Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 51, October 2000
Dim Prospects for Test Ban Breakthrough in South Asia
Diplomatic efforts to persuade India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty continue to make little headway, and may even be faltering. In early October, a visit to India by Russian President Vladimir Putin led to agreements on a range of matters including, to the evident dismay of Pakistan, nuclear energy and military-technical cooperation. Putin also urged New Delhi to continue its efforts to achieve "national consensus" on signing the test ban, while acknowledging, as he stated on a visit to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre outside Bombay on October 5, that "India' political interests must be taken into account." See Documents and Sources for details and reaction.
On October 15, The Hindu newspaper provided brief details of a meeting in Detroit between Governor George Bush and the leader of India' Congress Party, Murli Deora, in which the Republican presidential candidate made clear he had no intention of urging India to sign the CTBT. The Governor, who supported the US Senate' rejection of the treaty in October 1999, was quoted as telling Deora: "If you are going to have nuclear weapons, they must be safe." According to Deora: "Bush understands the security needs of India. He is against [the] CTBT and will not pressure India to sign the CTBT..." Bush also reportedly told Deora that he favoured the immediate lifting of all sanction against India, and presumably Pakistan, imposed after the May 1998 tests.
Reports: Putin wants India to sign CTBT, The Hindu, October 5; Putin visits Atomic research center, Associated Press, October 5; Bush against sanctions, will not impose CTBT, The Hindu, October 15.
© 2000 The Acronym Institute.