As announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon today India conducted three
underground nuclear tests in the Pokhran range. The tests conducted today were
with a fission device, a low yield device and a thermonuclear device. The measured
yields are in line with expected values. Measurements have also confirmed that there
was no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. These were contained
explosions like the experiment conducted in May 1974.
These tests have established that India has a proven capability for a weaponised
nuclear programme. They also provide a valuable database which is useful in the
design of nuclear weapons of different yields for different applications and for
different delivery systems. Further they are expected to carry Indian scientists
towards a sound computer simulation capability which may be supported by
sub-critical experiments if considered necessary.
The Government is deeply concerned as were previous Governments, about the
nuclear environment in India's neighbourhood. These tests provide reassurance to
the people of India that their national security interests are paramount and will be
promoted and protected. Succeeding generations of Indians would also rest assured
that contemporary technologies associated with nuclear option have been passed on
to them in this the 50th year of our Independence.
It is necessary to highlight today that India was in the vanguard of nations which
ushered in the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963 due to environmental concerns.
Indian representatives have worked in various international forums, including the
Conference on Disarmament, for universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable
arrangements for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. The Government
would like to reiterate its support to efforts to realise the goal of a truly
comprehensive international arrangement which would prohibit undergournd nuclear
testing of all weapons as well as related experiments described as sub-critical or
India would be prepared to consider being an adherent to some of the undertakings
in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. But this cannot obviously be done in a
vacuum. If would necessarily be an evolutionary process from concept to
commitment and would depend on a number of reciprocal activities.
We would like to reaffirm categorically that we will continue to exercise the most
stringent control on the export of sensitive technologies, equipment and commodities
especially those related to weapons of mass destruction. Our track record has been
impeccable in this regard. Therefore we expect recognition of our responsible policy
by the international community.
India remains committed to a speedy process of nuclear disarmament leading to total
and global elimination of nuclear weapons. Our adherence to the Chemical
Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention is evidence of our
commitment to any global disarmament regime which is non-discriminatory and
verifiable. We shall also be happy to participate in the negotiations for the conclusion
of a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Geneva based conference on Disarmament.
In our neighbourhood we have many friends with whom relations of fruitful
cooperation for mutual benefit have existed and deepened over a long period. We
assure them that it will be our sincere endeavour to intensify and diversify those
relations further for the benefit of all our peoples. For India, as for others, the prime
need is for peaceful cooperation and economic development.
Planned Series of Nuclear Tests Completed
New Delhi, May 13, 1998
In continuation of the planned programme of underground nuclear tests begun on the
11th of May, two more sub-kiloton nuclear tests were carried out at Pokhran range
at 12:21 PM on the 13 of May, 1998. The tests have been carried out to generate
additional data for improved computer simulation of designs and for attaining the
capability to carry out subcritical experiments, if considered necessary. The tests
were fully contained with no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere.
This completes the planned series of tests.
Government of India reiterates the offer to consider adhering to some of the
undertakings in the CTBT, in the framework of the proposal in its statement of the
11th May, 1998.
New Delhi May 15, 1998
We have noted with regret that the Security Council has adopted a Presidential
Statement on May 14, 1998 on the underground nuclear tests which we have
conducted. We are surprised by this, because the Council has never thought it
necessary even to take cognizance of the many hundreds of nuclear tests carried out
over the last 50 years, including in 1995 and 1996, when the de facto moratorium
on testing, which the Council recalls, was already in place.
2. The tests which our scientists carried out are not directed against any country.
Tests by themselves, and the reconfirmation of a capacity which had been
demonstrated in 1974, do not jeopardise peace and stability. Nuclear weapons do,
and the refusal of the nuclear weapons states to consider the elimination of nuclear
weapons in a multilateral and time-bound framework, despite the end of the Cold
War, continues to be the single biggest threat to international peace and stability.
3. It is because of the continuing threat posed to India by the deployment, overtly
and covertly, of nuclear weapons in the lands and seas adjoining us that we have
been forced to carry out these tests, so that we can retain a credible option to
develop these weapons, should they be needed for the security of India's people,
who constitute one-fifth of the world's population.
4. There is a strong national consensus supporting the Government's decision to
authorise these tests to protect India's security. Internationally, there is a growing
realisation that it is disingenuous of the nuclsear weapons states to insist that the
retention of nuclear weapons is essential for their security but that the security of all
other states depends on their abjuring these weapons. In this context, it is essential
to recall that India has been subjected to aggression by one nuclear weapon state
and to the threat of use of nuclear weapons by another. Our security concerns,
therefore, go well beyond South Asia.
5. The Statement adopted by the Security Council, therefore, is to be viewed in this
light and is completely unacceptable to us. India is a responsible member of the
international community, and has consistently supported the United Nations. We
were among the first to propose, and continue to promote, the goal of general and
complete disarmament, and the elimination of all nuclear weapons. To this end, we
have made a series of concrete proposals for the consideration of the international
community, and the nuclear weapon states in particular. Every one of these has been
thwarted and distorted for their own purposes by the nuclear weapons states. The
CTBT, which we proposed in 1954 as a means of capping and eventually
eliminating nuclear testing and refining by the nuclear weapons states of their
weapons, and cooperation between them for this purpose. The NPT, which also
India proposed, became a completely discriminatory treaty, legitimizing the
possession in eternity of nuclear weapons by the five nuclear weapons states. At the
end of the Cold War, when the world expected the nuclear weapons powers to
move towards nuclear disarmament, since the stated reasons for their retention of
nuclear arsenals had been removed, they have started to alter their nuclear doctrines
to justify the possible use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states.
The nuclear weapon states have completely set their face against the overwhelming
wish of the international community, and increasingly significant sections of their own
domestic strategic and military opinion, for meaningful progress towards nuclear
disarmament. The nuclear weapons states have adopted every ploy possible to
deflect attention from their policies, which constitute the single biggest threat to
international peace and security. The Statement adopted by the Council is in this
6. We would like to take this occasion to express our appreciation to the members
of the international community, who have shown understanding to India's concerns