The Australia Nuclear Horn Enables India 

First Australian Uranium shipment is on its way to India: Julie Bishop

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop

NEW DELHI: The first ever shipment of uranium from Australia — having world’s biggest reserves of yellow cake — is on its way to India elevating strategic partnership to a new level, informed visiting foreign minister Julie Bishop.

She also suggested that China, pursuing an aggressive foreign policy, must adhere to international norms amid Sino-Indian border standoff.

“The first shipment of uranium under the commercial arrangement is on its own way to India. The parliamentary clearance for uranium supplies was approved in Australia.India and Australia have also agreed on nuclear safeguards agreement,” the Minister told a select group of reporters here on Tuesday after her meeting with the PM, Foreign Minister and Defence & Finance Minister.

India and Australia signed a civil nuclear pact in 2014 and Canberra has been a supporter of India’s entry into the NSG besides other export control regimes. Besides expansion of defence and security partnership, the ongoing standoff in Dokalam figured high on the agenda of Bishop’s meetings with PM and the two key Ministers.

“This is long term dispute. While maritime border disputes should be settled based on UNCLOS, land boundary disputes should be settled peacefully. We don’t want to see an escalation. Any miscalculation could lead to tensions,” Bishop remarked.

The visiting Minister was of opinion that China has an increasingly assertive foreign policy and it should adhere to international norms and order.

India and Australia have a growing strategic and economic partnership to provide stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We hope to expand defence partnership besides working on counter-terror and countering violent extremism.”

When asked about India’s reluctance to include Australia in the Malabar Naval exercise, the Minister avoided a direct reply and said, “The matter is not upsetting.

Each country has different priorities. India and Australia have had bilateral Naval exercises. And Australia have series of bilateral military exercises and remain keen for more such exercise.”‘

“There are all indications from the top leadership of US that it is continuing with its pivot to Asia-Pacific. Besides President Donald Trump will attend East Asia Summit,” the Australian Foreign Minister pointed out.

The Rising China Nuclear Horn

China is our enemy, not Pakistan: Mulayam Singh Yadav on Doklam standoff | The Indian Express

Samajwadi Party MP Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday claimed that China has installed the nuclear bomb on Pakistan soil and is fully prepared to attack India.

“Today, India has immense threat from China. China is conspiring against India, taking Pakistan under its fold. I have been informed that China has installed nuclear bomb on Pakistani soil. China has prepared fully to attack India,” Yadav said in the Lok Sabha.

On the ongoing standoff between China and India at Doklam, Yadav said that it is India’s responsibility to protect Bhutan and Sikkim from foreign incursions. “Protecting Bhutam and Sikkim is our responsibility. China is our enemy, not Pakistan,” he said.

On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Jaishankar informed a parliamentary committee that China was articulating its position more aggressively, unlike in the past. In a detailed presentation to the committee members, Jaishankar stressed that the standoff will be resolved diplomatically.

Jaishankar is learnt to have said that in the “changing world”, China was trying to spread its influence but India was doing everything to protect its interests. He is learnt to have said that while both countries stick to their positions, the situation is not as volatile as is being projected. A source quoted Jaishankar as having said that “in diplomacy, there is an approach; take a deep breath, stop and re-engage.”

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India Prepares For Chinese Nuclear Horn

India modernising its nuclear arsenal with eye on China instead of Pakistan: US nuclear experts

By: PTI | Washington | Updated: July 13, 2017 11:03 am

India Nuclear, India nuclear arsenal, atomic arsenal, India, China, Pakistan, Sikkim, US nuclear experts, After Midnight, World news, Indian Express news

India’s nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, the two experts claimed. (File photo)India continues to modernise its atomic arsenal with an eye on China and the country’s nuclear strategy which traditionally focused on Pakistan now appears to place increased emphasis on the Communist giant, two top American nuclear experts have said. An article published in the July-August issue of the digital journal ‘After Midnight’ has also claimed that India is now developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India.

India is estimated to have produced enough plutonium for 150–200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120–130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article-“Indian nuclear forces 2017″. India’s nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, the two experts claimed. While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernisation indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China,” they wrote.

