Letter: India's nuclear tests

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The Independent Online
India's nuclear tests

Sir: We strongly condemn India's pursuit of nuclear weapons signalled by Monday's nuclear tests (report, 12 May). This extremely serious development could threaten a nuclear arms race in south Asia. It also undermines attempts by many non- nuclear states to make progress on nuclear disarmament.

At the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty meeting in Geneva, which broke up in disarray last Friday, the United States blocked all attempts to make the nuclear weapon states honour the Treaty commitment which binds them to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The British delegation, despite representing the European Union, made no attempt to play a constructive role.

India, exasperated by this lack of progress, is merely imitating Britain's irresponsible example. In the United Nations General Assembly last December, China, alone amongst the nuclear weapon states, voted for a start to negotiations aimed at nuclear weapon abolition. Unless all the nuclear weapon states begin serious multilateral negotiations now, nuclear weapon proliferation is inevitable.

FRANK BLACKABY

BRUCE KENT

Commander ROBERT GREEN RN

Abolition 2000 UK

London N1

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