[Marxism] IPS: US-India Nuke Deal May Spark Asian Arms Race

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 1 11:36:28 MDT 2007


DISARMAMENT: US-India Nuke Deal May Spark Asian Arms

By Thalif Deen, UN Bureau Chief, Inter Press Service

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 31 (IPS) - The U.S. decision last
week to proceed with a controversial civilian nuclear
deal with India has triggered strong negative
responses from peace activists, disarmament experts
and anti-nuclear groups.

"The development of a nuclear/strategic alliance
between the United States and India may promote arms
racing between India and Pakistan, and (between) India
and China," says John Burroughs, executive director of
the New York-based Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear

The deal, he told IPS, also undermines prospects for
global agreements on nuclear restraint and

An equally negative reaction came from former U.N.
Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs
Jayantha Dhanapala: "It has the dangerous potential of
triggering a nuclear arms race among India, Pakistan
and China, with disastrous consequences for Asian
peace and stability and Asia's emerging economic

But the Indian government argues that the nuclear
agreement would neither destabilise the region nor
prompt an arms race. 

Nor will it trigger a "copycat deal" between Pakistan
and China, India's national security adviser N.K.
Narayanan told reporters last week. 

"This agreement was not an excuse to enhance our
strategic capabilities," he told a press briefing in
New Delhi. 

Zia Mian of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and
International Affairs at Princeton University says the
United States sees strategic and economic benefits in
the nuclear deal with India. 

"But the people of India and Pakistan will pay the
price, since the nuclear deal will fuel the
India-Pakistan nuclear arms race," he added. 

The deal will allow India to increase its capacity to
make nuclear weapons materiel, and Pakistan has
already said it will do whatever it can to keep up
with India. 

"This means nuclear establishments in both countries
will become more powerful, drain even greater
resources away from social development, and increase
the nuclear danger in South Asia," Mian told IPS. 


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