“That adjustment will result in significantly new capabilities being deployed over the next decade that may influence how India views nuclear weapons’ role against Pakistan,” they said.

Noting that India continues to modernise its nuclear arsenal with development of several new nuclear weapon systems, the two experts estimate that New Delhi currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and one sea-based ballistic missile. “At least four more systems are in development. The development program is in a dynamic phase, with long-range land- and sea-based missiles emerging for possible deployment within the next decade,” it said.

India is estimated to have produced approximately 600 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium, sufficient for 150–200 nuclear warheads; however, not all the material has been converted into nuclear warheads, it said. Based on available information about its nuclear-capable delivery force structure and strategy, we estimate that India has produced 120–130 nuclear warheads, the article said adding that the country will need more warheads to arm the new missiles it is currently developing.

Kristensen and Norris said that the two-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile Agni-2, an improvement on the Agni-1, which can deliver a nuclear or conventional warhead more than 2,000 kilometres is probably targeted on western, central, and southern China. Although the Agni-4 will be capable of striking targets in nearly all of China from northeastern India (including Beijing and Shanghai), India is also developing the longer-range Agni-5, a three-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile, near-intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a warhead more than 5,000 kilometres (3,100-plus miles), it said.

“The extra range will allow the Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, further away from China,” the research article said.

Pakistan and India Increase Nukes

nuclear_war_india_pakistanPakistan, India expanding nuclear arsenals as global stockpiles decrease: report – World

Although global nuclear stockpiles witnessed a drop in 2017 compared to last year, Pakistan and India continue to expand its military fissile material production capabilities on a scale that may enable a significant increase in weapons inventories over the next 10 years, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in a publication titled “Trends in world nuclear forces, 2017”.

The global nuclear stockpile has decreased to 14,935 warheads in 2017 from 15,395 in early 2016.

At the beginning of this year, the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea all possessed approximately 4,150 operationally deployed nuclear weapons, the Sipri report said.

World nuclear forces, January 2017. ─ Sipri Fact Sheet.

Russia possesses the greatest number of nuclear warheads with 7,000, followed by the US with 6,800. Both have reduced their stockpiles over the past decade, albeit at a slowing rate, the report claimed.

The arsenals of other countries are considerably smaller, but all are either developed or deployed new weapons systems or intend to do so, according to the report. Pakistan and India both, for instance, are working on developing new land, sea and air-based missile delivery systems.


As of January 2017, Pakistan was estimated to possess a stockpile of up to 140 warheads, according to the Sipri report. This showed a marked increase from the 120–130 warheads estimated in the research institute’s data for 2016.

Pakistan has been expanding its main plutonium production complex at Khushab, Punjab, which consists of four operational heavy-water nuclear reactors and a heavy-water production plant, as well as constructing a new reprocessing plant at another site.

Thehave predicted that the size of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile will increase significantly over the next decade, although estimates of the increase in warhead numbers vary considerably depending on assumptions about Pakistan’s production capabilities.

While aircraft constitutes as Pakistan’s most developed nuclear payload delivery system, recently the government has focused on expanding its capabilities to nuclear-capable land-based ballistic and cruise missiles.

Pakistan currently deploys two types of road-mobile short-range ballistic missiles and has developed two types of medium-range ballistic missiles. The Shaheen-III missile ─ a longer-range variant under development ─ will be capable of striking targets throughout India.

A short-range nuclear-capable missile has also been developed with the apparent use intention of being used in tactical nuclear roles and missions.

“The development of so-called battlefield nuclear weapons reflects the pursuit of what Pakistan officials describe as a ‘full-spectrum deterrence’ posture,” states the report.

“Their purpose is to offset India’s superior conventional forces in limited conflict scenarios.”

“Pakistan has acknowledged that it is seeking to match India’s nuclear triad by developing a sea-based nuclear force,” the report adds, acknowledging that there has been “considerable speculation” that the sea-based force will initially consist of nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles deployed on submarines or on surface ships.


By the onset of 2017 India was estimated to have a nuclear arsenal of up to 130 weapons, the report stated, and this represented an increase in the country’s nuclear stockpile from the 110–120 warheads estimated in the Sipri nuclear data for 2016.

