India to renew pitch for nuclear disarmament

August 19th, 2012 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Mani Shankar Aiyar New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) India is set to renew its pitch for universal nuclear disarmament at a conference here Tuesday, an idea first thrown up by the late Rajiv Gandhi.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will inaugurate the National Outreach Conference on Global Nuclear Disarmament, an initiative of the prime minister’s informal group on global disarmament chaired by Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress.

The conference, organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs and supported by the external affairs ministry, is being held to commemorate the 68th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Gandhi presented a plan for a nuclear-weapons-free world order at the UN General Assembly June 9, 1988.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi are also expected to address the conference which will rope in college students.

The talks on disarmament remain deadlocked at the UN Conference on Disarmament due to objections from Pakistan.

The report on nuclear disarmament by the informal group, presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, has recommended a more pro-active role by India to build international consensus on reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in national security doctrines.

India, a state with nuclear weapons, has pledged to maintain a credible minimum deterrence but has championed the cause of universal nuclear disarmament.

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