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'N-weapons India's strategic compulsion'

Sonia Gandhi says after India failed to persuade the world to abolish nuclear weapons, it adopted them.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 29, 2007 06:05 PM IST

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday said that nuclear weapons became a "strategic compulsion" for India, "born out of the failure to persuade the world to abolish them".

'But the commitment to comprehensive, universal nuclear disarmament remains our profound conviction which we intend to carry forward," Gandhi said inaugurating an international conference to mark the centenary of the launch of Satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi.

Noting that nuclear weapons have become even more of a terrifying reality since Hiroshima, she said that "they have become the very currency of power".

She said the world's nuclear weapon states have more than adequate atomic arsenal to destroy humanity many times over and "it is not just nuclear weapons. We also confront the spectre of chemical and biological weapons".

Recalling the blueprint for comprehensive, universal nuclear disarmament presented by Rajiv Gandhi in 1988 in UN, she said just a few days ago, four influential Americans who held very different views while in office have drawn attention to his impassioned plea.

Henry Kissinger and George Shultz are among the four who have called for urgent action on the issue, she added.

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