Between a new form of international deterrence and universal disarmament, the latter is of course preferable. Unfortunately, it is also less likely to come about. India should nevertheless play an active role in international efforts to reduce the danger from nuclear weapons.
India’s long-term interests therefore call for New Delhi to insist on strengthening state institutions vis-à-vis the military establishment now, at a time when outside powers are interested in Pakistan’s stability. Even as India engages President Musharraf bilaterally, a separate multilateral process will allow it to pursue other imperatives of the stabilisation process.