India was subjected to nuclear blackmail through explicit and implicit threats at least thrice but the 1998 Pokhran tests changed the situation as the atomic weapons acted as deterrence.

“On at least three occasions before 1998, other powers used the explicit or implicit threat of nuclear weapons to try and change India’s behaviour,” National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said here on Tuesday without elaborating. He made it clear that India will not give up nuclear arms till universal disarmament becomes a reality.

India’s “hard-headed” leadership had fought “explicit or implicit threat” by global powers to change its “behaviour,” Mr. Menon said addressing a national conference on global nuclear disarmament to commemorate the 24 years of the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan for a nuclear weapons-free world order.

The global powers did not succeed in changing India’s behaviour because of the “hard-headed leadership we were fortunate to have,” he told the conference.

“Since we became a declared nuclear weapons state in 1998, we have not faced such threats,” Mr. Menon said.

“Nuclear weapons today are integral part of our national security and will remain so, pending non-discriminatory and global nuclear disarmament,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said.

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