US doesn't subscribe to CTBT, but asks India, Pakistan to sign it

A refugee stands under a symbolic missile outside Muzafferabad, the Line of Control between India and Pakistan January 5, 2002 in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Photograph:( Getty )

Agencies New Delhi, India Aug 24, 2016, 06.18 AM (IST)

The United States (US) has asked India and Pakistan to sign and ratify Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in a bid to encourage the two countries to exercise restraint for improving strategic stability.

"We welcome this high-level dialogue between India and Pakistan, encourage both countries to engage in the dialogue and exercise restraint aimed at improving strategic stability,"  State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said. 

Pakistan's recent proposal to India for a bilateral agreement for not conducting a nuclear testing of atomic weapons has been welcomed by Toner. 

"I think this proposal is something we would leave to India's consideration," he said at his daily news conference yesterday.

"It remains in our view that the most practical way to achieve a legally binding commitment on nuclear explosive testing would be for both states to sign and ratify the CTBT," Toner said.

Pakistan on August 12 had said that it was ready for an agreement with India on a bilateral moratorium on nuclear non-testing.

The multilateral treaty, CTBT, bans all nuclear explosions, including underground testing, for both military and civilian purposes. 

This is not the first time the United States has asked non-NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) signatories such as India and Pakistan to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The US (United States) has been saying this for long. That said, the US's appeal rings hollow given its own track record: The US itself is still to ratify the CTBT.

India has consistently maintained that it is not in a hurry to sign up to the CTBT. Instead, it adheres to a unilateral, voluntary moratorium. Also, India's nuclear doctrine is based on a no-first-use policy, credible minimum deterrent and a second strike capability, including a nuclear triad, whereby India can inflict unacceptable damage on the enemy from land, air and sea.

(WION with inputs from agencies)