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NEW DELHI: India will renounce the nuclear weapons which she is on the verge of developing if the major atomic powers guarantee her effective protection against nuclear threats from People’s China, a top-ranking official told AFP today [April 18].

Details of a satisfactory system of protection, without which India will refuse to sign a nuclear non-proliferation treaty, will be discussed in Geneva this week by Indian Foreign Minister M.C. Chagla, who will arrive in Geneva on Thursday for a series of meetings with the leaders of delegations to the Disarmament conference.

Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Chagla himself have already made clear India’s special position with regard to the non-proliferation treaty proposed by the nuclear powers. The official said it will not be possible for us to sign the treaty without satisfactory assurances andprotection against nuclear attack.

[Meanwhile, as reported by our correspondent in London,] President Ayub Khan has characterised the American decision to cut off arms aid as “unfair to Pakistan” in an interview with correspondent Neville Maxwell of “The Times”, now visiting Pakistan, which was published today [April 18].

“India is arming feverishly,” the President told “The Times” correspondent in Rawalpindi yesterday. “They are racing and we are being dragged into this race.”

In President Ayub’s view Washington’s decision would not help to end the arms race in the subcontinent.

He dismissed the lifting of the American embargo on spare parts for “lethal” military hardware as “no concession to any country like us that has been and still is in alliance with the United States”.

“The Times” correspondent described the American military hardware in possession of Pakistan as “out of date, outmoded, and would itself have to be replaced in due course.”

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2017