belgium-based system is run by its member banks and handles millions of daily payment instructions across more than 200 countries and territories and 11,000 financial institutions. Iran and North Korea are cut off from it.

Why is Swift important for countries, including Russia?
Cross-border financing is critical to every part of the economy, including trade, foreign investment, remittances and the central bank’s management of the economy. Disconnecting a country, in this case Russia, from Swift would hit all of that.

Who is advocating for such a move?
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lobbied other Group of Seven members to flip the switch. Other proponents include countries along the European Union’s border with Russia and some members of Congress, including California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The move, they argue, would help cripple Russia’s economy in a way that more targeted sanctions can’t.

Why are other countries resisting it?
Critics say there could be economic blowback, not just in Europe, which has deep trade ties and relies heavily on Russia’s natural gas exports, but also the rest of the world. Some former U.S. officials say the move could severely hurt Russia’s economy, but also harm Western business interests such as the major oil companies. President Biden, while ruling it out for now, said the option isn’t off the table completely.

At an estimated $1.7 trillion last year, Russia’s gross domestic product makes it the 12th largest economy in the world. Even if the global economy wasn’t hobbled by a three-year pandemic, rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and escalating East-West political tensions, losing 2% of global GDP and one of the world’s top oil exporters would inflict severe damage to it.

Additionally, using Swift as a weapon could erode the dollar-dominated global financial system, including by fostering alternatives to Swift being developed by Russia and the world’s second largest economy, China. That could undermine Western power, especially the diplomatic leverage that sanctions offer.

What have Western nations done instead?
Besides halting a new natural gas pipeline and hurting Russia’s ability to raise debt, Western sanctions so far have blacklisted many of Russia’s biggest banks, affecting the majority of the country’s banking sectors assets. Those sanctions ban transactions with the targeted institutions, cutting off their access to U.S. dollars and financing.

Why would cutting Swift off be different?
President Biden said that with Thursday’s sanctions, allied efforts essentially amount to the same things as cutting Russia off from Swift. But there are differences.

Swift is a bludgeon in the economic warcraft arsenal compared with targeted sanctions that provide precision and diplomatic flexibility for policy makers.
Riaz Haq said…
China’s Cross-Border International Payments System could give Russia a lifeline and accelerate de-dollarization

Washington’s new sanctions against Russia were no match for President Biden’s rhetoric, leaving out the most obvious measure that the United States might take to hurt Moscow, namely exclusion from the SWIFT international payments system.

Banks conduct virtually all hard-currency transactions via SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. But a new Chinese alternative might allow Russia to conduct most of its trade in yuan rather than dollars.

China’s Cross-Border International Payments System (CIPS), founded in 2015, is still under development and includes only 80 foreign banks. But there is no reason in principle that CIPS can’t substitute for SWIFT. And if Russia successfully shifts its trade payments out of the dollar system, the blow to American prestige and power would be enormous.

De-dollarization of trade is under debate in Western Europe. Germany’s Manager Magazine wrote on February 14, “Exclusion from the international payment system SWIFT is considered the sharpest sword that the West could wield as an economic sanction against Russia.

“However, it is a double-edged sword: the economic consequences would not only be serious in Russia, but also in Western Europe. In addition, the decoupling of Russia and China from the US dollar would be accelerated. Both countries are already working on competing payment systems.”

Russia also has developed an interbank messaging system, which now covers about 20% of domestic financial payments.

China’s yuan has advantages and disadvantages as a dollar substitute. It has gained about 8% against the US dollar since the Covid recession began in early 2020.

China’s consumer inflation rate stands around 1% year-on-year vs. 7.5% in the US, and the yuan to some extent has acted as a hedge against dollar inflation, as I wrote on February 17.

Riaz Haq said…
Dr. Taimur Rahman
Interestingly, 14 countries have joined NATO since 1997. Who is this alliance against? Obviously it is against Russia.

Ironically there was a time when Russia wanted to be part of NATO.
Riaz Haq said…
Shahid Raza@schaheidLessons from Ukraine.

