II      PP         PP   SS       SS       GG      GG
     II      PP         PP   SS               GG
     II      PP         PP    SS             GG
     II      PPPPPPPPPPPP       SSSSSS       GG
     II      PP                       SS      GG     GGGGG  
     II      PP                        SS      GG      GG 
     II      PP               SS      SS        GG     GG
     II      PP               SSSSSSSSS          GGGGGGG


   Newsletter of the Indian Progressive Study Group, Los Angeles

                             August 1996

India and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

On August 20, 1996, India cast its anticipated veto to the draft 
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty negotiated at the meeting of the 61 
member countries and together with Iran, stopped this treaty from being 
forwarded to the UN General Assembly for ratification. Pointing to the 
lack of any time-bound commitments for destruction of all existing 
nuclear weapons, India maintains that it will pursue nuclear programs; 
while the US wants to stop future production of nuclear weapons by 
countries that do not possess them now. Indian official circles have 
concluded for some time that without nuclear weapons, India cannot emerge 
as a major power (which is what they want) even in South Asian zone. On 
the other hand, US is keen to see that no new challengers to its 
interests around the world arise on the basis of acquiring weapons of 
mass destruction combined with economic and political clout (read Japan, 
Germany etc.). 

The fight in Geneva is really not about disarmament or peace but for a 
re-division of the world by big powers for markets and spheres of 
influence. But the manner in which the differences have developed to 
become an open fight against the US dictate in Geneva must serve as a 
reminder that the unipolar world vision of the US is not a foregone 
conclusion. People of South Asia and all peace loving peoples around the 
world have a space to push their programs for peace and disarmament 
within these unfolding contradictions.