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Inquiry into India's nuclear tests



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INQUIRY INTOjnVDIA’S NUCLEAR TESTS L o - ^ L r » - , ' ' ί ί

Senator John Hogg, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee welcomed the Senate’s decision today to refer the matter of India’s nuclear tests to the Committee for inquiry and report by 3 November 1998. The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

the implications of India’s nuclear tests, and the nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs of both India and Pakistan, for regional and international security; and

the Australian Government’s role in international efforts to constrain nuclear weapon and ballistic missile proliferation in South Asia.

Senator Hogg said, “India’s recent nuclear tests have attracted widespread international condemnation and the imposition of a range of sanctions by a number of countries. The tests were conducted in the face of international efforts to rid the world of all nuclear tests and, ultimately, of nuclear arsenals.”

“The resumption of nuclear tests by India appears to have provoked Pakistan to prepare for its own nuclear tests, thereby unnecessarily increasing tension in the region”, said Senator Hogg. “The effects of India’s precipitate action will, however, undoubtedly be felt well beyond the boundaries of the two countries.”

As a first step in its inquiry, the Committee is calling for written submissions addressing the terms of reference to be lodged with its secretariat by 6 July 1998.

For further information:

Senator John Hogg (Chairman) Tel. 02-6277 3545 (Parliament House, Canberra)

Mr Paul Barsdell (Secretary) Tel. 02-62773535 Fax. 02-6277 5818.

Canberra 28 May 1998