Many questions arise from this
situation which remain unanswered for peace researchers. Are
both countries in a position to carry on with such costly
nuclear and missile race when around half of their population
is not getting two meals a day and other basic needs? Should
they spend money on development of national infrastructure or
on such things which destroy the already developed
infrastructure and are against humanity? Why both countries
are spending too much on military build-up rather then on
social and economic sectors?
This book is
an outcome of a peace project that was financially backed by
the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). The author
has stressed the need for propagating non-offensive defence
(NOD) and military restructuring as these have assumed greater
significance in South Asia in the wake of arms race in this
part of the world.
He has also
discussed the nuclear race and missile development programmes
of India and Pakistan. Military expenditure of South Asian
countries and major world powers have also been discussed
along with the military restructuring experience of West
Europe, South Africa, the USA and China and the lessons to be
learnt by South Asia.
the concept of NOD, the author says, "Armed forces and
military postures should be restructured with a view to
maximising their defensive and minimising their offensive
capabilities… The role and capability of a weapon makes it
either offensive or defensive," he writes. "Weapons
like tanks, artillery, warships, combat aircraft and
helicopters are considered as offensive and thus incompatible
with NOD. On the other hand, fortification, anti-tank and
anti-aircraft weapons are regarded as defensive."
opines that the defence forces should be restructured in such
a way that they provide deterrence by offering an obstacle to
invasion, but which would not themselves threaten others with
invasion or obliteration. The adoption of NOD would eliminate
a chain action reaction—escalation in the arms race. And
this is the need of the hour as both countries cannot afford
to spend too much on military build-up when there is a long
agenda of unfinished work in social and economic sectors..
tests conducted by India and Pakistan, their ramifications,
change of position in the world nuclear map and its effects on
the nuclear nonproliferation regime have also been discussed.
These countries are now endeavouring to build a range of
delivery systems to drop these bombs accurately and quickly.
comprehensive and comparative analysis of the missile
capability has also been done. One can know about the nature
of a missile (surface-to-surface, surface-to-air or
anti-tank), its range, cost per unit, nature of fuel used and
other details from this book. The latest medium range
indigenously developed smissile, Dhanush, a navel version of
Prithvi, has also not escaped the author’s attention.
has discussed many other countries which have adopted the NOD
up to a certain extent. Changes in nature of weapons and
military restructuring by Russia, European countries, China,
etc. have been highlighted. The role of China in escalating
the arms race in the South Asian region has been discussed in
detail along with instances when China passed on nuclear and
missile technology to Pakistan.
disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, China is perceived
as a major power with economic and military resources to play
a global role. India’s nuclear tests were directed more
towards checking the increasing influence of China than
tackling the security threat from Pakistan.
of the "China factor" has changed the face of this
region which now attracts the attention of peace researchers.
From May to
July, 1999, India and Pakistan were engaged in a war-like
situation. This limited war in Kargil (Kashmir) threatened the
peace of the whole region. The author has suggested many peace
tasks to avoid such low-intensity conflicts which have the
capability of turning into a full fledged war.
Overall it is a book on
peace. The author has stressed on the fact that as both India
and Pakistan are facing social and economic problems that
require immediate attention, they should curtail their
military expenditure and restructure the armed forces in such
a way to strengthen its defence capabilities. But to what
extent will such ideas find acceptance? Many a time these are
confined to the academic community and only lauded at seminars
and conferences, but never implemented. Still it is a
commendable effort which may attract the attention of policy
makers of this region.