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Hindustan Interview Excerpt With PM October 6


Excerpt From Interview With PM October 6

Saurabh Shukla, Hindustan Times

SS After the 1998 Indian nuclear test NZ reacted very strongly. Do you think the trip is also aimed at making a fresh beginning after the chill? Will you tell India to sign the CTBT?

PM Well as a matter of principle NZ likes countries to sign the limited test ban treaty and we are well known for strong advocacy of nuclear disarmament. And certainly there have been times when I've been Prime Minister there's been enormous concern here about the possibility of nuclear war between India and Pakistan which we find extremely distressing. So India will always find NZ a voice for moving closer to nuclear disarmament not further away from it.

SS Do you think you can work with India towards ensuring non proliferation and to curb weapons, the spread of WMDs, do you think India can also act as a responsible nuclear power?

PM I hope we can work with India. I think that the resolution of this issue in many ways lies with the resolution over Kashmir. That's been the flashpoint. If that issue had some resolution I think the pressures on both India and Pakistan around nuclear weapons would diminish.

SS You still think that the nuclear issue has been, the two countries tested nuclear weapons because of the Kashmir issue?

PM I think that Kashmir is the flashpoint.

SS You still feel that? Because a lot, many leaders now shun that theory, they feel that Kashmir is an internal issue? Do you still feel it's a potential conflict?

PM Of course it is. But I think that India and Pakistan are showing signs of wanting to deal with it.

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