News



DATE=5/15/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232285
TITLE=INDIA NUKE (L)
BYLINE=DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN
DATELINE=NEW DELHI
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO: INDIA'S PRIME MINISTER SAYS HIS NATION POSSESSES A BIG 
BOMB FOLLOWING FIVE NUCLEAR TESTS THIS WEEK, BUT HE SAYS THE 
WEAPON WILL  NOT  BE USED FOR AGGRESSION. V-O-A NEW DELHI 
CORRESPONDENT DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN HAS MORE ON THE STORY.

TEXT: IN AN INTERVIEW WITH INDIA TODAY MAGAZINE, ATAL BIHARI 
VAJPAYEE SAYS INDIA IS NOW A NUCLEAR WEAPONS STATE.  HE SAYS THE 
NATION HAS A BIG BOMB FOR WHICH THE NECESSARY COMMAND AND CONTROL
SYSTEM IS IN PLACE. HOWEVER, HE SAYS, IN HIS WORDS, OURS WILL 
NEVER BE WEAPONS OF AGGRESSION.

MR. VAJPAYEE SAYS WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE INDIA IS SURROUNDED BY
NUCLEAR  WEAPONRY. HE SAYS THE WORLD COMMUNITY SHOULD APPRECIATE 
THE FACT THAT  INDIA, THE SECOND-MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY ON EARTH, 
WAITED FOR FIVE DECADES BEFORE TAKING THIS STEP.

INDIA HAS PREVIOUSLY SAID IT NEEDS ADVANCED WEAPONS TO DEFEND 
ITSELF FROM ITS NEIGHBORS CHINA AND PAKISTAN. CHINA IS A DECLARED
NUCLEAR POWER AND PAKISTAN HAS A NUCLEAR CAPABILITY. INDIA HAS 
FOUGHT WARS WITH BOTH COUNTRIES.

BRAHMA CHELLANEY, A SECURITY SPECIALIST WITH NEW DELHI'S 
RESPECTED CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH, SAYS MR. VAJPAYEE IS 
SENDING AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO THE WORLD.

                          ///  CHELLANEY ACT ///

         THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DECLARATION BY THE PRIME MINISTER 

         SAYING THAT INDIA HAS A NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARSENAL WITH THE
         NECESSARY COMMAND AND CONTROL STRUCTURE. IN OTHER WORDS 
         THERE'S AN ARSENAL, THERE'S A POLITICAL COMMAND TO IT, 
         AS WELL AS THE MILITARY STRUCTURE FOR IT. THIS MEANS 
         THAT INDIA IS A NUCLEAR WEAPONS STATE IN EVERY SENSE OF 
         THAT TERM WITH WEAPONS, MILITARY COMMAND, POLITICAL 
         LEADERSHIP AND THE ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE.

                        ///  END ACT ///

MR. CHELLANEY SAYS INDIA LIKELY HAS SEVERAL COPIES OF EACH OF THE
FIVE NUCLEAR DEVICES IT DETONATED THIS WEEK.  THERE IS  NO  
CONFIRMATION OF THIS.  THE NUCLEAR TESTS BROKE A 24-YEAR 
SELF-IMPOSED MORATORIUM SINCE INDIA'S FIRST NUCLEAR BLAST IN 
1974.

THE NEW TESTS PROMPTED STRONG INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION, BUT 
DOMESTIC REACTION WAS OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE. MANY INDIANS HAVE 
HAILED MR. VAJPAYEE AS A HERO FOR STANDING UP TO INTERNATIONAL 
OPPOSITION AND PROVING INDIA'S TECHNICAL EXPERTISE.

MEANWHILE, THERE WAS A DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE THE U-S EMBASSY IN 
NEW DELHI  FRIDAY AGAINST ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN 
IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER NATIONS TO PUNISH INDIA 
FOR THE TESTS. MORE THAN TWO-DOZEN PROTESTORS WERE INVOLVED. 
(SIGNED)

NEB/DB/WDC/PLM

15-May-98 12:25 PM EDT (1625 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.