U.S. Blamed for Pakistan’s Nuclear Effort

New Delhi, India — Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi Saturday warned that Pakistan is building nuclear weapons and that India is considering what action to take to counter “this dangerous development.”

Gandhi, opening a two day meeting of the ruling Congress (I) Party, indirectly criticized the United States for failing to stop Pakistan’s nuclear efforts.

“The government now has definite reports that Pakistan is going ahead with the development of nuclear weapons and this dangerous development will completely change the present military balance in the  subcontinent,”’ Gandhi said.

“We are looking into various aspects of this development and what action we should take,’’ Gandhi told his party’s delegates.

India exploded a nuclear device in 1974 but so far has not built a deliverable nuclear weapon.

Gandhi’s comments were seen as an indication he may be reconsidering a nuclear weapons program for India in reaction to the alleged Pakistani program an option urged by a number of influential defense analysts.

 Another option, mentioned in a security briefing last year to congressmen in Washington, is a preemptive air strike to destroy Pakistani nuclear facilities.

A resolution introduced at the party conference particularly warned of “the persistent efforts of Pakistan to acquire nuclear military capability” and said “‘this dimension has to be clearly noted by our security planners.” Pakistan has repeat idly denied its nuclear program is intended to produce weapons.

Humayun Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to India, told a meeting of foreign correspondents last week that Pakistan has made proposals for mutual inspection of nuclear facilities, but India has not responded to the suggestions.

In his speech, Gandhi said unnamed ‘“‘big powers’’ were not genuine on their efforts to stop Pakistan from developing nuclear arms.

In Parliament Friday, he singled out the United States for making Pakistan an exception to an amendment that prohibits giving any aid to a country developing nuclear weapons.

Gandhi said the waiver of the amendment passed by Congress amounted to helping Pakistan develop nuclear arms.

Gandhi is scheduled to visit the United States in June. The nuclear question and general U.S. military aid to Pakistan are expected to be major topics of his discussion with President Ronald Reagan.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1985