Violent response in case of n-attack: IAF chief

July 26th, 2011 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) With Pakistan having just tested its Nasr nuclear-capable tactical missile, India Tuesday said its retaliatory strike in case of a nuclear attack on its soil will be “absolutely violent, hard and harsh”.

Indian Air Force (IAF) chief P.V. Naik, who is India’s seniormost serving military officer, said at his farewell press conference here that India’s nuclear doctrine, propounded at the beginning this century, clearly calls for a “heavy” response. Naik retires July 31.

He also dismissed Nasr, a short-range surface-to-surface missile, as being described by some strategic affairs experts as a “game changer” in case of an India-Pakistan conflict.

“Our nuclear policy of no-first-use…it says no use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states. It also talks about very heavy response in case of a nuclear attack on our soil…retaliatory and very hard and harsh response….our policy talks about that.

“Tactical or strategic, it (Nasr) is a nuclear weapon. So obviously, our response will be absolutely violent, as per our existing policy. So I do not think it is a great game changer,” Naik said in response to a question on the Pakistani missile, which some say was a response to India’s doctrine of “quick, short” warfare, loosely described by think-tanks as “cold start”.

On reports of Pakistan amassing a nuclear arsenal and gaining an upper hand vis-a-vis India in a few years from now, Naik said he was “not worried” over such claims and that there was no reason to be worried. However, he did not explain why he was not concerned over the reports.

Naik will be succeeded by Air Marshal N.A.K. Browne, in the rank of air chief marshal, who is currently the IAF vice chief.

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