NPT noose slips around India's neck with US resolution news
17 September 2009

New Delhi: In line with its stated agenda the United States has floated a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) asking non-NPT countries, such as India, Israel and Pakistan, to sign the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty. It also asks signatories to comply with their obligations as mandated by the treaty.

Though aimed primarily at 'rogue' elements, such as North Korea and Iran, India is likely to find the going tough as nuclear non-proliferation is a stated objective of the Obama administration.

The draft resolution circulated by the US asks signatories to help create a nuclear-free world and asks the non-signatories to sign the treaty. The draft resolution asks signatories ''to comply fully with all their obligations under the treaty'' and for others to become signatories. It further ''calls upon all states that are not parties to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to join the treaty so as to achieve its universality at an early date, and in any case to adhere to its terms''.

It also urges all countries ''to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear arms reduction and disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control''.

The recent controversy over nuclear testing in India will find a resonance here with the American resolution also including a reference to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It asks all countries to ''refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, thereby bringing the treaty into force''.

Though this is not the first time that the UNSC would be mulling over such a resolution, for after the nuclear tests in 1998, the Council did vote on and pass Resolution 1172 asking India and Pakistan to sign the NPT as well as the CTBT.

It comes at a particularly vulnerable moment for India, keen as it is to capitalise on the momentum provided to it by the successful resolution of the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Agreement last year which now allows it to step out of the nuclear doghouse where it had been confined for the last so many decades, and jettisoning long-standing positions on nuclear issues, which for it have been an article of faith.


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NPT noose slips around India's neck with US resolution