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Meet to consolidate nuke deterrence

New Delhi, Sept. 1 (PTI): The Nuclear Command Authority today reviewed the arrangements for the strategic forces programme.

The authority’s political council, on the recommendations of the body’s executive council, took decisions on development and management of the programme that “will consolidate India’s nuclear deterrence”, said a statement issued after a two-hour meet chaired by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The meeting is also believed to have reviewed how the army, the air force and the navy were coordinating with the Strategic Forces Comand.

Those attending the meeting included deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, finance minister Jaswant Singh, defence minister George Fernandes, national security adviser Brajesh Mishra, cabinet secretary Kamal Pande, defence secretary Ajay Prasad, air force chief S. Krishnaswamy and Strategic Forces Command commander-in-chief Air Marshal Teja Mohan Asthana.

The political council was set up on January 4 to lay out political principles and administrative arrangements to manage the country’s nuclear arsenal.

This was the first meeting of the council and came in the wake of the recent announcement in Parliament by Fernandes that the 700-km range Agni I and the 2000-km range Agni II ballistic missiles were ready for induction.

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