Sunday, March 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CTBT: ‘no succumbing to pressure’

NEW DELHI, March 4 (PTI) — Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today asserted India would not succumb to any pressure on signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and would keep intact its sovereignty and rights.

“India will not come under any pressure to sign the CTBT,” Mr Vajpayee said while talking to an Arya Samaj delegation here on the occasion of Swami Dayanand Saraswati anniversary.

“India’s sovereignty and rights will be preserved,” he said.

Mr Vajpayee’s remarks assume significance as they come ahead of US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India later this month.

Washington has been insisting that India and Pakistan sign the treaty following nuclear tests by the two neighbours.

New Delhi has contended that by strictly adhering to its decision to observe a voluntary moratorium on further nuclear tests, it is in effect conforming to the provisions of the treaty.

Stating that the government would protect the country’s economic interests at all costs, the Prime Minister gave an assurance that multinational companies would never be allowed to harm “our interests”.

Mr Vajpayee said small industries should have no difficulty in adopting new technologies to keep pace with the changing times. “Keeping this in view, we are encouraging competition in this sector,” he remarked.

He said the country’s march on the road to self-reliance would alone lead to prosperity.

LUCKNOW (PTI): Violations of the Line of Control by Pakistan will not figure at the talks with President Bill Clinton during his proposed visit to India, Defence Minister George Fernandes said on Saturday.

Pakistan was using “suicide squads” to create trouble on the border and the hike in the allocation for defence in the Budget would help strengthen the defence forces of the country, he told reporters here.

Replying to queries, Mr Fernandes said “action” on the Subramaniam Committee report had been “started” and added “the results will soon come to light.”

Emphasising that the Navy would acquire three aircraft carriers from Russia, he said “indigenous manufacture of aircraft carriers will be taken up” to meet the Navy’s needs.


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