The intensely adversarial relationship between India and Pakistan is marked by military rivalry, mutual distrust, and suspicion. The most dividing disagreement has been over the Kashmir region. An inability to discuss the Kashmir issue has prevented discussion on other important issues. Since there is little prospect of detente, at least in the near-term, the question is whether this rivalry can be contained by other means, such as arms control approaches. Conventional arms control has been applied flexibly and successfully in some regions to reduce threat-perceptions and achieve reassuring military stability. Some lessons from other international models might be applied to the India/Pakistan context. This paper discusses the status of conventional arms control in South Asia, the dominant Indian and Pakistani perceptions about arms control, the benefits that could be derived from arms control, as well as the problems and prospects of arms control. It also discusses existing conventional arms control agreements at the regional and global levels as well as the potential role of cooperative monitoring technology.
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