Vajpayee blasts P-5 for enforcing nuclear hegemony
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today
launched a frontal attack on the traditional nuclear powers for
their hypocrisy and hegemony for forcing India to review its nuclear
Under the circumstances, ''We were forced to exercise our nuclear
options both for reasons of national security and a powerful
challenge to the practitioners of nuclear apartheid. With this firm
action, we have reminded the nuclear club that the voice of the
1/6th of humanity cannot be ignored,'' he said addressing the Asia
Society in New York.
''For 50 years, world peace has been secured on the tenures
principle of nuclear deterrence. But this cannot be a durable basis of
peace. The conscience of humanity demands that the world move away
from deterrence to disarmament," Vajpayee said.
Unfortunately, the nuclear powers first used the Cold War as a
pretext for the costly arms race. Now that the Cold War is over,
they have sought to perpetuate their hegemony through a
discriminatory Non-Proliferation Treaty which is bound to fail,
Vajpayee said. He expressed hope that the leadership of the United
States, the country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons
and delivery systems, and hence greater responsibility for peace on
the earth, would take the right course of action in the coming years.
''We raised the voice for disarmament, both on our own behalf and
on behalf of members of the Non-Aligned Movement at every
multilateral and bilateral forum. Not only was India's demand
disregarded, its sovereign right to keep the nuclear option open
was sought to be curtailed.''
Apprehensions have been expressed in some quarters that the recent
development in South Asia had raised the spectre of an arms race and
Vajpayee said those who voiced these apprehensions argue that
India and Pakistan have fought three wars in the last 50 years. But,
they forget to add that there has been no war in the past over 25
years. And that is because of the bilateral Shimla Agreement arrived
at between India and Pakistan in 1972.
''Contrary to what some may believe, bilateralism works best
without third party intervention, howsoever well intentioned."
Vajpayee said India believed that Indo-US relations,
restructured on an equal footing, constitute the key element in the
architecture of tomorrow's democratised world order .
''I must confess to being baffled by the unsatisfactory current
state of relations between the two countries. We are the two
largest democracies in the world, and have similar political
cultures, a free press and the rule of law. We both have a
tradition of private enterprise and free markets.
''I see no conflict of interests between the two countries in
the foreseeable future and yet all of us would agree that the full
potential of the relationship has not been realised in the last 50
''The United States does not appreciate and accommodate India's
interests and concerns whether it is regional arrangements dealing
with Afghanistan, cooperative arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region,
global organisations like the United Nations Security Council or
their discriminatory nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.''
Vajpayee regretted that India had been subjected to
technology denials since independence.
''Our own export regimes are extremely stringent and there has
been no leakage of equipment or technology from India. Despite
this, we find the US unwilling to accommodate India in terms of
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