1: Never give up your nukes.

2: Economic power without military power is like ringing a dinner bell for aggression.

3: Maintain a cutting edge air force and air defenses.

4: Aggressor is mostly going to be your neighbor.

5: Old fashioned conscription👍🏽
Riaz Haq said…
Late American South Asia expert Stephen Cohen of Washington's Brookings Institution
told his audience: "Not a few Indian generals and strategists have told me that if only America would strip Pakistan of its nuclear weapons then the Indian army could destroy the Pakistan army and the whole thing would be over."
Riaz Haq said…
To punish for invading #Ukraine, the #West is rolling out tough #sanctions on #Russia but going out of its way to preserve the country’s biggest source of revenue: #energy #exports. #gas #oil #Germany #Europe #EU

The West is rolling out increasingly tough sanctions on Russia but it is going out of its way to preserve the country’s biggest source of revenue: energy exports.

In the latest example, the European Union said late Saturday that it had agreed with the U.S., the U.K. and Canada to eject some of Russia’s banks from the global financial system’s payments infrastructure, Swift. The move, if applied to all banks, would be powerful, essentially blocking money transfers in and out of the country. By cutting only some, Western countries are allowing payments, including for energy, to continue through non-sanctioned banks.

Russia is one of the world’s top oil and natural-gas producers, and energy exports represent half of the country’s foreign sales. The country, now embroiled in a bitter war in Ukraine, provides around 40% of Europe’s natural gas. The commodity heats the continent, fuels many of its power plants and is a critical input for a range of industrial processes. Russia’s crude production is a major factor in the global oil marketplace.

As the U.S. and its Western allies wage economic war against the Kremlin to coerce it into abandoning its invasion of Ukraine, policymakers have tailored their pressure campaign to protect their energy supply, prevent a surge in oil prices and minimize the damage on their own economies.

“You can’t get away from the fact that Europe still has a dependency on Russia,” said Justine Walker, head of sanctions and risk at the Associate of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, even as observers argue the exemptions for energy sales dilute the sanctions’ impact.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest banks— Sberbank and VTB—but provided broad exemptions on payments for purchases of crude oil, natural gas, fuel and other petroleum products. The EU, meanwhile, chose not to sanction them for now. Already-sanctioned banks will be kicked off Swift, but others will be allowed to stay.

A senior Biden administration official said Saturday that officials were carefully selecting which Russian banks to eject from the Swift network to minimize disruption of energy markets.

“We know where most of the energy flows occur, through which banks they occur,” the official said. “And if we take that approach, we can simply choose the institutions where most of the energy flows do not occur.”

The exemptions enable European nations and others to continue buying Russian gas and oil. That tempers prices, including for oil, which have jumped by roughly 40% over the last three months over concerns of disruption to oil markets from a conflict in Ukraine. Higher oil prices boost the amount of money Russia makes for every barrel sold, and spurs inflation across the world.

“The way that...President Biden has approached sanctions is we want to take every step to maximize the impact and the consequences on President Putin, while minimizing the impact on the American people and the global community,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday on ABC News. “And so energy sanctions are certainly on the table. We have not taken those off. But we also want to do that and make sure we’re minimizing the impact on the global marketplace, and do it in a united way.”

U.S. officials say the exemptions were critical for winning political support for a coordinated and complementary pressure campaign from a broad range of economies including the U.S. and U.K., and the 27 member states of the EU.

Riaz Haq said…
PIA Repatriation Flights Head To #Poland Amid #Evacuation Efforts. The first flight left on Sunday for Warsaw, where it will pick up those #Pakistanis in #Ukraine who successfully reached the #Polish border.

In total, officials estimate that 500-600 Pakistanis remain to be flown out of the country, which means it could take a few more flights before everyone is safely moved out of border countries. We can expect more details as groups slowly make their way through war-torn Ukraine in the coming days.


