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|September 26, 1998||
India won't start arms race, Vajpayee promises Annan
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has assured United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan about India's commitment towards normalising relations with Pakistan.
The question of unleashing an arms race in the sub-continent, the PM said, does not arise.
Vajpayee, whose meeting with the secretary general was cordial, told Annan that reports of rising tension in the region were grossly exaggerated.
The prime minister told the secretary general that on the question of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, India would take its own decision irrespective of the views of anyone else. India's moratorium on further nuclear tests and ''no first use'' should make it clear there was no intention on her part for an arms race.
Referring to the incidents of shelling across the Line of Control, Vajpayee said it had ceased ''giving ample proof that India is all for good neighbourly relations with Pakistan.
An external affairs ministry spokesman said Vajpayee also informed Annan that he and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief were both committed to making their talks fruitful.
Vajpayee hoped the economic relations between India and Pakistan would expand. India wished to shift the focus of its policy to serve the interests of the people of the two countries, he said.
Annan commended the Indian government's readiness to successfully conclude their ongoing discussions on the CTBT so that the treaty is not delayed beyond September 1999.
Following a similar announcement that Pakistan has made, India's statement increased the momentum for implementing the international law, Annan said.
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