No nation, however, small or big can afford to compromise on vital matters pertaining to its integrity, inviolability and security. We have seen big countries going to absurd limits even to the extent of violating blatantly all canons of international law to “safeguard” their self-interests. Is India asking for too much when she says that she cannot afford to lower her vigil in terms of its territorial integrity, national security and the preservation of its hard-won freedom? It is this primary consideration that has weighed heavily with its nuclear policy. India is firm on refusing to sign both the NPT and CTBT. The very fact that she is surrounded by a hostile Pakistan and a nuclear China who had once invaded this country and whose professions of “peace” cannot take any chance as-far-as national security is concerned. Infect, if Pakistan’s former Premier Nawaz Sharif is to be believed, Pakistan already possesses a nuclear bomb.
Both India and Pakistan definitely have the capability of producing nuclear weapons at a very short notice. They have even the missiles to carry such warheads. Therefore, the question that arises is of pivotal significance not only for India’s strategic defence but also for entire sub-subcontinent whose very existence would be jeopardised by an arms race which would leave both nations economically mutilated, politically ruptured and socially fragmented.
India has been one of the few countries in the world who have been a firm believer in world peace not only in theoretical terms but also in its practical manifestations. The formation of the NAM for which India took initiative, when the world was divided was meant to ease world tension. India also showed restraint during the three Indo-Pak wars to keep the dignity and spirit of the UNO. All these indicate of her peace loving nature and belief in “Sarvo Bhavantu Sukhina”.
What is nuclear option?
The purpose of India’s nuclear programme is solely for her peaceful development. But we have also made it clear that India will keep its nuclear option open if anyone tried to encroach upon its liberties.
India should manufacture nuclear weapons not for waging wars against her enemies. Bombs are also to scare away warmongers. Even it we have no ^mention of attacking, there is no harm in keeping ourselves so well prepared and equipped that our enemies fear our strength and dare not risk a war with us.
Nuclear power is normally used as a deterrent. Any country which is not nuclear is at the mercy of those who are nuclear. A country like India who has reached advanced stage of nuclear technology would not like to give up her deterrent power by falling into the traps of “nuclear haves”.
Why should India keep her nuclear option open?
For keeping her nuclear option open India has to take a decision vis-avis her relations with Pakistan and with nuclear haves. India’s relations with Pakistan have never been good and it is most unlikely that it will improve in near future. More over Pakistan’ s nuclear policy is dependent on India. Pakistan has clearly stated that it would not sign NPT or adhere to CTBT until and unless India signs it. It has already attained nuclear capability through smuggling of nuclear material and other clandestine deals. India has no good relations with any nuclear power.
There are many in India who think that if India goes nuclear, she will have to face financial problems. Firstly, because of economic sanctions by western countries against India. Secondly, a developing country, like India, should not waste her hard earned money in making nuclear bombs. At this crucial juncture in International politics when the most important treaty (CTBT) is being discussed the present government which is a coalition government has not yet come with a clear stand. She should keep her nuclear options open and first try to have a consensus with in the country, regarding going nuclear at present itself or still wait.
Foreign Policy and nuclear option:
In India foreign policy objectives are tradition based. The changes take place very slowly. Whatever changes take place are structural and not qualitative. This is the reason why in India the inhibition of going nuclear still persists inspite of qualitative changes having taken place in the world.
India cannot afford to loose its position in the power equation:
To achieve the territorial inviolability and sovereign integrity of country, national interest demands that we should go nuclear. This apart, nuclear capability itself acts as deterrent. One need not always go nuclear (i.e. make nuclear bombs) to deter others. Nuclear capability would constantly remind others of our ability and power. If the rest of the world knows India has the ability to strike back with stunning force, her enemies will think twice before they plan any mischief against us. Till the time nuclear technology is used as a symbol of power, nuclear weapons would continue to play an active role in power equation. And a nuclear threshold country like India cannot afford to lose her place in this power equation. The India’s nuclear policy is based on realistic and pragmatic approach.