“First, the Kahuta facility is well-protected and is thus a hard target to destroy. Second and more important, India expects that any first strike by India against Kahuta would be swiftly followed by a Pakistani attack against India’s nuclear facilities. Such an exchange would leave India worse off, since any potential deterrent capability against China would thereby be eliminated. Finally, India would be wary of launching such an attack against Pakistan as it would cause not only great death and destruction to Pakistan, but could blow radioactive fall-out back over India. Such an attack against Pakistan would also alienate the Muslim Middle Eastern states whose amity India has assiduously cultivated.”

–A political analyst on India’s refusal to bomb Pakistan in 1982.

Israeli interest in destroying Pakistan’s Kahuta reactor to scuttle the “Islamic bomb” was blocked by India’s refusal to grant landing and refuelling rights to Israeli warplanes in 1982. This had been India’s policy for all foreign military planes/ships. Israel, on its part wanted this to be a joint Indian-Israeli strike to avoid being solely held responsible.

Iraq was not the only nuclear peril to Israel that Israeli PM Begin saw in the early 1980s. Nor was the Osirak reactor in Iraq his only intended target. He also feared the Pakistani nuclear effort because Israeli intelligence had found evidence that Libya and other Muslim states were helping Pakistan, supplying both money and uranium to their effort.

Though India was no friend at the time, it seems that we had bigger enemies. These events from history are important reminder that the hostility between Pakistan and India will remain, but India may not want a war with Pakistan. The hostility in now an ideology, and it serves a purpose, to keep militaries flush with money, to get votes from a nationalistic citizenry. However, crises do not have to lead to war.