Confidence-building between India and Pakistan


Gaurav Rayen

Several existing nuclear-related agreements that involve India and Pakistan already require these two countries to share information. The agreements are bilateral, regional and international. Greater nuclear transparency between India and Pakistan could be promoted by first understanding the information flows required by existing agreements. This understanding is an essential step for developing projects that can incrementally advance the sensitivity of the information being shared.

In this paper, I survey existing nuclear-related agreements involving India and Pakistan, and suggest future confidence-building projects using the frameworks provided by these agreements. The bilateral agreement on the prohibition of attack on nuclear facilities is discussed as a basis for creating further agreements on restricting the use and deployment of nuclear weapons. I then suggest options for enhancing the value of the list of nuclear facilities exchanged annually as a part of this agreement. The increase food and crop production and optimize water management in arid areas also provide similar opportunities for nuclear cooperation. Other frameworks for nuclear cooperation come from international conventions related to nuclear safety, transportation of nuclear wastes, worker protection against ionizing radiation and the non-deployment of nuclear weapons in certain areas.

The information that is being shared or is required to be shared by existing frameworks includes - laws and regulations (including internal inspection procedures that enforce compliance); lists of nuclear facilities; emergency response procedures and available resources; information related to the transport of nuclear wastes (particularly via shipping); understanding and notifying accidental releases; radionuclide release data from select coastal facilities. Incremental increases in the sensitivity of the rol.