Expresses dismay at growing feeling of belligerence towards Pakistan

Reiterating his party’s strong stand against nuclear weapons, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Friday emphasised the need for a mass movement to create public awareness of their harmful consequences. He was speaking at a conference organised by the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) here.

On India-Pakistan ties, Mr. Karat expressed his dismay that even while dialogue was an essential part of the relationship, there was a growing feeling of belligerence and aggression within the country towards the neighbour. The CPI(M) and other Left parties were always for maintaining dialogue with Pakistan, he said. Social activist Aruna Roy stressed the need for a change in language and idiom in discussions on nuclear disarmament so that the lay public would get to learn the intricate detailsand be involved in the discourse. There was need to create a nationwide platform against nuclear weapons on which all non-governmental organisations could come together, irrespective of the areas in which they worked, Ms. Roy said.

Recalling the action plan on nuclear disarmament proposed by the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, at the Third Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly in June 1988, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said there was need to take it forward.

Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik, founder members of CNDP, emphasised the need to reduce defence spending and use that money for developmental activities.

Rakesh Sood, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, made a presentation on the efforts the government was taking in the area of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

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