ABSTRACT\ud Southern Asia is witnessing the rapid proliferation of ballistic missiles in and around the region. This proliferation phenomenon, together with ongoing and enduring conflicts amongst the “competing parties” (China, India and Pakistan) creates a potential surfacing of “nuclear flashpoint” in the region. This research is an endeavour to explore the causes of this nuclear and missile race amongst the Southern Asian powers (China, India, and Pakistan) with the help of the theory of strategic culture. \ud This study proceeds in the following way: it assesses the geo-political forces at work in the region; examines the strategic culture of China, India and Pakistan; traces the motivation of these countries for the strategic weapon programmes and delivery systems; describes their nuclear doctrines and command and control structures; and the current status of their ballistic missile programmes. It then addresses the prospects for Pakistan, India and China to move towards a system of mutual restraint regime, in which international regime theory is discussed as a conceptual framework; cold war models of strategic arms limitation and reduction models are studied and the important role of Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs) is identified. The same procedure is then applied in the context of Southern Asian region; problem areas identified with the help of CSBMs tools; and conclusions reached as to the potential to move beyond CSBMs into full restraint regime. \ud The study finds the very nature of the overlapping threat perceptions and the continuance of the unresolved issues and disputes as the main hurdles in the successful restraint models. Recommendations are therefore made for more comprehensive CSBMs leading to a Southern Asian regional version of cold war prototypes of strategic arms limitation and reduction for a more comprehensive and fruitful restraint model, which might then be applied and adhered to at the global level.\ud The study therefore opens new avenues of research and progress in the discipline.\u
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