China and Pakistan are still in possession large chunks of Indian land. India as nuclear power does not intend to threat any country and it is a peace loving country committed to global disarmament. But as a Sovereign State India has every right to defend itself.
Because of this threat perception India did not sign CTBT or NPT and kept its nuclear options open. By conduction these tests India has not violated any treaty or agreement. India needed a minimum deterrent and so these tests were a necessity.
These were also essential to generate data for computer simulation and sub-critical testing. Pakistan has also done nuclear tests with the outside help. But India nuclear capability is far superior to that of Pakistan. India needs to take these tests to their logical conclusion.
It means weaponisation in spite of its commitment to peace and global disarmament. Weaponasisation and development of effective delivery system of nukes involves huge sums of money but nothing should be spared for India’s security and safety.
Moreover, Indian scientists are highly talented to produce con-effective nuclear weapons and delivery system as is evident from the up gradation of the Unit-2 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station in digenously at a much reduced cost of Rs. 80 crore instead of Rs. 15,000 crore demanded by Canada.
May 11, 1998 became a momentous day of the Indian history when the country stormed into the exclusive elite club of nuclear power states and became one of the super powers on its own. It was Buddha Pumima day and Buddha smiled 3gain for the second time after 1974.
On this fateful day three nuclear tests were conducted with a fission device, a low yield device and a thermo nuclear device simultaneously at 3.45 p.m. at Pokhran in Rajasthan. These underground tests showed up as a single explosion on the Global Seismic Network, and measured 4.7 on the Richter scale.
It released the energy equivalent to 53 kilotons of TNT, over 5 times that of 1874 test. It was 2,048th test on the earth, and between 150 to 200 meters below the surface. The Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee announced in a hurriedly convened news conference at 6 p.m. that day that the measured yields were in line with the expected valves and there was no release of radioactivity in the atmosphere.
Two more tests were conducted on 13th May, 1998 which was also sophisticated low-yield sub-kiloton tests. In the words of an expert these “micro and mini-nukes were the most sophisticated and the latest series of nuclear tests in the world.”
This significant Operation, code named “Shakti” was carried out under the overall supervision of DRDO Chief Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr. R. Chidambaram. They were there at Pokhran and on the spot on that historic day.
It marked the logical culmination of long research, wait and planning. The news stunned the world and sent Indian people into ecstasy. The operation was carried out with such a perfect secrecy that it exposed one of America’s biggest intelligence failures.
The American authorities felt down and said this failure was because of misplaced trust, misjudgment by intelligence agencies and misdirection of the spy satellites, it is believed that India got the idea of keeping its tests preparations secret after its top scientists were shown in 1995 by the then US Ambassador to India Frank Wisner spy satellite photographs with clear signs of arrangements for a nuclear test to successfully persuade India from undertaking such a venture.
This enabled Indian scientists to conceal the preparations this time. The US intelligence failure was further underlined by the subsequent Indian tests of two highly sophisticated devices with yields less than one kiloton on 13 May.
India conducted its first nuclear underground peaceful experiment on May 18, 1974 at Pokhran, Rajasthan, the same site where second tests were hold. Then Mrs. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. Pt. Nehru laid the foundation of India’s nuclear programme and Atomic Energy Commission was set up in 1948. India built Asia’s first Atomic research reactor Apsara indigenously in 1956 followed by Circus in 1960.
By 19S4 India became the fifth plutonium producing country in the world. In 1964 china invaded India and he latter suffered a humiliating defeat which underlined India’s compliancy in security matters. Pt. Nehru passed away on 27 may, 1964 following the Chinese aggression. Soon after Nehru’s death China conducted its first nuclear test in September, 1964.
Homi J. Bhabha then said that India could manufacture a nuclear bomb within 18 months, but then he died in 1S66 in a plane crash in mysterious circumstances. Had India manufactured a nuclear bomb and conducted nuclear test then, the situation would have been totally different and much in India’s favour. Why did Indira Gandhi net conduct another test after 1974 remains a mystery?
It is asked what made India to go nuclear after a lapse about a quarter century and at this juncture in the face of hostility of nuclear power states, possible curbs and sanctions? The answer was provided by the Prime Minister’s Secretary Brijesh Mishra who said “The Government is deeply concerned, as were previous governments, about the nuclear environment in India’s neighbourhood.
These-tests provided reassurance to the people of India that their national security interests are paramount and have established that India has a proven capability for a weaponries and nuclear programme. They also provide valuable data base which is useful in the design of nuclear weapons of different yields for different applications for different delivery systems.”
The regional security environment obliged India to conduct these tests and become a nuclear weapon power. It becomes a nuclear power state reputedly. In the opinion of India’s foremost defence analyst K. Subrahmanyam.”
India is the reluctant nuclear weapon state compelled to join the nuclear club because all its pleas to move towards nuclear disarmament were ignored by the nuclear weapons legitimized by the international community through the unconditional and indefinite extension of Non-proliferation Treaty.