Pakistan International Airlines is undertaking two evacuation flights to bring home citizens affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine. The first flight left on Sunday for Warsaw, where it will pick up those who successfully reached the Polish border. The flights come as countries globally step up efforts to evacuate citizens from the heart of the crisis.

As reported by Tribune, PIA is flying two emergency flights out of Poland to rescue the hundreds of Pakistani students and others stuck in the country after the war broke out. The airline will deploy its largest plane, the Boeing 777, to pick up those who can be evacuated currently. Ukraine's airspace has been closed since February 24th, making any flights in and over the country impossible for the near future

To get people out of Ukraine, countries have been looking for alternate routes to reach the border countries of Poland and Romania and then sending in flights. Warsaw, Bucharest, and more cities have all played hosts to special flights this week to help thousands return safely. However, the task is not so simple.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez added the details of coordinating this evacuation amid a war, saying,

"The preparations have been made to send two flights to Poland from Pakistan on Sunday. The Pakistani embassy in Ukraine is not only contacting all those Pakistanis who want to return to the country, but also providing them all-out information in this regard. The Pakistani embassy in Ternopil will transfer all the students to Poland by land route. PIA's Boeing 777 plane will then repatriate the students from Poland."


Stepping up
PIA is one of the dozens of airlines facing the consequences of Russia's invasion. For example, Air India has flown several missions to Bucharest and Budapest, and more are planned in the coming days to rescue citizens. However, in addition to evacuation, the political fallout of the war has altered the flight paths of several carriers.

Economic sanctions by the UK meant that British airlines had lost access to Russian airspace, creating longer, more costly flights for Asia-bound routes. Some cargo services have even been axed due to the changes. The EU took similar actions when it banned Russian carriers from its airspace, which is almost likely to result in a reciprocal ban. The airspace sanctions are some of the harshest seen since the Cold War and could reshape flight paths for a while.

For now, the coming days will see tense negotiations to protect foreign nationals as the war continues to rage in Ukraine.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian student killed in #Ukraine amid criticism over evacuation. Medical student from southern state of #Karnataka killed by shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of #Kharkiv, India’s foreign ministry says via @AJEnglish

An Indian student has been killed in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, India’s foreign ministry says, as criticism over New Delhi’s evacuation of students from the war-torn country mounts.

“Foreign Secretary is calling in Ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate our demand for urgent safe passage for Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and cities in other conflict zones,” ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Russian forces are firing artillery and laying siege to Kharkiv and other major cities, a Ukrainian official said, as the invasion of the former Soviet republic entered its sixth day.

Indian media reports said the student, identified as Naveen Shekharappa, belonged to the southern state of Karnataka’s Haveri district and studied medicine in Ukraine.

The student died while he was trying to find his way out of Kharkiv, his roommate told India’s NDTV network.

“He lived near the governor’s house and had been standing in the queue for food. Suddenly there was an air strike that blew up the governor’s house and he was killed,” Pooja Praharaj, a student coordinator in Kharkiv, told NDTV.

A Ukrainian woman picked up his phone, according to the student coordinator. “Speaking from his phone, she said the owner of this phone is being taken to the morgue,” Praharaj said.

Indians make up about a quarter of the 76,000 foreign students in Ukraine, by far the largest number, according to Ukrainian government data.

New Delhi has evacuated about 4,000 Indians in the last month, but some 16,000 remain trapped, according to the latest data from India’s foreign ministry.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian embassy in Ukraine also issued an advisory, asking the Indian students to “leave Kyiv urgently”.

The Indian government has dispatched four federal ministers to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries to assist in the rescue efforts.

‘Screaming in terror’
But many stranded students in Ukraine have criticised the Indian government’s rescue efforts as they released a slew of videos on social media highlighting their plight.

According to Indian media, some Indian students are being prevented from crossing into neighbouring countries, with border guards reportedly refusing to let them pass and demanding money.

“I was standing near the Ukrainian border, awaiting my turn to enter Romania when I saw a few guards point guns at Indian students and start abusing them in their language,” the Times of India quoted one student as saying.

