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April 4, 1968

Telegram from Ambassador M.A. Husain, 'Non-Proliferation Treaty and Brief Answers'

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DATE: April 4, 1968

FROM: M.A. HUSAIN, Ambassador of India to Switzerland

TO: Cabinet Secretary

No #


Subject: Non-Proliferation Treaty and Brief Answers


As desired by the FM at conclusion of the meeting today of the FAC of the Cabinet, the Secretaries Committee under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary met to discuss the instructions to be given to the Indian Representative to the resumed session of the General Assembly which is to discuss the Report of the ENDC on the NPT


The Committee considered my note date 10.4.68 submitted to PM. The Committee agreed as follows:


  1. The mode of presentation of our objection to the draft treaty as proposed in para (2) was agreed to with the comment that while the Chinese nuclear threat should not be overplayed, at the same time should not be underplayed altogether. There need be no mention of Pakistan. While reiterating Government policy of using nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes, we may stress first the importance from our national point of view of the utilization of nuclear energy for the social and economic program of development of the country, and then mention our policy of not doing anything to escalate the nuclear arms race, saying so generally without referring to “in the area.”
  2. As proposed in para 3(i) our opposition to vertical proliferation may be stated as in the past.
  3. As regards link with disarmament, should any proposals, mentioned in para 3 (ii), for the improvement of the provisions in the draft treaty gather support, and are put to vote, we should vote in favor of such proposals, but in explanation of the vote we should safeguard our decision not to sign the treaty by saying that the proposals do not go far enough to meet our viewpoint
  4. In connection with peaceful uses of nuclear explosions dealt with in para 3(iii), should the proposal to eliminate the conclusion of bilateral arrangements for peaceful nuclear explosions be pressed and find favor, we may consider the situation arising from it for instructions of Government. We are generally in favor of a separate treaty which would provide for the conduct of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes by non-nuclear weapons countries under international safeguards so that institutionalization and internationalization would be universal.
  5. As regards the application of safeguards, it was agreed that while we should maintain the view that safeguards should be uniformly applicable to all, we need not lay stress to the extent of embarrassing USSR
  6. As to the provisions of the draft treaty relating to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Dr. Sarabhai undertook to examine them and see if, apart from the question of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes (on which no modifications can be expected), what other features could be improved upon to allow for the unhampered development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes within the scope of the treaty.
  7. Regarding the problem of security assurances outlined in paragraph (4) it was agreed we should emphasize the need for assurances for all non-nuclear weapon States and should strongly object to the linking of the assurances with the NPT and urge its being delinked, and while avoiding criticism of the nature of the assurances, we should not propose any specific amendments to the draft resolution. Should a vote be called upon then we may vote in favor of operative para (1), and vote against operative para (2) which links the assurances with the NPT, and on the resolution as a whole abstain.
  8. On the question of the timetable for discussion and conclusion of the NPT, mentioned in para (5), it was agreed that we should not spearhead any move for delay and postponement, but we may go along with the Afro-Asian Group should it favor such a move, taking are not to be singled out in this process.
  9. The views of the Committee as recorded above are submitted for the confirmation and approval by PM. If there are to be any modifications they may be intimated to me in New York. Needless to say that while these instructions are general guidelines, the developments in the General Assembly cannot all be anticipated, and as and when specific situations arise instructions would be sought should they be considered necessary.


Instructions for the United Nations General Assembly discussion of the Report of the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.


Document Information


PN Haksar, III Installment – Subject File #200


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