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HVK Archives: Analysis of a Nuclear India

Analysis of a Nuclear India - The Pioneer

Posted By Sanjay Achharya (sanjayac@erols.com)
June 3, 1998

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of
the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to
receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but
rather on the fact that we have made our position
-Sun Tzu

The Cause for Concern:

Since Independence in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought three wars on
different occasions. The three wars with Pakistan occurred in 1948, 1965
and 1971. Kashmir has been the key issue, which has led Pakistan to go on
war with India in 1948 & 1965. The 1971 war took place because of a
dispute over helping Bangladesh (East Pakistan) to prevent Pakistan from
committing religious genocide in Bangladesh. In 1962, China launched an
aggression on India over border issues. Before the India-China war, the
congress government was busy wooing the Chinese government, thanks to
the Nehruvian foreign policy. While Indians were busy chanting, "Hindi
Chini Bahi-Bhai", our so-called friend was getting ready to stab us in the
back. In the entire period of 24 years, since 1948 to 1971, India never gave
a second thought to its national security and was busy preaching the world,
the message of peace and brotherhood. India's primary policy had been that
of "Ahimsa", in spite of all the "Himsa" committed by its neighbors. Till
date, China continues to illegally occupy thousands of acres of Indian
Territory in the Himalayas and continues to display hostility towards India,
by providing military support to the insurgents in the north eastern region.

India was in the nuclear energy program along with leading nations of the
world since 1955, when BARC was set up. It was known that India was
involved in building a nuclear bomb. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a future prime
minister of Pakistan, declared in 1965, "If India builds the bomb, we will eat
grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own." India's
four-decade old nuclear program had gone through a series of development.
In 1974, India conducted the first nuclear test, terming it as a 'peaceful test'.
In the meanwhile, Pakistan had formulated its own nuclear weapon building
program, which was being developed covertly. In the cold war era, America
turned a blind eye to Pakistan's nuclear program since Pakistan provided the
pathway for the CIA to smuggle arms into Afghanistan to drive out Russian
invaders. But when that covert operation ended, the United States cut off a
multi-billion dollar military aid program by imposing sanctions in the 1990s,
accusing Pakistan of developing a nuclear weapon. For more than three
decades, a global network of theft and espionage, formed by Pakistan had
been looking to buy or steal nuclear technology. Recently, China, India's
overt nuclear neighbor, started giving military support to the Pakistani
nuclear program, inspite of being obligated by the NPT agreement. China
provided blueprints for the nuclear bomb, as well as highly enriched
uranium, tritium, scientists and key components for a nuclear weapons
production complex, among other crucial tools. Despite such nuclear
proliferation on part of China, western nations did not pay any heed to
India's voice about its security concern. This put India in a tight spot with
its two neighbors, namely China and Pakistan, both of which have carried
out arms aggression against India in the past.

Pakistan has been involved in carrying out a proxy war in the state of
Kashmir, by providing financial and training support to mercenaries, who
are carrying out militant and terrorist activities in the region.
Approximately, 5000 Hindus have been killed so far in the ten-year period
since 1989, in the state of Kashmir, by Pakistani terrorists. Several Hindu
families (approximately 300,000 Hindus) have fled the region to save their
lives, leaving behind all the property, which was taken over by the Islamic
terrorists. Pakistan claims its right over the state of Kashmir, based on
religious arguments that it is a Muslim populated state. Of course it is a
Muslim populated state, since, most of the Hindu families have fled the
region while others who did not bow to the pressure were killed brutally by
the Pakistani terrorists. Just recently, 26 Hindus were killed in the
Udhampur district of Jammu, since they did not agree to convert into Islam.
Four families were murdered in a very brutal way, by chopping their limbs
off, by decapitating them and even burning them alive, even children were
massacred in this barbarian act. There have been several bomb blasts in the
cities of India on different occasions, to demonstrate Islamic intolerance
with the help of Pakistani terrorists. This shows that Pakistan's terrorist
activities are not limited to Kashmir, but are rather a manifestation of its
anti-India policy. Till date, their had been several peace talks held between
Indian and Pakistani government, with no results. Both the neighbors of
India, were involved in developing a nuclear nexus to challenge as well as to
bully India using military strength. Moreover, both the neighbors have been
involved in all sorts of antagonist activities manifested in the form of a
belligerent proxy war in the case of Pakistan and encouraging insurgency in
the north eastern region, in the case of China. Pakistan, had recently, test
fired Ghauri missile, named after the invader of India, to display its military
prowess to India. It is well known that the missiles have been developed
using Chinese M-11 technology. There are reports that a massive electronic
surveillance system was being set up by the Chinese on the Coco Islands,
near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The Chinese
were supposed to be monitoring and measuring everything in India and the
rumors are that the Chinese intended to convert this surveillance
establishment into a major naval base, which would directly threaten India's

