With India and Pakistan testing, people are concerned, and we find a window of opportunity. India is offering a way out of the problem, by asking for a global convention to ban nuclear weapons worldwide. (Representative Lynn Woolsey has re-introduced her 1998 resolution into the House calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.)
In judging the decisions by India's 1998 tests (and Pakistan's), one should look back to the discussions surrounding the fifth signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1995. India and a number of other so-called "Third World" nations raised the question, "Why should we sign this Treaty when the original five nuclear powers aren't abiding by Article 6," which reads, "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." India was reluctant to sign the NPT, demanding a firm timetable for complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Again, when the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was close to being signed, India balked, and observed that the United States had tested nearly a thousand times and was still conducting so-called "subcritical" nuclear tests.
It's clear, with some time behind us, that neither country is eager to use itsFred Anderson, "Peace Park Poet," Night Vigiler Winter 1999 nuclear weapons. However, without leadership from the larger nuclear powers, it's doubtful that they will eliminate them, either. It's truly up to U.$.