Washington, Apr 25: The back-to-back nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998 actually helped in bringing about stability in South Asia, and were a turning point in forging better bilateral ties between the two countries, internationally acclaimed nuclear experts said here at a seminar. They were of the view that the tests lowered the nuclear threats in the region which were looming large there.
Former US Assistant Secretary of State in-charge of Non-proliferation Bob Einhorn said the blasts eventually lowered the "perceived costs of going nuclear" and signified "death of universality of Non-Proliferation Treaty". Einhorn was speaking at a seminar marking the 10th anniversary of the nuclear tests. Underscoring the strategic magnitude of the tests, he described the tests as a "watershed in nuclear history" in the subcontinent.
He said that another implication of the tests was in the perception of lowering the perceived costs of going nuclear. "The tests triggered the Glenn amendment sanctions but the first of these punitive measures were beginning to be taken off within six months, and in a three-year period all sanctions had been removed," The Nation quoted Einhorn as saying.
The early repeal of the sanctions gave the impression that factors like commercial and political considerations had higher objectives than non-proliferation, the former state department official said further.
Professor Devin Hagerty of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County argued that the effect of two countries was in the sense that nuclear weapons inhibited or deterred India from attempting to punish Pakistan.