Siddharth Varadarajan

Manmohan links nuclear security and disarmament

India on Tuesday made a strong pitch for global disarmament with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telling the Nuclear Security Summit that the abolition of nuclear weapons would be the “best guarantor of nuclear security.”

“The dangers of nuclear terrorism make the early elimination of nuclear weapons a matter of even greater urgency”, he said.

Recounting India’s efforts in this regard from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister said non-proliferation efforts at the global level could only succeed if they were universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament.

He welcomed the agreement between the United States and Russia to cut their nuclear arsenals as a step in the right direction and called upon all countries “with substantial nuclear arsenals” — the phrase is ambiguous but certainly excludes India — “to further accelerate this process by making deeper cuts that will lead to meaningful disarmament”.

The Prime Minister said India is “encouraged” by the Nuclear Posture Review announced by President Obama, though he did not identify any of its elements that he considered positive. India wants the negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention and supports the universalisation of the policy of “No First Use”, he said. “The salience of nuclear weapons in national defence and security doctrines must be reduced as a matter of priority”.

Dr. Singh also drew attention to India’s work on developing nuclear systems that were safe, secure and proliferation resistant.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 1:34:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/siddharth-varadarajan/Manmohan-links-nuclear-security-and-disarmament/article16242636.ece

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