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MEA to declassify 220,000 files on South Asia, America

October 11, 2012 12:37 IST
Following the recent declassification of 70,000 files, the ministry of external affairs is in the process of "finalising a major project to declassify another set of 220,000 files-records covering Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Iran and Sri Lanka, East Asia, Eurasia and the Americas".

This was revealed by Pinak Chakravarty, special secretary, public diplomacy, ministry of external affairs.

Chakravarty was addressing the international seminar on 'Early years of nuclear cooperation and non-proliferation: A dialogue on nuclear historicities' organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses along with the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project on October 10, 2012.
Throwing light on India's nuclear policy, Chakravarty said, "It remains firmly rooted in the basic tenet that our country's national security, in a world of nuclear proliferation, lies either in universal, non-discriminatory disarmament or in the exercise of the principle of equal and legitimate security for all," adding that "India's nuclear doctrine, therefore, includes 'No First Use' of nuclear weapons and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states".

Also speaking on the occasion was co-director of NPIHP, Dr Christian Ostermann, who said welcomed the MEA's recent unprecedented release of over 70,000 documents pertaining to India's post-1947 diplomatic and foreign policy history. The ministry's decision "effectively ends an era in which India's role in the Cold War was researched and told based on documents from other countries -- from Russia, China or Hungary," he said.

Referring to the MEA's decision of declassifying more documents, Dr Arvind Gupta, director general, IDSA, said, "The ministry's recent declassification of a large number of files pertaining to India's foreign policy is a step in the right direction. Some of these files, which are now available with the National Archives, pertain to the nuclear issues. More files need to be declassified."

Participants included leading scientist K Santhanam, veteran diplomat MK Rasgotra, eminent journalist Inder Malhotra, leading expert on the nuclear issue, Prof Bharat Karnad.

Source: ANI