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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 26, 1982


This document was made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

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    Report on a conversation with Indian Ambassador Dalal. Topics discussed include the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, India and Pakistan's nuclear programs, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the upcoming election of a new Executive Director.
    "Report, Permanent Mission of Hungary to the International Organizations in Vienna to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," January 26, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hungarian National Archives (Magyar Országos Levéltár, MOL). XIX-J-1-j India, 1982, 60. doboz, 60-146, 001017/1982. Obtained and translated for NPIHP by Balazs Szalontai.
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On January 20th, I had lunch with Indian Ambassador Dalal. During our conversation, he expounded in detail his standpoint on two issues:

1.) In his opinion, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would indeed provide protection to India from Pakistan's planned nuclear explosions and from the latter's consequences. On the occasion of Premier Indira Gandhi's latest visit in Europe, when she summoned Dalal, he discussed this issue with her. They even raised the issue whether the standpoint that India had hitherto taken on the NPT should be modified. They eventually agreed that this was unnecessary. As an explanation, he added that he would tell me the background of this decision, even if his reasoning might be regarded as nationalistic. It is quite true that India is a developing country with a backward industry. However, it is also a fact that India, not only because it already exploded a nuclear device but also because the number of its inhabitants and the position it occupies in the Asian continent, should not be preoccupied with Pakistan. India's partner is not Pakistan but China. To this day the Indian intelligentsia has not forgotten how China attempted, during its aggression against India, not only to humiliate India but also to discredit the principles represented by Nehru ([that is, the principle of] peaceful co-existence).

Thus in the short run the NPT might be good against Pakistan, but in the long run India should be on the same side of the treaty where China is. After a brief pause, he added, “and where the other Great Powers are.” In response to my question, he suggested that in his view, India would join the NPT only on the condition of becoming a member of the “nuclear club.”

2.) In his opinion, the UNIDO Charter will be ratified by a sufficient number of countries (80), and also by the most important membership fee payers (USA, Soviet Union, etc.), by the end of 1982. When an African candidate appeared to have a chance to be elected Secretary-General of the UN, the re-election of [Abd-El Rahman] Khane seemed impossible, and Iglesias was the strongest candidate (see Ciph[ered] Tel[egram] No. 72/81.). Now it is again an African candidate who seems to have a chance to be elected the head of UNIDO. Dalal is also of the opinion that the Algerian government has not decided yet whether to propose the re-election of Khane.

However, there is also another problem to be solved: Khane's mandate will expire this December. The conference to be held for the ratification and for the establishment of the specialized organization will certainly take place at a later date. For this reason, he considers it possible that Khane might be given an interim mandate to lead the affairs of the organization during the period between this December and the establishment of the specialized organization.

The issue of who should be the permanent candidate will be raised only after that. This person might be Khane, but he might also be some other African.

Tamás Lorinc