“Students, who were already scared, started screaming in terror.”

“(We) have been asked to reach the western border, which is impossible for us because the connecting bridges have been blown up due to bombardment… but we are not getting any kind of help in Ukraine,” he said.

Aruj Raj, a student in Kharkiv, told the newspaper that he has been in a hostel bunker with 400 other Indian students since Thursday.

“There is so much bombing happening outside. We can see street fighting through our windows. The city is still under curfew. It is impossible for us to step outside. We hardly have anything left to eat or drink,” he said.

India’s main opposition leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the government for not coming up with “a strategic plan for safe evacuation” of Indian students in Ukraine.
Riaz Haq said…
Opinion | Ukraine news coverage exposes racist biases in Western media - The Washington Post

By H.A. Hellyer
February 28, 2022 at 12:42 p.m. EST

H.A. Hellyer, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar, is a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and Cambridge University.

“This double standard is so evident in how we as Westerners engage in intl relations…we dehumanize non-White populations, diminishing their importance, and that leads to one thing: the degrading of their right to live in dignity.”


“This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades,” Charlie D’Agata, a CBS correspondent in Kyiv, told his colleagues back in the studio. “You know, this is a relatively civilized, relatively European — I have to choose those words carefully, too — city where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen.”

Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine has generated an inspiring wave of solidarity around the world, but for many — especially non-White observers — it has been impossible to tune out the racist biases in Western media and politics.

D’Agata’s comments generated a swift backlash — and he was quick to apologize — but he was hardly the only one. A commentator on a French news program said, “We’re not talking about Syrians fleeing bombs of the Syrian regime backed by Putin; we’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours to save their lives.” On the BBC, a former deputy prosecutor general of Ukraine declared, “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blond hair ... being killed every day.” Even an Al Jazeera anchor said, “These are not obviously refugees trying to get away from areas in the Middle East,” while an ITV News reporter said, “Now the unthinkable has happened to them, and this is not a developing, Third World nation; this is Europe.”

British pundit Daniel Hannan joined the chorus in the Telegraph. “They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone,” he wrote.

The implication for anyone reading or watching — particularly anyone with ties to a nation that has also seen foreign intervention, conflict, sanctions and mass migration — is clear: It’s much worse when White Europeans suffer than when it’s Arabs or other non-White people. Yemenis, Iraqis, Nigerians, Libyans, Afghans, Palestinians, Syrians, Hondurans — well, they are used to it.

The insults went beyond media coverage. A French politician said Ukrainian refugees represent “high-quality immigration.” The Bulgarian prime minister said Ukrainian refugees are “intelligent, they are educated. ... This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.”

It’s as if, in our anger and horror at the scenes of Russia’s aggression, we are incapable of recognizing a simple fact: We’ve seen this before.

A Vanity Fair special correspondent denied precisely that in a tweet: “This is arguably the first war we’ve seen (actually seen in real-time) take place in the age of social media, and all of these heart-wrenching images make Russia look utterly terrible.”

The tweet was erased — like the experiences of many who have documented the horrors of war in recent decades on social media and beyond.

Putin’s military also intervened ferociously in Syria, backing a murderous regime. That war unleashed a level of mass death, suffering, destruction and displacement not yet seen in Ukraine — but the West’s response was far less empathetic. The same can be said of the U.S. invasions and military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; the catastrophic Saudi-led war in Yemen; the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians.
Suhail H. said…
Interesting “The Telegraph” article:

Greater Russia is now a full-spectrum commodity superpower, less vulnerable to sanctions than Europe itself
The West’s pain threshold is about to be tested – Fortress Russia will endure this contest of self-reliance more stoically than Europe


24 February 2022

In a matter of hours, the world order has turned drastically less favourable for the western democracies

Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Ukraine elevates Russia into a full-spectrum commodity superpower, adding critical market leverage over global grain supply to existing strategic depth in energy and metals.

