A nuclear pact just right for India and Pakistan

Reagan and Gorbachev sign the INF treaty in 1987

By Daniel Painter, Research Assistant, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme

Twenty-five years after the signing of a landmark nuclear-arms agreement between the US and the Soviet Union, the world is facing a new atomic-weapons race in South Asia, where similar controls would be useful.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty inked by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on 8 December 1987 was the first such agreement to eliminate entire weapon systems, rather than to merely limit the size of nuclear arsenals. India and Pakistan, which both continue to increase their nuclear arsenals, have not engaged in arms-control negotiations. If they were, however, an INF-style agreement would be a good first step towards stabilising the region.

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