Islamabad, September 27 (KMS): India’s nuclear arsenal is now controlled by Hindu extremist leaders, who had long been obsessed with nuclear nationalism, according to a report published in the daily Dawn.
The concern, which has been discussed for some time in academic circles, was expressed by National Command Authority adviser Lt Gen retired Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, at the 8th workshop on Strategic Stability in South Asia, organised by the Centre for International Strategic Studies and The International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“The custodial controls of India’s large triad of the nuclear arsenal have now fallen firmly in the hands of an extremist fundamentalist leadership,” he said, adding that the “toxic mix of poisonous ideology and custody of nuclear weapons” was a new phenomenon that was posing a serious threat to strategic stability in South Asia.
Gen Kidwai warned that this development would not only affect the nuclear armed South Asia, but could have consequences for the rest of the world also.
Indian National Command Authority, the top nuclear body, is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has maintained an aggressive nuclear stance in office. The NCA’s executive council is, meanwhile, headed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, another hawk, who masterminded Delhi’s surgical strikes drama of 2016. Moreover, a few ministers having RSS background are also members of NCA. They include Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
In his public rallies, PM Modi has talked about usability of nukes. Under Modi’s watch, his ministers and retired senior officials have signalled changes in the nuclear doctrine. His ministers have also made provocative and irresponsible statements on various occasions.
Gen Kidwai warned that the threat posed by extremists’ control of Indian nuclear weapons had “assumed a real life character and momentum of its own”. The situation, he noted, had affected not only the region, but also beyond.