The article goes on to note that India is moderately expanding the size of its nuclear weapon stockpile as well as its infrastructure for producing nuclear warheads.

“It [India] plans to build six fast breeder reactors, which will significantly increase its capacity to produce plutonium for weapons,” reads the report. India plans on expanding its uranium enrichment capabilities with the construction of a new “un-safeguarded” gas centrifuge facility, the report claims.

“India’s expanded centrifuge enrichment capacity has been motivated by plans to build new naval propulsion reactors, but the potential excess capacity could also signify its intent to move towards thermonuclear weapons by blending the current plutonium arsenal with uranium secondaries.”

India continues to maintain focus on developing the Agni family of land-based nuclear-capable ballistic missiles ─ flight tests of a new road-mobile, canister-launched ballistic missile, the Agni-V, is reported to have a near-intercontinental range and possess the capability of reaching targets throughout China.

The Agni-V is expected to be inducted into service in 2017.

India continues to develop the naval component of its triad of nuclear forces in pursuit of an assured second-strike capability.

The Consequences of the First Nuclear War

The Meaning Of A War

By Koushik Das – Jun 19, 2017

India and Pakistan are currently in turmoil. Apart from the gunfire along the Line of Control (LoC), the two neighbouring countries are issuing statements and counter-statements on various issues, including Kulbhushan Yadav and Kashmir. Warmongers in these two countries are looking for an opportunity to trigger war. Today’s generation, who are watching brutal scenes in audio-visual and social media, lack proper knowledge of the war. We have a duty to make them aware of the horrific consequences of war between the two powerful nations.

The constant conflict between India and Pakistan along the LoC is a common (minor!) issue. Since the partition of India in 1947, the two countries have fought four wars. As per statistics, around 22,600 soldiers were killed and 50,000 were seriously injured in Indo-Pak wars of 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. According to information from various sources, about 100,000 families have been directly affected by the wars. Moreover, both countries had to spend a huge amount of money.

At present, India and Pakistan have better nuclear capabilities. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility jointly published a report in December 2013 according to which an Indo-Pak nuclear war would have a global impact. It will certainly disturb the balance of environment. Experts opine that half of ozone layer will be destroyed and the direction of monsoon wind will be changed. In case of a nuclear war between the two South Asian neighbours, carbon aerosol particles will be spread in the atmosphere due to atomic explosion. As a result, the production of rice, wheat and cereal crops will be severely affected for a decade. Also, about 200 million people will suffer from famine.

About 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima when America dropped a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city on August 6, 1945. Approximately 237,000 people died due to various diseases caused by side effects of the bomb. In case of a Hiroshima-like bombing on any Indian or Pakistani city, the third level of human skin will be burnt. According to experts, 20 million people may die in the first week of war and the number of deaths will increase gradually from the second week.

However, some leaders of these two countries, who are unable to see the overall impact of the conflict between the two nations, and their supporters believe that the only solution of the Indo-Pak problems is war. What is the most horrific is that some of them have started considering whether nuclear weapons can be used in the war. Former President of Pakistan General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf had said that nuclear weapons should not be saved to be used on Shab-e-Baraat and other “celebratory” occasions. Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear weapons programme in the world. By 2022, the country will have enough fissile material to produce 250 nuclear devices. Some leaders from India have also supported the option of using nuclear weapons if there is a war with Pakistan.

We can easily learn lessons from the experience of four large scale wars. But for some Indian and Pakistani leaders, rhetoric and warmongering are important tools to mobilise their limited support base and they hardly give a thought on the consequences of a war. It is important for democracy-loving people to remind them of consequences of war. History says that a bloody war triggers another war. We should remember that the atrocity gives birth to more horrific atrocities.

Out of the fear that Hitler may use nuclear bombs, scientists advised the American government to initiate the nuclear bomb-making programme or the famous ‘Manhattan Project’. The bomb was discovered after four years of relentless efforts. By that time, Germany surrendered. Japan’s defeat was also expected. But, America was determined to take revenge of the ‘Pearl Harbour’ attack. Albert Einstein urged the US not to attack Japan. However, Washington rejected his request and Einstein said after the war that the war was conquered, not the peace.

It is not always possible to calculate the damage beforehand. So, some people want to fight war against their enemies without considering its consequences. The bloody consequences of the past Indo-Pak wars should be the main tropic of discussions in media. Sometimes, history checks our patience. Now, peoples of India and Pakistan will have to show their patience and protect the humanity. They have to make a crucial decision – whether to resolve the problem through peaceful negotiation or to allow the warmongers from both the countries to sway to the perception of general public about the necessity of a war.

India a Threat to Nuclear Peace (Revelation 8)

Indian nuclear weapons are threat to world security: Kings College London reportIndian nuclear weapons are threat to world security: Kings College London report

Posted By: News Desk
LONDON: Apparently timed to appear before upcoming plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) from June 22-23, King’s College London has released a damning report on Indian nuclear programme.

The report by Project Alpha concludes that the strategic trade with India will enhance its nuclear weapons latency and enable it to push for a third ‘breakout’ of nuclear weapons.

This British assessment raises fears that India surreptitiously superseded even the United Kingdom and France in their arsenal size and could pose a serious threat to their security once geopolitical alliances shift.

A similar conclusion was drawn by Harvard University Belfer Centre’s recent report, titled ‘Indian Nuclear Exceptionalism’, which concludes that India has ostensibly a fissile material stock worth 2,600 nuclear warheads.

This assessment makes India fall in the unenviable third place after the United States and Russia.

A more modest assessment had appeared last year in a petite book by four Pakistani scholars, who placed Indian nuclear arsenal at around 500 warheads – still making it the holder Bronze Medal amongst the nuclear-armed states.

The book titled ‘Indian Unsafeguarded Nuclear Programme’ posits that India has enough indigenous uranium to cover its weapons and energy requirements of more than a century.

If these assessments are true, there’s no reason that the NSG should even consider New Delhi’s application for membership because nuclear trade will only help the country vertically proliferate and at some stage become a threat even to its benefactors.

India’s nuclear self-determination as well as its interests in keeping its future options open would prevent the country from agreeing to other non-proliferation commitments, such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

The country has the largest unsafeguarded nuclear programme in the developing world and refuses to bring a substantial part it’s so-called civil nuclear programme outside IAEA safeguards.

Likewise, Indian refusal to sign CTBT is because it is ostensibly developing thermonuclear weapons in a secret nuclear city in Karnataka’s Challakere area – producing HEU in access of its needs for fuelling nuclear submarines.

Within this context, the King’s College report highlights that international trade and other cooperation with India is contributing to India’s strategic programmes both directly and indirectly.

This report also highlights the possible erosion of political control of the nuclear arsenal. The Agni-V intercontinental range capable ballistic missile is pre-mated in the same manner as the pre-mated ballistic missiles used on-board Arihant-class SSBNs.

This will have a significant impact on nuclear policy and command and control. Indian entities are at onward-proliferation risk.

The potential danger lies with the re-export of sensitive items and knowledge out of India to foreign powers.

The domestic industry supplying India’s strategic weapons complex and the country’s nuclear programme have reached sufficient technical maturity to export expertise and tangible nuclear and missile-related goods.

The supply of uranium from other countries allows India to burn this safeguarded fuel in their safeguarded facilities whilst using their sizeable natural uranium resources to breed plutonium and produce weapons-grade uranium for an expansion of their nuclear arsenal.

It’s worth recalling that the NSG was created in 1975 as a reaction to Indian nuclear proliferation since 1950s and testing of its first bomb in 1974.

India’s scientific complexes (nuclear, missile, and space) are poorly separated. The nuclear programme in India has been partially submitted to international safeguards, but this remains limited and allows India to exercise de facto nuclear weapons state privileges regarding the production of special fissile material.

This unclear separation should raise concerns about the unwitting or deliberate assistance of foreign entities when engaging with Indian entities who are stakeholders in the strategic weapons programme.

Illicit procurement of dual-use items intended for use in the Indian strategic weapons programme is a dimension of activity difficult to assess.

