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Kalam makes light of Pak nuclear `threat'

Our Bureau

ANAND, April 12

DR A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and arguably the father of the country's guided missile system, has made light of the Pakistan President, Mr Pervez Musharaff's recent threat of possible nuclear strike against India.

The fact that India's nuclear policy continued to be one of no-first-use stemmed from the confidence that it could make a stronger response that was "two times, three times, even four times stronger than that by Pakistan'', Dr Kalam said.

Speaking at the 21st convocation ceremony of the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand, post-graduate programme, and later on at a press conference, Dr Kalam said the current problem facing the nation was that it had no vision.

The scientist congratulated the Chairman, IRMA board of governors, Dr V. Kurien, for helping India break the `fifth country syndrome' by becoming the world's largest producer of milk.

``When a country does not have a vision, low minds take over. The country needs a second vision today as the first vision came over half a century ago which led to our political freedom. What is required today is the vision that will give us economic freedom. One where we can target a GDP growth rate of some nine per cent and poverty is our declared enemy'', Dr Kalam said.

Dr Kalam cited the example of perfect connectivity between spiritualism and scientific temper when Dr Vikram Sarabhai and a local Bishop of Thiruvananthapuram prevailed upon the people of the Thumba region to convert their church into a rocket assembly centre. Thus, there was no need for religion to stand in the way of development, he said.

Dr Kurien said the Gujarat Milk Marketing Federation, the owner of the Amul brand, was the country's largest firm in the food sector with a Rs 2,500-crore turnover.

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