Pakistan has had been sponsoring terrorism in India. She has been developing her missiles and nuclear weapons overtly and clandestinely with the help of China and Korea all these years. She has successfully tests-fired Ghauri missiles with the help of China.
Her recent nuclear tests were also possible because of foreign help and guidance. These collaborations and ties between Pakistan and China are a source of great concern for the country. These directly affect India’s security. The threat perception is real and timely and I.K. Gujaral’s statement.
“There was no security compulsion for conducting the tests when I laid down office,” does not hold much water. Similarly, when Deve Gowad called the tests political and partisan and said that previous government had the where withal to turn the screw driver, but had not done so because the threat to security was not as sharp as the BJP perceived it to be, revealed the same prejudice.
The annual Defence Ministry Report 1997- 98, released recently, categorically accuses China of” extensive defence collaboration” with Pakistan,” assistance” to its nuclear programme, and sale of missiles and sophisticated weapon systems to Islamabad.
The Report also takes note of military collaboration between China and Myanmar, including development of strategic lines of combination. It has come down heavily on Pakistan and its “involvement” in “operational planning and coordination of militant and terrorist activities in different parts of the country”
On Pakistan’s nuclear tests, it said that they have confirmed the “unmistakable signals” Leadership in recent years that its nuclear programme was a reality.
It states that” Pakistan’s hostile and negative mind set against India and the manifestation or” this mind set in the shape of commenting and supporting terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country continued unabated.””Pakistan has also been making claims about the development of increasingly longer range ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads.”
Chinese activities in Myanmar have increased considerably since 1989 when the military resume assumed power in Rangoon. With an aim of having a strategic outpost in the India Ocean and to encircle India strategically, China is busy in spying on India from Great Coco Island of Myarmer, which is just 20 nautical miles from the northern tip of the Andamans.
China also has radar bases at Man-Aung Island of Maynmar China is also building road-links with Myanmar. The St. Mathews Island base is said to have direct satellite links with China. China regards India as her one of the most likely opponents in regional conflicts.
There are also report of increased and closer relationship between Pakistan and Myanmar. George Fernandes, the Defence Minister of India has drawn the attention to these facts and development in his recent utterances China and Pakistan are still in possession of large chunks of India territory.
India is a peace-loving country. It is never committed any aggression. Its commitment to world peace, nuclear disarmament, nonviolence, the principles of the punch sheel are well-known. But unfortunately, there have been taken as its weakness.
As a new clear power India does not intend to use it weapons for aggression or for mounting treats against any country. India is a sovereign country and it has every right to defend its territorial integrity, sovereignty and honour, Indias are master of their own destiny and can sharp it as they would.
There cannot be any let up in its defence preparedness. It cannot take any chance in such a matter. It was only because of belligerent neighbours that refused to sign CTBT or NPT. India is well aware of its international commitments and obligations. It has not violated of any treaty or agreement and so need not be apologetic.
India is fully committed to Chemical Weapons Treaty, Biological weapons convention etc. the double speak and arm-twisting tactics of the nuclear weapons states is no secret. They have been practicing economic and nuclear apartheid for long.
When in 1974 India deionated its first nuclear device at Pokhran it shocked the world, U.S was angry and felt caught unawares. Then Henry Kissinger told US congress, “We objected strongly, but since there were no violation of Us agreements involved, we had no specified leverage on which to bring over objections to bear.”
The situation is not different now. India is not a signatory to NPT or CTBT. India has not violated any convention or agreement, but simply has exercised its sovereign right to continue the testing for self- defence. As a result of there tests Indias feel nore secure, safe and proud.
It has generated more confidence in our armed force. It marks the end of a long inaction and down of a new era. Pokhran II should be taken to its logical and desired conclusion. In one go India has shown the nuclear capability if our scientists, engineers and others.
It also effects the strong determination and will of the people. The world is happy that India has broken the hegemony of a few. These were a necessity from security point of view and also a confidence-building measure. It was the need of the hour that India had at .least minimum nuclear deterrent. Perhaps India had no option but at least minimum nuclear capability.
India could no longer remain complacent about its defence preparedness. France conducted 5 tests and China 7 before they signed CTBT. India rejected the CTBT and kept its opinions open because the treaty was discriminatory, it hurt India’s sovereignty, and it did not proved for time – bound nuclear disarmament, India is now is a better position to sign CTBT in its modified form.
It was inevitable that India tested to nuclear capability and generated data essential for computer simulation and sub- critical testing. Better late those never. It has been said well and rightly that if you want peace, prepare for war. It has better that we readied ourselves for war in time peace. Lasting and genuine friendship can only be among the equals. The strong recognizes the strong.
On 28 May, 1998 Pakistan also detonated five nuclear devices at Chagai Hills in Baluchistan using uranium 235. it did not surprise India. It was on the expected lines. Pakistan did it 17 days after India went nuke at Pokhran on May 11, 1998. It was not a relation to India tests. However, testing time might have beer, proponed in view of the India’s tests.
