Kashmir is a key issue: US body
22 June 2004
Washington DC: The nuclear and missile arms race between India and Pakistan cannot be averted without normalizing their bilateral relations, particularly over Kashmir, says a nuclear non-proliferation strategy unveiled in Washington on Monday. The strategy for universal compliance of nuclear non- proliferation, presented at a two-day conference at Washington's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recognizes Kashmir as a key dispute that prevents India and Pakistan from normalizing their relations. 'Averting a nuclear and missile arms race between India and Pakistan requires progress in normalizing these two states' overall relationship, particularly concerning Kashmir,' says the report. Similarly, achieving a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East will require normalization of relations between Israel and other regional states and entities, the report says. But relations between Israel and Arab states cannot improve without a just settlement of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and the cessation of terrorist attacks, the report says. The report notes that India and Pakistan have demonstrated their possession of nuclear weapons and are now pressing supporters of the nonproliferation regime to remove technology embargoes applied to them. Israel, the report says, does not confirm or deny its widely recognized possession of nuclear weapons, but its nuclear status causes turmoil within the nonproliferation regime. The report notes that ' each of these states has committed itself to preventing further proliferation.' Reminding the international community that the use of nuclear weapons could result in 'staggering casualties and global disorder', the report reminds India, Pakistan and Israel that they have a special obligation to ensure that their nuclear weapons 'are not used and do not spread.'