Renewing its pitch for universal nuclear disarmament, India said today that until the "happy state" was reached, it would continue to maintain atomic weapons as they had been useful deterrents against nuclear coercion or blackmail.
"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 at a national outreach conference on global nuclear disarmament.
Menon disclosed that following India gaining declared nuclear weapons state status in 1998, it had not faced such threats.
"So the possession of nuclear weapons, has, empirically speaking, deterred others from attempting nuclear coercion or blackmail against India," he added.
The day-long conference, organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs and supported by the external affairs ministry, attracted participation of around 1500 students from 37 universities.
The event was held to commemorate the 68th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who presented a plan for a nuclear-weapons-free world order at the UN General Assembly 9 June, 1988.