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Re-interpreting Evidences and Inputs

Rajendra Kumar Pandey

Edited by Mohammed Badrul Alam
Kalpaz Publications, Delhi, India, 2013, pp. 319, Rs. 950.00


Apart from the nuclear strategies of the two erstwhile superpowers during the acme of the Cold War, the only other nuclear strategy that seems to have attracted the attention of the analysts of the security and strategic affairs may arguably be the nuclear strategy of India and Pakistan. Naturally, therefore, there exists a plethora of literature on the subject and the book under review is a welcome addition to the same. Yet, amongst the illuminating studies on the nuclear strategy of the two South Asian rivals, the unique selling point of the book is to ‘analyse, examine, evaluate and critique contemporary works on South Asian security order encompassing aspects of nuclear strategies of India and Pakistan, impact of nuclear South Asia in the regional and technological context as well as the viability of various confidence-building measures both in the conventional and non-conventional areas’ (p. 7). In other words, the book seeks to provide critical perspectives on the nuclear strategies of India and Pakistan through a reinterpretation of the empirical evidences and theoretical inputs outlined in the valuable tracts and pieces on the subject. In doing so, the contributors of the volume have shown methodological refinements in arguing their case through the analytical scrutiny of the available literature, rigorous application of their intellectual insights and critical speculation on probable scenarios ‘under which a stable (and, unstable) security regime may evolve in South Asia in the not so distant future’ (p. 7). Moreover, in editing a volume on such a contentious and somewhat speculative subject, the editor has done well to include a good number of articles written by Pakistani scholars in order to have a balanced perspective on the theme in hand.   Consisting of eleven well argued papers, the structure of the volume appears slightly haphazard. Thematically, the papers could have been arranged into three major sections. The first section could have been on the comparative study of Indian and Pakistani perspectives and issues, comprising chapters one, four, six and eleven. This could have been followed by the section on Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine that has been articulated in chapters two, nine and ten. The final section might have consisted of the remaining chapters that critically examine the sporadic problems and issues revolving around the core of the nuclear strategy of the two countries. Such an arrangement of the papers would have given the volume more thematic coherence.   Notwithstanding this suggestion, the opening ...

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