India Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile That Can Reach Beijing

India just joined a very exclusive club and sent a strong message to China in the process:

The launch of the Agni V on Thursday, which can carry nuclear warheads and has a range of 5,000 km, will thrust the country into an elite club of nations with intercontinental nuclear defence capabilities.

The launch of the Indian-made Agni V, if successful, would be the crowning achievement of a missile programme developed primarily to counter any threat from China.

Only the UN Security Council permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain – have such long-range weapons.

An India Monitor has been added to ThreatStream to track developments.

India Demands Transfer of Terrorists from Pakistan

India is going to leverage the fallout from the attacks to their advantage – as they should:

India is renewing its demands that Pakistan hand over a group of wanted militant leaders suspected of plotting the attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly 180 people.

Indian officials have delivered a list of suspected terrorists and asked Pakistan to hand them over, two sources within the Pakistani government confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said his country made the request to Pakistan’s top diplomat in India, according to the Press Trust of India.

“We will await the response of Pakistan,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is requesting more evidence from India before any transfer takes place. It’s an effort to buy time more than anything else.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil Resigns After Mumbai Attacks

It seemed inevitable anyway:

Prime Minister Singh accepted the resignation and immediately named Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to take over the Home Ministry post, according to a source in the prime minster’s office.

Singh will add the Finance Ministry to his responsibilities, the source said.

N. Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu — a major Indian newspaper — said Patil’s departure was overdue. “This man has been widely criticized for not being up to it and it was simply impossible that he could stay on after this,” Ram said.

The criticism of Patil was “that he has been very slow, that they haven’t delivered in the promise to improve intelligence.”

With general elections mandated by next May “this government is really fighting for its political life,” he said.

The political impact of this attack, within India, is going to be far-reaching and is unlikely to stop here. It will be interesting to see if this pushes them towards a post-9/11 style reorganization.