EFSAS discusses South Asian nuclear conundrum with a Research Fellow of the Clingendael Institute
EFSAS delegation consisting of Mr. Dušan Vejinović (Senior Research Analyst EFSAS), Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) and Ms. Danielle DePaulis (Research Analyst EFSAS) held a meeting with Mr. Sico van der Meer, a Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute, whose research focuses on non-conventional weapons such as Weapons of Mass Destruction and cyber weapons, from a strategic policy perspective.
EFSAS and Mr. van der Meer discussed how the South Asian nuclear conundrum between India and Pakistan is currently at the brink of nuclear arms escalation if the serious security issues, which cover a wide spectrum of violent extremism, ongoing radicalization and inter-ethnic conflicts, are not adequately addressed. Mr. van der Meer argued that the international community, including the European continent has for a long time neglected and muted this dangerous stalemate situation resulting in heightening the risk of direct Indo-Pak nuclear confrontation. Tragedies such as the Mumbai 2008 terrorist attacks, which were orchestrated and launched by terrorist groups sponsored by the Pakistani leadership against India, have proven that if any event of similar proportions repeats itself, the already strenuous relations of the two countries will further deteriorate.
Ms. Yoana Barakova and Ms. Danielle DePaulis (both EFSAS) with Mr. Sico van der Meer (Clingendael Institute)
Mr. van der Meer additionally deliberated upon the threat of a nuclear winter, if such direct nuclear confrontation takes place, which will ultimately have disastrous consequences for the entire globe. He argued that Western powers have been reluctant to acknowledge the danger of such developments from fears of aggravating the economic relations they maintain with the South Asian adversaries, yet he warned that if an armed conflict indeed eventuate, inevitably those economic ties will negatively suffer as well, highlighting the interconnection between the two. EFSAS pointed out to the Jammu & Kashmir conflict, which has been a sore point of violent clashes between the two countries for more than 70 years and has resulted in the loss of innumerous lives. EFSAS underlined the necessity of devoting efforts to creating a sustainable and comprehensive environment, in which a solution to the issue could be deliberated upon, and which would not only improve Indo-Pak relations but also bring about sustainable peace to the whole of South Asia.
EFSAS and Mr. van der Meer both agreed that nuclear safety mechanisms must be urgently deployed in order to prevent any such escalations and mitigate this threat. Opportunities for future collaboration between EFSAS and the Clingendael Institute were additionally explored, with the objective of raising public awareness and sensibility about this calamitous scenario.