Thursday, February 11, 2010


Pressure is mounting on India again to sign Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty with the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopting resolution-1887. This resolution called upon all the member States to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Infact, India has been resisting signing this treaty for last four decades calling it discriminatory. The US president Barack Obama authored this resolution. The NPT regime differentiates the world into two categories, those who signed the NPT and the Non NPT nations. As India refused to sign NPT, India was subjected to sanctions under the strict non-proliferation regime. As a result key nuclear technologies including uranium exports were denied to India all these years. The civil nuclear cooperation agreement which India entered into with US accorded special status to us. This Indo-US Nuclear Agreement recognized India as a responsible country with advanced nuclear technologies. This special status meant indirectly recognizing India as a country which does not need to comply with the NPT. Now, the US sponsored UN resolution raises fundamental questions over the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement. This resolution clearly aims at India and Pakistan which refused to sign the NPT and those countries which are planning to come out of the NPT regime owing to US black mail such as Iran and North Korea.

India’s position on this issue was conveyed by HS Puri, India’s permanent representative to UN and also to his US counterpart. The US currently heads the UN Security council. This letter said: “Nuclear weapons are vital for the country’s security. This position is consistent with the fundamental principles of international law and the law of treaties. India can not accept calls for universalisation of the NPT. Infact India’s prime minister stated in Parliament on July, 29, 2009 that there was no question of India joining the NPT as a Non-Nuclear weapon State. Nuclear weapons are an integral part of national security. And will remain so pending non discriminatory and global nuclear disarmament”.

The letter further stated: “Any pressure on India to confirm to an agreement that was not been approved by its parliament will conflict with its sovereignty. India cannot accept externally prescribed norms or standards or matters within the jurisdiction of its parliament or which are not consistent with India’s constitutional provisions and procedures or contrary to India’s national interests or infringe on its sovereignty . India cannot comply with non proliferation obligations to which it has not provided its sovereign consent.”

This letter sharply brought out the differences between India and the US on the issue of non proliferation. The fundamental reason for India taking a position against this treaty is that it considers NPT as a treaty aimed at perpetuating monopoly of Nuclear Haves led by US on nuclear weapons.

India’s submission also questions the role of United Nations in pushing forward such controversial treaties like NPT. The Indo-US nuclear agreement and the special waiver granted by Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) have no meaning if India is forced to sign NPT. India can not accept non proliferation at the expense of disarmament. India wants total and universal global nuclear disarmament. But the US and the nuclear Haves want only non proliferation. Non proliferation without any timetable or talk of disarmament establishes a discriminatory nuclear world order. The NPT and the other similar treaties like Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT ) and the Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty (FMCT ) all end up in perpetuating dangerous nuclear apartheid.

India wants complete ban on nuclear weapons. Prime minister proposed in 2008 intermediate measures like Nuclear No First Use agreement and negotiation of a convention on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons. Infact, India has declared a unilateral moratorium on production of nuclear weapons despite demonstrating to the world its capability to produce nuclear weapons in 1974 and1998. India has also unilaterally declared its commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons. Therefore India’s opposition on NPT is not a hawkish posture or war mongering. India ever advocated nuclear arms race. India’s opposition to NPT is based on a principled stand. We cannot allow Nuclear Haves like US, France, UK, Russia and China to retain and further develop their nuclear stock-piles. The Nuclear Haves cannot preach others to abandon weapons. The NPT does not provide for any time-table for complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Infact, the CTBT aims at allowing Nuclear Haves to improve their nuclear arsenal qualitatively and deprive non nuclear states from testing. India strongly opposes this nuclear apartheid and double standards of US on nuclear weapons. We should not produce nuclear weapons. But, we cannot abandon our sovereign right to produce nuclear weapons if our security needs demand so.


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