We wake up to the sobering reality that Russia is too pivotal for the international trading system to punish in any meaningful way. It influences or determines everything from bread in the shops, to gas for Europe’s homes and power plants, to supply chains for aerospace and car plants, or soon will do if Kyiv falls.

Who knew that almost 90% of Europe’s imports of rapeseed oil comes from Ukraine, or Spain's jamon iberica depends on grain feed from the black earth belt of the Ukrainian steppe?

Ukraine turns Putin’s neo-Tsarist empire into the Saudi Arabia of food, controlling 30% of global wheat exports and 20% of corn exports.

It is not just Brent crude oil that has spiked violently, hitting an eight-year high of $102. Aluminium smashed all records on Thursday. Chicago wheat futures have hit $9.32 a bushel, the highest since the hunger riots before the Arab Spring.

Do not confuse this with inflation. Rocketing commodity prices are a transfer of wealth to exporters of raw materials. For Europeans at the sharp end, it acts like a tax, leaving less to spend elsewhere. It is deflationary for most of the economy. If it continues for long, we will slide into recession.

So while there is brave and condign talk of crippling sanctions against Russia, it is the West’s pain threshold that is about to be tested. My presumption is that Fortress Russia will endure this contest of self-reliance more stoically than Europe’s skittish elites.

Sanctions are of course imperative as a political statement. The West would be complicit if it did nothing. But the measures on the table do not change the equation.

The debate in Parliament over whether to hit a few more oligarchs or restrict City access for more Russian banks has bordered on parody: Brits talking to Brits in a surreal misunderstanding of raw geopolitics, as if Putin was going to give up his unrepeatable chance to snatch back Kyivan Rus and shatter the post-Cold War dispensation of Europe because David Lamy is vexed by golden visas.

Nor does the temporary German suspension of Nord Stream 2 change anything. The pipeline was never going to supply extra gas this decade. The Kremlin’s purpose was to reroute the same Siberian gas, switching it from the Ukrainian corridor to the Baltic, depriving Kyiv of self-defence leverage.

Once Putin controls Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 instantly becomes irrelevant.

The cardinal error was made in June 2015 when Germany went ahead with the bilateral pipeline just a year after the annexation of Crimea, signalling that the first Anschluss of 21st Century Europe would go unpunished, or worse, that it would be rewarded with a strategic prize.

If you want to date the death of a sovereign democratic Ukraine, it was that Merkantilist decision. Royal Dutch Shell was an abettor. Putin got our measure.

The 36% fall in the MOEX index in Moscow on Thursday morning means that western investors with a Russian portfolio through pension funds or ETFs have lost money. It does not mean that Russian is being forced to its knees, as some would have it.

Nor does the modest decline in the rouble imply unmanageable economic stress. Russia’s exchange rate mechanism is designed to let …
Riaz Haq said…
#Modi turns the trauma of #Indian students fleeing #Ukraine into a campaign prop.“Ye Putin hai, ghar mein ghuske maarega” (“This is Putin, it is his principle to take the attack home”) referring to #Modi's 2019 airstrikes in #Balakot, #Pakistan. #Russia

But it’s no secret that Putin and Modi are also kindred spirits. The two authoritarian leaders have met more than a dozen times since 2014. The two talk of blood and country and demand blind loyalty for their ultranationalist projects.

Two Indian students have already died in Ukraine. As of Friday, there were reports of about 700 students trapped in Sumy, near the border with Russia, and some 300 in the heavily bombed city of Kharkiv.

But instead of showing compassion for these students, right-wing supporters of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have found ways to blame the victims instead of Vladimir Putin, India’s biggest provider of weapons and a close Modi ally.

Snide commenters asked why the students didn’t stay in their home countries. A ruling party minister felt the need to claim that the majority of students abroad had failed qualifier exams in India. The bereaved father of one of the victims was forced to justify the family’s decision while still waiting for his son’s remains: He simply could not afford the expensive fees charged by medical colleges in India.

