PM Hopeful of US Help in Getting Official N-Power Status

Given country’s flawless record in the field of non-proliferation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hopes that the US will help India receive official status of a nuclear weapon state.

“Well, I hope it will happen,” he was quoted as saying by CNN in response to query whether he thinks that the US should try to press the issue and have India brought into the system as a nuclear weapons state.

The interview taken by Fareed Zakaria of CNN was held before his visit to Washington last week. Its first part was telecast on November 22 while the second on last Sunday.

In response to another question if it is fair to say that one of the ultimate objectives of India would perhaps be to become a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty system, but to be invited in as a nuclear weapons state in the way that China was, the Prime Minister said that it would be a positive development.

India’s ultimate goal is actually to sign the treaty, but it does not have official nuclear state status. China got that in 1992, and that is what India wants, Zakaria said.

“Well, if we were to go that way, that would be a very positive development from our point of view,” Singh said. “We are a nuclear weapons state, but we are a responsible nuclear power. We have an impeccable record of not having contributed to unauthorised proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

“So, I think India does require, I think, greater consideration of the global community,” Singh said.

It should be noted that during Prime Minster’s state visit, US President Barack Obama had identified India as a nuclear power.

“As nuclear powers, we can be full partners in preventing the spread of the world’s most deadly weapons, securing loose nuclear materials from terrorists, and pursuing our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama had said.

Many experts viewed the statement as recognition by the US that India is a nuclear state.

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