Report Indian Nuclear Exceptionalism’ by the Harvard University Belfer Centre mentions that India has a fissile stock worth 2600 nuclear warheads. Presently India is in the third position as per report. View more at #Hindustan360.
Despite the fact that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was created in 1975 as a reaction to Indian nuclear proliferation since 1950s and testing of its first bomb in 1974, the debate over loosening the restrictions to nuclear trade has strangely overlooked India’s military and nuclear industrial complex and the alarming pace of its growth.
Ever since New Delhi convinced the US government to obtain an exceptional waiver from the NSG in 2008, the debate has de facto assumed that India would be eventually given membership of the group – the issue now being Pakistan’s attached bid and how it could be accommodated at the same time as India.
While western commentators raise concern over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure and concerns over proliferation, India’s massive and largely undocumented programme has gone unnoticed.
Indian Nuclear Exceptionalism
Released barely a week before the 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 which 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. 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. Both reports point out that India already has vast stocks of uranium, to which at least 243 entities inside India have an access too.
Warheads and Nuclear Arsenal
Coupled with the fact that it has still not allowed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials compete access to all of its and that it plans to vastly increase its nuclear arsenal by adding new Intercontinetal Ballistic Missles (ICBMs) and warhead carrying submarines, this creates an alarming situation which should be further examined by stakeholders across the world before making any decision.
It is not surprising that given this state of affairs the discussion over India’s inclusion have not progressed further. Responding to reports that the Russian authorities had interceded on behalf of India in negotiations with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that “on the issue of NSG, I can tell you China’s stance on the accession of new members into NSG has not changed. On the eve of an important meeting for the group, these comments are telling.
Naval Nuclear Deterrent
Indian Navy has decided to build a naval nuclear deterrent of at least six nuclear powered submarines by 2022. This aims to carry more weapons than French and British navies’ combined. That will be a great achievement.
China is deeply bothered about India’s increasing power because then India can directly pressurise China’s Tibet and Arunanchal Pradesh policy. In few years China may not involve in India’s internal issues also. China’s only option is to stop blocking India’s NSG bid.
View more at #Hindustan360.