NPT, CTBT prejudiced: WB Government

Kolkata, 6th May: Calling the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) ‘discriminatory’, M K Narayanan, Governor of West Bengal, on Thursday, said India has consistently and in a principled manner opposed such treaties and has refused to give up.


“While India has consistently and in a principled manner opposed such discriminatory treaties, it will remain committed to nuclear disarmament, to be achieved in a time-bound framework,” said Narayanan.

The Governor was speaking at the launch of the Kolkata centre of the Aspen Institute India, on ‘India’s Engagement with the World’.

Providing a clear look into India’s foreign policy, Narayanan said, “India’s foreign policy has always regarded the concept of neighbourhood as one of widening concentric circles, around a central axis of historical and cultural commonalties. In particular, the improvement of relations with our neighbours has always been one of the pillars of India’s foreign policy ”

Enumerating five principles of India’s foreign policy, he said, “First, with neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity but gives all that it can in good faith and trust.”

“Secondly, no South Asian country should allow its territory to be used against the interests of another country of the region.”

“Thirdly, none will interfere in the internal affairs of another. Fourthly, all South Asian countries must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. And finally, they should settle all their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations,” he added.

Speaking on India’s its bilateral relations with the US, the 15 countries of the European Union, and Japan, he said, “These countries are important economic partners of India, especially in the wake of our economic reforms. However, in pursuing bilateral relations, we have sought to preserve the independence of our viewpoint and protect our national interests from the pressures of conformity.”

“Our relations with Russia have grown over the years to constitute an important foreign policy priority for both countries. There is recognition in both counties to the strategic dimension of our multifaceted ties. The considerable goodwill for India in Russia has been further cemented in recent years,” said Narayanan.

Krishna Bose, Former Chairperson, Standing Committee of Parliament, Ministry of External Affairs and Former Member of Parliament said “A significant factor underlying this achievement has been the consensus, cutting across political divides, within the country, on what the basic aims and objectives of Indian foreign policy should be.”

Tarun Das, Former Chief Mentor, CII and President, Aspen Institute India moderating the session said “Aspen Institute India was set up by CII through an agreement signed with Aspen USA which gives access to all Aspen US trainers, faculty, and methodology for use in India.

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