Beyond Indo-Pakistani Sanctions

  • Share
  • Read Later
Sanctions against India and Pakistan are the proverbial Masterlocks on the door of an empty stable. “There’s not much that sanctions can accomplish now that both countries have tested their nuclear weapons,” says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. Instead, the next step will be persuading them to abide by international conventions governing nuclear nations.

President Clinton has urged the arriviste nuclear powers to abide by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and a carrot-and-stick policy may yet persuade both countries to sign -- although India insists that it be made more equitable by extending the ban on explosions to cover computer simulations used by the major powers. The next phase of the complex global disarmament process will be a U.N. conference in Geneva on a treaty to cut production of fissionable nuclear material.

“Following the first tests, the U.N. made a point of including India in the top tier of preparatory discussions for Geneva, and now Pakistan will probably be included too,” says Dowell. “So as much as we hate to admit it, the tests have given both India and Pakistan access to the inner circle of nuclear nations.”