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India remains committed to non-proliferation : Manmohan Singh

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 - 5:06pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: IANS
India remains committed to non-proliferation and there should be a global convention on "no first use" of nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday.
  • Narendra Modi

India remains committed to non-proliferation and there should be a global convention on "no first use" of nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday.

"If all nuclear weapons states recognise and are prepared to declare it, we can quickly move to the establishment of a global no-first-use norm. In many ways, this can open the way to gradual reduction and finally elimination through a Nuclear Weapons Convention," the prime minister said at a conference "A Nuclear Free World: From Conception to Reality" at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) here.

He said India was committed to nuclear non-proliferation.

"As a responsible nuclear weapons state that remains committed to non-proliferation, India supports the idea of a nuclear weapon free world," Manmohan Singh said.

"While strengthening nuclear security, India also maintains its objective of promoting safe and secure expansion of civil nuclear energy... Nuclear safety is something on which we can afford no compromise," he said.

The prime minister said the only function of nuclear weapons was to deter a nuclear attack.

"More and more voices are speaking out today that the sole function of nuclear weapons, while they exist, should be to deter nuclear attack," Manmohan Singh said.

The prime minister also said India has taken several initiatives towards disarmament and there is no paradox that a nuclear armed country like India is advocating for disarmament.

"In the 1950s, we called for a ban on nuclear testing. In 1982, then prime minister Indira Gandhi called for a nuclear freeze and an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

"In 1988, then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi presented an action plan for ushering in a nuclear-weapon-free and non-violent world-order," he said.

"Even today, there is no paradox in a nuclear weapon state like India being a strong advocate of a nuclear weapon-free world," he added.

The prime minister said India also maintains its objective of promoting safe and secure expansion of civil nuclear energy and other developmental benefits that nuclear science and technology.

"India is targeting an expansion of the nuclear generation capacity to more than 62,000 MW by 2032 based on a three-stage programme," he added.


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