Nuclearization of south Asia: China as a factor.
Mohamad Arif Mir*
The paper seeks to explore the China factor towards nuclearisation of South Asia. While taking into account India-Pakistan rivalry since the partition of British India and further politicisation of the Indian sub-continent during the cold war, the paper highlights how China impacted the sub-continental politics by whetting up rivalry between the two countries and contributing to nuclearisation of the region by aiding Pakistan’s nuclear programme. More importantly the collusion of interests of China and Pakistan on many fronts including rivalry against India also contributed to the nuclearisation of South Asia. The paper analyses all these determinants of nuclear politics in South Asia while focussing on China factor in the nuclearisation of the region.
Since partition, from 1947 the relations between India and Pakistan have been never cordial .The partition of the country and the problems arising in its wake strained the relations between the two states .In Pakistan there was a general feeling that India had not reconciled herself to the partition of the country and would make an attempt to destroy her entity .The other causes which contributed to the hostility relations between the countries were Pakistan’smilitary alliance with the western countries (SEATO and CENTO) , Sino-Pak agreement and the transfer of Pakistan occupied Indian territory to the china, the canal water dispute and the most important one is the Kashmir issue ( for which they fought three wars since partition). The main focus of the paper is that despite these bitterer relations till 1974 both the countries were not willing to move towards nuclearisation then how the wave of nuclear proliferation engulfed these countries and insists them that the main sole for their stability and safety is only to achieve nuclear status and which leads them towards achieving this status in 1998. The factor behind this process is china.After gaining independence, India have very cordial relations with China till the outbreak of hostilities between the two in 1962.India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Red China. India pleaded Chinas case for membership of the U.N. and even acknowledged her suzerainty over Tibet in 1954.The two countries adopted the famous five principles (panchsheel) in 1954. The relations started getting bitter after India gave asylum to Dalai Lama who fled from Tibet fallowing an uprising there. , Chinese ambassador Pan Tzu-li wrote to Prime Minister Nehru in May 1959, warning that China would make common cause with Pakistan, thereby forcing India to face military and diplomatic pressure on two fronts. To this end, Beijing found in Islamabad an only too willing partner. Since then, China has forged close relations with Pakistan; China continued to violate Indian borders and ultimately mounted full-fledged attack in 1962, which ended in a military debacle for India. During the Sino-India conflict led to close relations between china and Pakistan. In 1963 Pakistan and China signed a treaty by which Pakistan handed over a large part of IndianTerritory in Kashmir (Aksai CHIN)under her illegal occupation to China. This brought very much closeness between these two countries. In the subsequent years China advanced Pakistan with huge financial and militaryassistance. China also supplied large quantities of arms, aircrafts, tanks and other weapons to Pakistan .Thus the two countries in spiteof their ideological differences (China being communist and Pakistan as an authoritarian state and a member of SEATO), were able to form an alliance. This proved the truth of the old proverb which says...