New Delhi: Retorting to Dr. A.Q. Khan’s comment that Pakistan could have ‘targeted’ Delhi in five minutes, Indian defence experts on Monday rubbishing the statement and said that India can give a befitting reply.
Defence expert Rameshwar Rai dubbed Khan’s statement as irresponsible and inconsequential. “There is no implication of this fact as presently A.Q. Khan in not involved in any kind of policy making nor is near any leadership which is taking such decisions. So I believe that his statements will make no difference,” Rai said.
“Coming to his five minute statement he should know that after those five minutes what would India had done, I think he has not pondered over the after effects. He has made an irresponsible statement,” he added.
Another defence expert, Deepankar Banerjee, said,”If nuclear weapon capability exists and bombs are available it can be prepared in advance and launched at short notice but the question is not whether it can be launched in five minutes, the question is should this be considered at all. Because nuclear bomb is a political weapon, it is never to be used during a war and even it is considered for use it has to be discussed at the highest levels and that consultation should take much longer.”
“So, this sort of a sabre rattling in which A.Q. Khan continuously engages even after so many years of his being totally discredited by the international community is a state of affairs within in Pakistan of which we should be deeply concerned,” he added.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is considered the father of that country’s nuclear programme, on Saturday said that Pakistan has the ability to target New Delhi from Kahuta, near Rawalpindi, in five minutes.
He also said that Islamabad could have become a nuclear power as early as 1984 but the then President General Zia-ul-Haq opposed the move. Khan was disgraced in 2004 when he was forced to accept responsibility for proliferation.