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India won't accelerate nuclear weapons race: Saran

Written by: Staff

Washington, Mar 31: In a resounding reply to silence critics, Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran emphasised that India was not going to accelerate its nuclear weapons programme or unleash an arms race in the region as a result of the Indo-US civilian nuclear pact.

Replying to questions after his talk on the ''Future of Indo-US Relations'' at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Mr Saran went out of the way to explain how India has followed a policy of ''responsibility and restraint'' as far as its nuclear programme was concerned.

India, he said, has already significantly strengthened its export controls and put in place measures to effectively deter leakage of sensitive technology.

''This builds on an exemplary non-proliferation record of four decade and more,'' he said.

Moreover, India has also made a commitment to refrain from transferring enrichment and reprocessing technologies to nations that do have them and to support international efforts to limit their spread, Mr Saran said adding that India cannot be a partner and a target at the same time. If there is an expectation that we should play a greater role, particularly in combating the twin threats of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and terrorism, then it is only reasonable that the energy requirements of a country with such strong credentials is recognised.


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