One might also hope – to recognize that hope is not a good basis for politics – that the modernization of the non-aggression agreement could, as proposed here, support habits that would spread to other arenas. A close exchange of information on threats to the entities covered could lead to a more fruitful dialogue in the fight against terrorism. It could also spark a wider debate on best practices in protecting critical infrastructure and perhaps even lead to cooperation in this direction. These are small but useful measures that point the way out of exacerbated nuclear competition. Of course, such isolation measures are unlikely to end Indo-Pakistan security competition or even prevent future terrorist attacks. But the intrinsic value of cooperation in mitigating threats to critical infrastructure – and civil society at large – is still worth it. Officials in both countries are likely to understand these and other possible consequences of a nuclear incident at one of their facilities, which should motivate their nuclear safety practices. A modernization of the agreement would give credibility to the rhetorical assistance that the two countries have provided to strengthen nuclear security. The two heads of government participated in the biennial summit on nuclear safety from 2010 to 2016; Each government has created a „centre of excellence“ to provide training on nuclear safety and related issues; And everyone associates the International Atomic Energy Agency with a series of training and review activities in the field of nuclear safety. When the non-aggression agreement was originally negotiated, the nuclear companies of both countries were relatively small and mysterious and fears (at least in Pakistan) of a surprise attack on nuclear facilities had been widespread for several years.1 The agreement theoretically helped to allay fears that nuclear facilities could be deliberately attacked, or in surprising ways, in a surprising way. , or during a conflict, which would have resulted in the potential humanitarian or ecological consequences that might result. to soften.
The agreement includes facilities such as „nuclear energy and research reactors, fuel production, uranium enrichment, isotopic and reprocessing facilities, as well as any other fresh or irradiated nuclear fuel facility in any form, and any facility in which large quantities of radioactive material are stored.“ The bilateral agreement – the first of its kind between the two South Asian neighbours – was signed on 31 December 1988, before one of them broke down as a nuclear power. It came into force on January 1, 1991. India and Pakistan became nuclear powers in May 1998, when India conducted five armed nuclear tests and Pakistan six. The first exchanges of lists under the 1988 agreement took place in 1992. Therefore, the inherent lack of confidence that leads to incomplete lists limits the potential benefits of the agreement as a measure to mitigate all threats to nuclear facilities, at least to the extent that threat information could only be disclosed on the assets on the list. In fact, a state may have information about a specific threat to an unarmed facility that is not on the list but may not want to reveal its knowledge to the other state. At the same time, the provision of vague or generic threat information that is not specific to an facility limits its usefulness. Given the current security relationship in South Asia, there may not be much that can be done to address this gap.
Perhaps India and Pakistan could in the future develop enough confidence to share complete lists of nuclear facilities, for example, if they were involved in an arms control process. The lost promise of this long-standing CBM could be revived by modernizing the agreement in order to