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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 15, May 1997

India Report Blames China and Pakistan for Tensions and Arms Build-up

In early April, India's Defence Ministry released its annual report, concentrating on the perceived threat to India posed by the military modernisation, and particularly missile acquisition, programmes of Pakistan and China. India, in the view of the report, is engaged in similar programmes only in response to these threats:

"The indigenous development of missile capability by India is in response to the evolving security environment in its region. China has supplied M-11 missiles to Pakistan and is aiding it with technology and manpower as well [as] in the development of its indigenous missile programme..."

The report laments the slow progress of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), which it blames on the restrictions on sales of relevant technology introduced by the 28-State Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR):

"The IGMDP has been delayed due to delay in development of state-of-the-art technologies and indigenization of critical components/sub-systems necessitated by tightening of [the MTCR]..."

Referring to India's decision not to join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the report observes:

"Those who have been seeking to impose restrictions on India have themselves continued their nuclear weapons and missile research programmes... India stands for [the] total elimination of all nuclear weapons and the ushering in of a nuclear-weapon-free world. However, until such time as this is achieved, India will be constrained to keep open her nuclear option...."

Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, quoted on 18 April, reacted angrily to the report, describing India's extant and planned military capability as posing an "immediate and direct threat to our security" and insisting that his State "must have the capability to deter aggression."

Report: Militarization - South Asian missile row flares up again, Inter Press Service International News, 18 April.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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