'India was ready to sign CTBT if it was non-discriminatory' | world | Hindustan Times
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'India was ready to sign CTBT if it was non-discriminatory'

US documents reveal that then PM Indira Gandhi was keen to pursue N-energy programme for peaceful purposes.

world Updated: Dec 22, 2007 15:42 IST

Coinciding with its first nuclear test in 1974, India had expressed readiness to sign Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) if it was "non-discriminatory" and brought in all countries, according to newly-released classified US documents.

The documents reveal that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was keen to pursue nuclear energy programme for peaceful purposes and had made it clear to the US, which had preferred to give a "low-key" response to Indian tests.

"If a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty were proposed which brought everybody in and was not discriminatory, Gandhi said India would be for it and support a treaty for international regulation and supervision of peaceful nuclear explosions," the documents quoted then US Ambassador to India Daniel Patrick Moynihan as saying.

"The responsibility for moving in this direction rests with the other nuclear countries which have stockpiles of weapons," Gandhi had said, according to the documents on American foreign policy in South Asia between 1969 and 1976.

Reporting to the State Department on his conversation with Gandhi, Moynihan said the Prime Minister's Private Secretary PN Dhar "interjected that a first step would be for the two superpowers to agree to this approach."

"To my suggestion that India would then expect that this subject would be raised at the forthcoming Moscow summit, the Prime Minister replied that 'this might be a good thing'," the envoy's cable report said.