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In a revelation shedding light on past perceptions of India’s nuclear program, Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), shared an interesting anecdote. Kakodkar disclosed that Siegfried Hecker, who served as Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US, believed India wouldn’t relinquish its nuclear weapons program.

Kakodkar’s statement came during a discussion in Mumbai. He revealed that Hecker, a key figure in the US nuclear weapons establishment, had testified before the US Senate in 2008. During this testimony, Hecker reportedly expressed his conviction that the sanctions imposed on India following the Pokhran-2 nuclear tests in 1998 would not deter India from continuing its nuclear weapons development.

Hecker’s perspective held weight due to his position at Los Alamos, a premier US institution for nuclear research and development. His assessment suggested an understanding of India’s strategic calculus and its commitment to maintaining a nuclear deterrent.

India has consistently maintained a policy of minimum credible deterrence, emphasizing the use of nuclear weapons only in a retaliatory capacity. This policy aims to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The Pokhran-2 tests in 1998 marked a significant point in India’s nuclear journey. The tests were met with international condemnation and subsequent sanctions. However, Kakodkar’s revelation about Hecker’s viewpoint suggests that some experts recognized India’s resolve to pursue its nuclear ambitions.