|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
July 20, 1999
Fernandes says India's nukes are only a 'deterrent'
Defence Minister George Fernandes today made it clear that India's nuclear weapons programme was a ''deterrent'' and it would not join the race for making nuclear bombs.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation he dismissed the notion that nuclear weapons were safe in the hands of five countries and the rest did not deserve them. If they are dangerous in the possession of one country, they could be dangerous in anybody's hands.
''Let everybody today decide that they are against nuclear weapons and dismantle them. We will be the first to do that,'' he added.
To a question on how many nuclear bombs India considered enough for its security, the defence minister said ''we are not in a bomb race. We consider it only a deterrent.''
On the controversy generated by his reported statement that China was India's number one enemy Fernandes said he was misquoted. What he had actually told an interviewer was that China was ''potential enemy number one.'' ''There is difference between enemy number one and potential enemy number one,'' he clarified.
He however, said there indeed were border differences with China and these were being resolved through talks.
Asked whether there were any differences in the Union cabinet in the light of Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh's observation that relations with China were cordial, Fernandes said Jaswant Singh had made the statement about a year ago when the country went nuclear. Things kept changing in relations between countries and this did not mean that there were differences in the cabinet, he added.
Fernandes regretted that India's former prime minister had signed the Marrakash Agreement on World Trade Organisation saying this had lead the country surrender its sovereignty to international powers.
The implication was that India's signing of many controversial agreements was a consequence of it having earlier signed the WTO agreement.
He was replying to a question on why wasn't he against multinationals now particularly when as industry minister in former prime minister Morarji Desai's cabinet he had opposed multinationals like Coca Cola and IBM.
INFOTECH | TRAVEL |
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK