New Delhi: IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik on Tuesday said India followed a 'no-first-use' nuclear policy but warned its response would be "very heavy" in the event of any nuclear attack on the country.

"Our nuclear policy is of no first use. It also talks about a very heavy response in case of a nuclear attack. It talks about a retaliatory and hard response, our policy talks about that," Naik, who demits office this Sunday, told a press conference.

Naik was responding to a query on the new Pakistani tactical nuclear missile 'Nasr' which is touted to be a 'game-changer' in future warfare.

He did not agree that the new missile will be a 'game-changer'.

"Tactical or strategic, it is a nuclear weapon. So, obviously our response would be absolutely violent as per our existing policy. I don't think it is a game-changer," he added.

Pakistan recently successfully tested 'Nasr', a short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile which can hit targets in the range of 60 kms.

Asked if there was any need to be concerned over the assessment in some quarters that Pakistan had an edge over India in terms of the nuclear warheads, the IAF chief said, "there is no need to be worried on this."

Meanwhile, responding to a query on the role of HAL, Naik said that the aerospace PSU had provided great support to the IAF in the last 50-60 years.

He said already some steps were being initiated by the Government to streamline the procedures in the company for "improving the quality".

No need to create CDS post: Naik

IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said there was no need to create the post of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in the "next five to 10 years" as India does not need such a five star-rank officer.

The IAF chief said the country also did not have the requisite technology to have such an officer in place, he said in his last press conference as the IAF chief.

"CDS in the present form is not acceptable to me and I don't think that for the next five to 10 years, CDS is not required because our operations are likely to be confined to our shores and we are not going thousands of kilometres away like the US does where you need a theater commander to control operations," he said.

In 2001, a high-powered Group of Ministers (GoM) report on reforming the national security system strongly recommended a CDS to act as single-point military adviser to government
and administer the strategic forces.

Noting that a national debate was required before arriving on any decision, Naik said, "I don't wish to have the CDS in present format as additional appendix."

"If at all we have to have a CDS, first of all we have to decide through a national debate. Secondly, we should have single point of military contact to the Raksha Mantri (Defence
Minister)," he said.

Elaborating on the technological requirements for such an office, he said the office of the CDS involves controlling military operations across the world.

Another Kargil possible: Ex-Army chief

Admitting that Kargil intrusion was a result of intelligence failure, former Army Chief Gen
(Retd) V P Malik said a repeat of 1999-like attack cannot be ruled out as long as Pakistan Army continues its proxy war against India.

"Pakistan Army has not given up this agenda of proxy war. As long as proxy war goes on you cannot say there won't be another Kargil-type of war," Malik who was the Army Chief at the time of Kargil war told reporters here.

Malik, who was here to take part in 12th anniversary of operation Vijay, said the Army and other security forces have to remain alert to ensure that another Kargil does not take place.

"We have to remain alert to make sure that if ever there is an attempt from Pakistan Army, We are ready for it," he said.

Gen Malik said it was the failure of both military and civil intelligence and lack of surveillance which allowed the Pakistan Army to carry out Kargil operation.

"Yes, we were taken aback. In that I blame both military intelligence and civil intelligence and (lack of) surveillance," he said.

The former Army Chief said the army was taken aback and surprised by the Kargil intrusion as it was initially thought to be an infiltration bid by militants.

"We were surprised. Initial reports were that some militants have infiltrated which was a continuous process at that time. But as time passed, we realised that it was the handiwork of Pakistan Army in view of the Artillery shelling from across the Line of Control and the helicopters flying in the area," he said.

He said on Tuesday the Army is better equipped as they have got gadgets like radars, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and satellites, which were introduced after the Kargil War.

"Besides the improvement in surveillance, the intelligence has also improved," he said.

On the scheduled talks between Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan, Gen Malik said there was nothing wrong in the dialogue at diplomatic level.

"Diplomatic dialogue at political level must go on.

There is nothing wrong in it. You can send messages about 26/11 or the recent Mumbai blasts across," he said.

However, the soldiers guarding the borders of the country cannot afford to lower their guard.

Earlier, Malik and General Officer Commanding of Army 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain laid a wreath at the war memorial at Badamibagh cantonment here to pay tributes to the Kargil war martyrs.

No Kargil again, assures Army commander

Expressing confidence that another Kargil war will "never" happen again, top army
commander for Ladakh division said the force has strengthened its capacity for technical surveillance and is well equipped with weapons and modern intelligence.

"I am confident that this (Kargil war) will never happen again," General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 14 Corps Lt Gen Ravi Dastane said, while talking to reporters here at the 12th anniversary of the Army's victory in the 1999 Kargil war.

Lt Gen Dastane, who presided over the day's functions after General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command Lt Gen K T Parnaik could not reach Drass due to bad weather, said Army has strengthened its defenses and its technical surveillance has also increased.

"We are proud to say that India is a technological power and therefore we are getting those spin-offs to us for better surveillance, better intelligence gathering," he said.

Dastane said Army has procured new surveillance technology and firepower systems to meet its operational requirements.

"We are getting better surveillance systems, better firepower systems...It is enough to meet our operational requirements, it is adequate and we are confident with what we are getting," he said, adding that bunkers at the mountain tops are now manned round the year.  Before the 1999 Kargil war, Indian forces would abandon its positions in the upper mountainous reaches as heavy snowfall and minus 40 degrees Celsius temperature would make it difficult for troops to maintain their posts.

On a question about China, which has in the past made incursion into Ladakh, the GoC said, "We just need to be prepared for any eventuality. We just need to keep preparing ourselves and we need to keep building our capacities every year."

About the Chinese presence on the Pakistani side of LoC, the Army commander said it is a matter between two sovereign countries.

"It is a question of some people doing some job there, they are two sovereign countries, if some people have come into that sovereign country I cannot comment on that," Dastane said.

JPN/Agencies