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'India may sign NPT if given nuke weapon status'

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 17: India will consider signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if it is accorded the status of a nuclear weapon state, according to National Security Adviser M K Narayanan.

''If anybody gives us that (status), probably we can think of signing the NPT,'' Mr Narayanan, a key negotiator of the Indo-US nuclear deal said in an interview to ''The Week.'' Pointing out that the US had fallen short of giving India the nuclear weapon nation status, he said New Delhi had, under the deal, got a ''newly defined position in between'' the nuclear weapon states and the non-nuclear weapon countries.

This was due to India's stand that it would sign the nuclear NPT only upon getting the status of a nuclear weapon status, he said.

''Our position has been that we sign NPT only if we are deemed to be a nuclear weapon state. If anybody gives us that, probably we can think of signing the NPT.

''The fact, as of today, is that we cannot enter the NPT as a nuclear weapon state; we have to enter as a non-nuclear weapon state. We have not agreed to that, we are not signing the NPT.

''So they have not given us the status of a nuclear weapon power.

They have given us a newly defined position in between,'' Mr Narayanan explained.

UNI

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