ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Menacing Stratagem

With Trump’s impending assumption of power, India is further bent upon “credibly deterring” China.

On 26 December 2016, India tested Agni-V, its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that has been claimed to be independently developed by the country’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and is said to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Thereafter, in the first week of January 2017, it was the turn of Agni-IV, another version with a shorter range, to be tried out. Agni-V’s exact range is, according to the DRDO chief, “classified” information, but the same source went on to state that its range is between 5,500 and 5,800 kilometres. This was followed by a retired Indian army brigadier, now a self-styled defence analyst, bragging that India can now threaten major Chinese targets, “such as large cities.” Predictably, India’s big media went to town about this, but failed to point out that India developing ICBMs capable of delivering nuclear weapons is in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1172 (1998).

This UNSC resolution, among other things, called upon India and Pakistan “immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponisation or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons ...” The resolution was passed unanimously on 6 June 1998 in the aftermath of the nuclear tests conducted first by India and then by Pakistan in May 1998. Much water has flowed down the Sutlej River since then, but India has still not been willing to address one of the root causes of the tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi, namely, the question of Kashmir.

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Updated On : 13th Jan, 2017

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