How to Normalize Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Two Key Problems U.S. Negotiators Should Address

A Hatf-VI (Shaheen-II) missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,242 miles) takes off during a test flight from an undisclosed location in Pakistan, April 2008.  REUTERS

Since the 2005 Indian–U.S. Civil Nuclear Agreement, a number of notable nuclear arms control analysts and scholars have called for mainstreaming Pakistan into the nuclear nonproliferation regime, meaning the de facto acceptance of Pakistan as a nuclear weapons power. Indeed, for a while the Barack Obama administration began negotiations with Pakistan to explore nuclear mainstreaming during its second term. Most of these scholars argue that the process of normalizing Pakistan’s nuclear status should proceed differently than U.S. negotiations with India, which led to only partial normalization. In India’s case, because of geopolitical and commercial considerations, Washington demanded and got few nonproliferation concessions from New Delhi. There were no nuclear arms caps, posture changes, or accession to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty (FMCT), all of which were longstanding U.S. demands until the George W. Bush administration decided to do

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