DHAKA, July 5: Former Indian president, who played the pivotal role in nuclear proliferation of India in late nineties, today said he had no guilty feeling for his work as it appeared crucial for his country for ensuring "balance of regional power" at that time.
"You see, big nations around India have had their nuclear weapons at that time, and it was important for India to develop ballistic missiles to make a balance while it also did not cost high for the Indian economy," he told journalists at a press conference after his lecture at a regional conference on comprehensive rural development.
But, he said, the countries in the region now must join hands for mutual benefit following footsteps of the ASEAN states and the European Union (EU) that integrated the European nations burring their centuries long enmity.
"Now is the time to focus on bringing regional peace and spend more money for poverty alleviation and rural development," said Kalam, one of the most respected scientists in the contemporary world who often referred to as the "missile man of India".
Kalam, who now dedicated his efforts to promote integrated rural development through his PURA model, also expected South Asia to emerge as an integrated region in next 10 years following footsteps of the EU and ASEAN nations.
APJ Kalam said India had to spend 'little' in the development of nuclear missiles named AGNI and PRITHVI and the question of fund diversion from poverty alleviation to militarization was not fully authentic. He said the Indian missiles would never be used first unless it was attacked.
India successfully launched the surface-to-surface missiles Prithvi and Agni for several times since late eighties after A.P.J. Abdul Kalam took the lead for the development of ballistic missiles, for what it said, 'to secure its borders'.
Kalam is arrived on Wednesday in Dhaka on a two-day private visit to Bangladesh, mainly to address the 33rd founding anniversary of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP).
Headquartered in Dhaka, the 15-nation CIRDAP is an intergovernmental body that acts as a think tank for rural development in Asia and the Pacific.
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