India’s ‘nuclear triad’

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the country’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine has completed its first deterrence patrol. The newly launched submarine completes India’s nuclear triad by adding maritime strike capability to land and air-based delivery platforms — a feat Pakistan had already achieved in 2017 with the launch of Babur-3 missile. In March this year, Pakistan carried out another successful test of the nuclear-capable Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Babur and announced that it has attained ‘Credible Second Strike Capability’.
Though Pakistan’s nuclear programme is very limited and specific but the country surely has an edge over India in many respects especially as far as quality and reliability is concerned. However, there is marked difference between nuclear programme of India and Pakistan because of their doctrines and intentions. In the very first place, Pakistan’s nuclear programme is a reaction to India’s aggressive designs. Secondly, Pakistan has all along been maintaining that its programme is defensive in nature as the country has no aggressive agenda or designs against any other country. As against this, India has used the programme to bully and pressurize its neighbours and even the global power – China and the India media has pointedly referred to development of INS Arihant (the nuclear armed submarine) as a deterrent against China. Therefore, both China and Pakistan have to keep in mind the latest development and its repercussions for their safety, security and maritime interests. India is on record having expressed its intentions to dominate Indian Ocean and also achieve capability to block foreign trade of Pakistan and China. Pakistan already joined the elite club of countries that are in possession of a guaranteed sea-based deterrence and second-strike capability but according to reports its launch system is meant for integration with its next-generation submarines, i.e. the Hangor (II) class that are being procured from China and are slated for delivery in the mid-to-late 2020s. Under this scenario, Pakistan has to remain extra vigilant to foil any mischievous adventure by India that has, day in and day out, been hurling threats on Pakistan under different pretexts.

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