India recently tested a long range missile the AGNI V. India also has plans for Ballistic Missile Defense Systems (BMD) as well as missiles with Multiple Warheads- MIRVs. India is also moving towards Sea Launched Ballistic Missiles ( SLBMs). For Pakistan India's message is that it should not concern itself with these developments because India is developing a deterrent and defense capability against the 'threat' from China. India has a strategic relationship with the US and the US India Civilian Nuclear Technology Agreement endorsed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) gives India access to nuclear materials even while maintaining eight unsafeguarded facilities. India is at pains to point out that its BMD and MIRV plans are simply 'technology demonstrators' and not being developed as part of a strategic policy. Can there be strategic weapons development without a strategy? The US is drawing India into the Pacific region as well as into Afghanistan and there is very little doubt that US policy in South Asia has India as a pivotal nation. India's development plans have full US support.
Pakistan sees its growing assymmetry with India and also sees India's weapons development strategy as a bid for nuclear superiority-not deterrence or defense. Many other countries in the region and beyond are likely to reach a similar conclusion. Pakistan has no option but to factor in its nuclear deterrence by not agreeing to a No First Use policy and by preparing to meet the full spectrum of the Indian threat including its stated policy of retaliation against a non state actor initiated terrorist act by 'cold starting' an attack on Pakistan. Pakistan tested a long range missile and has just carried out the second test of its nuclear capable 60 km range missile. If India goes ahead with BMD and MIRVs Pakistan will have to reasses its options and it is for this reason that Pakistan cannot support the FMCT.
If nuclear weapons and missile proliferation is to be halted then India and Pakistan must work out a strategic restraint regime even factoring in India's concerns about China. It would be a pity if Indian strategic weapons development without a strategy is allowed to drive the region into a race that can only have disastrous consequences. Just as India and Pakistan were about to consider some kind of resolution of the Siachen dispute the outgoing Indian Chief of Army Staff has stated that the Indian Army would never allow a resolution that meant vacating any part of the area currently held by India in the glaciated region. There has been no response from India's government probably because they are all waiting for this particular Army Chief to retire and leave-he has spoken far too often and rarely with wisdom.