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South Asia Nuclear Crisis - Special Feature
Permanent Mission of India, Geneva
- We have seen the Joint Communiqué issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA in Geneva on June 4, 1998
- India has a consistent record as a responsible member of the international community, and a pioneer and leading participant in the movement towards global nuclear disarmament. Regrettably, the world is still far from establishing a comprehensive and equitable regime of nuclear disarmament, primarily because the nuclear weapon states have not taken credible and effective steps towards this goal. What has been put in place is a deeply flawed and discriminatory non-proliferation system which has legitimised the possession of nuclear weapons by a few countries and their presence in our neighbourhood. It is this adverse security environment that has compelled us to take the decision to carry out nuclear weapon tests
- The P-5 are not unaware that one of the most serious threats to our security has arisen because of the non-observance of the obligations they have undertaken under the NPT. The clandestine transfer over the years of nuclear weapons technology and fissile material to our neighbourhood is well known. Nevertheless the P-5 have declined to take any action to address a serious violation of a Treaty provision to which all of them were party
- India has not violated any treaty provisions which it has undertaken. Our tests are not directed at any country. We have not raised tensions nor do we intend to do so. India remains strongly committed to a comprehensive, universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament regime
- In keeping with this responsible approach as a nuclear weapon state we have reiterated our commitment to continue observing the strictest control on export of nuclear material or related technologies. We would also draw attention to the significant proposals we have made recently for confidence building measures in the field of nuclear disarmament and for peace and stability in the region and beyond i.e. (i) India will observe a voluntary moratorium and refrain from conducting further tests. India is also willing to move to a de jure formulation of this declaration. (ii) India is willing to participate in negotiations on the FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. (iii) India has announced that it is ready to discuss a non-first-use agreement bilaterally with Pakistan, as also with other countries, bilaterally or in a collective forum. These proposals provide a reasonable framework for addressing our common concerns.
- We have also consistently worked to build confidence and promote peace and stability in our region. The initiatives we have taken along with other countries in this area have helped create a climate of cooperation and integration, at both bilateral and multi-lateral levels. With Pakistan, we have sought to develop a peaceful and cooperative relationship. Direct bilateral dialogue is the only means of achieving this objective. This will facilitate working out the possibilities of mutually beneficial cooperation as well as addressing of outstanding issues on the basis of mutual respect for each others concerns. We intend to continue in a constructive and sustained manner the broad based dialogue process which was renewed at our initiative in early 1997. Subjects for the dialogue have been mutually agreed on and include questions of peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir as well as trade and economic cooperation, people to people and cultural contacts, drug trafficking and cross-border terrorism. This process has been under way for over a year now. Our specific and well considered proposals for the modalities for further talks have been with Pakistan since January 1998 and a response from them is awaited. We reiterate once again that there is no room for any outside involvement of any nature whatsoever in this process.
5 June 1998.
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.
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