“We (Pakistan) will eat grass, even go hungry.

But we will get one of our own (atomic bomb)… We have no other choice.”

–Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

 

The site of Pakistan’s nuclear tests.

 

Between 11 and 13 May 1998, India conducted five nuclear tests at Pokhran, thus disturbing the balance of power in the region in a dangerous manner. Indian politicians became extremely coarse in their language towards Pakistan. Indian Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani was quoted saying that Pakistan should watch its step in Kashmir. Pakistan had no other option but to rebalance the disturbed balance of power in South Asia. Hence, on 28th May 1998, at Chagi, Balochistan, Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests despite all the international pressure that was exerted on her not to detonate its atomic devices.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later acknowledged that the tests had been carried out in reaction to the Indian nuclear tests earlier that month: “If India had not exploded the bomb, Pakistan would not have done so. Once New Delhi did so, we had no choice because of public pressure.” The tests further heightened the tensions between the two States and stimulated a nuclear arms race in the region.

While both states think of themselves invincible after successful nuclear tests against their enemies, many other factors like extreme poverty, no human development growing youth bulges of both the countries can undermine the two states despite the fact they are nuclear powers. And this is what the two nations need to keep in mind.