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India is likely to sign NPT, CTBT if terms are met - The Times of India

M.D. Nalpat ()
June 8, 1998

Title: India is likely to sign NPT, CTBT if terms are met
Author: M.D. Nalpat
Publication: The Times of India
Date: June 8, 1998

Now that it has built an adequate database for the development of
nuclear warheads, and has the technology for subcritical nuclear
tests (permitted under the CTBT), New Delhi may drop its
objections towards signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee gave an indication of this when he
announced a moratorium on further nuclear tests by India, a
prohibition that has continued despite the two series of (China-
aided) explosions by Pakistan on May 28 and 30. As for the
nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), despite not signing it,
India has fully abided by it, unlike China, which though being a
signatory has transferred -and is still doing so- prohibited
technology to Pakistan.

However, India will reject the demand to sign both treaties
"unconditionally". New Delhi is incensed by the June 5
declaration of the United Nations security council, which
endorses Beijing's nuclear weapons monopoly in Asia. "It is
hypocritical that a leading proliferator- China- should have
given lectures to India, which has not transferred strategic
technologies outside its borders even once," said a high-level
official source, adding that "why the United States and Britain
want to ensure Communist Chinese hegemony in Asia is a mystery".
It is learnt that Russia, and to a lesser extent France, were
responsible for toning down the initial "extremely harsh" Chinese-
drafted resolution. "However, Russia's economic problems are
being used by the United States to blackmail Moscow into falling
in line with the Chinese strategy, a senior Indian diplomat

As chairman of the G-8, the United Kingdom has followed
Washington and Beijing in delivering a series of imperial-
sounding warnings to India. The attempt is to ensure that "China
does not face any challenge, strategically in Asia. As for
Pakistan, this country is Beijing's ally in containing India,"
said a senior official, adding that "India seeks a multi-polar
Asia, just as it does a multi-polar world=94. He made it clear that
Delhi would not accept any restraints on its missile programmes,
which are "purely for, deterrence". The Communist Chinese have
"forgotten their own dubious human rights record and become world

While Beijing and Washington had informally lobbied for Chapter 7
sanctions - such as those inflicted on Iran and Iraq -both Russia
and France opposed this. Thus the statement was issued under
Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, which is not mandatory. New Delhi
expects its strategic ally Russia to ensure that any Beijing-
Washington plan to impose mandatory sanctions gets vetoed New
Delhi, while examining the option of signing the NPT and the CTBT
in its present form, is likely to insist on a binding commitment
>from all nuclear weapon to implement a time-bound programme of

The Centre is readying an offensive to elucidate the Indian
position, which calls for universal disarmament, bilateralism in
South Asia and stricter controls on cross-border proliferation of
nuclear and missile technologies. Sources say that "security
interests were paramount in the (Indian) tests, and now that
India is an effective nuclear weapons power, it may begin the
process of discussing accession to both the CTBT and the NPT=94.

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