On the morning Russia invaded Ukraine, many widely watched Indian news channels couldn’t help presenting Putin as a decisive and capable strongman. One graphic read, “Ye Putin hai, ghar mein ghuske maarega” (“This is Putin, it is his principle to take the attack home”) — a phrase adapted from a statement by Modi when he authorized airstrikes in Pakistan in 2019.

The mood among nationalists helps explain why India has not forcefully condemned Putin. On Wednesday, India abstained on a U.N. General Assembly resolution that strongly deplored Russia’s aggression, along with China and Pakistan.

It’s clear that India is caught in a tough balancing act, where it needs to be seen by the United States as sympathetic to the Ukrainian cause while not disturbing the relationship with Russia.

As China and Pakistan strengthen their strategic ties, Modi has been more reliant on Putin. Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated since the 2019 attack against Indian paramilitary soldiers in Kashmir and the subsequent airstrikes by India. China and India, on the other hand, have been involved in border clashes over territory in the Himalayas.


As messages flooded Instagram, WhatsApp and other platforms from desperate Indians hunkered in shelters and basements in Ukraine, the prime minister kept campaigning for a high-stakes election in Uttar Pradesh, using the trauma and misery of the students as a political prop.

Modi claimed that the evacuation effort was only possible thanks to India’s new “rising power” status. (A foreign ministry spokesman told reporters Friday that more than 10,000 Indian nationals have already been flown back). The crowds cheered as a member of parliament claimed “everyone is pleading” for Modi to stop the war, saying: “He is regarded as a big world leader. It is a matter of pride.” On social media, Modi supporters spread fake news claiming Putin had stopped the war for six hours in response to Modi’s influence.

Riaz Haq said…
#US Sec of State #Kissinger to #Indian FM in 1976: "#Pakistan cannot balance conventional weapons. If they get 10, 15 #nuclear weapons, it will bring equality between #India & Pakistan. Your acquisition of nuclear equipment has created (this) situation"

f I were the Prime Minister of Pakistan, I would do what (Zulfiqar Ali) Bhutto is doing."

US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made the remarks in a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Rao Chavan in the wake of pressure from the United States not to build a nuclear weapon on Pakistan following India's nuclear test.

The conversation stems from a secret memo that is one of thousands of leaked US foreign policy documents.

During the meeting in New York on the morning of October 8, 1976, Kissinger added, "The strange thing is that Pakistan cannot balance conventional weapons. If they get 10, 15 nuclear weapons, it will bring equality between India and Pakistan. Your acquisition of nuclear equipment has created a situation in which, once again, an equation that is not possible with conventional weapons is

But despite all this, the US attitude towards Pakistan in acquiring nuclear weapons remained strong.

"We are trying to get him (Pakistan) to give up this idea," Kissinger told the Indian foreign minister. I have told Pakistanis that if they are willing to give up their nuclear program, we will be able to increase their supply of conventional weapons.

India and Pakistan's nuclear advance spans nearly fifty years. Thousands of U.S. documents leaked over the past half-century show that Washington has always had a soft spot for India in its journey to acquire nuclear weapons, but for Pakistan, such as pressure, aid cuts and other sanctions. Steps taken.

India and Pakistan's nuclear advance spans nearly fifty years. Thousands of U.S. documents leaked over the past half-century show that Washington has always had a soft spot for India in its journey to acquire nuclear weapons, but for Pakistan, such as pressure, aid cuts and other sanctions. Steps taken.

Whether it was Bhutto's government or General Zia-ul-Haq who overthrew him, these problems were solved only when the US needed Pakistan.

India built its first research reactor in 1956 with the help of Canada and the first plutonium reprocessing plant in 1964, while Pakistan set up the Atomic Energy Commission in 1956 with the idea that it would be an 'atom for peace' announced by the Eisenhower administration. 'Participated in the program.

In 1960, when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became Minister of Minerals and Natural Resources in Ayub Khan's cabinet, Dr. Ishrat H. Usmani was appointed Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Osmani initiated many important programs and founded institutions. One of his main tasks was to train talented young people and send them abroad for training.

