ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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repeatedly proposed such a treaty, but India has resolutely refused to discuss the proposal The suggestion for a nuclear test ban treaty between India and Pakistan was again referred to by Pakistan's prime minister Benazir Bhutto at her joint press conference with visiting French president Francois Mitterrand in Islamabad on this Wednesday. The government of India has similarly rejected proposals to declare South Asia as a nuclear-free zone, The reason why India is not prepared to consider an agreement with Pakistan under which both countries formally commit themselves not to make the bomb is that India's nuclear ambitions are actually more expansive. Despite the unfailing references to the threat of Pakistan going nuclear in justification of our own refusal to renounce the nuclear option, the fact is that New Delhi has always wanted to keep its nuclear option open even if there were a guarantee that Pakistan would not make the bomb. What the prime minister had to say at Rajkot was, therefore, far from being any particularly frank statement on the subject; it was actually a typical piece of Rajiv Gandhi-style Pakistan-bashing calculated to win votes in the assembly elections.

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