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Saturday, August 25, 2001

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'India will not sign CTBT in present form'

JEDDAH, AUG. 24. India has maintained that it will not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in its present discriminatory form though New Delhi is committed to non- proliferation of nuclear technology.

``We will not sign the CTBT in its present form as it leads to discrimination,'' the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Omar Abdullah, who is in Saudi Arabia for Haj agreement, told reporters last night.

The Minister allayed fears on further transfer of nuclear technology, saying ``India is committed to the cause of preventing misuse of nuclear technology.

India had conducted the nuclear tests only for self defence and there were no other motives.

On questions about the Pakistan President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf's reported statement that ``freedom'' for Kashmir was round the corner, Mr. Abdullah said ``he is unaware of the ground realities in Jammu and Kashmir.''

Rejecting the claims of Pakistan that the ``armed struggle'' in Kashmir was completely indigenous, the Minister said ``the present situation in the State is a direct fallout of cross border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan.''

- PTI

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