Is the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) India's major area of difference with the US?
The CTBT is under discussion. Nobody has refused anything. We have one view, they have another. But these views have to be discussed. What is important is that we have now recognised the sagacity of agreeing to differ where there are differences. And the number of differences sometimes dwindle, sometimes increase. Things change. In 1992 when I went to the US, there were so many differences: sanctions on ISRO, Super 301, Special 301, copyright, Kashmir—but now all that has disappeared.
But is the report in the New York Times (NYT) a pressure tactic to get India to sign the CTBT?
Reports of this kind appear from time to time. A report in NYT is not what the people of America are saying. