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India has thermonuclear capabilities: NSA
Published on 20 Sep. 2009 10:58 PM IST
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India has thermonuclear capabilities, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan has emphasised, saying the scientists who raised doubts about the 1998 nuclear tests in Pokhran had personal motives to do so. Narayanan spoke to CNBC-TV18’S Karan Thapar in an interview to be broadcast Monday night. He insisted that India had the thermonuclear device - the first time a government official has made this statement publicly after the recent controversy. “We have thermonuclear capabilities. I am absolutely sure. Even if we are hit, we will have enough to be able to deliver something,” said Narayanan. Former senior DRDO official K. Santhanam had raised doubts that India’s thermonuclear test in 1998 had not worked. “I have chosen my words very carefully - (the yield was) 45 kilotons... And nobody... including Santhanam, who has absolutely no idea what he is talking about... knows, for that matter any one else can contest what is a proven fact by the data which is there,” said the NSA. He said the Atomic Energy Commission had last week given the “most authoritative” statement on the efficacy of the 1998 nuclear tests and no more clarification was required from the government. Narayanan indicated that the sudden statements by Santhanam and other senior nuclear scientists could be a result of personal rivalries within the scientific community. He rejected the suggestion that a panel of scientists could review the Pokhran test results, asserting that it would be difficult to get neutral, independent scientists who could investigate the matter. “Which peer scientists are we going to bring in (for a panel)? All those peer scientists are part of the establishment or are sceptics,” he said. Narayanan said he was aware of reports that Pakistan had increased its nuclear arsenal. He stated that India will suitably respond to do whatever is required in national interest to increase nuclear deterrence. “The fact that a country not friendly is building up its arsenal is a concern... We will do what we have to do.” He added: “We have absolutely no intention of changing no-first use doctrine. We are committed to (it).” On Pakistan reportedly diverting US technology and weapons for use against India, Narayanan said India had taken up the matter a number of times with the US but the latter had only responded by offering the same equipment to India. But he admitted that India was worried about the modification of Harpoon missiles by Pakistan. I live in daily dread of another 26/11:NSA National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan has said that he lives in “daily dread” of a repeat of the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks, though he added that now India is better prepared. In an interview to Karan Thapar on the news channel CNN-IBN, he also questioned the credibility of the police first information reports (FIRs) Pakistan has filed against Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks. Asked how seriously scared was he that there could be a second major ‘Mumbai-like’ strike on India, Narayanan said: “Here you are asking me a question that I live in almost daily dread that something that I am looking at or Home Minister P. Chidambaram.” “The home minister takes a daily meeting at which I am also present and when he is not there I take that meeting. We get so many pieces of intelligence which pass across our table, many you can sort of weed out but as I said there are quite a few which if they are not able to nip in bud can turn dangerous.” “However, it is difficult to say whether we will have another Mumbai because I think we are better prepared perhaps for that kind of situation, but it could be quite serious,” Narayanan said. Asked whether Pakistan scares him, Narayanan said: “Pakistan may not scare me, but some of Pakistan’s actions scare us, because I don’t think this really adds to anything except creating problems for us.” In an apparent contradiction to the stand taken by Chidambaram who said that the FIRs against Saeed was Pakistan’s first positive step in booking the perpetrators of the Mumbai mayhem, Narayanan said it does not add any credibility to Pakistan’s commitment to act. “If you take the Saeed dossier that has been provided to Pakistan, I think we have marshalled what I would call Grade 1 evidence. You have the evidence from three people, three human beings, three admittedly terrorists - Kasab, Fahim Ansari, Soharabuddin - who talked of what Saeed had come talked to them, what he had said etc.” “This is apart from other connecting evidence. I agree one can never be as sure what a court would (do) with that kind of evidence but if you are not even willing to test that, it certainly leaves in our mind a big question mark about where Pakistan stands on terrorism,” he said. “I think the latest one doesn’t really add to any credibility in my opinion.”

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