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|June 16, 1998||
Don't isolate India, Pakistan, warn arms experts
C K Arora in Washington
Acting Under-Secretary of State John Holum said that global leaders should be careful to do nothing that would drive India and Pakistan out of existing arms control regimes.
Holum further stressed the importance of maintaining current lines of communication with both countries in order to solve a nuclear proliferation problem that has ''horrified the world community.''
Addressing a gathering of international arms control experts in Philadephia, Holum said the message to both governments should be ''to cease their inflammatory rhetroic, adopt a cooling-off period, restore bilateral dialogue, avoid provocative actions in Kashmir, and address the root causes of their tensions.
''The world must register its disapproval,'' he said, "so that both nations understand the depth and durability of international ire.''
Through expressing disapproval in a concerted fashion, Holum argued, ''We notify other would-be proliferators that nuclear programmes carry untenable costs.'' The ultimate objective of international reaction must be for India and Pakistan to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as ''non-nuclear weapon states.''
"The NPT will not be modified to accomodate their self-declared nuclear status,'' Holum declared.
Holum and other speakers at the 7th Annual Defence Special Weapons Agency Conference in Philadephia on ''Controlling Arms'' returned again and again to the issue of Indian and Pakistani nuclear testing.
Former Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sam Nunn described the situation on the subcontinent as ''extremely dangerous'' for India and Pakistan. "These two countries are the ones that are likely to be victims of a nuclear explosion," he said, stressing the need to conduct nuclear fall-out studies.
''It is imperative," said Nunn, a former senator from Georgia, "for the world community to weigh in with these two countries and help them sort out historic animosities arising from the Kashmir dispute.''
Nunn said it was important for American and Russian nuclear experts to sit down with representatives from India and Pakistan and help them understand what was done, immediately after the Cold War, to avoid a nuclear catstrophe.
Dr Anatoly Grytsenko of Ukraine's national security and defence council said India and Pakistan had learned nothing from Ukraine, which had given up its nuclear weapons.
During his speech, Nunn raised the possibility of offering India and Pakistan a jointly-manned centre for early warning of missile launches using US detection satellites on Aegis radar-equipped ships in the Indian Ocean.
Former US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General John Shalikashvili said even though sanctions against these two nations must stay in place, ''India and Pakistan cannot be isolated, and it is clear that efforts must be redoubled to keep either of them from mating their nuclear devices to their missiles.
"Ways must be found to make the CTBT so attractive to both that they will sign,'' he noted.
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