Shashi Tharoor says NPT is discriminatory

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New Delhi, Sep 25 (AN): Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has said that India will not adhere to any treaty such as the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and will not sign it as long as it is discriminatory.

He said this on the occasion of the release of the book 'Shadows Across The Playing Field - 60 Years of India-Pakistan Cricket' authored by him and Shaharyar Khan of Pakistan here on Thursday.

Tharoor mentioned about NPT in the backdrop of US President Barack Obama who is chairing a historic meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday and which is expected to ask nations with nuclear weapons to scrap their deadly arsenals.

"India has consistently taken a position for a very long time that universal disarmament is an objective that humanity shares. We would love to see all nuclear weapons abolished for the face of her. Unfortunately it's not the case it is immediately in prospect. As long as some country possesses nuclear weapons we are not prepared to give support of a discriminatory treaty that some countries can have something and others cannot," he said.

The United States has also decided to include a reference to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) asking all countries to 'abstain from conducting a nuclear test explosion' and to join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Apart from India, the other two countries, which have refused to sign the NPT, are Israel and Pakistan.

India has formally declared itself a nuclear weapon state. New Delhi is likely to have manufactured weapons-grade plutonium for at least 100 warheads. A 2007 report from the International Panel on Fissile Materials estimated 50-60 warheads had been assembled.

Meanwhile on a 90-minute candid and at times vitriolic speech directed at delegates attending the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi demanded that Kashmir be declared an independent state between India and Pakistan.

Reacting to his statement Tharoor said that India had good relations with Libya but it wouldn't follow on whatever Gaddaffi said.

"We have no specific response. We have good relations with Libya. It doesn't mean we have to agree with everything that has been said. We listen with respect to our friends from other countries. We have nothing more to say," Tharoor added. (ANI)

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