India’s Nuclear Weapons Exceed 200: Exacerbates Asian Nuclear Quagmire – Analysis
On May 18, 1974 India conducted its first so-called peaceful nuclear explosion and named it Smiling Buddha. Obviously Buddha would have smiled when his name fervently associated with peace and reverence was sardonically linked to a nuclear explosion. The test was conducted at a place called Pokhran which literally meant The Place of Five Mirages. After the test India vowed never to weaponise its nuclear power.
Ironically on May 11, 1998, on the Birthday of Buddha, the world was again disdainfully traumatized with another set of nuclear explosions. This time Indians called them Shakti (name of Hindu Goddess of strength). The illusion of five mirages of Pokhran was turned into reality with five nuclear explosions conducted on the 11th and 13th of May, making India the sixth nuclear weapon state. Pakistan soon followed suit.
Recently the Western press was awash with stories of doubling of Pakistani nuclear arsenal in almost four years. It was also mentioned that Pakistan now has more nuclear weapons than the Indians. After the nuclear explosions many studies were conducted to find out the number of nuclear weapons held by these two countries. In October 2001, US Defence Threat Reduction Agency, published a report titled “Minimum Nuclear deterrent postures in South Asia: An Overview” and highlighted Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons capacity from dedicated facilities.
A key conclusion of the study indicated that if the fissile material production rates remained constant, by 2010 Pakistan’s nuclear weapons equivalent quotient could grow to about 110, as was indicated in recent press reports, and India’s, from dedicated facilities only, to about 200 after discounting for testing and other uses. This study seems closer to reality as Indian nuclear programme which was initiated much earlier than Pakistan would obviously have accumulated much more fissile material. Many other renowned studies also reached similar conclusions. If the number of Indian nuclear weapons has not increased substantially, does it mean that the Indians had capped the production of fissile material? Apparently not, as no such news has emerged in recent years.
Though after 1974 nuclear explosion Indian government solemnly claimed that it will not produce nuclear weapons, enough published evidence is now available to suggest that it was not the case and she continued to expand her nuclear weapons’ capability.
One of the earliest indications of this was the commencement of construction of nuclear submarine after 1974 nuclear explosions. Nuclear warfare drills were being taught to every Indian naval officer as early as 1950s by officials from Bharat Atomic Energy Centre (BARC) at Mumbai where India converts the fissile material into nuclear weapon cores. In 1950s both China and Pakistan were not nuclear weapon states and such drill could only be practiced against a nuclear attack by the then nuclear powers.
It was to the credit of Dr Sethna, one of the architects of India’s first nuclear explosion, who as Chairman of Indian Atomic Energy Commission, in 1976 only two years after India’s first nuclear explosion created Diesel Propulsion Research Team (DPRT), at BARC. DPRT was a subterfuge for designing a nuclear propulsion plant for India’s first nuclear submarine. A team of four naval officers led by Indian Navy Captain PN Agarwala and Captain Bharat Bhusan were inducted into DPRT.
Many Indian Naval officers were trained in nuclear engineering at BARC and subsequently transferred to the DRDO led classified nuclear submarine project called Advance Technology Vehicle (ATV). This resulted in the launching of first Indian nuclear submarine INS Arihant by Indian Prime Minister’s wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur on 22nd August, 2009 at Vishakapatnam, where Indian Prime Minister thanked Russia for the help she provided in this project.
About three years ago during a nuclear discussion session at India International Center New Delhi, former Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral shared an anecdote with the audience highlighting Indian Navy’s desire to induct nuclear submarines with long range nuclear missile launch capability. I.K. Gujral while being ambassador in Moscow in 1979, on the instructions of Indian Defence Minister C. Subramaniam, Indian Defence Secretary K. Subrahmanyam and Director BARC Dr Raja Ramanna met Admiral Sergei Gorshkov and sought help for India’s quest for nuclear submarines and long range submarine launched nuclear missiles.
This led to the birth of the ATV and later the lease of Russian nuclear submarine INS Chakra to India. The nuclear reactor in INS Chakra was operated and maintained by on board Russians. The level of secrecy was such that all activities including the ATV project were kept secret even from other Indian service chiefs, and senior officers of the Indian Navy. The secret deal between India and Russia was finally revealed some years ago by the then Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov in Moscow. Russia has also signed a deal with India to lease Akula nuclear submarines on the lines of the INS Chakra, but the catch is “with full control”. Therefore, on acquisition of a fully controlled Akula, India will be in a position to launch submarine borne long range nuclear tipped ballistic missiles which are also being developed with Russian assistance. So much for giving clean chit on nuclear proliferation to India by the Americans.
