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Ramesh Thakur in the Times of India:
The critics of the 1998 tests have been vindicated. Nuclearisation has bought India neither strategic gains nor defence on the cheap. India still lacks effective deterrence against China, let alone parity with the US. Doubts have been sown in the public mind in India and in official policy circles in China and Pakistan about the reliability, robustness and resilience of India's nuclear power status. These cannot be removed without further tests that are unambiguously successful in delivering the projected yields.
Yet any such tests would provoke the wrath of the international community and wreck the hard-fought nuclear deal with the US. With US president Barack Obama recommitting to the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and entering into fresh agreements with Russia for dramatic steps in denuclearising the world, India would be marching to a tune everyone else finds harshly discordant. And it would launch a fresh round in the endless cycle of arms races in the subcontinent, with blame falling largely, perhaps even solely, on this country.
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The National Security Adviser's job is such that it involves him being in the news almost on a daily basis.
On the missing Andhra CM's chopper, the NSA today said, "Naxal strike seems extremely improbable. I would almost entirely rule it out. I do not think the Naxalites have the capability to bring down the helicopter". We have no reason to doubt his information about the capabilities of the Naxalites. However, writing in the New Indian Express, V. Sudarshan quotes sources in the scientific community who were closely involved in the [Pokhran II] test to say that the NSA
"needs to brush up on what really happened in Pokhran and suggest that he stick to defending words like Balochistan which have appeared mysteriously in the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement and which will have an accelerated tendency to appear in future joint statements as well. In an aside they suggest that the NSA remove his foot from his mouth at least when he grants interviews to friendly media. In this interview he claims that nobody has really questioned the “authorised and proven measurements” of the yields done by Anil Kakodkar and S K Sikka, who along with Chidambaram form the government’s core think tank on nuclear matters. The NSA is wrong as usual on this claim too. Chidambaram’s former boss, P K Iyengar has long and consistently questioned the result of the alleged thermonuclear blast at Pokhran. If we have an NSA who didn’t know this much he is an even bigger ignoramus than is feared."
Also See: PK Iyengar on Time to Test Again
Post Script: September 3: For a quick recap of the CTBT debate and the controversies regarding Pokhran II, also see: Amitabh Mattoo & Rajive Nayan: The New Fizzle Debate - The nuclear question concerns everybody, not just scientists