The super powers were not prepared to go beyond a general declaration at the Security Council that in the event of any non-nuclear signatory being subjected to nuclear threat or attack, the other nuclear weapon powers would consult one another of ways of going to its aid and preventing an attack.
2. The attitude adopted by big powers obviously required of us to maintain a very friendly stance with members of the Security Council which could not be always possible in view of our disputes with some of our neighbouring countries. India felt that the signing of the NPT would imply that it should shape its foreign and domestic policies to the liking of big powers.
It could result in loss of freedom of action and a partial surrender of our sovereignty. We insisted that if the guarantees were to be meaningful, they should be obligatory and automatic. The machinery could be generated which could be a watchdog on violation of the NPT.
3. One of our major objections to the NPT has been the constant additions to their nuclear stockpiles by the super powers. The late Mr. V.C. Trivedi, our representative at Geneva, summed up the super powers’ attitude best when he commented, “Their attitude is like that of Mughal Nawabs who boozed a lot themselves, but asked their subjects not to drink as it was not good for health.”
How could a super power ask us not to produce nuclear weapons when they themselves possess large stockpiles of the same? India insists that the NPT to be meaningful should be both vertical and horizontal. The nuclear states must give a credible guarantee that they will reduce their stockpile drastically if they are to have any moral right to ask us to sign the NPT.
The treaty should have led to meaningful level of general disarmament. The INF Treaty signed in November 1987 covers only 4 per cent of the total nuclear arsenal, the balance can still kill the entire world population many times over. Both the USA and Russia have diluted the strength of this argument by signing a series of agreements to cut the nuclear stockpile.
The START II has already reduced their stockpile of nuclear weapons (missiles etc.) from about 8000 each to 3000 each. START III is likely to be signed in near future and it will tackle the problem of the ABMs, tactical and strategic weapons that each country can possess (USA and Russia).
4. A new factor that has been added is the threatened foray into the nuclear field by our neighbour Pakistan. In 1993, the US President refused to give a clean chit to Pakistan on its nuclear ambition and correspondingly drastically curtailed the quantum of US aid. The chairman of the Pak Nuclear Board announced in January 1991 that the pursuit of nuclear goal was a political expediency.
It is now well known that Pakistan possesses about ten to fifteen nuclear bombs, and our response has to be adjusted accordingly. The defence strategists in both countries even maintain that the possession of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan could be conducive to peace in the region. Both India and Pakistan have a common destiny.
Their squandering of precious resources so much needed for alleviation of poverty programmes makes no sense. The Iraqi intransigence and the dismantling of its nuclear sites by the in Israel in 1981 should be a warning to the rest of the world that the super powers are not going to put up with the third world nuclear programmes.
Pax Americana is not going to let regional spheres of influence sprout. One can argue that the Kargil conflict was contained and not allowed to result in a conflagration; because both India and Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons in Pakistan can be grabbed by the militants President Musharraf was the best guarantee that this does not happen.
In early 2008, in the aftermath of the assassination of the PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, the situation in Pakistan is highly dangerous. This in the interests of rest of the world that Army continues to call the shots in Pakistan; alternative would be total anarchy and mayhem.
India has most to feet from the present uncertain situation in Pakistan, as the Jehadis would have no compunction to turn their ire against us. Unrest in Kashmir can increase and intensity of terrorist attacks heightened.