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India will not sign CTBT or NPT: Pranab Mukherjee

India will not sign CTBT or NPT: Pranab Mukherjee

Author: PTI
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 17, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/150615/India-will-not-sign-CTBT-or-NPT-Pranab-Mukherjee.html

India has asserted that it will not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) notwithstanding its bilateral atomic agreement with the US, which is expected to pursue these pacts during the Obama Government.

"We will not sign CTBT or NPT and we have made it absolutely clear to the US that we are bound by the bilateral agreement with it and India-specific safeguards with the IAEA," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told India Today Group Editor Prabhu Chawla in an interview.

His comments came while responding to remarks by incoming US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that CTBT would be a priority for the new US Government.

Elaborating on his assertion, Mukherjee said he has already made it known that India's foreign policy will be an "extension" of national interest in the context of external environment. "Therefore, domestic national priority will, of course, influence the foreign policy."

To a question on India seeking help of the US, UK and others to pressurise Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, he said that India's foreign policy has been independent all along and does not take cues from anybody.

"Now, we have not outsourced this (diplomacy). We are telling everybody that you must address these problems, you must put pressure on Pakistan because this is not just an India-Pakistan relationship," he responded to a related question.

Mukherjee said terrorism should not be seen through the prism of Indo-Pak relationship but is a part of global scourge and should be confronted collectively. "Therefore, you (US and others) will have to play a role."

When pointed out that the required pressure on Pakistan has not been created even after two months of the incident, the External Affairs Minister said "diplomacy takes time. It's not a quick-fix method that one has to just switch on or off."

He added "sometimes, it can be a delayed process, but it is to be tested and we shall have to follow the path of diplomacy and we will have to build up international opinion."

Noting that he was not mentioning terms like "coercion" as it is not a "diplomatic war" with Pakistan, he said "as the foreign minister, it is my responsibility to convince all concerned in the international community about the gravity of the situation.

"The issue here is effective action against terrorism to prevent further outrages and to neutralise and eliminate the infrastructure of terrorism. A definite de-hyphenation of the perpetrators of terrorism and the victims of terrorism has to take place."

To a question on Pakistan virtually rejecting the Indian dossier of evidence, Mukherjee said "I must tell you candidly that it is the practice of Pakistan, which they are indulging in, which is described as denial mode."

He said India has given them not "merely information but materials from where they can proceed for further investigation which is to be done by them."

Underlining that the dossier contains "adequate material", Mukherjee said Pakistan's attitude is "nothing but tactics to divert attention from the main issue to the side issue".

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