The Effect:

Due to such strategic threats developing in the neighborhood of India, it was
time that India took the reigns of national security in its hands tightly. A
new defense strategy needed to be formulated; a new nuclear policy was
needed desperately. On the northern western border of India, was a country,
which proudly proclaimed itself a theocratic Islamic state, on the north
eastern border of India, was a country, which was well known for its
communistic and hegemonistic aspirations. Moreover, both had WMD's
(Weapons of Mass Destruction). Since 1974, India was observing a self-
imposed moratorium over nuclear testing. But, the deteriorating security
factor in the neighborhood demanded a review of the nuclear policy that
India had for the past 24 years. India had to develop a nuclear deterrent

That is exactly what India did! On May 11 1998, India conducted three
underground nuclear tests, which included Hydrogen bomb (Thermo-
nuclear), a low yield nuclear device and a nuclear device of normal yield.
The first device used plutonium technology, the low yield device used U-
233 type of fissile material, and the third test used a U-235 fission process.
Naturally occurring uranium comes in two forms U-238 which is abundant
but not good for a bomb, and U-235 which is a bomb material but is present
only in seven parts per thousand and has to be separated by a process known
as gas diffusion. The U-233 is not naturally available and has to be
produced by transmuting thorium present in sand, and is abundantly
available in India. According to Mr. Chidambaram, Atomic Energy
Commission chairman, said that U-233 is one of the best fissile material
because its critical size, i.e. the minimum material required for chain
reaction, is very low. Scientists all around the world said that by detonating
three different types of nuclear devices within a span of three hours, India
has demonstrated its capability to design different types nuclear warheads.
According to American and Swiss experts, "India has taken a huge nuclear
step". India was known as a Nuclear-Threshold nation, since, it was known
to have nuclear capability, also since it has not yet signed the CTBT.
Similarly, Pakistan and Israel were also known as the same. India has not
signed the CTBT because of its discriminatory nature of nuclear-haves and
nuclear-don't-haves. CTBT is an example of the nuclear apartheid policy
propagated by the western countries.

Severe condemnation was received from all around the world, including the
5 nuclear nations. Just two days after the tests, India conducted the second
series of test, which included two tests with sub-kiloton yields. After these
tests Indian premier Mr. A.B. Vajpayee announced that there would be no
further tests, as the planned series of tests have been completed and the
required data to conduct future sub-critical test using the super computer
'Param', had been obtained. It is thought that India would require four more
tests to successfully implement the sub-critical tests using supercomputers.
An opinion poll conducted by the Times of India, on Indian nuclear tests
suggests that 91% of urban Indians approve of tests and 82% believe that
India should deploy nuclear warheads. The Indian premier, Mr. A.B.
Vajpayee sent diplomatic letters to leaders all round the world explaining
India's cause and the decision to conduct nuclear tests. He announced that
India would not conduct further tests and observe self-imposed moratorium
over further nuclear tests. He also said that Indian nuclear tests have been
conducted due to security concerns and is in no way a sign of
aggressiveness. Japan, USA and Australia decided to impose economic
sanctions against India. In a meeting of G-8 nations the European Union
voted that it would not impose any sanctions, but said it 'strongly deplores'
the Indian nuclear tests. Russia also expressed its concern but said that it
would not impose any sanctions. The Chinese foreign ministry said that the
government was "deeply shocked and strongly condemns" the nuclear tests.
It expressed its opinion that all the countries should strongly condemn India
and ask it to sign the CTBT (Comprehensive test Ban Treaty) immediately.
Pakistan's foreign minister, Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan, said "It is the height of
irresponsibility and that the Indian ministry has gone berserk". He also
pointed out that Pakistan would conduct its own nuclear tests, despite threats
of economic sanctions from USA. All the countries expressed their concern
that Pakistan may follow suit and conduct its own nuclear test. Pakistan was
asked, to show "utmost restraint", by not conducting any nuclear tests as this
would lead to nuclear arms race in the subcontinent and may create
instability in the region.

