News



DATE=5/12/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232051
TITLE=INDIA / NUCLEAR / GUJRAL (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN
DATELINE=NEW DELHI
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  FORMER INDIAN PRIME MINISTER I-K GUJRAL SAYS HE THINKS 
INDIA  WILL  SIGN THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY, OR C-T-B-T, 
IN THE WAKE OF MONDAY'S NUCLEAR TESTS.  V-O-A NEW DELHI 
CORRESPONDENT DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN REPORTS.

TEXT:  INDER KUMAR GUJRAL TOLD V-O-A HE EXPECTS INDIA  WILL  SIGN
THE C-T-B-T, BUT DETAILED DISCUSSIONS ON THE MATTER MUST BE HELD 
FIRST.  HE SAYS THE TREATY MUST BE WELL-DEFINED AND 
NON-DISCRIMINATORY. 

INDIA HAS PREVIOUSLY REFUSED TO SIGN THE TEST-BAN TREATY, SAYING 
IT SHOULD BE LINKED TO THE DISMANTLING OF EXISTING NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS WITHIN A DEFINITE TIME FRAME.  INDIA SAYS THE TREATY IS 
FLAWED BECAUSE IT DOES  NOT  COMMIT THE FIVE DECLARED NUCLEAR 
POWERS -- FRANCE, BRITAIN, CHINA, THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA --
TO DESTROYING THEIR NUCLEAR ARSENALS.

MR. GUJRAL, WHO LEFT OFFICE EARLIER THIS YEAR, SAYS INDIA WENT 
AHEAD WITH ITS NUCLEAR TESTS MONDAY BECAUSE THE WORLD DID  NOT  
ACT ON ITS LONG-STANDING APPEAL FOR GLOBAL DISARMAMENT.  

                    /// FIRST GUJRAL ACT ///

         WE WERE PLANNING TOWARDS (THIS) FOR THE LAST TWO OR 
         THREE YEARS.  AT THE SAME TIME WE WERE TRYING TO SEE IF 
         THE WORLD WILL LISTEN TO US AND (IF) A DE-NUCLEARIZATION
         PROGRAM WAS UNDERTAKEN.  UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS  NOT  
         DONE.  SO THEREFORE OUR OPTIONS HAD NARROWED AND WE HAD 
         TO DO IT (CARRY OUT TESTS). 

                         /// END ACT ///

AFTER ANNOUNCING MONDAY'S NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, THE INDIAN 
GOVERNMENT RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING IT IS PREPARED TO CONSIDER
SUPPORTING SOME ASPECTS OF THE TEST-BAN TREATY. 

MEANWHILE, ON ANOTHER TOPIC, MR. GUJRAL SAYS IT WILL BE 
INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT IMPACT THE TESTS HAVE ON INDIA'S BID FOR 
A SEAT ON THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.  HE SAYS THE MAJOR
POWERS DO  NOT  TAKE SUCH REQUESTS SERIOUSLY UNLESS -- IN HIS 
WORDS -- A NATION IS RICH OR HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

MR. GUJRAL ALSO PLAYED DOWN CONCERNS OVER A POSSIBLE ARMS RACE 
WITH PAKISTAN, WHICH HAS FOUGHT THREE WARS WITH INDIA.  HE SAYS 
NOW IT WILL BE EASIER FOR THE SIDES TO HOLD PEACE TALKS, BECAUSE 
BOTH HAVE A DETERRENT.  HE SAYS WAR IS  NO  LONGER AN OPTION. 

                    /// SECOND GUJRAL ACT ///

         YOU SEE MAIN POINT IS, THAT PAKISTAN HAS DEMONSTRATED 
         THEIR MISSILES. WE HAVE ALSO DEMONSTRATED WE HAVE 
         MISSILES.  THEY HAVE ALL BEEN SAYING THAT THEY HAVE A 
         NUCLEAR WEAPON.  NOW IT IS CLEAR THAT INDIA ALSO HAS IT.
         SO THEREFORE THE QUESTION IS NOW THAT BOTH SIDES HAVE A 
         DETERRENT, LET US NOW TALK PEACE. 

                         /// END ACT ///

PAKISTAN SAYS IT HAS THE COMPONENTS OF A NUCLEAR WEAPON, BUT HAS 
MADE A POLICY DECISION  NOT  TO ASSEMBLE ONE.  DEFENSE ANALYSTS 
HAVE LONG EXPRESSED FEARS OVER AN ARMS RACE BETWEEN INDIA AND 
PAKISTAN.   (SIGNED)

NEB/DAB/WTW 

12-May-98 6:50 AM EDT (1050 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.