On January 5, 2003, India published a nuclear doctrine consisting of 8 points: non-use of the first nuclear weapon; authorization of retaliatory nuclear strikes only by the country's civilian leader through the Command of Nuclear Forces; the creation and maintenance of nuclear weapons at the minimum necessary quantitative level; non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states; the right to use nuclear weapons in response to a chemical or biological attack; strict export controls; participation in the announcement of agreements to stop the proliferation of fissile materials; compliance with the obligations to abandon nuclear testing; promoting the goals of a world free of nuclear weapons through global, credible and non-discriminatory disarmament.
On June 20, 2004, India and Pakistan agreed to create a special communication line between the ministries of foreign affairs as a means of confidence building.
According to American sources, India continues to improve its nuclear arsenal of air, land and sea bases. It produced plutonium in an amount sufficient to produce 150–200 nuclear warheads and already has around 130–140 at its disposal. Nevertheless, additional plutonium will be required for the production of warheads for missiles under development. The Indian nuclear strategy, traditionally focused on Pakistan, is now focusing on China with more emphasis. It is estimated that about 10 launchers are located in northern India, and they are aimed at Western, Central and Southern China.
The main means of delivering nuclear weapons are: Prithvi short-range missiles (250 km); the Agni-I medium range ballistic missiles (700–900 km); Agni-II medium-range ballistic missiles for delivering a powerful thermonuclear warhead (2000–3000 km); extended range ballistic missiles of the Agni-III type (Surya, 3,500–5,000 km); Su-30MKI multipurpose aircraft.
A new ballistic solid-fuel rocket with a range of 5,000 km is ready for release. This allows you to hit the targets of the most northern regions of China. Thus, India has a new mechanism for containing China’s nuclear capabilities. This is extremely important for India, since China has reserved the right to be the first to use nuclear weapons on the territory that it considers its own. Part of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, China considers as such and therefore can deliver an advanced strike with nuclear weapons. So India’s nuclear deterrence must be reliable to prevent such an attack. The new ballistic missile will be equipped with a split head with individual targeting of warheads on the target. This will allow the rocket to overcome the enemy's missile defense system.
This rocket uses modern gyroscopes and accelerometers to increase accuracy. The inclusion of this missile in India’s nuclear arsenal will enable it to carry out reliable minimal containment of Pakistan and China according to its nuclear doctrine. It is believed that the emergence of this rocket could lead India to abandon its doctrine of “no first use of nuclear weapons”, since Pakistan did not accept this doctrine.
Having transferred to the armament of its fleet the nuclear submarine "Arihant", India became another owner of the "nuclear triad" in the world.
The meaning of Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is to prevent any military intervention by, above all, India, like the situation in 1971, which led to the disintegration of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine provides for different levels of response in order to deter a potential aggressor state from being attacked. It includes: warnings at the state or unofficial level; demonstrative testing of a small nuclear device in Pakistan; the use of nuclear weapons on the territory of Pakistan against the troops of the aggressor country; the use of nuclear weapons against exclusively military targets in the territory of the aggressor country, presumably in sparsely populated areas in order to minimize the damage caused.
At the end of 2001, the command of Pakistan’s nuclear forces announced four types of threats (threshold) requiring the use of nuclear weapons: a spatial threshold - the penetration of the Indian armed forces into Pakistan (presumably through the red line in the form of the Indus Valley) could cause Pakistan’s massive nuclear attack only if the Pakistani army is unable to stop this intervention; military threshold - the complete destruction of a significant part of the armed forces of Pakistan, especially the Air Force, with the threat of imminent defeat, as well as the use of chemical or bacteriological weapons; economic threshold - significant damage to the economy, which can be caused by a sea blockade or the seizure of vital waterways; the political threshold is destabilization in the country caused by the actions of the aggressor country in the case when the integrity of the country is at stake.
According to some reports, Pakistan now has 130–140 nuclear warheads. At the same time, Islamabad has two nuclear components - ground and aviation.
Land carriers are represented by ballistic missile launchers from a tactical level to medium-range missiles, as well as cruise missiles. Tactical aircraft with nuclear bombs was the first carrier of nuclear weapons, and it still functions today. The fleet of combat aircraft is 520 units, of which 100 are JF-17A / B Chinese-Pakistani light fighters, 85 converted American F-16A / B / C / D, 80 French Mirage III and 85 Mirage V, as well as 180 Chinese F-7.
In service there are land-based cruise missiles "Babur" in three versions, the range of flight according to various estimates is 350-750 km. Modification "Babur-3" is intended for its placement on a submarine of the type "Agosta-90B". In 2016 and 2018, there were two successful test launches of this rocket from a submerged platform.
The fleet of tactical and operational-tactical ballistic missiles (BR) is represented by two models. One of them is a solid Nasr BR with a range of 60 km, a mass of 1200 kg and a carrier of 400 kg.
The greatest pride of the Pakistanis is their two-stage ballistic missile "Shahin-3" with an average range of 2,750 km. It allows you to cover any targets in India from most of Pakistan. So far there have been two launches of this rocket, and it has not yet entered service.
Pakistan continues to increase its nuclear potential, according to various estimates, from 5 to 10-15 units per year. Supposedly, he wants to bring the number of his arsenal to 220-240 charges and more. Obstacles to capacity building are the country's poverty and problems with the protection of nuclear weapons from their possible falling into the hands of terrorists.
India and Pakistan, despite a number of serious political differences, if necessary, are fully capable of enhancing mutual trade. So, when in 1998, because of tests in both countries, nuclear weapons were imposed on them by a number of western countries, this, paradoxically, led to the intensification of bilateral economic relations due to the curtailment of trade with its traditional partners, including USA.
In February 1999, the Lahore Declaration was signed between India and Pakistan, which provided for the easing of tension between both countries and the creation of a missile launch warning system in order to reduce the possibility of unauthorized or accidental missile launches. And at the end of 2002, India expressed support for the Bangkok Treaty on the Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia and unilaterally imposed a moratorium on new nuclear tests.
In November 2006, India and Pakistan agreed on measures to combat terrorism and prevent a possible nuclear conflict in South Asia.
The radical shift in the normalization of economic relations between India and Pakistan is hindered by mutual suspicion and unwillingness to make any meaningful compromises. Nevertheless, many representatives of the business circles of both countries continue to develop trade relations. At the same time, economists are proposing to resort to the so-called Chinese model, the essence of which is that the normalization of bilateral economic cooperation should precede the resolution of border disputes and political differences. This model has already proven its effectiveness in relations between India and China, which in recent decades have begun to actively develop trade and economic ties while maintaining mutual territorial claims. Thus, their mutual trade turnover in 2002–2007 increased by 70%, exceeding $ 30 billion, and in 2007–2014, it increased by another 73%, reaching 66 billion dollars.
Public opinion polls conducted in 2014 revealed the support of a significant part of citizens and business representatives of India and Pakistan in the idea of normalizing trade relations. For the leaders of both countries, the importance of normalizing bilateral trade and economic relations in the context of the global financial crisis was understood. The expansion of their interaction could give both countries substantial economic benefits and relieve the tension caused by nuclear confrontation.
According to experts, today the economic ties between the two states have reached such a point of no return that they can no longer be reversed, even despite the quite possible terrorist acts in both countries. The last round of exacerbation of the situation on the border can negate all efforts, and the countries will nevertheless be drawn into another large-scale war.