ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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POLITICS-Pressure from Regional Allies

concerned about just how Pakistan would react to a government led by a party which has targeted Pakistan for a range of attacks over the years. The only bright spot, it is believed, was Atal Behari Vajpayee's past performance as foreign minister in the Janata government which gave reason for hope. Against this back drop, the defence minister's statements, in keeping with the ruling coalition's National Agenda, that India would not hesitate to develop nuclear weapons has been met with satisfaction by Pakistan's foreign policy pundits rather than concern: they consider that after all the BJP is being open about something that, in their view, has all along been pursued by all Indian governments in the past, but surreptitiously. India's refusal to sign the CTBT has in these circles been seen as the result of national security considerations and the perceived need to keep the nuclear option open and not so much because of the ostensible opposition to the iniquitous terms of the treaty. To Pakistan, therefore, the current BJP-led government may seem easier to deal with; it brings into the open the motivations which Pakistan has believed the 'secular' and 'anti-nuclear' Indian governments of the past have been at pains to keep concealed both Hindu big-nation chauvinism and nuclear ambition.

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