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India’s Disarmament Initiative 1988: Continuing Relevance, Valid Pointers for an NWFW

Abstract
The run up to the NPT Review Conference in 2010 brought nuclear disarmament into focus. Transitory though this trend turned out to be, it nevertheless became a trigger for India to re-examine its own position on disarmament. In order to take a considered view on the subject, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh instituted an Informal Group in October 2010 with the specific mandate to examine the relevance of the Action Plan that had been presented by Rajiv Gandhi in 1988. Were there any specific elements of that plan that were worth pursuing in the new security environment? What role could and should India play as a state with nuclear weapons in the pursuit of disarmament? Should India make the drive towards universal nuclear disarmament a priority in its diplomatic initiatives? Did India have the moral standing to do so after she herself had acquired the weapon? Has anything changed in the international climate to suggest that the Indian lead would attract like-minded nations? How should India approach other nations on this issue? These were some of the questions that the Informal Group considered before presenting its report to the Prime Minister in August 2011. It firmly conveyed the conviction that “India can and must play an effective and credible role as the leader of a campaign for the goal of universal nuclear disarmament, both because India can bring to the campaign its moral strength deriving from six decades of consistently campaigning for nuclear disarmament but also now the weight of its growing presence in the international system.”
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Universal Nuclear Disarmament: What Can India Offer?

Universal nuclear disarmament** is not a new concept. From the time that the weapon was first used in 1945, and once the horrendous destruction that it could cause was understood, countries have struggled with the challenge of how to put the genie back into the bottle. To little avail. Read More