Day #9: Paving a Path to Peace

South Asia is one of the world’s nuclear hotspots. Pakistan posesses the one of the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenals and is politically unstable. India, also armed with nuclear weapons, has been to war with Pakistan three times in the last three decades. And Afghanistan, plagued by war and terrorism, threatens to destabilize the region.

Realizing that these nations are unlikely to voluntarily reduce or give up their nuclear weapons, Ploughshares Fund's conflict prevention funding supports efforts that work to reduce tensions between these nuclear neighbors, increase civil society participation and restart dialogue while addressing the root causes of conflict.

After the devastating terrorist bombings in Mumbai in 2008, for instance, Ploughshares Fund supported efforts by the New Delhi-based Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies rapidly bring together an unofficial group of high-level retired military, policy-makers and experts from India and Pakistan to conduct an urgent assessment of events and ways forward in the highly volatile aftermath of the attacks. This quick response successfully tempered the responses of both nations and helped to prevent a possible war.

At the same time that we fund voices for peace on the ground, we also fund work in the United States to shape smart U.S. policy toward the region. Organizations like Crisis Group, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council serve as go-to organizations for policymakers and the media on South Asia.

Our long-term vision for a nuclear-free South Asia begins with these short term and practical regional and U.S.-based investments that build confidence toward eventual nuclear reductions.

Photo by DFID - the UK Agency for International Development