International Law

The Denuclearization of South Asia: Contrasting the Viability of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Against Extant Deterrence Postures, by Vishaka Choudhary

The global interest in nuclear disarmament peaked with the international community’s attempt to negotiate a complete ban against the possession, manufacture, acquisition, and use of nuclear weapons in 2016. Thwarting this attempt systemically were both parties and non-parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, clamouring for cognizance of their security interests and proclaiming the effectiveness of their deterrence postures.

Of these, India and Pakistan’s stances are extremely relevant to global security: untamed by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, these states have attempted to embark on continuous deterrence through development of their nuclear triads. However, with geopolitical tensions between the nations on the rise in an era of rampant nationalism, the case for establishing a South Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone should be revisited to assess the need and suitability of this model in the subcontinent.  In doing so, any extant rule of international law compelling negotiations for nuclear disarmament and the special features of the South Asian region must be taken into account. The present Article attempts to analyse the need to emulate the NWFZ model in South Asia, to determine whether it is an improvement over existing nuclear policies in the region.

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