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Cyberspace CBMs between Pakistan and India


Cyber-space is at once an area of immense cooperation and a no-holds barred arena, where no rules of engagement apply. Difficulties in creating a stable environment in cyber-space stem from conflicting national perceptions regarding freedom of Internet, application of international law and problems associated with attribution. Information space has no borders and no recognized rules of engagement or internationally accepted regulatory mechanisms. State parties, freelancers, criminals and terrorists all consider cyber operations outside the pale of international jurisdiction. Some agreements have emerged concerning cybercrime but cyber warfare remains outside binding legal obligations. In the absence of a consensus on cyber norms obligations, it is considered a good idea to begin by constructing credible confidence building measures (CBMs) in information space.

As international battle lines are being drawn in cyberspace, South Asia will be sooner or later sucked up into this global rivalry. The prospects of an unintentional war as a consequence of a cyber-attack can spell disaster for the region. This book discusses a range of CBMs that can be created between Pakistan and India in cyber space to control malicious cyber behavior and avert an inadvertent war. 

About the Author

Dr Tughral Yamin is the Associate Dean at the Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS) at the National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad. He earned his PhD from the Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. In 2013, he was awarded research fellowship at the Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) Albuquerque NM, USA. This research forms the content of this book.

He is a graduate of the German General Staff College, Command & Staff College, Quetta and the National Defence University, Islamabad. 

Dr Yamin is the author of The Evolution of Nuclear Deterrance in South Asia. 

He regularly delivers lectures on national and international forums on subjects like regional and information security, net-centric warfare etc.

His academic interests include India-Pakistan relations, confidence building measures, regional security, peacekeeping, peacebuilding operations, conflict resolution, nuclear stability, arms control & disarmament, net-centric warfare, strategic decision making and information security and military history.


Book Review

'Tughral Yamin’s treatise is bold, innovative and timely. The CBM architecture in the subcontinent is rich and plenty, but most of them are derived from erstwhile Cold War experience. Tughral’s vision encompasses the potential challenges new nuclear powers are likely to encounter in the second nuclear age. He chose to go off the beaten track and proffer ideas hitherto unexplored and indeed designed to prevent a future catastrophe. He points out that cyberspace can be a potential minefield if left unattended and effectively argues that South Asia is lagging in developing cyber CBMs, and if timely actions are undertaken, the chances of potential misperceptions and conflict can be reduced.   

'This work is not a commentary on binaries or algorithms, rather explains in simple language how technology and policy can come together to create new vistas of cooperation. Drawing from the nuclear risk reduction experience of United States and the Russian Federation, this book recommends cyber CBMs that involve academics, scientists, policy-makers, and legal experts, who can steadily build on the plethora of existing nuclear and military CBMs in South Asia.

' “CBMs in cyberspace” is uncharted territory whose time has come. This book provides a credible roadmap for undertaking such a journey. It is highly recommended for academicians and policy makers.'

Brig (R) Feroz Hassan Khan 

Associate Research Professor, US Naval Postgraduate School; Author of Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (Stanford University Press, 2012)