04 June 1998
("Nobody gains from an escalation of a nuclear arms race") (530) By Wendy Lubetkin USIA European Correspondent Geneva -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sent a strong message to India and Pakistan June 4 that there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost from any further development of their nuclear weapons programs. Albright said the nuclear powers are in agreement that the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) should not be amended to accommodate India and Pakistan as new nuclear weapons states because "that would send a message that every nation is free to test its way into the nuclear club." "This is not the way to become part of a respected group," Albright declared in Geneva following a meeting of the five foreign ministers of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The meeting at the United Nations in Geneva was chaired by China's foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan, also included British Secretary of State Robin Cook, French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov. Albright described the meeting -- which produced a joint communique urging India and Pakistan to refrain from further testing and accede to the CTBT -- as the "beginning of a process" to try to bring India and Pakistan "back from the brink." "I think there was a general sense of agreement on this: that the worst thing would be to reward these two countries for having broken what is now a well-established nuclear non-proliferation regime, the NPT and the CTBT," she said. But Albright also emphasized that the international community should not isolate India and Pakistan "or make them outcasts or pariahs." "We must engage them. We must persuade and convince them that what the international community wants them to do, they should do, consistent with their legitimate security needs." "The reason that we are not big into inducements here is that we don't want any other country to feel that there is a benefit to having a nuclear weapons capability. This is not the way to become part of a respected group." India and Pakistan have "earned nothing, zero, zilch, by what they have done," she said. "They have only earned themselves the opprobrium of the international community and have made their people less secure, not to speak of poorer. "The best reason for them not to test is that it is not in their national interest to test. I think if they have not discovered it already, they will. "There are those who believe that India first tested because it wanted to show its power and to earn a certain amount of respect, and to gain security for its people. What has happened is that India has lost the respect of the international community: A nation that has the tradition of Gandhi, of non-violence and of Jawaharlal Nehru, who had great moral authority throughout major portions of the Cold War, that good name of India has been lost. "Because the Pakistanis immediately responded ... they are also less secure, and have less authority than they had before," Albright said. "Nobody gains from an escalation of a nuclear arms race."