The Aftermath:

USA and Japan executed economic sanctions against India and said that all
non-humanitarian loans to India would be blocked. The sanctions would
immediately halt $144 million U.S. aid, export-import bank said that it
wouldn't approve new loans, loan guarantees or credit insurance for US
exports to India. The sanctions would also freeze as much as $35 million in
license requests for the purchase of US military products. The USA as per
its 1994 law to curb Nuclear Proliferation imposed the sanctions. The
sanctions would also stop exports of military equipment and high
technology products like computers and telecommunications etc. As per the
sanctions USA would also convince the World Bank to block $3 billion loan
for India's infrastructure development, block $51.3 million in agency for
international development assistance, and $775,000 in military aid.
Australia also said that it would stop all non-humanitarian loans to India.
The Japanese government suspended $25 million in aid and said that it may
suspend its India aid program, worth about $1 billion in 1997 in grants and

Several US banks and companies including Boeing, US Technologies, and
several other information technology and computer hardware companies
like Intel, are supposed to pressurize on the congress to be soft on the
sanctions. The exact policy of sanctions has not yet been formulated and
may be subject to serious lobbying by US companies and banks that conduct
business in India. The house speaker, Mr. Newt Gingrich, said that
Clinton's administration is using double standards and that they should apply
the same sanctions on China as they have applied on India. He also
suggested that whatever India has done for its security is understandable.
The actual effect of the sanctions on India's economy yet remains to be seen,
but according to experts all round the world, the sanctions will not affect the
Indian economy very much, infact it would be minimal. This is because
India's economy does not rely much on economic aids and that the economy
is large enough to sustain and absorb any such shocks. What is more
important is the fact that these monetary aids and loans form only 2% of
India's GDP. Moreover, the sanctions are only unilateral and not
multilateral. EU is opposing the sanctions, and so is Russia. Infact it is
understood that due to the sanctions, US economy will have to suffer
another jolt, which is already suffering due to Asian economic crisis. If US
won't do business with India, the EU (European Union) would do so, if
Boeing won't sell aircraft's, Airbus will do so, if US banks won't give loans,
the European banks would offer us loans. After all we are living in a
capitalist society and by all means capitalism wins as far as the economy is

There was a US delegation sent to Pakistan to stop the government from
testing its own nuclear weapon. Indian research institute said that Pakistan
conducted a failed nuclear test on May 17 1998. It was acknowledged by
the Japanese and German officials that Pakistan conducted nuclear test on
May 17 1998, but the tests were a failure. Immediately, Pakistan's
government sent a team of officials to hold talks with the Chinese on the
nuclear tests under incognito. When asked for the reason, the only thing
they said was, "We are going to meet our old friend, China". The
preparation for nuclear tests had started in the Chagai hills of Baluchistan
region in Pakistan. On May 28 1998, Pakistan said that they conducted 5
nuclear tests. Mr. Nawaz Sharief announced on PTV, "The score with India
is evened, and we are thankful to god". The details of the test are still not
given by the Pakistani officials. It is known among the Intelligence agencies
that only 3 tests were successful and that all had yields of about 15-20
kilotons. The number, 5-tests is given by Pakistan, to equate itself with
India. On May 30 1998, Pakistani officials said they conducted two more
nuclear tests with a yield higher than before. They corrected themselves
again and announced that Pakistan conducted only one test and not two.
Pakistan's nuclear policy is completely "India-Centric" and has no
rationality in its arguments. USA and Japan imposed the same sanctions on
Pakistan as they did on India. But, Pakistan's economy is very weak and
may not sustain the sanctions. With just $1 billion in foreign reserves and a
GDP of around $50 billion out of which $30 billion goes towards serving it
debt, it is clear that Pakistan's economy would crumble under pressure.
Experts agree that Pakistan may not survive the sanction and that Pakistan
would default on the $6 billion, short-term loan given by IMF, which is
supposed to be paid back this year. US officials are worrying that the
sanctions would turn Pakistan into a rogue state, which may start
proliferating its nuclear technology to other Islamic states. The UN is
supposed to meet on June 4 1998, to discuss on India-Pakistan nuclear tests
and also would discuss mediating on the Kashmir issue.


