By Umair Jamal
The thought of a failed nuclear-armed state next door is worrying India more and more.
In Pakistan’s strategic threat perception, India remains a self-evident and long-term threat. However, one can argue that while India will continue to remain Pakistan’s primary strategic threat, it is not interested in weakening or destroying Pakistan, as the prevailing narrative in the country might suggest. In fact, to the contrary, New Delhi fears Islamabad’s “instability more than its strength.”
As Stephen P. Cohen argues in his book, Shooting for a Century: The India Pakistan Conundrum, until a few years ago, the prospect of a “failed” Pakistan didn’t disturb India, but in the contemporary situation, given the rise of Islamic extremism in Pakistan, its acquisition of nuclear weapons, and the state’s economic weakness, the thought of a failed nuclear-armed state next door is worrying India more and more.
Daniel S. Markey maintains that despite having suffered from a number of Pakistan-based terrorist attacks, New Delhi doesn’t view the military conquest or the breakup of Pakistan as a realistic approach to resolve the long-standing rivalry; rather, it sees Pakistan as an enormous mess and “not one India would want to inherit even if it had the military tools to sweep across the border unobstructed.” Arguably, India’s security is increasingly dependent on Pakistan’s stability.