Nonetheless, this study confirms that such behaviour has occurred in the past and may have waned in recent years as indigenous capabilities increase and India’s ability to procure items from abroad has increased.

The report also identifies and characterises entities involved in India’s strategic weapons programme. KCL’s report is an essential update on the record of Indian entities and will be of interest to government and private sector customers dealing with proliferation issues, particularly with regards to sensitive and dual-use items headed for end-users in India.

This report shall be read carefully by the 48 participating governments of NSG before they meet in Bern in few days.
Alarmingly, 243 entities have contributed to India’s strategic nuclear and missile programmes as key weapon stakeholders, unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle entities, defence supply chain entities, developers of auxiliary systems such as vehicles, and entities conducted dual-use research of concern.

There is a wider and deeper network of suppliers and researchers involved in this system. India’s strategic weapons complex has explored and developed additional weapons systems that could be made nuclear-capable should there be political will.

Historically, periods of capability breakout occurred around India’s milestone nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998. In such instances, the initiative of the strategic weapons complex in developing technology demonstrators, has pre-empted political decision making to adopt such technologies as
military capabilities.

India has invested in new special fissile material production facilities. This large unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle
encompasses a number of entities performing dual civil and military functions.

India has used informal forums such as the High Energy Materials Society of India or Indian National Society for Aerospace and Related Mechanisms as potential spaces for Indian strategic weapons scientists to meet and exchange ideas with foreign scientists.

The process of Indian science developments taking the lead over policy direction is why India’s technological latency should raise concerns. Furthermore, an acute nuclear crisis in South Asia would see India mobilise its science and technology potential to undergo a new massive expansion of nuclear capabilities – a third breakout.

Indian Navy is on its way to build a naval nuclear deterrent of at least six nuclear powered submarines by 2022 that will carry more weapons than French and British navies combined.

The Indian government’s support for its domestic industry in the face of international sanctions and technology denial has continued since the normalisation of trade relations in 2008 with exceptional American help. The US won a trade waiver to India that year which has allowed it to sign a dozen nuclear deals since then.

Continued special treatment threatens to erode the interlinked non-proliferation regime by demonstrating the viability of achieving nuclear weapon state status outside the NPT and the possibility of Indian reintegration without significant concessions.

This exceptionalism begs the question: how can the abnormalities in the non-proliferation regime be addressed and the technological apartheid can end?

The nuclear-haves are running with the hares and hunting with the hounds.

Acceleration of Nuclear Munitions in India

India's launch of the Agni V missile. Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Wikipedia Commons.Missile Proliferation, India, Prithvi II And Deterrence Stability In South Asia – OpEd – Eurasia Review

By Asma Khalid*

India and Pakistan’s adversarial relations are locked in a classic military security dilemma that is characterized by the production and development of sophisticated nuclear and conventional technologies, leading towards an arms race. After going overtly nuclear, the development of nuclear and missile capabilities of India and Pakistan has been intensified to ensure their security. However, India’s rising missile ambitions has forced Pakistan to build up its nuclear capabilities to maintain credible nuclear deterrence in region.

India started its ballistic missile program in the mid 1980s and pursued it in more systematic manners. Recent trends have revealed that India is developing numerous nuclear delivery systems, trends of missile development includes Shorter and Longer range missiles, MIRVing, and a shift from liquid to solid fuel missiles or ready arsenals. Such advancements and a higher level of readiness by India has challenged the vary basics of strategic and deterrence stability in South Asia.

At the end of 2016, India’s successful test of sea-based ballistic and cruise missile system, Agni V, with a strike range of 5,500- 5,800 Km, capable of carrying payload of 1,500 kg. India claims that Agni V is to provide deterrence against China. Consequently, after this test India test fired various missiles such as the Agni III and successful test of interceptor missile to develop a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system. India’s intentions and nuclear capabilities has increased the chances that a bilateral crisis could escalate in a more dangerous way.

Recently, India tested the nuclear capable ballistic missile Prithvi II with a strike range of 350 km, capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads. The missile is indigenously developed and undergoing developmental trial and said to capable to hit the major cities of Pakistan from Indian Territory. This factor rejects the Indian claim that its conventional and nuclear programs are China specific as Prithvi II has direct relevance to Pakistan.

