'Army affected by Pokhran-II doubts, needs to be reassured' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Army affected by Pokhran-II doubts, needs to be reassured'

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2009 22:29 IST

Amid claims by some scientists that Pokhran-II in 1998 were not a complete success, former Army chief VP Malik says Armed Forces were “affected” by doubts over its efficacy and need to be “reassured” by the nuclear establishment on the exact yield of the atomic tests.

Malik also said the statement by former president APJ Abdul Kalam, the DRDO chief when India exploded the bombs in 1998, rubbishing the claims of his colleague and defence scientist Dr K Santhanam, was “unconvincing”. Santhanam said the tests were a fizzle which were rejected by Kalam, who said Pokhran-II was a complete success.

“They(Armed Forces) need to be reassured about the weapon system they use and about the planning of what kind of the yield they have when they hit the target,” Malik, the army chief during Pokhran-II, told Karan Thapar on the Devil’s Advocate programme of CNN-IBN.

Malik dubbed as shocking the recent comments of Santhanam, questioning the yield of the thermonuclear device tested on May 11, 1998.

“Yes, it affects the armed forces. Particularly, because, when they plan the task given to them then they have to know what kind of yield that each nuclear weapon has,” he said stressing that it was important to remove doubts.

“Let us not forget that Dr Santhanam was part of his (Kalam’s) team. And it came as quite a shock with Dr Santhanam himself mentioning that it was a fizzle. Of course, again he was referring to the thermonuclear weapon. So, Dr Kalam’s statement was not quite convincing,” he said.

Malik said the team of scientists led by then Chairman of the Atomic Energy commission R Chidambaram should reassure the armed forces on the yield of the weapons.