In mid-1965, Bhutto vowed to equal India's nuclear capability: 'If India makes a bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, we will go to bed hungry, but we have to make our own bomb. We have no other choice.

But later that year, after banning arms supplies to Pakistan, President Lyndon Johnson cut off US military aid to Pakistan in the wake of the Pakistan-India war.

In the next 16 years, until 1982, Pakistan received very little help from the United States.

On September 9, 1965, US Secretary of State Dan Rusk sent a memorandum to President Johnson stating, "The bitterness between Pakistan and India makes it extremely difficult to maintain good relations with both countries. If we had to choose one of these, India would be better off because of its huge population, industrial base, democracy and other capabilities. However, we can never fully support the policy goals of India or Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
#US ally, #QUAD partner #India has not explicitly condemned the invasion of #Ukraine. It's distanced itself from #Putin, but its social-media platforms are awash with #misinformation. Supporters of PM Narendra #Modi have amplified false #Russian claims.

Arun Pudur, the founder of an Indian software firm, has 78,000 followers on Twitter. On March 3, he tweeted that the Ukrainian army had captured Indian students and was "using them as Human shields" in its fight against Russia's invasion.

This misinformation racked up hundreds of likes and retweets.

The incendiary claim, which echoed untruths from Russian President Vladimir Putin, drew a swift rebuttal from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The Indian government's willingness to dismiss pro-Russia misinformation about Ukraine belies how complicated its position is on the issue. It abstained on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia. While its language on the war has hardened since the invasion, it's still the lone member of the 10 largest economies, other than China, that has yet to openly criticize Russia or join economic sanctions against the country.

While India's position has been evolving, pro-Russia, pro-Modi false claims have had their uses. They can blunt criticism that New Delhi has faced domestically for its failure to evacuate the 18,000 students trapped in Ukraine sooner, at a time when Indians have gone to the polls in regional elections.

Pudur, who did not respond to a request for comments from Insider, runs one of several thousands of Indian social-media accounts propagating Kremlin talking points about a conflict taking place more than 2,500 miles away.

The failure to evacuate the students sooner sparked criticism of the Modi administration. In response, pro-government handles began promoting untruths that promoted New Delhi's efforts and supported Putin, according to fact-checkers.

By March 9, #OperationGanga — the name of the Modi government's mission to rescue citizens from Ukraine — was the top-trending topic on Twitter in India, while #IStandWithPutin had more tweets than #StopPutinNOW. All of this played out as five Indian states voted for their legislatures through February and early March.
Riaz Haq said…
George W. Bush's Freudian Slip on #Ukraine: "Brutal Invasion of #Iraq". Ex #US president condemned #Putin's "brutal, unjustified invasion of Iraq" and then blamed the slip on age. #Russia
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence
July 12, 2022 Telegraph Nepal

-Zafar Khan and Rizwana Abbasi, Pakistan

Empirical evidence suggests that Pakistan has successfully deterred India with its minimum deterrence capability. The policy statements of Pakistani leaders, however, indicate that minimum is not a static capability; it is flexible; and it would evolve in accordance with the changing strategic environment.
For example, Sattar et al stated: ―Minimum is open for debate. It has got an open interpretation. It remains flexible. There is no number game. It, thus, remains a non-fixed entity.‖14They added:
―Minimum nuclear deterrence will remain the guiding principle of our nuclear strategy. The minimum cannot be quantified in
Static numbers.


It would be extremely pessimistic, as the Carnegie-Stimson report suggests, that Pakistan would need to find an alternative nuclear future to become a ―normal nuclear weapons state, keep ―strategic deterrence based upon the principles of ―assured destruction and stop developing short range delivery vehicles in response to a limited war that could be imposed on Pakistan by India‘s proactive military doctrine. In other words, Pakistan would need to keep strategic weapons for the worst-case scenario and cap the short and longer-range deterrence capabilities against the adversary. This proposed alternative nuclear future does not fully serve Pakistan‘s security and national interests. Some reasons are highlighted below.

