Looming behind the India-Pakistan tensions: Two growing nuclear arsenals
The escalating tensions between India and Pakistan give rise to the very real possibility of a limited war between two countries with nuclear weapons. On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the Indian government in a public statement asking: “With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford […] a miscalculation?” Both countries have been developing their nuclear stockpile since 1998. While Pakistan has more nuclear warheads, India has ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear bombs further into Pakistani territory than vice versa.
On Thursday, there were some signs that the situation is improving a little, as US President Trump claimed that he had “reasonably decent” news from India and Pakistan, while Pakistan announced that on Friday it will release the Indian pilot it captured earlier this week, after the pilot carried out airstrikes on Pakistan’s territory in Kashmir, a region divided between the countries, but fully claimed by both.
The crisis in Kashmir began two weeks ago with a suicide attack by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that killed 42 members of India’s Central Reserve Police Force. India has blamed Pakistan for the attack and both countries have carried out airstrikes on each other’s territory this week.