New York: Testing nuclear weapon has not
enhanced India`s national security, veteran diplomat and
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has said, noting that
Pakistan also acquired the atomic bomb within three weeks
after the Pokhran II.
"We had a strong conventional military advantage over
Pakistan....the minute we became a nuclear weapon power....it
took Pakistan three weeks to become a nuclear weapons power
themselves," Aiyar said, who is at the United Nations to speak
on the issue of nuclear disarmament.
On the necessity of having nuclear bombs since
Pakistan had them, Aiyar told PTI that that India`s security
hadn`t been enhanced by acquiring these weapons.
He said India always remained in the vanguard of the
movement for nuclear disarmament but lost its traditional
position on the issue in the past 22 years as it had to
conform to the voices of other nuclear powers, the Congress
"Even since we have become a nuclear weapon power
ourselves ... there seems to be a certain ambiguity as to how
pro-active we should be in regard to nuclear disarmament,"
Aiyar told agency.
"India always remained in the vanguard of the movement
for the elimination of nuclear weapons?it is a position we
have tended to lose the past 22 years," he continued.
"We should strive and pro-actively to our traditional
Aiyar further pointed out that India was being held
back in pursuing its "traditional position" since now it had
to conform to the voices of other nuclear powers, which was
not the case in 1982 when Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi laid
down the Action Plan for a Nuclear-Weapons- Free and
Nonviolent World Order.
The Action Plan sets 2010 as the date by which the
world would have been rid of nuclear weapons, and that is
reason Aiyar decided to speak at the UN on that forgotten
deadline set 22 years ago.
"Having become a nuclear weapon power there is a
desire that our postures in regard to the international
discussions on nuclear weapons should be more in conformity
with the nuclear weapons powers than asymmetrical to that
position," Aiyar said.
"I have continued to take an interest in this matter,
which is disproportionate to the interest that the government
of India is taking at the moment," he added.
Responding to whether the new US-Russia agreement to
cut down their nuclear arsenal would move the world towards
fuller disarmament, Aiyar said "It?s good but it`s not
"It is the reduction of hostility between the two
powers who share between them perhaps 90 per cent of the
entire nuclear arsenal of the world," he added.
"It is a reflection of the reduction of the danger of
nuclear war breaking out between these two major powers."