April 10, 2021 4:00:35 am
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has warned that the development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan would have “grave and irreversible consequences on the Subcontinent” and India would “respond in an appropriate manner to any such development”. What worried her was that the moves to strengthen Pakistan’s military power was part of a larger strategic alignment stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Replying to a debate on the Defence Budget in the Lok Sabha, she said the argument that Pakistan needed to be strengthened in view of the designs of India was malicious. India, she said, had never done anything which could be harmful to any neighbouring country. She said External Affairs Minister P V Narasimha Rao would be visiting Pakistan soon in pursuance of the Simla Agreement.
With the future of the Indo-US nuclear cooperation uncertain, the Indian government made it clear that it reserves the right to the spent fuel at Tarapur. The government confirmed that the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission H N Sethna and the Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Eric Gonsalves are going to leave for Washington next week to discuss the nuclear question. There are clear indications that the agenda is not just about supplies of enriched uranium but the future of the 1963 nuclear treaty which should have ordinarily guided Indo-US nuclear cooperation 1993.
UP Lawyers’ Stir
The 46-day old agitation for a High Court bench in Western UP by lawyers of the region’s 25 districts has intensified. In Meerut, 16 lawyers were arrested when they went on dharna. In Muzaffarnagar, 11 lawyers tried to court arrest but were unsuccessful. The agitation has adversely affected the police and administrative work in the region. In Meerut, the number of undertrials has doubled since February 23 — the day the agitation began.
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