|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
We consider NPT a flawed treaty: India
Anil K Joseph in Tokyo | March 23, 2007 12:34 IST
Last Updated: March 23, 2007 14:34 IST
While seeking Japanese support for the historic Indo-US civilian nuclear energy deal, India today dismissed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a 'flawed' treaty.
"I am very conscious of the sentiments of the Japanese people on nuclear matters," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while speaking at the prestigious Japan Institute of International Affairs. "However, I also trust in your wisdom to discern what lies at the heart of our efforts to secure stable energy supplies."
"I am confident we will find common ground that balances our mutual interests and advances our cooperation and collaboration in this area, too," Mukherjee told Japanese scholars, a day after discussing these issues with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Aso and other ministers.
Mukherjee touched upon the topic of India's civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, an issue that is being hotly debated within the academic circles in Japan.
"India has an impeccable record on non-proliferation. We have also consistently been a leading advocate of the elimination of all nuclear weapons. I believe that Japanese are aware of India's adherence to the values of peace and non-violence," he said.
"If India did not sign the NPT, it is not because of its lack of commitment for non-proliferation, but because we consider it a flawed treaty and it did not recognise the need for universal, non-discriminatory verification and treatment," Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee also pointed out that after the nuclear tests of 1998, India unilaterally declared its nuclear doctrine in which the country pledged on no first use, non-use against non-nuclear weapon states and voluntary moratorium on further tests.
Answering questions posed by Japanese scholars what did India do to 'entice' the US to make India-specific concessions on the nuclear issue, Mukherjee said, "I would like to reassure the distinguished audience that we did nothing to entice the United States. It is because of our consistent policy, impeccable record in respect of our export control on nuclear materials and technology which we have."
He also emphasised India's firm commitment on non-proliferation and the conviction of US Congressmen that if India is treated specially, by amending the Nuclear Suppliers Group guideline and an India-specific arrangement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it will not be misused.
He said India has no intention of joining the nuclear arms race - "Our objective is to have deterrence, not for aggressive purposes, but for deterrence so that we are safe. Our foreign policy and security policy are totally oriented towards self-defence."
He also said that India also does not have any territorial ambitions and do not even believe in exporting ideology.
"Therefore, to my mind, it did not require any enticement to convince the US Congressmen in such an overwhelming number, to support the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement," he said.