Sunday, November 4, 2007

Army's secret: India still has chemical arsenal

New Delhi: The Indian Army may have unintentionally let out a secret at a press conference addressed by its chief on Saturday. The vision statement of its Corps of Engineers, displayed publicly at the venue, declared that a priority was to refine competence, to handle nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

India is a signatory to international treaties for the elimination of chemical and biological weapons and Army Chief Generally Deepak Kapoor was forced to admit that chemical weaponry still exists.

“The chemical weapons aspect is still in the domain of discussions going on at an international level,” Kapoor said.

By its own acknowledgement, the Indian Army is still operationally committed to chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction or WMDs. While India has never declared an arsenal of biological weapons, it is under a treaty obligation to destroy its chemical weapons by the end of this year.

For a long time, the custody of India's chemical weapons was in the hands of the scientific community. The military was not even aware that these existed. Now that India is committed to destroying this arsenal, the military is finally in the loop. Not only is this a reflection on India's strategic culture, what is also clear is that the threat of biological and chemical warfare in this region is real.

The question that remains unanswered is: Why is the Indian Army still doctrinally committed to weapons that are now international contraband? For India, which has always advocated elimination of WMDs, this caustic disclosure is embarrassing.

For the record, Pakistan has declared a zero stockpile.

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Do u agree tat India is on its own way to Indegenous weaponization??