India should lead nuclear debate at NAM: Experts


New Delhi : Ahead of the 16th Non-aligned Movement Summit in Tehran, a group of retired diplomats and experts Wednesday pitched for a proactive leadership role for India in steering the agenda on nuclear disarmament in the 120-nation NAM.

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The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the Indian Pugwash Society organised a discussion on “NAM positions on nuclear issues” here that asked India to leverage NAM to advance its national interests.

Arvind Gupta, director-general, IDSA, chaired the panel in which retired diplomats and experts, including R. Rajagopalan, Yogendra Kumar, Manpreet Sethi and Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal participated.

They said India should regain its position on nuclear issues and work towards building a consensus on them, instead of leaving the nuclear agendas to other countries, said the panel. India should also work towards widening the scope of debate by including issues like climate change and economic development, the panel said.

The panel suggested that the NAM should spearhead the process of nuclear arms control, which would help achieving the objective of global nuclear disarmament.

In his address at the NAM summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to unveil a raft of ideas for reinvigorating the NAM and adding greater economic and strategic content to the largest grouping of developing countries. He is also expected to underline India’s commitment to advancing universal nuclear disarmament.