Saturday, May 14, 2011

Don't worry, India's deterrence is robust: Pokhran II scientist

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Allaying apprehensions about reports of Pakistan doubling its nuclear arsenal, a veteran Indian scientist who played a key role in India's second nuclear test has said India need not be alarmed as its credible minimum deterrence was robust and it can produce more than 100 weapons.

'Our credible minimum deterrent is robust and strong. There is no cause for undue alarm,' K. Santhanam, a former scientist with the Defence Research and Development (DRDO) and the chief pointsman for the weaponisation programme for India's second nuclear test, told IANS.

'Our plutonium-based nuclear programme is stronger and the plutonium produced can help make more than 100 weapons.

'The numbers are not the only thing that matter. Our nuclear programme is completely indigenous and stronger,' he said.

Santhanam was reacting to disclosures by a US daily that Pakistan has doubled its nuclear arsenal over the last several years and now has more than 100 deployed weapons.

The Pakistanis have significantly accelerated production of uranium and plutonium for bombs and developed new weapons to deliver them, the influential US daily, the Washington Post, reported Monday citing estimates by non-government analysts.