Recently, in a seminar “Terrorism is a Derivative of Nuclear Deterrence” at India’s National Defence College, Indian National Security Advisor Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon justified Indian doctrine for the use of force in statecraft, citing recent changes in the world and strategic affairs. The only countries she can use such a force against are Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives etc as both China and Pakistan are nuclear weapon states. Was it direct message to Pakistan or China, underlining the inconsequentiality of their nuclear power status versus a conventionally strong India.
Certainly a very dangerous declaration, which may well lead to a nuclear clash between these three powers. Such discussions are also being conducted at various fora in India in apparent attempt to prepare the Indian public and send a veiled warning to its friends and foes alike that India would use force including its nuclear capability in attainment of its geo-political and geo-strategic objectives. If Iran also acquires nuclear weapons, the vast expanse of land from the Middle East to South Asia to South East Asia, not to mention the nuclear capable naval flotillas of UK, France and US already operating in Indian Ocean, could frighteningly saturate this area into a nuclear quagmire.
India had overwhelmingly supported the US declared Preventive War Strategy and indicated its intent to use the same to safeguard its interests. The strategy entails a pre-emptive strike against those countries or entities which are planning to attack US forces and/or interests anywhere in the world. Currently, the Indian capability falls short of their intent, particularly against China and Pakistan. However, their endeavours to acquire such a capability are in full swing, including acquisition of anti-ballistic missile defence with clandestine foreign support.
India is spending billions of dollars on modern defence acquisitions, will be in a position to acquire anti-ballistic missile capability in future with clandestine foreign support, completing nuclear triad by adding nuclear submarines and are currently in possession of over 200 nuclear weapons. This certainly is a major threat to Pakistan and this region as a whole. Shouldn’t Pakistan be worried and take measures to ensure appropriate response in order to defend itself.
External interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs in order to destabilize its polity through creation and support of secessionist elements is taking place with impunity. Pakistan’s armed forces are engaged on both eastern and western borders which some identify as a two front war environment. So-called Pakistani Taliban and secessionist Balochi elements reminds of not too distant a past – 1971 when Pakistan was split in two. One wonders as to how a nuclear Pakistan would have reacted in 1971. Is a similar thing happening to a nuclear armed Pakistan now?
Pakistan’s nuclear capability has officially been cited as India centric only. However, right from the day one it sent vibes internationally and the pressures generated on Pakistan were international in nature. How should Pakistan react if it finds incontrovertible evidence that external entities are attempting to break-up Pakistan once more. These are some very important and sensitive questions which may entail thorough deliberations and response from Pakistan.
42 thoughts on “India’s Nuclear Weapons Exceed 200: Exacerbates Asian Nuclear Quagmire – Analysis”
Wow. What a good article indeed. The revelations made explain the double-speak Indians have used to hide their nuclear weapon programme, while Pakistan has been chastised all along. The emerging Asian nuclear quagmire highlighted by Mr. Khan is indeed dangerous and very alarming.
Indian nuclear proliferation with Russian assistance for Indian nuclear weapon programs has been blown open in this piece. Not that it was not known earlier but the strangest thing is that US government in full knowledge of it went ahead and signed a nuclear deal with India and left Pakistan out of it saying Pakistan has been involved in proliferation. And then the Americans expect that Pakistan would extend outright support for US policies.
Very good article indeed.
Author’s assertions with regard to India’s linking of terrorism to nuclear context and then stating by Indian National Security Chief that India would use force in statecraft is certainly very dangerous thought. This particularly when India, Pakistan and China are nuclear powers having hundreds of nuclear weapons. Instead of enhancing peace in the region, Indian leaders and policy makers are issuing threats and that too nuclear while living in nuclear neighborhood is indeed alarming and very very frightening.
Wow, what a biased article. Why the author forget to write about the INTERNATIONALLY KNOW NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION BY CHINA AND PAKISTAN ? Why the hell writer forget to write about the nuclear terrorism spread by pakistan right from the day of it’s inception in the name of muslim terrorism ?
It seems more of a article written by a pakistani politician rather than a free and independent and credible reporter.
Whole world know’s that the axis of evil are pakistan and china which are the real proliferators and India just needs to save it’s people from evil neighbors, or else china would occupy India as it did with tibbet and pakistan will do the same as it did to baluchistanis.
kindly do not proliferate you fake propaganda here, world is intelligent enough to know your design.
I agree with you,this is the most biased,foolish article i have ever seen.
