India's 'Smiling Buddha' Nuclear Detonation occurred on 18 May 1974, Buddha Jayanti (a festival day in India marking the birth of Gautama Buddha). Many are critical of India for going Nuclear with its 'Smiling Buddha' Nuke Test. However after defending itself from 3 invasions from Pakistan and one from Maoist China India was driven towards the development of a nuclear deterrent. America, NATO and Europe failed to assure India of its safety but rather often joined in condemning and threatening India. Thus India had no choice but to go Nuclear.
After achieving Nuclear status no one invaded India again. However once Pakistan achieved Nuclear status in 1998 within less than a year they felt emboldened enough to invade India once again. Then in July 1999, once again facing defeat in this latest invasion into India Pakistan prepared to do the unthinkable.
Speaking about this incident on the fourth of July in 1999, President Clinton recalled a Blair House meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan. Pakistan and India were engaged in a conflict and the United States had intelligence that Pakistan was preparing its nuclear arsenal for possible deployment.
This video is an excerpt from "Avoiding Armageddon - Our Future- - Our Choice" an American documentary series produced by Ted Turner Documentaries and hosted by Walter Cronkite.
The series aired in the USA on PBS in 2003. THIS IMPORTANT AND NEWSWORTHY DOCUMENTARY IS UNAVAILABLE AND NOT FOR SALE ANYWHERE. shop.pbs.org/products/AVAR600/
Though India is the only Nuclear Power in the region that has a declared 'No First Use' policy, unlike China and Pakistan, and though India and Pakistan have had four wars with each other India has never been the aggressor. Rather India has always been the victim of Pakistani invasion and terror.
India continued to harbor ambivalent feelings about nuclear weapons and accord low priority to their production until the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. In the same month of December 1971, when Richard Nixon sent a carrier battle group led by the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) into the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to intimidate India, the Soviet Union responded by sending a submarine armed with nuclear missiles from Vladivostok to trail the US task force. The Soviet response demonstrated the deterrent value and significance of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile submarines to Indira Gandhi.
Nevertheless the media and even President Clinton, blur the lines when referring to India and Pakistan. In this region there has always been India, the non-belligerent India on one side and the very aggressive Pakistanis and somewhat aggressive Chinese on the other.
Thus it is important to qualify that often repeated phrase 'Pakistan and India have had four wars' with the fact that it is Pakistan that has flouted every International law and has always been the aggressor. And as revealed in this video clip, Pakistan actually prepared its Nukes for an attack against India. Yet the US and the EU continue to pour Billions of dollars into Pakistan and harass India on every front.
"I knew my only real job on the Fourth of July was to get Pakistan back across that Line of Control under - whatever I had to do to get it done; because, otherwise, we were just out there rolling dice, hoping to goodness that nothing terrible would happen."President Clinton
"Singh says that they saw evidence of Pakistan 'operationalizing its nuclear missiles,' and Malik refers to "intelligence reports about the Tilla Ranges being readied for possible launching of missiles." Bruce Reidel, Clinton's National Security Advisor on South Asian Affairs
"In 1999 India and Pakistan were fighting a small war in Northern Kashmir; we now know that India considered blockading Pakistan's port of Karachi and Islamabad began arming its nuclear weapons. A few false moves and these escalatory actions could have spiraled out of control...Bruce Riedel discussed the dangers of the India-Pakistan conflict Tuesday at the Brooking Institution in a launch event for his new book Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back. Decades of animosity and nuclear weapons to this tense mix, and you begin to understand why Mr. Riedel has labeled the region the most dangerous place in the world." The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) March 2013 csis.org/blog/event-recap-avoiding-armageddon
.NOTE: The companion book to 'Avoiding Armageddon' by Martin Schram typically blurs the details of this incident and deflects Pakistan's culpability as an irresponsible aggressive nuclear power. It skirts the issue of President Clinton's anger over 'Pakistan's attempt to blackmail America and the World' with the threat of Nuclear War. Despite these facts the book has been frequently reviewed by the media and remains widely available.