Embassy Archives What's New/Press Releases

Press Statement by Shri Jaswant Singh Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

With the five tests conducted on 11 and 13 May, India has completed its planned
     series of underground nuclear tests. The decision to undertake this limited series of
     tests was taken after due consideration of all factors relevant to India's national
     security. These tests were not intended to threaten any country but address the
     security concerns of the Indian people and provide them with necessary assurance. 

     In undertaking these tests, India has not violated any international treaty obligations.
     The CTBT, to which we do not subscribe, also contains provision permitting states
     parties to withdraw if they consider that their supreme interests are being

     Since independence, India has been a staunch advocate of global nuclear
     disarmament. We have participated actively in all such efforts, convinced that a
     world without nuclear weapons will enhance both national and global security. India
     was the first to call for a ban on nuclear testing in 1954, for a non-discriminatory
     treaty on non-proliferation in 1965, for a treaty on non-use of nuclear weapons in
     1978, for a nuclear freeze in 1982, and for a phased programme for complete
     elimination in 1988. Unfortunately, many of these initiatives were not accepted by
     the nuclear weapon states who still consider these weapons essential for their own
     security, and what emerged has been a discriminatory and flawed non-proliferation
     regime which affects our security adversely. For many years, we have conveyed our
     apprehensions to other countries but this did not lead to any improvement in our
     security environment. As a result, we were left with no choice but to develop the
     capability that had been demonstrated 24 years ago. 

     Today, India is a nuclear weapon state. This adds to our sense of responsibility as a
     nation that is committed to the principles of the UN Charter and promoting regional
     peace and stability. Efforts for closer engagement with our neighbours will be
     strengthened. Our dialogues with other key partners will be intensified covering the
     entire range of issues which require collective consideration. 

     As a civilisation that has traditionally been outward looking and as an independent
     non-aligned country with a long demonstrated commitment to multilateralism, we
     remain confident that a strong and stable India will be seen as a responsible and
     engaged member of the international community as we move towards meeting the
     challenges of the 21st century. 

     18 May, 1988