I started reding withut seeing the authors name but half way through i was sure it must have been a pakistani author and i scrolled up and WHOA! It is a pakistani writer!
Plese note that even though India has nuclear weapons,they were clearly developed to cope with Chinese threat and not for pakistan.It regret wasting my time reading this piece of trash!
Rhetorical comment by WTF. Mr Khan has written about things which makes a lot of sense and instead of getting emotional, see what is he writing about. The Asian nuclear quagmire he talks about is certainly a very dangerous emerging phenomenon.
To be honest, I doubt the validity of the news source. Having said that, I believe the international community doesn’t have the authority, right or credibility to say anything if India stockpiles nukes. We’re surrounded by Pakistan and China, with all their missiles targeted towards us. Pakistan is getting millions of dollars from US as aid to fight Taliban, and making bombs with it. Atleast we have an official, declared, “no first use” policy. They have not even declared that.
Dear….Not only Pakistan are recieving assistance from US but also India…Secondly Jammu and Kashmir is forcibly occupied by India while the kashmiris is not ready to live with India…Thirdly why India are creatinf problems for Pakistan in Afghanistan, Baluchistan and even in NWFP (khyber Pukhtunkhaw)….This is the reality you ust accept it….BE PARTIAL…Thanks
Jammu nd kashmir was,is and will always be a part of India! You like or not.
Mr or Ms Samantra,
Anything which is good for the Indians, its validity is considered valid. Read the article please, the writer cites reports from US Defense Department. Yes the International community does not have the right to say anything about India OR PAKISTAN. Where are the Indian missiles pointed towards. Did Pakistan carry out the nuclear explosion first or the Indians, Indian did and Pakistanis responded. And when the Indians conducted weaponized nuclear Shakti tests, was it Pakistan’s senior political and government functionaries who threatened India – NO, it were the Indian political leadership who openly threatened Pakistan challenging it to identify the place and time for a nuclear exchange. Indian No First Use policy does not mean NO USE POLICY. And if you further read the article, the Indian National Security Chief to Prime Minister is justifying use of force for statecraft – would he use this nuclear force against nuclear neighbors China or Pakistan. He is going bonkers like you if you think that a nuclear war is fun.
Anti Indian article. India can not have 200 nuclear bombs. India is a peacful country and had to explode the nuclear bombs because of Pakistan. And this seems to be written by Pakistanis as a planned proaganda against India.
Dear…India firt did its explosion in 1974 and Pakistan did it in 1998, than why you are saying because of Pakistan???????????
Indians are raising the stakes which is likely to be followed by enhanced defense spending by other nations in the region. The arms race in an already volatile region from the Middle East to South Asia to South East Asia is indeed a high stake game. Imagine an Indian Ocean patrolled by nuclear subs from USA, France, UK, China and India who will be given nuclear subs by the Russians. US and West propagate against Pakistan for nuclear proliferation giving clean chit to the Indians and look who is giving nuclear subs to Indians – Russia. Isn’t it a blatant proliferation and why aren’t the US and Western nations not talking against it and sanctioning the Russians.
WOW … we are heading towards a very dangerous world and God only help us.
India and Israel are extremly good in propaganda war. If India is a peace loving country why she does not allow Kashmeries to exercise the right to self determination instead you are killing them from last sixty years. Why are you occupying Kashmir? India was very closely aligned with communist Soviet Union.
Israel has similar propaganda skills. United States involvement in Iraq war was the result of Israeli propaganda which resulted in death of thousands US citizens. Now Israeli’s want US to fight another of their war(to fight the Iranians). Iran is a much bigger threat for Israel so Israeli army should fight.
At the end of it all, itis the interest of big powers to hand out favors to different nations. The most interesting thing is that when it didn’t suit the bigpowers they sanctioned both India and Pakistan when they tested their nuclear capability. Now, all those who were sanctioning these two countries have taken sides and are openly proliferating in Indian favor – what an irony.
I blieve the author when he says that India has increased her nuclear weapons’ capability. Good article which raises many concerns, particularly what happened in Japan after the recent earthquake and the nuclear disaster.
To Mr Jacob,
Hopefully this would raise concerns in the security council P5 as well. Why talk about India only. Also again a baised article written obviously by a Pakistani. Nuclear proliferation has been a fact in the world whether it is between US and UK or China and Pakistan. All these people who have been shocked by this article would be even more shocked when they find out that they have Pakistani suicide bombers with nuclear bombs in their backpacks, living amongst them, courtesy AQ Khan.
India did not become nuclear because of a lousy pakistan. China was the imminent threat after the 1961 war. It was only for a nuclear deterrence that India went nuke. The author’s article is highly discriminatory.
