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Commission calls for bringing CTBT into force

Special Correspondent

India, Israel and Pakistan must contribute to make nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty universal, it says


Renewed focus of major powers on disarmament offers chance for progress, it is felt

India views NPT as a discriminatory vehicle to promote disarmament


NEW DELHI: The International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, promoted by Australia and Japan, has called for bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force and singled out India, Israel and Pakistan as the three countries which must contribute to make the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty universal.

India views the NPT as a discriminatory vehicle to promote disarmament and feels all countries must give up all their nuclear weapons to usher in an atomic weapons-free world.

Optimism

Co-chaired by the former Foreign Ministers of Japan and Australia, the participants at a meeting of the panel here were optimistic that the renewed focus of major powers on disarmament, led by the U.S. and Russia, offered an opportunity for progress and noted that the NPT had “near-universal acceptance.”

“It was widely recognised that the contributions of the three States outside the treaty — India, Israel and Pakistan — were vital to global efforts to stem proliferation. Regional security dynamics were analysed along with the scope for confidence-building measures. Views were divided on whether regional nuclear arsenals could be contained in the absence of progress in resolving regional tensions,” noted a press release.

Organised in the run-up to a review of the NPT in May next, the two-day meeting brought together former high-ranking diplomats and service officers, besides members of the strategic community from several countries, many from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Besides co-commissioners Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi, those attended the meeting included Frene Noshir Ginwala (South Africa); Gen. (retired) Klaus Naumann (Germany); Baroness Shirley Williams (U.K.); Nobuyasu Abe (Japan); Louise Frechette (Canada); Prasad Kariyawasam (Sri Lanka); Rory Medcalf (Australia); George Perkovich (U.S.); Maj. Gen. Sheikh Md Monirul Islam, Md. Mosharraf Hossain and Nahida Sobhan (all Bangladesh); Brajesh Mishra, Satish Chandra, Shyam Saran, Maj. Gen. (retired) V.R. Raghavan, Narendra Sisodia, K. Subrahmanyam, and B.G. Verghese; Lok Raj Baral and Madan Kumar Bhattarai (both Nepal); Rifaat Hussain, Tariq Osman Hyder, Gen. Talat Masood and Brig. (ret.) Naeem Ahmed Salik (all Pakistan).

The meeting was convened with the support of the Delhi Policy Group.

The discussion was structured around the three pillars underlying the NPT: pursuing nuclear disarmament, preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and facilitating the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear technology to meet the growing regional energy demand.

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