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HVK Archives: Senator points out flaws in U.S. policy

Senator points out flaws in U.S. policy - The Times of India

Times of India News Service ()
June 18, 1998

Title: Senator points out flaws in U.S. policy
Author: Times of India News Service
Publication: The Times of India
Date: June 18, 1998

Defending India's nuclear tests, in what was perhaps one of the
most comprehensive speeches detailing the history and thrust of
the Indian nuclear programme and the reasons which propelled it,
Republican Senator Connie Mack pointed out that India's 50-year
history demonstrated "peaceful intent exercised within a
democratic society". He emphasised that although not at war,
India's borders are considered "hot spots". Pakistan and India
had disputed borders, relations with China were clouded by its
occupation of Tibet in 1950 and today, nearly 200,000 Tibetans
led by the Dalai Lama remained in India. China continued to
occupy and claim huge tracts of Indian territory.

The senator also argued that India did not sign the NPT in 1968
because it sought to ensure an arms control system that "would
allow the five powers alone to possess nuclear weapons-that meant
China, the internally and oppressive and undemocratic occupying
force on India's border, would be permitted to have nuclear
weapons while. India, fearful and insecure, would be denied any
recourse to such weapons". He added that India had refused to
sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty because the treaty "seeks
to prevent India from conducting further tests without limiting
China's ability to do the same".

He also explained the imperfections of U.S. policies towards
India and China by stating that between 1974 and 19q8, India had
borne the brunt of American sanctions on nuclear energy, space,
computer and other technologies when it did not conduct any tests
after 1974. He added, "India's commercial electricity needs are
among the largest in the world, similar to China's. We have
recently signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with the PRC but
maintain restrictions on nuclear power agreements with India."

He also pointed out that China may be "too preoccupied" today to
"directly threaten India but they need only employ Pakistan as a
surrogate belligerent to jeopardise India's security".

Referring to the fact that India may emerge as the largest
country in the world some time in the next century, Senator Mack
concluded, he message sent by the Clinton foreign policy team
has encouraged India to conclude that the most effective way to
ensure its interests to be protected from an increasingly
powerful Asian superpower and garner greater diplomatic and
commercial attention from the West is to remind the world of its
nuclear deterrent capability."

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