India's Move into Space Technology including the Nuclear and Space Policy of India & Pakistan

By   J. Narayana Rao

April 17, 2009

 
While addressing the Munich Security Conference on 6th Feb 2009, India's National Security Advisor M. K. Narayan said that "India has been and still remains a strong and unwavering advocate of Global Nuclear Disarmament reflecting the passionate advocacy of nuclear disarmament of it' first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru even to days India is perhaps the only Nuclear Weapon State to express its readiness to negotiate a Nuclear weapon convention leading to global, Non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of Nuclear Weapons".

India first conducted a Nuclear Test on May 18,1974 and the second one on May 11 & 13,1998. This has resulted in Pakistan also conducting Nuclear Testing immediately. Both the countries have become Nuclear Nations. Neighboring China having Nuclear weapons is a big factor for India going Nuclear. Both India and Pakistan are adding to their Nuclear stock piles year by year.

While expressing it's commitment for Global total nuclear disarmament, India doesn't initiate any move for abolition of nuclear weapons. The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal helps India to boost it's nuclear stock pile by using indigenous uranium for producing more nuclear weapons.

India has declared "no first use policy" and it stands for "credible minimum deterrence". According to a draft released in August 1999, the Govt of India declared that nuclear weapons are solely for deterrence and that India will pursue a policy of "retaliation only". The document also maintains that India "will not be the first to initiate a nuclear first strike. India has not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty (CTBT) and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India is of the opinion that these treaties are discriminatory.

INDIA AND MISSILE DEFENCE:

India started in a big way the development of Missile Technology. Starting with Prithvi, developed Brahmos variety with a play load of 200 kg to 1000 kg and with a range of 150 km to 5000 km, A variety of Missiles are being developed and produced. India is attempting to enhance the Country's missile defense capabilities. It doesn't like to lag behind Pakistan and wants to catch up with China.

India started developing Ballistic Missile Defense capability since 1995. In 2007 India claimed to have intercepted a live ballistic missile. In January 2008 India announced that it has developed a two layered ballistic missile defense (BMD) system to counter enemy missiles. It is now targeting to develop a nuclear capable missile-Agni III with a range of 3,700 km and Agni IV with a range of more than 5000 km.

US BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE & INDIA:

US may be trying to hijack India to be part of it's Global Ballistic Defense Programs. But it is very difficult for India to be a willing partner in this. India is aware of the reaction of Russia and China about the US attempts to deploy Ballistic Missile in Poland and Czech Republic.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the George Bush Presidency said in February 2008 that the United States and India are now in the early stages of discussion and joint analysis'.  Another US Official said recently that "India is a partner of our and we want to provide it with whatever it needs to protect itself. But India has not reciprocated these moves.

Pranbab Mukherje India's External Affairs Minister while addressing a Press Conference on October 2007 at the conclusion of the third trilateral meeting of Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia said that "India doesn't take part in such military arrangements. Therefore the question of our participation doesn't arise' and ruled out India being part of the controversial US led missile defense system.

The latest news is that India is planning space based radars to overcome the range impediment for its missile defense system, which was successfully tested on March 6 and at present can destroy every missile up to a range of 2000 km only.

PAKISTAN AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS:

After India Tested nuclear devices on 11-13, May 1998 Pakistan responded with 5 Nuclear Tests on 28 May 1998 and one more on 30 May 1998. There after both India and Pakistan have imposed unilateral moratorium on further testing. Like India, Pakistan didn't sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT).Pakistan declared that it will no sign these treaties unless India signs. Pakistan Nuclear Development program is based primarily on highly enriched uranium. It is alleged that China is assisting Pakistan in it's Nuclear Weapon production.

PAKISTAN AND MISSILE DEFENCE:

Having acquired the capability of production of Nuclear Weapons, the natural follow up is to develop the delivery system. Pakistan succeeded in developing missiles. A variety of missiles from a range of 100 km with a pay load of 500 kg and up to a range of 4000 km with a load of 2500 kg have been developed.

The then Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inam-Ul-Haq during his address in the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva on January 25,2001 summed up Pakistan Policy on ballistic missiles as under.

  1. Not to deploy ballistic missiles.

  2. Not to operational weaponize nuclear capable missile systems.

  3. Formalise the understanding to provide prior and adequate notification of flight tests of missiles and

  4. To declare a moratorium on the development, acquisition or deployment of Anti-Ballistic Missile systems, since these  can destabilize minimum credible deterrence.

ARMS RACE IN SOUTH ASIA:

In response to China's Nuclear Capability India and looking at India's capability Pakistan both India and Pakistan have entered into a Nuclear and a Missile Defense Arms Race. Pakistan takes the help of China and India took help from Russia in developing missile technology. India even planning to develop capacity to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles.

It is tragic that out of 8 countries of South Asia two countries with 25% of total global population are confronting each other with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The 15th Summit of the Heads of the South Asian Association For Regional Co-operation (SAARC) held in Colombo, Srilanka on August 2-3,2008 didn't pay any attention to nuclearisation of South Asia.

Former Indian Army Chief General Shankar Roychodhury has said on March 9,2008 while addressing a Seminar that Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons deterred India attacking Pakistan following terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 and Mumbai attack on 26 Nov 2008. This argument can a be universal justification for possessing Nuclear Weapons or any type of deadly weapons including Missile Defense programs to save itself from enemy attacks or all countries should be debarred from having any weapons of mass destruction.

To save the mankind there is no alternative other than global nuclear disarmament and a culture of Peace has to transform the human society.
 



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