The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, through its Doomsday Clock—the metaphorical clock whose hour hand is set to midnight, representing nuclear armageddon—has assessed the current global nuclear situation to be the most dangerous since 1953, the year both the United States and the Soviet Union successfully tested the hydrogen bomb. This is not surprising considering geopolitical tensions worldwide have accompanied conventional arms build-up, nuclear modernization programs, and the increasing utilization of weapons that blur the conventional-nuclear divide. In view of the changing global dynamics and the abysmal state of nuclear arms control today, Ramesh Thakur in his Washington Quarterly journal article argues in favor of the normative utility of the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty (NWPT). The NWPT is the first legally-binding treaty that prohibits the possession of nuclear weapons by all signatories, with the intent of global nuclear disarmament. The text, which opened for signature at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 20, 2017, has been signed by 53 states and ratified by three. Thakur posits that the NWPT is the most crucial “multilateral development on nuclear arms control in decades.” He argues in favor of the need for and relevance of “humanitarian principles,” which form the normative basis of the NWPT. Applying his arguments to the South Asian context, this article argues there is a considerable gap between Thakur’s perceived utility in the normative framework of the NWPT and its actual influence on India and Pakistan, which are both nuclear-armed states.
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Original Source: Aditi Malhotra, SAV Review: Evaluating the Normative Utility of the NWPT in South Asia, South Asian Voices, https://southasianvoices.org/evaluating-nwpt-in-south-asia/