Nuclear Issues in South Asia
28 Jun, 1998 · 121
Gen. Dipankar Banerjee (Retd.) summarizes two discussions on Indo-Pakistani relations since the recent nuclear tests.
Shri Salman Khurshid
2. Khurshid said that it was a pity that the present government decided on a serious issue such as the nuclear test without broader consultation with other political parties. The immediate public approval rate of this decision was merely a knee-jerk reaction. His impressions in rural Uttar Pradesh and
3. Historical experience is that the cost of a bomb was merely 8 per cent of the total cost. Remainder went for delivery systems, command and control, weaponisation aspects and others. Did we factor all this into our cost calculations? Again, going nuclear was the easy part. Having got the bombs, what are we going to do with them? Are they of any use at all? Where was
4. Finally, he said that not having deliberated on the utility of the bomb, our leaders made irresponsible statements on its possible use. This has queered the pitch in
J. N. Dixit
5. Dixit prefaced his remarks by saying that possessing the bomb was morally wrong, but then the world was an amoral place. He wished to deliver no value judgement on acquiring nuclear capability. However, the decision was not predicated on a rational working out of options.
6. The question now was, what next? First, we must speak to
HE Ashraf Qazi
7. Ashraf Qazi mentioned that the bombs had changed everything, yet had changed nothing. The reality of India-Pakistan as neighbours had not changed. Mutual antagonistic positions had not changed.
8. He said that
9. He mentioned that even though the likelihood of nuclear war was small, its consequence would indeed be large. Nuclear innocence like virginity, once lost cannot be restored. We need then to evolve codes of conduct to ensure that there is no possibility of conflict. In the context of CBMs, he said that it was important to take an honest look at our differences and
9 Subrahmanyam welcomed the Pakistani High Commissioner's presence in the discussions. He said this represented how our approach to nuclear weapons was different from others. We can have a civilised discussion and there are no possibilities of a conflagration. No other country has agonised over nuclear weapons as long as
N. N. Jha
11. Jha provided first a rÃƒÂ©sumÃƒÂ© of Indo-Pak relations over the last forty years. The present position was that both countries had come out in the open. Now we need to discuss outstanding issues. It has to be done bilaterally; even the UN has come out in its support.
12. In the aftermath of the nuclear explosions,
13. The BJP policy was against nuclear apartheid. Now that both
Mani Shankar Aiyar
14. Mani Shankar mentioned that the
15. He said that the BJP leadership had talked of a "new position of power". What was it? Weaponisation of the Armed Forces was yet to take place. Do we have a balanced deterrence? Against
16. He said that he did not know where we stood on nuclear disarmament now. It is time to resurrect the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan of 1988. It still provided the best plan for global nuclear disarmament. He then suggested, first, a talk about talks which should be uninterrupted and uninterruptible; next, to address the consequences of the recent explosions. At the same time accept that a solution to the
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