A nuclear city in India has recently been exposed by the Centre for Public Integrity (CPI), assuring audiences in both India and Pakistan that the arms race may have been taken up a few notches. Near the city of Mysore, to the south of Challakere, is a secret-site. The Rare Materials Plant is a nuclear complex, built with the aim to enrich India with the capability to build large-yield nuclear weapons. This larger thermonuclear arsenal will put India alongside countries like China, France, United States, Russia, United Kingdom, and Israel. All of these countries already possess a significant amount of nuclear weapons.

Pakistan earlier this week, said it wants India to bring its entire civilian nuclear programme under the safeguards laid out by the International Atomic Energy Commission. DG Disarmament at the Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar stated that there was a fear that Indian reactors had no safeguards and might be used clandestinely for plutonium production and the existing stockpiles might be diverted to a military programme at a subsequent stage. Nowhere yet is there evidence that all this is for the production of energy for civilian use in India. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) conducted research estimating the nuclear arsenal of India, China, and Pakistan. According to them, India possess 90 to 110 nuclear weapons. Pakistan has approximately 120, whereas, China has up to 260 nuclear warheads. India has never officially published a detailed account of its nuclear arsenal.

While such massive projects are being undertaken, India has also made countless attempts to become a member of the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). The Obama administration was very keen on India becoming a member of the Group, sharing nuclear secrets for peaceful means. Along with the US, several other countries were also supportive of the idea of India being a member. These included France, Switzerland, Japan, United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, and Brazil. China was the only country at the time opposing India’s membership. In light of the current situation, it will be interesting to see how India now justifies its application for membership when it is not ready to give up the arms race.

The building of such a facility is a desperate attempt by India to pose as a strategic deterrent against Pakistan, and especially China. The aim is to revoke the balance of power within the region, and emerge as a hegemon. Western nations are naïve to think that Indian nuclear capacity will not be used to threaten Pakistan, and as such, Pakistan cannot be faulted for wanting to defend itself, and so the cycle continues as India keeps taking the security dilemma one step too far.