Mr Joseph and Mr George,
If China is India’s threat number one, then why more than 80 percent of Indian Army is deployed against Pakistan. Only 10-15 percent of Indian Army is deployed along Indo-China border and LACs. This is a blatant hoax and is fed by your government.
You guys are deeply illusioned in bigness syndrome – because we are big we should only have China as our enemy because Pakistan is small and it is demeaning to cite PAkistan as our enemy. You major bias of defense is towards Pakistan and not China. Get educated.
Do you know that just before The US of A invaded Iraq, the Chief of Indian Atomic Energy Commission was a guest of Saddam Hussain and he visited Iraqi nuclear sites. And if like Bunny says suicide bombers with nukes in their backpacks – such technology is available with the Russians and not Pakistan. Russia is a friend of India and is going to give Akula nuclear submarines to Indians and may also give these backpack carriable nukes to India, who might give it to Al Qaeda and attempt to lay the blame on poor old Pakistan as is usually the case with India. ;)
I sincerely hope that the world powers dissuade Russia to provide nuclear submarines to India and avoid exacerbating the Asian nuclear quagmaire.
A very interesting and nice article. Thank you for writing this and opening our eyes.
The India nuclear programme was started before independence by the Indian physicist Homi J. Bhaba who completed his studied at Cambridge University in 1930s. After the Independence he was given the authority to start a nuclear programme that will fulfill the India’s energy requirements. The Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR)) was opened in Bombay In 1944 and later in 1954 this center was transformed into the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) with Bhaba its first head. Although publically Nehru opposed the establishment of this center but he has given full authority to build a nuclear bomb for India. That is clear from his policy of non-alignment to keep away India from the super powers rivalry. He was of the view that India will use the atomic force for peaceful purposes but if its security is threatened by anyone than it will use whatever means to defend it. From this declaration it is clear that India will achieve two purposes from the atomic force. In 1963 even America provided two reactors for the Indian power plant. In April 4, 1964 India’s first Plutonium Separation Plant was established for the purpose to extract plutonium for the nuclear reactors. From the very beginning this center was under the supervision of Nehru.
India is not a status-quo power. It is a regional hegemon and is now increasing her nuclear stockpile to terrorise the other smaller neighbours.
It invaded and captured Junagarh and Manavadar in 1947, invaded and captured Indian Occupied Kashmir in 1947, invaded and captured Hyderabad in 1948, invaded and captured Goa in 1961 which was an area belonging to Portugal, invaded East Pakistan in 1971, invaded and captured Sikkim as late as 1975, invaded and captured some portions of Siachen in 1988, created Sri Lankan terrorist group LTTE and later invaded Sri Lanka in 1988 till the President of Sri Lanka had to openly ask the Indians to leave, invaded Maldives in 1988 and has continually interfered in internal affairs of Nepal and Bhutan and has spread terrorism in all her neighbours.
all this sounds dubious ,first get the name right its – The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
It should’ve been Bhaba smiling or instead Buddha laughing out loud. Whatever in the name eh?. On the other hand everything may also be in the name. How can any body and I mean any body relate Buddha with a nuclear explosion – twisted minds offcourse.
Why does it sound dubious. Has the Indian Government capped their nuclear program?
In Sep 2010, Sunil Das Gupta while speaking on his new book launch ceremony, titled, “Arming Without Aiming: India’s Military Modernization”, said that, “I think it would be disastrous, if India squanders its money on that white elephant of a weapons system, the Arihant, which is a seagoing, nuclear powered, nuclear weapons delivery vessel. The book and my own view is I’m really quite skeptical about the Arihant as a practical weapon. They may make one demonstration model of it, but I doubt if they’ll go beyond that.
The question arises, has Indian government capped the enrichment for nuclear weapon programme on American insistence and nuclear deal with America. I don’t think so. That is why Pakistan and China needs to remain cognizant of Indian chaankiyan ways.
India and Pakistan are two nuclear power neighbours and possess nuclear bombs and warheads that can destroy every city in both countries in few hours and kill millions of innocent citizens.
But, the biggest tragedy and ignominy is that they have never even bothered to train or prepare their people for a nuclear fall-out in the event of this horrendous scenario.
Its time that Indians should seriously evaluate that where they are heading, the super power is dragging India to a state of utopia of Asian Super power, but in case of a Nuclear Fallout, are both neighbors (Pakistan and India) educated and trained to protect against such eventuality.
