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|June 22, 1998||
Unilateral sanctions violate international law: experts
The unilateral imposition of sanctions against India by the United States in the wake of last month's nuclear tests at Pokhran is violative of international laws, according to experts.
Professor V S Mani, specialist in international law, said counter-measures could only be applied by a state that was victim of wrongful conduct of another state. ''India's tests were not directed against the United States, Japan or Germany.''
Therefore, these countries have no legal right to resort to Counter-measures against India, he said.
He said that New Delhi should move the Disputes Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation for examining the validity of such 'domestic law' sanctions which amounted a 'wanton abuse' of rights by the US congress and the president.
''The sanctions violate a range of peremptory principles of international law like sovereign equality, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal and external affairs of a state and freedom of international trade,'' Professor Mani, who is secretary general of the Indian Society of International Law, said at a discussion on ''Legal implications of Pokhran explosions'' in New Delhi at the weekend.
Dr P S Rao, legal advisor to the ministry of external affairs, said, ''The sanctions were imposed without invoking proper procedures.''
''Denial of loans by the World Bank and the IMF for even the social sector is illegal,'' he stressed, adding that Washington had said the sanctions would not affect the common man. ''How do you separate the effect of sanctions from the people?'' he asked.
Professor Mani also referred to the 1992 agreement between the European Union and India which had a clause on observance of human rights. ''There is no mention of nuclear tests in that agreement. Hence, if the European countries impose sanctions, they would violate the agreement,'' he pointed out.
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