Islamabad, Dec. 7 (ANI): India was the first country in the South Asia to have a nuclear program and it didn't go nuclear in response to Chinese quest for atomic weapons but preceded it, a Pakistani expert on nuclear affairs has said.
Naeem Salik, author of 'The Genesis of South Asian Nuclear Deterrence - Pakistan's Perspective', said that Indian scientist Homi Bhabha conceptualised the nuclear program for the country beginning in 1940s and later also developed it, much before Beijing's entry into the field.
The Nation quoted Salik, as saying that India became the first country in Asia to carry out chain reaction.
He described how India got heavy water and reprocessing plants in 1960s. And by 1965, intelligence estimates concluded India could go nuclear in a few years, which it did by exploding its first test in 1974.The retired brigadier, who has been closely associated with Pakistan' Strategic Plans Division, recalled that the Indian nuclear explosions in May 1998 at Pokhran forced Pakistan to test its own devices, leading to nuclearization of South Asia. (ANI)