Issue Brief on “Changing Global and Regional Security Dimensions: Pakistan’s Perspective Articulated at Shangri-La Dialogue”

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On June 2, 2023, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, shared a comprehensive perspective on regional and global security while speaking at the 20th Asia Security Summit Shangri-La Dialogue. He talked about the shift from unipolarity to multipolarity; a resurgence of great-power rivalry; a global trend towards rearmament; and weakening of arms control and nuclear dimensions of regional security, especially Asia-Pacific and South Asia. These issues are of immense importance and merit focused, detailed attention.

Regional Security

In the context of South Asia, the Chairman JCSC said that it “presents unique and complex security challenges due to the peculiar character of the China-India-Pakistan equation. It is the only region where three contiguous nuclear powers share physical borders with alarmingly low warning times between them.”[1] This requires a very high level of efficiency and reliability in mutual communication along with robust command and control structures, especially during times of heightened tension. India and Pakistan have conflict-prone relations spanning over 70 years and have fought several wars over the unresolved issue of Kashmir. India also has conflict-prone relations with China and the troops of the two sides have had clashes along the contested border since 2020. This makes security more complex for the three nuclear-armed countries that share borders. While these countries have handled their nuclear capabilities with care in the past, the same cannot be guaranteed for the future.

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