India declines to join NPT club


India maintained that it cannot join the NPT as a non-weapon country, even as it reiterated its commitment to no-testing and no-first-use besides non-discriminatory universal non-proliferation.

In a letter to UNSC president Susan E Rice, India’s permament representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, said: “India cannot accept calls for universalisation of the NPT.”

Citing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament on July 29, Puri said, “There is no question of India joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. Nuclear weapons are an integral part of India’s national security and will remain so, pending non-discriminatory and global nuclear disarmament.” Puri contended India cannot comply with non-proliferation obligations to which it has not provided its consent.

He added that the role of the world body “would arise if those treaties (like the NPT) themselves provide for such a role. We cannot accept any obligations arising from treaties that India has not signed or ratified. This position is consistent with the fundamental principles of international law and the Law of Treaties,” Puri said in the letter dated Wednesday.

India, which has been maintaining that NPT is discriminatory and flawed, pointed out that it had in 1992 prescribed norms and standards for national or international conduct which the Security Council itself “must scrupulously accept”.
Puri said: “It is clear that the international community would look to the countries with substantial nuclear arsenals represented on the Council for meaningful steps towards nuclear disarmament.”

The Indian envoy said “working towards our common objectives would require a steadfast commitment to genuine multilateralism to ensure viable and enduring solutions to global peace and security”.

“A more representative Security Council would add credibility and vitality to such efforts,” he said adding India is committed to working with the international community to “advance our common non-proliferation and disarmament objectives.”

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