Some light on Proliferation Security Initiative
K. V. Krishnaswamy
What is Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in which Washington has been vigorously seeking India's participation?
In the context of the recently initialled Indo-American defence framework and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the U.S, there should be public interest in what PSI means for independent countries like India.
The issues, in particular the doubts raised over its ramifications, were discussed in some detail at a seminar organised by the Chennai-based think tank, Centre for Security Analysis (www.csa-chennai.org) .
The proceedings have been brought out in a bulletin. The stated objective of PSI is first to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials and secondly, to stop the flow of these from one state to another.
While explaining the objectives, the then American Consul General Richard Haynes defended the principles of interdiction on the high seas and cited the case of the unearthing of the A. Q. Khan network as a "South Asian example of PSI in action."
The day-long deliberations saw the generation of some heat, with some participants including Prof. Matin Zuberi, raising questions on why the nuclear powers were markedly reluctant to acknowledge India's capabilities and include it in their exclusive club. There is a chapter on a debate on the implications of such interdiction for free maritime trade and whether this will help eliminate sea piracy.
As part of its effort to provide a forum for debating security issues, the think tank has brought out nine bulletins so far, on a wide range of topics including gender security and, women and legal security.
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