|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
|September 16, 1998||
PM rules out signing CTBT as it stands
Prime Minister A B Vajpayee today categorically stated that India would not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in its present form, and affirmed that India's attitude towards the treaty did not depend on Pakistan's stand on the issue.
Addressing a press conference in Madras, the prime minister said talks were being held with certain key countries on the CTBT.
Asked why India can't sign the CTBT when Pakistan was willing to, he said: "Our attitude towards the CTBT does not depend on what Pakistan does or does not do...India takes an independent view on this."
He said he knew the provisions of the CTBT were not going to be amended, but other arrangements could be made. Among other factors, the country wanted certain issues such as ban on transfer of high technology to be resolved.
The prime minister said in consultation with scientists, engineers and technicians, India had unilaterally decided not to conduct any more nuclear test, which was in effect the substance of CTBT.
The country had gathered enough data from the recent nuclear tests, he added.
Vajpayee said the sanctions imposed by the Western countries were unproductive. The country has the strength and resilience to withstand pressures and those countries were now reconsidering the sanctions as their trade with India was affected.
Asked about Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's remark that India should sign the CTBT as his state was bearing the brunt of sanctions, the prime minister said: "We will keep his advice in mind when we take a final decision."
Asked about the government reversing some of its earlier decisions, Vajpayee said, "Some changes are always made but there is nothing unusual about it."
To overcome the recession in the economic sphere, he said the government had taken a number of steps and a few more were in the offing. "We are facing the problem in a determined manner. But certain developments are beyond our control," he said.
Stating that inflation was causing concern to the government, he attributed it to seasonal variations.
Vajpayee admitted that the stand-off between Iran and Afghanistan was of concern to India's security. The country wanted Afghanistan to be a truly non-aligned nation, independent of pressures from other countries.
Asked about intrusion of Taliban mercenaries into Kashmir with support from Pakistan, the prime minister said this question was raised with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharief during the recent SAARC summit in Colombo but the latter denied it.
Vajpayee said there was cross-country terrorism and the government was taking steps to contain it.
When asked about the alleged activities of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence in Tamil Nadu, he said there was still a need to watch for these elements.
Denying that the government was going slow on the Bofors investigation, he said, "Enquiries are being conducted vigorously." Papers were being processed and arrest warrant had been issued against prime accused Ottavio Quattrochhi, he added.
When a reporter said the government had not done nothing on this, he shot back: "How do you say nothing has been done...Do you have any secret information?"
SHOPPING & RESERVATIONS | TRAVEL | LIFE/STYLE | FREEDOM | FEEDBACK