Arms trade pact tilted against India

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Mar 30, 2013 01:56 IST

India is of the view that the proposed arms trade treaty (ATT) takes on board the demands of China and positions of Pakistan while not taking into account its genuine concerns on matters related to national security.

While countries such as France and Russia stood by India's concerns, major arms exporters like the US and UK were pushing hard for the pact.

Iran, Syria and North Korea on Friday prevented the adoption of the treaty to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade on the grounds that it being a failure to ban weapons sales to rebel groups. Now, the UN general assembly will consider it on April 2, where it is set to be passed by a majority vote.

Though a decision is yet to be made on the vote, India is likely to abstain. India is also one of the biggest arms importer in the word, which also fights insurgency and terrorism on many fronts.

Addressing the closing plenary of the UN conference on the ATT, India's representative to the conference on disarmament Sujata Mehta said the final draft fell short in producing a text that "is clear, balanced and implementable and able to attract universal adherence."

Mehta stressed that "India cannot accept that the treaty be used as an instrument in the hands of exporting states to take unilateral measures against importing states parties without consequences." Such a pact not factoring in state-to-state contracts would hamper India's national security, sources said.

 India "will take measures to ensure that the treaty does not affect the stability and predictability of defence pacts entered into by India," said Mehta.


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