US Pak relations may not be very good but it is apparent that at this stage and even after this stage US would continue to require Pakistani assistance. Therefore, US would have to accept many Pakistani demands and will have to reconcile with the ground realities. Otherwise US stay in this part of the world would become almost untennable.
hey…. come on… i belive that you guys are young and the past should not affect you…
neither is india nor pakistan economically strong..
both have their own problms…
arguing like this will go on for ever… it has been more than 60 years… and still we havnt made any progress in peace. This will go on for ever if u argue too..
Hey PK, whereas Pakistan says that their nuclear arming is in response to India, the Indians say that they have to cater for China because China is their number one threat. But the, even more interestingly, 80 percent of Indian armed forces are deployed against Pakistan and not China. Who should one believe. But all the same, very dangerous environment when many Indian army generals have said that India should call Pakistan’s bluff and attack Pakistan, if Pakistan responds with nuclear weapons India would be able to withstand the losses, on the other hand however, when India retaliates Pakistan would be totally destroyed. Very complex and very dangerous indeed.
It may be true… But we all know that both india and pakistan wnt be able to withstand a nuclear war. Both are not economically sound..
Agreed. No matter how economically strong a country is, if over 100 nuclear weapons are dropped on any country it will be totally destroyed.
No Pak FMCT due to Indo-US nuclear deal. With increase in Indian nuclear weapons and the ability to increase her fissile material, courtesy Indo-US nuclear deal, Pakistan is not likely to agree to FMCT unless it is given exactly the same treatment which has been give to India. This time more so, the pressures are not likely to work against Pakistan due to the need of Pak support for anti-terror war in Afghanistan and US interests in this region and Central Asia.
Pakistan has been under pressure to sign the FMCT as demanded by Americans and West. After the Indo-US nuclear deal, India is in a position to sign such a deal particularly after enhancing her nuclear weapons stockpile to over 200 and can increase her fissile material any time from the eight military dedicated nuclear plants. Pakistan however must not sign such a discriminatory treaty to solidify the strategic stability regime in the region.
Good article….Pakistan is a failed state and am sure one day will use their nukes on themselves……More prople die every day in whole of Pakistan than in Kashmir……The Army and politicians are looting the country with India’s bogey…..After Osama’s killing its official that Pakistan is the Latest colony of USA and even if it has 1000 nukes will never be able to use them without US consent.
What a silly piece of propaganda and complete nonsense while trying to appear as though that author is non biased.
India acquired missiles after it was attacked in 1962 for china. It was not necessarily for pakistan. Just cause pakistan keeps appeasing china in its favour by giving away land and then fighting for some land which is not even their shows how irrational they are in a region scenario.
China has been proliferating to pakistan and north korea and pakistan to middle east and other countries. Dont tell me about how India is double speeking. It never is. Never has india given anyone nuclear weapons or stolen their technology as pakistan has – or did you think you had the capability to make them? fools i say. Not everything is pakistan centric but everything pakistan does is india centric.
And no one is breaking apart pakistan. India has the ability to devastate pakistan through nuclear explosion much before it acquired capability to even respond. So why did india not bomb Pakistan? why are you Pakistanis so radical and irrational? Please base opinions on facts and dont get assimilated to mindless ideas of national radicalism as this author has been preaching with. As if to argue against him would mean betraying your country. It would not Pakistanis. You have the right to create a better nation and on facts.
The writer is very clever fellow.Writer definately is anti-India and also seems to be one of the conspiracy theorists.
First off,Indian nukes were meant for China,not Pakistan
2)Buddha attained enlightenment in India and buddhas values are deeply rooted in our religion,policies and everyday lives and we dont need lessons from Sri Lankans on Buddha and its name for nuclear explosions.
3)Writer seems to be confused about russian help to india for nuclear submarines, First he says russia lent India nuclear submarines but the nuclear station on submarine was strictly under russian crew members use and then he says India is using those submarines for its own nuclear subs? And senior officers also dont know about the deal between India-Russia? lol
I dont care what the readers here write coz they dont know anything about india,but i want to say that India will never occupy,attack or harass an innocent nation! We are peaceloving people.
i m 100 % sure its is right article india hide facts its a dangerous country on earth
it’s your missconception…
Kashmir is a Part of Pakistan and we will get it…
do you understand???
“obviously Buddha would have smiled when his name fervently associated with peace and reverence was sardonically linked to a nuclear explosion”
And, obviously, Lord Buddha would of been smiling over the centuries of desecration of Buddhist monasteries and statues by islamofascists? Or was that omitted in your Pakistani school textbooks that have resulted in internationally outrage as being biased, whilst inciting bigotry and religious intolerance.