A US Congressional report says that Pakistan is expanding its nuclear arsenal to counter Indian threat as part and parcel of maintaining minimum credible deterrent. Though it cautions that this move could be a response to Indo-US nuclear deal, there is no indication that this is a danger to world security, unlike the past, when Pakistan was censured for its nuclear ambitions. In fact, the report assures that the nukes are in safe hands owing to measures taken to prevent proliferation.

Our need for a minimum deterrent is self-explanatory. Under the circumstances where India is testing ballistic missiles every few weeks and expanding its arsenal with much fanfare, it is but necessary for Pakistan to keep its preparation at the ready. Simply put, the doctrine of deterrence warns either of the two hostile states against becoming too powerful since it would lead to strategic imbalance. Experimental launches, like Agni test fired the other day, will therefore push Pakistan into following suit. And the fallout on the economies of the both and the bedevilling of their relations further is painfully palpable. Granted deterrence works; there have been instances when this factor helped in bringing the two neighbours back from the brink of war. But there should be a limit to how far the Indian armament should go because deterrence cannot work alongside a perpetual arms race.