The 5 nuclear nations attitude of indifference towards India's security
concerns, their policy of nuclear apartheid (CTBT) had forced India to take
this bold and a responsible step. USA was the first country to have actually
used a nuclear bomb and India was the first country to suggest to the world,
Total Nuclear Disarmament. For several years India has been subject to
terrorist activities, proxy wars and insurgency due to its neighbors
belligerent and bellicose mentality. Moreover, both the neighbors were now
engaged in nuclear proliferation. Despite knowing all the facts, the western
countries along with the 5 nuclear nations, did not react to such a dangerous
and destabilizing act. Though India had the capability to induct nuclear
weapons (WMD's) into its arsenal, it did not do so and observed complete
restraint from nuclear testing for 24 years, in the hope of propagating the
message of nuclear disarmament. With such a persistent act, India has
shown that it means peace at all cost and has proven its responsibility on the
matter at the same time. The 5-Nuclear nations constant appeal to India to
endorse the discriminatory CTBT, and several threats from the same
nations, showed that these countries are interested for their own safety and
carried a don't care attitude towards security concerns of India. The 5-
Nuclear nations want to dominate every global forum, unilaterally writing
rules of international and internal behavior & toppling and installing
governments all round the world at will. No country has the right to
challenge their verdict because they are the nuclear powers and they are in
charge of global agencies. Instead of promoting justice, equality, fairness
and evenhandedness, they want to hang on to their privileges while
disarming the rest of the world. NPT and CTBT are in their best interest
and a Universal Ban on Nuclear Weapons is their Worst Nightmare.

India has taken the right step towards ensuring its national interests as a
sovereign country. India is the largest democracy in the world, and being
such, it has the obligation towards its citizens to provide them security from
communist and Islamic terrorists of the world, which threaten its defense. It
can be argued that economic stability leads to security. If this is so then
why does America need any nuclear weapon for that matter, since it is the
leading economy of the world. Of course a vibrant economy of a country
leads to prosperity, but a prosperous nation with a weak defense policy can
fall prey to the hyenas of the world. You can ensure peace only when you
are strong and prosperous an example set by the USA. India's recent budget
policy suggests that it wants to build a new India, a strong and a prosperous
India. India has opened the doors to foreign investments. The recent budget
has increased its outlay for infrastructure, power, national roads and
highways, education, atomic energy, space program, and defense
expenditures. All this goes to say that India means business with the world
on a fair and ethical basis. Every nation in the world has the right to protect
its sovereignty by ensuring the best defense, even if it means building a
nuclear arsenal as a deterrent. By doing so India has forced the world to
review the nuclear policy that the 5 nuclear nations have formulated. Mr.
Vajpayee, India's Prime Minister, has also said that the entire globe
(including the 5-Nuclear nations) should work towards complete nuclear
disarmament, if we need to ensure a safe and peaceful earth. Now, the CIA
has also agreed to the fact that Pakistan is carrying Chines M-11 missiles
and that China was and is involved in Pakistan's nuclear program. The
stated policy of the US towards Pakistan, since 1950s, is that of
appeasement or else Pakistan would not have survived this long. To keep
Pakistan militarily equal to India, the US has endeavored to arm Pakistan.
By doing this, the US has done justice neither to India (the largest
democracy) nor to itself (another democracy). Pakistan is terming its
nuclear bomb as an 'Islamic Bomb', which proves the point that countries
like Pakistan which declares itself a theocratic nation and propagates
communistic policies have to be kept in check along with other communist
nations of the world, lest they attack on other democracies. The western
countries do not want to see the Islamic Bomb but they want to use the
Islamic Pakistan and its Islamic Fundamentalism to cut India to size.
Pakistan and the Kashmir issue are startling embodiments of blackmail and
extortion against India. So much so that inspite of being the largest
democracy in the world, India has not yet won a permanent seat in the UN
Security Council.

It needs to be understood that the nuclear-club of "5 Nuclear Nations" have
to reformulate the CTBT so that all the countries are involved in nuclear
disarmament. These 5 nations have to give up their nuclear monopoly and
work consistently towards developing a nuclear-arms free world. Moreover,
states like Pakistan should be clearly warned not to carry-forward any rogue
behavior in terms of its Anti-India policy. At the same time countries like
China, which have never shown any respect for human-rights, which
propagates communist and expansionists policies, which have been engaged
in nuclear proliferation should be punished with the much needed economic
sanctions. If this world needs peace then start with punishing the wrong and
rewarding the right. Do not follow appeasement policy when it is not
needed or when it is threatening to the security of the world.

India has again shown to the world that it believes in "Non-Violence"
(Ahimsa), but does not believe in bowing to the tyranny just because it is
non-violent. Non-violence will not be used when violence is being used
against India. The little Buddha smiles again.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly"

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