India’s missile proliferation has forced Pakistan to response India to maintain its security and regional stability. Principle drive for Pakistan’s missile program is “security” and it is totally Indian specific. It has been repeatedly mentioned by Pakistan’s officials that India’s conventional and nuclear capabilities have forced Pakistan to enhance its nuclear competencies to counter the Indian threat. In order to maintain credible deterrence against Indian threat, Pakistan possesses an adequate number of nuclear capable missiles including Abdali (Hatf-2), Ghaznavi (Hatf-3), Shaheen I (Hatf-4), Ghauri (Hatf-5), Shaheen II (Hatf-6) and Nasr (Hatf-9) that have ability to counter-value the targets in India. Most importantly successful test of Ababeel with the introduction of a missile with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV) has proved that despite facing defence production gap in conventional forces has successfully maintained technological and deterrent capability by developing effective ballistic missile program.

Hence, the dynamics of ballistic missile development in South Asia present that although India’s ballistic missile defense capabilities are at its full pace of development, at the same time the fact cannot be ignored that India is also dictated by a lack of strategic depth and Pakistan’s full spectrum credible deterrence is capable to deter all forms of Indian aggression.

Subsequently, talking about regional security landscape, it is imperative to mention that regional security outlook is complex such as; Pakistan’s threat perception revolves around India, whereas India’s threat perception comes from China. Under this complex security outlook, India’s quest for missile program has broad regional and global implications. First, India’s expanding missile capabilities marked by improvement in range, payload and accuracy not only indicate that India is heading towards higher level of readiness but also pushing the region towards the destabilizing arms race. Secondly, It has reduces the chances of any bilateral arms control arrangement in South Asia. Third, Pakistan as well as China’s centric missile program of India will further complicate the security dilemma in South Asia. Therefore, India’s increased level of readiness and destabilizing ballistic missile program is a dangerous combination for deterrence and strategic stability in region.

Therefore, India’s expanding fissile material production, nuclear capable ballistic missiles including MIRVs and recent test of Prithvi II is a wakeup calls for major powers and global non-proliferation regime as it is not only disturbing the deterrence stability in region but also raises the international apprehension of regional states regarding India’s growing missile capabilities.

*Asma Khalid is a Research Associate at Strategic Vision Institute, a think-tank based in Islamabad. Email:

The Threat of Nuclear India

Pakistan, with one of the largest armed forces in the world, is home to more than 200 million people. According to most recent estimates, Pakistan has more than 130 nuclear warheads in its possession.

These facts have made it clear that the global community can afford to isolate or demonise Pakistan only at its own peril. However, the world – for the most part – remains oblivious to these realities and continues to hold Pakistan solely responsible for the ongoing dangerous arms build-up in South Asia.

Pakistani diplomats and scholars find it increasingly difficult to garner support for Pakistan’s legitimate strategic concerns in the world’s capitals. In the US, Pakistan remains a favourite punching bag for many analysts in both academic and policy conferences. Within the American think-tank community, Pakistani scholars have a limited presence and not enough space is allowed for them to express their views.

More alarmingly, people who are seen as pro-India wield massive influence in leading American think tanks. This has given rise to an impression among some scholars that American think tanks might be slightly biased against Pakistan.

The international community must realise that the demonisation of Pakistan will not only result in the structural causes of conflict in the region being ignored. It will also further embolden the most hawkish elements in Pakistan’s nuclear establishment. The space for rational debate on nuclear issues would shrink within Pakistan, making it difficult for independent scholars to sustain dialogue. In order to avoid such a scenario, the outside world needs to have a better understanding of the rationale behind why Pakistan seems to be stuck in its obsession with India. Pakistan cannot simply accept India’s continued efforts for military domination in the region.

Despite innumerable internal problems, we cannot totally ignore external threats. It would be unfair to expect that Pakistan does not strengthen its external defence capabilities to counter the overbearing influence of New Delhi. An obsession with India makes sense on some level since there is a history of subversive activities in Pakistan that can be traced back to India. It is an open secret now that New Delhi has, historically, used its influence in the region to destabilise Pakistan through its use of terrorist proxies in Balochistan and our tribal areas. Since 2014, the Modi government has been implementing the Doval doctrine in the region, which calls for supporting terrorist groups operating inside Pakistan to divert the latter’s attention from the Kashmir issue. This explains why our decision-makers still see India as a bigger threat to our national security.