According to a British nuclear expert even if the US with its advanced technology were to decide to test, it would have needed at last 2-months from start to finish. But there is a big difference between India and Pakistan tests. The latter have been termed simpler and less advanced.
While India devices and expertise were totally indigenous, the- Pakistan’s nuclear devices were of Chinese origin and borrowed. Pakistan did obtain its nuclear technology clandestinely. Their chief nuclear scientist Abdul Quadeer Khan was sentenced in absentia to four year imprisonment in Amsterdom (Netherlands) in 1983 for trying to steal nuclear secrets; however, the appeals court set aside the order two years later.
Certainly Pakistan could not have detonated without outside help. Reports say that china supplied Pakistan about 70,000 ring magnets for its nuclear programme. On the other hand India scientists and engineers did it on their own.
Moreover, India’s potential nuclear arsenal has been rated bigger even than that of Britain and the same league as the French and Chinese. Pakistan, however, exhausted a significant part to its meager arsenal in its nuclear tests and the poor performance of its weapons revealed the country’s strategic nuclear weakness, said the Uk’s Jone’s Intelligence Review.
India is now no more a threshold nuclear weapon state, but a real nuke power with credible deterrent. It ensures security and prevention of any foreign aggression and coercive diplomacy. But now the question arises what after the tests? Where these tests only to create an illusion of grandeur, glory and super power? Do we stop here, or opt for weaponisation?
Were these detonations simply to show India’s nuclear capability and nothing more? What after breaking the monopoly of the 5-Nuclear weapon states? Should India now sign NPT and CTBT unconditionally? These are some of the important questions that remain to be answered.
India has already announced voluntarily its moratorium on further testes. We need not be defensive and apologetic about these testes and should take them to their desired and logical conclusion. Only this will make the super powers coma to term with India in the course of time.
Weaponisation also does not mean that India has given up its commitment “to global disarmament. India should continue its efforts in this direction without compromising either its sovereignty or national security interests.
The next logical step would be the development and deployment of nuclear warheads and their delivery system. Unless it is done in near future, the whole exercise would turn into an exercise in futility. The Prithvi and Age missiles should be transformed into deployed weapon systems.
The nukes are deterrent only when they are deployabie and ready to strike the aggressor. Deterrence means the ability to retaliate with full devastating might after surviving the first strike by the enemy. Only the operational deployment of nukes can ensure peace, stability and balance of power in the sub- continent.
The serial production of the Army version of the surface to surface prithiv (P-l) missile has already begum. It has a range of 150 kms in the production phase. The second flight trial of the Air Force Version of the surface to surface Prithiv” (P-li), with a range of 250 kms, has been successfully undertaken.
India has quantum technological leap in the weapon delivery systems with several variants of extended range surface-to-surface Agni IRBMS being deployed by the Defence Reserach Development Organization (DRDO). The signified Advisor to the Defence Minister, Dr. A.P.j. Abdul Kalam told the newspersons on 17 May, 199S that.
Government had given clearance to the extended range version of Agni missile and it was in an “advance stage of development” He also said that Agni had been developed and the project stands compete and if it needed could be made in numbers. This means that the nuclear capable missile is ready for serial production.
India’s missile man Dr. Kalam also said that DRDO had the capability to build Agni which could be no propelled solid, Liquid and In other words, India new has long-range missile categorized as intermediate range missile. This new version of Agni could, take care of the missile threat posed by China.
The Prithiv were capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. The country had the capability, successfully demonstrated in the recent (may 11-13, 1998) sub-kiloton nuclear tests, to miniature the nuclear warheads so that it would be fitted on any missile.
India’s Sukhoi SU-30 fighters can also deliver a nuclear payload to Pakistan and deep into Chira, and their range and delivery of six II-78 refueling tanker received from Russia. India is also working on a submarine launched missile called sagarika which may become operational by the year 2005.
Effective weaponisation means colossal investment and expenditure. A credible deterrent would mean manufacturing of at least 50 Agni missiles with a range of 3500 kms, each with a capability to carry 10-tone nuclear payload. It is estimated that each of such missile would coast at least Rs 5 Crore No doubt enormous funds would be needed to take India’s nuclear programme beyond Pokhran.
Moreover, we can depend upon our scientists who can reduce the cost of weaponisation to a great extent. For example, the scientists and engineers of Nuclear power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have successfully upgraded the unit-2 of the Rajasthan Atomic power Station (RAPS) by replacing indigenously coolant channels, and thus saving an amount of Rs. 1,500 crore.
The Canadians were demanding US S 350 million for doing this job whereas Indian scientists did it in RS 80 crore. This positive out-come is another feather in the cap of Indian scientists. It means Indian scientist is capable to accept any challenge and rise to the occasion.
The replacement of coolant challenge was a very difficult task as the danger of being affected by radioactivity loomed larger. But our men handled the replacement and disposal of the coolant tubes efficiently which ensured safety for ever worker in the plant. It amply proves that India can competently undertake cost-effective weaponaisation and yet need not eat grass.