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|June 11, 1998||
India will not bend before sanctions, PM tells Rajya Sabha
India will not bow to any pressure tactics on the question of economic sanctions following nuclear explosions at Pokhran, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee categorically stated in the Rajya Sabha today.
Intervening during question hour, Vajpayee said India had made it clear to other countries through diplomatic channels that economic sanctions could not be a tangible solution to the nuclear issue.
Replying to supplementaries, the prime minister said the countries with stockpiles of nuclear arms should do away with them first before sermonising others.
He said the Third World countries agreed with India that there should be a uniform non-discriminatory nuclear policy.
Vajpayee said he told South African President Nelson Mandela on the phone yesterday that India would participate in the coming non-aligned meet with great enthusiasm. He had also assured Mandela that the NAM meet to be held in South Africa, would prove to be a grand success.
He said an attempt was made at the foreign ministers conference recently to condemn India for the nuclear explosions.
He said the nuclear blasts were not directed against any country, and that the policy to keep the nuclear options open was based on consensus.
He, however, added that a stage had come when the options could not have been kept open anymore, particularly when India was receiving danger signals from different directions.
Earlier, replying to the main question by Amar Singh (Samajwadi Party), Minister of State for External Affairs Vasundhara Raje said India had made its stand clear to both the United States and China. ''We are ready to enter into a dialogue with them,'' she added.
Quoting the prime minister's earlier statement in Parliament, Raje said it was not correct to say that India's relations with China and Pakistan had worsened after the nuclear explosion.
She said India would like to have a sustained dialogue with Pakistan for ''an amicable solution". ''Our commitment to nuclear disarmament stands,'' she added.
The minister said, ''Our embassies have been activated and we are also having dialogue with Non-Resident Indians.''
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