However, the global community is impervious to understanding that establishing durable peace in South Asia will remain an unfulfilled dream without ensuring that India’s desires for regional hegemony are kept in check. This is also true of India’s rapidly growing nuclear programme, which has largely evaded public attention and media scrutiny.

Over the past few years, the enlargement of India’s unsafeguarded nuclear programme has raised many concerns in Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. Several nuclear analysts, including myself, have emphasised the need for greater international scrutiny of India’s nuclear arsenal. But these words of caution have mostly fallen on deaf ears. In the aftermath of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in 2005, the Indian nuclear programme is divided into three different streams: military, civilian-safeguarded, and civilian-unsafeguarded. It is feared that, due to a lack of transparency, India can use its civilian facilities to produce more fissile material for military purposes.

A recent paper on India’s nuclear exceptionalism by the Harvard Kennedy School has once again reignited the debate about the actual number of weapons India can build from its current stocks of fissile material. A 2016 report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) concluded that India had enough weapons-grade plutonium to build 75 to 125 weapons by the end of 2014. However, these estimates do not capture the actual potential of Indian nuclear facilities – including eight pressurised heavy water power reactors (PHWRs) – that are not under the IAEA safeguards. And there are obvious reasons why New Delhi could use these unsafeguarded PHWRs to build more warheads in the future.

The issue has become increasingly controversial because of the radical divergence in assessments made by different analysts. At the heart of this controversy lies the question of whether the reactor-grade plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons. The disagreement exists because conservative estimates tend to conflate motives and the capabilities of India’s nuclear establishment.

If we only focus on material capabilities, India has technical potential to produce a massive number of nuclear weapons from its existing stocks of fissile material. And it is not scientifically impossible to use a large amount of reactor-grade plutonium for building nuclear weapons. According to a report issued in 1997 by the Department of Energy (DOE): “At the lowest level of sophistication, a potential proliferating state or subnational group using designs and technologies no more sophisticated than those used in first-generation nuclear weapons could build a nuclear weapon from reactor-grade plutonium that would have an assured, reliable yield of one or a few kilotonnes and a probable yield significantly higher than that”.

We can disagree on the motives of the Indian government but an accurate assessment of India’s nuclear capabilities is bound to raise alarms in both Pakistan and China. Unless India brings its eight PHWRs under the IAEA safeguards and establishes itself as a responsible nuclear power, it must be denied a permanent membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Keeping a check on India’s nuclear potential is the only way to prevent a South Asian arms race. The global community must play its role in achieving the goal of a stable and prosperous South Asia.

India Fires Another Nuclear Missile

Nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired- India Tv

Nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired from Chandipur test range

India on Friday test-fired indigenously developed short range surface–to–surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Prithvi-II from a test range in Odisha as part of a

user trial by the Army.

India TV News Desk, Balasore [Published on:02 Jun 2017, 12:27 PM IST]

India on Friday test-fired indigenously developed short range surface–to–surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Prithvi-II from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army.  The trial of the surface-to-surface missile with a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a Mobile Tatra transporter-erector Launcher (MTL) from launching complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha at around 9.50 am, official sources said.

The trial of the sophisticated missile was successful and the mission objectives were met, they said.

The Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target with precision and accuracy.

The state-of-the-art missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army and monitored by the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise, a DRDO scientist said.

“Carrying a dummy payload, it covered the desired striking range and met all mission objectives successfully,” an official was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.

The missile was 9 metres high and one metre thick, with a launch weight of 4.6

“The missile trajectory was tracked by the DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha,” the sources said.

Teams on board the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown.

In salvo mode, two Prithvi-II missiles were successfully test fired in quick succession from the same base, on November 21, 2016.

