Atal Bihari Vajpayee and national security: Daring leap, step by step
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Atal Bihari Vajpayee and national security: Daring leap, step by step

Indian Express |
August 17, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee dead: With altered security paradigm, he engaged with China, made peace moves towards Pakistan


When it comes to national security, Atal Bihari Vajpayee drew on the legacy of his predecessors and left a legacy which fundamentally recrafted the paradigm, the most significant of them being the nuclear tests of 1998. Days after former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao’s demise in 2004, Vajpayee publicly acknowledged that in May 1996, a few days after he had succeeded Rao as prime minister for the first time, “Rao told me that the bomb was ready. I only exploded it.”

“Saamagri tayyar hai (The ingredients are ready),” Rao had said. “You can go ahead.”

Vajpayee actually gave the orders for the nuclear tests which had been postponed in 1995 after Americans discovered the preparation in Pokharan. But Vajpayee soon realised that his government in 1996 was unlikely to last and rescinded the order for the tests. Back in 1998 as head of a larger and a more stable coalition, one of the first orders by his government was the ‘go ahead’ for conducting the tests.

Credit by- Indian Express

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