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China’s Military, Pakistan’s Nukes Biggest Threat To India; New Delhi’s Nuclear Doctrine Must Be Addressed Immediately

(Qnnflash) – In 1998, the global stage was shaken as India unveiled its nuclear weapons program, a development shrouded in secrecy until then. Fast forward to May 11, 2023, and India marks a significant 25-year milestone as a nuclear weapons state. In a subsequent move, on June 1, 2023, the nation’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) achieved another accomplishment by successfully launching an Agni-I medium-range ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha province’s eastern coast.

The Ministry of Defense hailed this launch as a successful training exercise, underscoring the missile’s precision and operational prowess. The demonstration stands as a message, particularly to regional adversaries such as China and Pakistan, coming just three weeks after India celebrated the quarter-century since its declaration as a nuclear weapons state.

India’s nuclear doctrine, established in 1998, asserted that nuclear weapons were not just military tools but political instruments. This doctrine, emphasizing credible minimum deterrence, no first use, and no aggression towards non-nuclear states, positioned India as a responsible nuclear power.

Amidst provocations, including incidents like the 2008 Mumbai attacks, India demonstrated restraint over the past 25 years, culminating in the development of a credible minimum deterrence strategy. Achievements in the realm of nuclear triad capability – land, air, and sea-based delivery systems – underpin India’s commitment to responsible nuclear behavior.

Having realized the ability to reach adversary territories, India continued to adhere to non-proliferation principles. The country’s pursuit of universal disarmament is driven by a vision for a multipolar world free from the dominance of a single nuclear-armed superpower.

India has gained international recognition for its responsible nuclear conduct, becoming a member of prominent export control regimes. However, its ambition to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has been thwarted by China. India’s nuclear security concerns persist, particularly with ongoing border tensions with China and Pakistan.

Despite challenges, India has avoided nuclear escalation in its conflicts, resorting to conventional means to tackle regional adversaries. Localized conflicts along the Line of Control (LOC) and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are managed diplomatically and militarily without resorting to the nuclear option.

The wisdom lies in maintaining a fine balance, deterring adversaries while preventing nuclear confrontation. As a serving Indian military official emphasized, India should enhance its conventional and nuclear capabilities to effectively manage regional threats while ensuring that conflicts never escalate into catastrophic nuclear warfare.

In a world where stability and multipolarity are sought, India’s responsible nuclear behavior shines as a beacon, demonstrating that restraint, deterrence, and diplomacy can coexist to safeguard global security.

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