India’s Nuclear Power

This Is Why the World Should Fear India’s Nuclear Weapons

Kyle Mizokami
May 27, 2017

India, the world’s most populous democracy, occupies a unique strategic position flanked by powerful adversaries. As a result, its 1.3 billion people are guarded by an arsenal of approximately one hundred nuclear weapons deployed on land, at sea and in the air. Despite its status as a Cold War holdout, the country was forced to develop its own nuclear weapons.

India’s nuclear program dates back to 1948, just one year after independence. The Nehru government looked to nuclear power as an inexpensive energy source for the young country. An Indian Atomic Energy Commission was created that year to oversee the country’s nuclear efforts. Due to a lack of uranium on Indian territory, the country naturally gravitated towards using plutonium instead. India’s first nuclear reactor, Apsara, was built with help from the United Kingdom and went critical in August 1956.

New Delhi originally considered building nuclear devices, not as weapons, but as what were then called “peaceful nuclear explosives” capable of building harbors, excavating for natural gas, and other large construction and mining projects. While functionally identical to nuclear weapons, the plan demonstrated that India was not yet convinced it needed an actual nuclear deterrent—yet. As a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, India was a bystander to the feverish pace of the nuclear arms race between the United States and Soviet Union.

The 1962 war with China, however, changed that. The limited attack on Indian territory could have been much worse had the two countries engaged in all-out war, particularly if Pakistan and China had paired up together. Furthermore although China was not yet a nuclear power, its nuclear status was considered an inevitability and a nuclear Beijing could blackmail India into territorial concessions—at the risk of atomic annihilation. New Delhi’s nuclear race was on.

India’s first nuclear test was conducted on May 18, 1974, at the Pokhran Test Range in the Rajastan desert. The device, nicknamed “Smiling Buddha,” had an explosive yield of between six and fifteen kilotons (the Hiroshima device is generally estimated at sixteen kilotons). The test was conducted in an underground shaft to contain radiation. India described the test as peaceful in nature but China’s nuclear status, achieved in 1964, meant that it was almost certainly designed to be a weapon.

The test propelled India into the so-called “Nuclear Club” that had previously consisted of the United States, Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France and China. India refrained from nuclear testing for another twenty-four years, until detonating three devices on May 11, 1998, and another three on May 13. Most of the devices had low yields, between two hundred and five hundred tons, suggesting they were designed to be tactical nuclear bombs, but one device was a thermonuclear device that failed and reached a yield of only about forty-five kilotons.

Today India is estimated to have at least 520 kilograms of plutonium, enough for, according to the Arms Control Association, “between 100 and 120 nuclear devices.” New Delhi describes this a “credible minimum deterrent” against neighboring nuclear powers China and Pakistan. By comparison, China—which must also contend with nuclear rival the United States—has enough fissile material for between 200 and 250 devices. Pakistan is thought to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 devices. India has a firm No First Use policy with regards to nuclear weapons, vowing to never be the first to use them in any conflict and only use them to retaliate in kind.

As a result India has built its own “triad” of land, sea and air forces, all equipped with nuclear weapons. The first leg to develop was likely tactical nuclear devices for strike aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Today, India possesses more than two hundred Su-30MK1 twin-engine fighters, sixty-nine MiG-29s and fifty-one Mirage 2000 fighters. It is likely at least some of these aircraft have been modified and trained to carry nuclear gravity bombs to their targets.

The land-based missile leg of the triad consists of Prithvi tactical ballistic missiles. First produced in the late 1990s, Prithvi initially had a range of just ninety-three miles, but future versions increased their range to 372 miles. Despite this, Prithvi is still firmly a tactical weapon, while the Agni I-V series of missiles, with ranges from 434 to 4,970 miles, are strategic weapons with the ability to hit foreign capitals—as well as all of China.

The third leg of the triad is new, consisting of nuclear ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) of the Arihant class. Four submarines are planned, each with the ability to carry twelve K-15 Sagarika (“Oceanic”) short-range ballistic missiles with maximum range of 434 miles, or K-4 medium-range ballistic missiles with a 2,174 mile range. Using the Bay of Bengal as a bastion and protected by assets such as India’s carrier INS Vikramaditya, the Arihant SSBNs can just barely reach Beijing.