June 14, 1998
Statement on G-8 Foreign Ministers Joint Communique
We have seen the "Communique" issued by the Foreign Ministers of the G-8
countries at their meeting held in London on June 12, 1998.
India's views on the contents of the communique have been clearly articulated in our
government's responses to the declarations issued after the various meetings of the
P-5, the G-8, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution. Attention is
invited in particular to the Official Spokesman's statement of June 10, 1998, relating
to the latest G-8 meeting.
It is unfortunate that the G-8 statement ignores the positive gestures made by the
Government of India in recent weeks. These include, inter alia, the institution of a
moratorium on nuclear testing; our willingness to explore ways and means for de jure
formalisation of this undertaking; readiness to engage in negotiations on an FMCT in
the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva; maintenance and further development of
strict export controls on nuclear related materials and technologies.
Further, India remains committed to developing a framework of peaceful relations
with Pakistan through a broadbased and sustained bilateral dialogue. This provides
an effective means of identifying the possibilities of mutually beneficial cooperation
and resolving outstanding issues through bilateral negotiations. It would also include
consideration of CBMs such as our proposal for a no-first-use agreement. In this
process of dialogue, there is no place for third party involvement of any kind
whatsoever. These gestures reflect both our desire to further the cause of global
disarmament and non-proliferation as well as our dedication to promoting peace and
stability in the region. It is a matter of regret that the G-8 Foreign Ministers Joint
Communique has not taken into account these proposals but has instead repeated
unrealistic prescription, couched in the language of pressure.
India has been a responsible member of the international community and remains
strongly committed to the objective disarmament in general and nuclear disarmament
in particular. However, we would like to make it clear that India's security concerns
cannot be viewed in a narrow South Asian construct. Indeed, the pursuit of non
proliferation in an arbitrary selective regional context remains the fundamental flaw in
the global nuclear disarmament regime. The Government of India cannot consider
any prescriptions which have the effect of undermining India's independent decision
making. Like any sovereign nation, India will continue to take decisions in this regard
on the basis of its own assessment and national security requirements.
The G-8 have professed an interest in the welfare and economic growth of the
people of the region. These professions are inconsistent with the actions threatened
in the Joint Communique.
Independent of the advice of those who claim to bear the responsibilities of the
international community, the Government of India is autonomously embarked on a
well-considered, comprehensive and purposeful programme meant to further
genuine non-proliferation and global nuclear disarmament, and aimed at building
confidence and cooperation in the region. Coercive and intrusive prescriptions are
not only ill-advised but also counter-productive. Instead of offering homilies, the
leading industrial economies should reflect seriously on the proposals made by India
in recent weeks which offer a reasonable framework for dialogue in meeting our