EASSC Publications


Bridging the “Legitimacy Gap”: Pakistan and the CTBT

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


Despite attempts to position itself within the global nuclear order, Pakistan faces a growing “legitimacy gap” with India as a consequence of balancing behaviour intended to achieve strategic parity with its enduring rival. This paper argues that Pakistan can bridge its legitimacy gap with India by signing onto the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This not only makes strategic sense in its competition with India but would also be an important step towards Pakistan’s recognition as a responsible nuclear power. Finally, such a move would have significant domestic, regional, and international implications.

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

Publication Details

Author information:

Samad Aftab is a PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the international relations department of the Faculty of Society & Design at Bond University, Australia. His research focus is on the problem of spoilers in the India­–Pakistan peace process within the context of their historical enduring rivalry.

Milena Arsic is an Advisor at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra.* In 2015 she interned with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, where she conducted a research project on Pakistan and its relationship with the CTBT. Milena holds a European Masters in Law and Economics from the Universities of Bologna, Italy and Vienna, Austria, as well as a Bachelor of International Relations (Business) and Laws from Bond University, Australia.

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