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|July 10, 1998||
Domestic politics, not US-China ties, forced India to go nuclear, says Albright
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has questioned the argument that growing US-China relations had provoked India's nuclear tests and instead, suggested that India's domestic politics and the Kashmir problem played a role in forcing the country to go nuclear.
Testifying before the senate finance committee, Albright said India had a completely different approach to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and elected to power a ''nationalistic kind of party'' whose main programme was to develop nuclear weapons. ''I don't think you can blame our relationship with the Chinese for this (India's nuclear tests)," she remarked.
She also denied the charge that the Clinton administration had, in a way, neglected India, a democratic country, in preference to Communist China. Albright said she had been to New Delhi. Several members of the US cabinet had also gone there. Besides, President Bill Clinton himself proposed to visit India.
Albright said it was a complex issue and she recalled that the problem between India and Pakistan "actually, sadly goes back to the country's partition in 1947". She said, "I grew up with the Kashmir problem. The first time I had been to the UN was in 1948 with my father, when he was named as Czech representative for the United Nations commission for Kashmir."
"So, I have spent my entire life looking at the (Kashmir) issue and that is the basic issue between these two countries as well with various questions to do with the partition," she remarked.
She said, "We are not denying that China did play a role in terms of some of the Pakistani abilities to have nuclear programme. But of late, its role had changed."
In her reply to senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former US ambassador to India, she also said, ''We are not denying that China did contribute to Pakistan's nuclear programme.'' This was the reason that the US had imposed sanctions on the two countries, she added.
Earlier in her written statement, Albright said, ''China had played a significant and helpful role in trying to move India and Pakistan back from the brink of nuclear arms race.''
She said China was helpful in the meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council which adopted a resolution asking both India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ''unconditionally and without delay.''
She said China had also promised to control the export of dual use technologies and consider becoming a party to the Missile Technology Control Regime.
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