India not for arms race: Shyam Saran | india | Hindustan Times
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India not for arms race: Shyam Saran

India on Thursday said it was not going to embark on an arms race or suddenly expand its nuclear weapons arsenal just because it has reached a civil nuclear deal with the US.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2006 01:58 IST

India on Thursday said it was not going to embark on an arms race or suddenly expand its nuclear weapons arsenal just because it has reached a civil nuclear deal with the US.

"The deal...Is (in) civilian nuclear energy cooperation. It is not about India's strategic programme. It is not an agreement about nuclear weapons," Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said during an interaction session at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

Pointing out that India's nuclear record has been one of restraint, he said, "we have not indulged in a nuclear arms race before this agreement was arrived at" and that "there was no reason to start one just because the civilian nuclear deal has been agreed upon."

"India's position on nuclear disarmament, elimination of nuclear weapons has not changed," he said.

"...If our partners engaged with us in civilian nuclear energy cooperation, they have legitimate expectations that whatever technology comes to India as part of this cooperation should not leak out to other countries. There should be very strong export controls. That assurance we are prepared to give and we have already given," he added.

"If we have the need for the separation between our civilian and strategic programmes, it was because of this reason--because we have to take action in order to give an assurance to our partner that whatever they do with us, in the civilian nuclear energy field, will not in any kind impact on our strategic programme.

"That we have already provided as part and parcel of this agreement", Saran said.