Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in India

             The article on which this paper is based appeared in "The New York Times” on May 14, 1998 by Paul Warnke that deals with the decision by India to "openly pursue the nuclear option”. In 1996, a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was brought before the United Nations for the cause of disarmament and prevention of further production of harmful nuclear weapons. India, which had always advocated the cause of disarmament and had the moral high grounds since it called for global disarmament, was expected to endorse and sign the CTBT. With a broad range of objections, India refused. On the surface India appeared to be against the treaty that promotes disarmament. However, India was successful in outlining valid problems on variety of issues.


             Paul Warnke proudly states that due to CTBT "none of these five declared nuclear powers should or are likely to resume nuclear testing”.[1] But the question is "why should they?” True, CTBT would prohibit further development of nuclear arsenals, but it does nothing to reduce the current nuclear arsenals that do not need any further testing. In fact, these nations (the nuclear powers) already have so much of nuclear bombs so as to blow the whole earth eight times. To destroy those bombs and then banning testing would have been the ideal treaty. India has rightly indicated that it will not support a treaty that fails to commit the five nuclear powers to a timetable for nuclear disarmament.[2] The treaty divides the world into nuclear haves and have nots. This is also termed as "nuclear apartheid” by many Indians. Basically, what India believes is that this Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is not comprehensive, since it stops any country other than the nuclear powers to acquire a nuclear bomb and on the other hand, there is no obligation on the nuclear powers to destroy their weapons. Common sense asserts that the subsequent difference of the countries' military capabilities would lead to gross differences in ability to project force.

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