The government could spend more money on welfare and development sectors rather than for the upkeep of the defence monster.
However, the choice to restrict spending on defence is not ours; it is dictated by circumstances far beyond our control: preparations for war going on in our reighbouring countries, especially our traditional rival India, have a direct impact on our defence spending.
Are we paying serious consideration to our defence needs and are we working for ultimate self-sufficiency? Let us make an insight study of the scientific developments going on in India.
With the passage of time, will we be in a position to stop the avalanche of the Indian armed forces? With the advent of independence, India concentrated on research in the fields of nuclear physics, space, electronics and avionics.
Political stability and dedicated leadership gave a boost to her efforts in these fields.
India has acquired arms muscle far beyond any other country in the South Asian region.
Nuclear development: An Indian Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) was set up in 1948 under its founder chairman Homi Jehanger Bhabha.
He was also appointed secretary of the newly established Central Government Atomic Energy Secretariat so that he could have direct access to the then Prime Minister of India, Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru.
India was soon able to train a large number of scientists and establish a technological base for her nuclear programme.
Asia’s first nuclear reactor was built in 1955 by local scientists and technicians.
In 1960 she acquired a 40 megawatt reactor from Canada.
With her technical know-how coupled with the plutonium produced from this reactor, India exploded her first nuclear device on 18 May, 1974 and became the sixth nuclear power.
India has established a number of nuclear reactors and power stations.
A few which are used for research and training purposes are located at Aspara.
The 40 megawatt Cirus reactor produces weapons-grade plutonium while the 100 megawatt Zerlina reactor is a fast breeder test reactor.
Tarapur power station, with two stations of 380 megawatts each, was established in 1969.
Two stations of 460 megawatt reactors came up in Rajisthan in 1972 and 1978.
India established two indigenously produced stations of 235 megawatts at Madras; and three more of 400 megawatts each of Madras , Narora and Surat.
India has acquired the capability to fabricate and export nuclear reactors to developing countries.
Electronics: India possesses a large number of trained manpower and infrastructure which has increased her potential in the field of electronics.
Her Bangalore factory produces 80 types of high powered transmitters and sophisticated radars; microwave and troposcater equipment for the Indian Air Force comes from Ghaziabad factory.
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Hyderabad Division, manufactures a variety of surveillance and approach radars for air force and civil aviation.
They are also working on a precision approach radar to replace existing airport equipment.
Avionics: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is India’s only large aerospace concern.
Its different factors, spread all over the country, produce aircraft’s engines, avionics and spacecraft, some under licence and others of indigenous design.
The Bangalore based Helicopter Division manufactures Chetak and Cheeta helicopters for air force and navy.
The Chetak helicopter has proved very successful to fly over high mountainous terrain of Himalayas.
HAL is capable of manufacturing 18 to 20 jaguar aircraft annually.
Its Nasik Division supplies 30 MIG.-21s to the IAF yearly.
Space: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), with its headquarters at Bangalore, was formed to plan, co-ordinate and pursue the expanding complexities of space technology and its application.
The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is entrusted with the designing and production of sounding rockets and satellite launch vehicles (SLV).
The Space Application Centre, aided by United Nations Development Programme and Physical Research Laboratory located at Ahmedabad have greatly contributed towards developing an operational remote-sensing system.
All the multistage rockets have been launched from the Sarikharikotta Centre, which is established on an island 100 kilometers north of Madras.
The ISRO satellite centre at Bangalore is responsible for planning, designing, fabrication and evaluation of satellites like Aryabhata, Bhaskara I and II, Rohni I and II.
With the high resolution radio meters, TV cameras and extra sensitive sensors, India today is capable of launching reconnaissance satellites.
Effect on Pakistan’s security: India’s vast natural resources, successful propaganda and technological advancement has given her the status of a regional power.
Her foreign policy is aimed at making the superpowers and the neighbouring countries accept her as such.
Her direct interference in the internal affairs of neighbours like Maldive Islands, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan is a pointer in this direction.
She was instrumental in breaking away the Eastern wing of Pakistan by her direct meddling in the internal disorder in Pakistan in 1971.
She is also accused of fanning ethnic violence in Sindh, to weaken Pakistan.
An Indo-Soviet-Afghan axis was formed at the behest of the USSR.
India may use this axis to internally destabilise Pakistan.
Saboteurs in the garb of Afghan refugees could be used to cause political unrest or a law and order problem.
The stunt of Pukhtoonistan or Sindu Desh could be revived.
The present ethnic conflict in Sindh makes it easier for India to carry out its plans.
They could also exploit the relations between the federal government Punjab and Balochistan.
India enjoys good relations with most Middle East countries.
This has further been boosted by close trade relations.
Increase of trade and transfer of modern technology from India could seriously undermine Pakistan’s credibility in the Middle East.
India is almost self sufficient in nuclear technology.
Her launching of the long range Agni Missile has given her the capability of delivering nuclear weapons on targets deep in Pakistan territory.
Therefore, no region of Pakistan could escape a nuclear or conventional lethal destruction.
With a geostationary satellite, India could be in a far superior position in a regional conflict.
She can locate with greater accuracy enemy troop concentrations and movement, photograph vital economic and strategic sites and can frustrate enemy battle plans.
India is capable of sustaining a long war.
She possesses industrial infrastructure to produce war materials.
Her ability to produce radar, wireless equipment, aircraft, helicopters and other sophisticated materials places her in an advantageous position in any conflict with Pakistan who has to depend on imports for most of her needs.
India is keeping pace with modern technology and is busy in acquiring the latest weapon systems with the aim of manufacturing the same locally under licence.
Her tremendous efforts to manufacture indigenously Mirage 2000 and Jaguar aircraft speak of her serious commitment to acquiring self-sufficiency in modern warfare.
With an India scenario where war-oriented technology developments are going on unabated, Pakistan cannot sit back and hope for the best.
We have to put our house in order and rely on an indigenous industrial base.
We require urgent and long-term planning to offset the strategic advantages our adversary enjoys in the scientific field.
We have to tighten our belt and allocate sufficient funds for research and development to form a base for ultimate self-sufficiency in defence needs; And to live with our head high in the region.
This article was written by Sayed G.B Shah Bokhari in Pakistan Newspaper Frontier Post on 6/27/2001