First, such a policy would undercut the credibility of its minimum deterrence if Pakistan did not develop a short-range deterrence capability to counter the CSD that aims at waging a limited war against Pakistan from eight integrated points31 under the nuclear overhang.

Second, plugging no gaps against the possibility of CSD operations for a ―limited conventional war, as the report suggests, would allow India to exploit Pakistan‘s vulnerabilities and deterrence weaknesses. This is not merely theoretical because India in pursuance of the CSD did contemplate a surgical strike against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008. Conceptually, the development of Nasr as a low-yield battlefield weapon demonstrates what Lawrence Freedman once stated ―I exist; therefore, I deter. Nasr can, therefore, be seen as an instrument for nuclear peace in South Asian deterrence stability disrupted by India‘s Pragati/Prahaar short range nuclear capability. Therefore, the development of Nasr, specific to India‘s development of battlefield nuclear weapons and CSD, becomes part of Pakistan‘s deterrence capability without which its deterrence credibility could be extremely weakened.

Third, strategic deterrence, as defined by the Carnegie Stimson report in the worst-case scenario resulting in nuclear exchanges and major conventional warfare, cannot be a rational response to deter a limited war emanating from the CSD. If this was the case, both the Soviet Union and the US would not have crafted a strategy for building and deploying the TNWs to deter a limited war. Although neither the US nor the Soviet Union had used the TNWs, they still exist both in Europe and Russia, successor to the Soviet Union, for deterrence purposes. In fact, despite the end of the Cold War, TNWs still play a role in the United States‘extended deterrence in Europe.

Finally, Nasr’s development falls within the broader contours of Pakistan‘s declarations on credible minimum deterrence and full spectrum deterrence. It does not imply numerical expansion in deterrence forces. The increase within Pakistan‘s deterrence capability would be in proportion to India‘s planned expansion. This may, however, not exactly be within the parameters of weapon-to-weapon competitive strategy practiced during the Cold War. Whether Pakistan would practice recessed deterrence or follow the ready-arsenal strategy for some of its deterrence forces would depend on the prevailing strategic environment.

Riaz Haq said…
'Pakistan isn't Collapsing, India Should Focus on Silver Linings. Boycott or War Aren't Options'

In a 30-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire to discuss his book ‘India’s Pakistan Conundrum’, Sharat Sabharwal ( ex Indian Ambassador to Pakistan) identified three preconceived notions that the Indian people must discard. First, he says it’s not in India’s interests to promote the disintegration of Pakistan. “The resulting chaos will not leave India untouched”.

Second, Indians must disabuse themselves of the belief that India has the capacity to inflict a decisive military blow on Pakistan in conventional terms. “The nuclear dimension has made it extremely risky, if not impossible, for India to give a decisive military blow to Pakistan to coerce it into changing its behaviour.”

Third, Indians must disabuse themselves of the belief that they can use trade to punish Pakistan. “Use of trade as an instrument to punish Pakistan is both short-sighted and ineffective because of the relatively small volume of Pakistani exports to India.”


Historically, the relationship between India and Pakistan has been mired in conflicts, war, and lack of trust. Pakistan has continued to loom large on India's horizon despite the growing gap between the two countries. This book examines the nature of the Pakistani state, its internal dynamics, and its impact on India.

The text looks at key issues of the India-Pakistan relationship, appraises a range of India's policy options to address the Pakistan conundrum, and proposes a way forward for India's Pakistan policy. Drawing on the author's experience of two diplomatic stints in Pakistan, including as the High Commissioner of India, the book offers a unique insider's perspective on this critical relationship.

A crucial intervention in diplomatic history and the analysis of India's Pakistan policy, the book will be of as much interest to the general reader as to scholars and researchers of foreign policy, strategic studies, international relations, South Asia studies, diplomacy, and political science.

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