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A misfiring and its trail of poor strategic stability

  • Published
    16th Mar, 2022

The accidental firing of an Indian missile into Pakistan calls for serious introspection by the two nuclear-armed adversaries about the perils of living under the shadow of nuclear weapons. The unfortunate incident also casts a shadow on the standards of the storage, maintenance, the handling and even the engineering of high-technology weapon systems in India.

Nuclear stance of both countries

  • India’s stand-As far as India is concerned, its warheads are de-mated from the delivery vehicles, and its nuclear forces under the command of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), the tri-service functional command of the Indian armed forces are de-alerted.
  • Pakistan’s stand-Pakistan’s story is somewhat different, though not radically so. While its nuclear forces are not on high alert, there is no certainty that its warheads are de-mated from their launch vehicles.
  • Area of concern- Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal boasts of tactical nuclear weapons, and one often comes across reports from inside Pakistan of the country’s tactical nuclear weapons pre-delegated to forward commanders during crisis periods.
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