With regard to Salim Gul's Aug. 25 letter, I have no comment to make on his assertion regarding the nature of Pakistan's political system. It is for the people of Pakistan to determine the meaning and content of their pres-ent political process -- if it meets the criteria of a true democracy. However, permit me to reiterate India's stand on various proposals made by Pakistan on the nuclear issue.

India, as early as 1968, indicated its inability to sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty so long as the treaty remains discriminatory and imposes no real responsibility for nonproliferation on states with nuclear weapons.

South Asia cannot be designated a nuclear-weapons-free zone when it is surrounded by nuclear-weapons states. The behavior of some of these states impinges directly on India's security.

As for inspections -- bilateral or by the International Atomic Energy Agency -- India has made it clear that these cannot be accepted unless nuclear-weapons powers do them as well.

India has had the capability to make weapons for the last 13 years, but has chosen not to do so. In this field, actions speak louder than words. That is why a Pakistani uranium enrichment plant raises concerns in India -- Pakistan does not even have reactors that use enriched uranium.

In the final analysis, the problem is one of an attempt to portray the issue as a purely Indo-Pakistani problem when it is anything but that.

The debate on nuclear proliferation in the United States has been activated by yet another attempt to steal nuclear technology and material required in a nuclear-weapons program. At issue is the source of technology and materials (the United States) and its illegal destination (Pakistan). Equally at issue is the upholding of U.S. laws. This should be clear to anyone who is not interested in fudging the issue. India's nuclear policy is not the issue; nor can India understand how its nuclear policy can justify the violation of U.S. laws by a Pakistani.


First Secretary, Embassy of India