The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Assessing the Historical and Future Prospects in the South Asian Context

A. Azam, S. Rehman, W. Hussain, K. M. Ahmad


Catastrophic effects of nuclear bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan compelled the
international community to take measures in order to avoid radioactive fallouts of nuclear weapons
and this gave impetus to the debate of nuclear disarmament. However, major powers remained
reluctant to relinquish their supremacy attained through such technological advancements. As part of
these efforts, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was finally concluded and became open for
signatures in1996. CTBT is widely considered as one of the key arrangements of nuclear nonproliferation
eventually leading to achieve the international objective of nuclear disarmament.
However, owing to strategic calculations some major States have either not signed or not ratified the
treaty. Unless the treaty is signed/ratified by the major hold out States, legally, it cannot come into
force. Considering past and present trends, CTBT is likely to face the challenge of brining hold out
States in its ambit. Thus, chances of CTBT coming into force seem dim in calculable future.

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