ISLAMABAD, Apr 20 (APP): Pakistan is not seeking to achieve
parity with India in terms of nuclear weapons, but is rather
pursuing Full Spectrum Deterrence doctrine to ensure that there are
no gaps in its deterrence capability.
This was stated by Pakistan’s former envoy to United Nations
in Geneva Ambassador Zamir Akram.
He was speaking at a seminar organized by Strategic Vision
Institute on ‘South Asian Nuclear Doctrines: Deterrence Equilibrium
and Strategic Stability’. The seminar coincided with the anniversary
celebrations of the Islamabad based think-tank that specializes in
issues related to strategic stability.
Zamir Akram noted that threats were growing in the region due
to large scale acquisition of military hardware by India, its public
rejection of the policy of No-First Use of nuclear weapons,
determination to carry out disarming strikes against Pakistan, and
its espousal of dangerous and destabilizing doctrines like the Cold
“This has required us to move towards Full Spectrum Deterrence
for responding to threats at the tactical level, the counter-force
level, and the counter-value level. We need to cover all levels of
He said that strategic stability in South Asia was notjust
about Pakistan and India and instead involved China and US.
This complicated equation was causing its destabilization, which
has been further “accentuated by developments outside the nuclear
realm that is developments in Occupied Kashmir .. And use of
terrorism by India through proxies based in Afghanistan,” he
Referring to a recent statement by Massachusetts Institute
of Technology scholar Vipin Narang and assertions by former Indian
National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon in his book suggesting
that India could shed its No-First Use doctrine and carry out
disarming pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan, the former envoy
said this did not come as a surprise because Pakistani security
quarters never believed in an Indian declaratory statement of
No-First Use, which could not be verified. He observed these
indications, nevertheless, pointed to Indian efforts to build
capacity to carry out the disarming strikes.
Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, who teaches at Quaid-e-Azam University,
in his presentation noted that both Pakistan and India lacked the
“proficiency in decapitation capability”.
He said he was cautiously optimistic about deterrence
stability continuing because both countries are aware of the
colossal cost of its failure. However, war-mongering by Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, arms race and non-state actors
were constraining the deterrence stability, he added.
SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema was hopeful that
India would stay away from contemplating disarming strikes
“A successful disarming, decapitating or pre-emptive strike
against adversary possessing credible nuclear weapons capability
is considered an impossibility as a rational decision,” he
maintained hoping that India would act as “a rational actor and
would not undertake this dangerous exercise of launching a
He said there was no precedent of even a failed pre-emptive
strike against a nuclear state and even in South Asia the concept
had long been laid to rest. India, he recalled, had in 1980s
considered conventional military doctrine of pre-emption against
Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure, but had to abandon its plans.
Dr Cheema said nuclear warheads cannot be attacked with
assured certainty because they are kept dispersed and under well
planned camouflage. “Survivability of even few nuclear weapons for
retaliatory purposes could wreak havoc,” he warned.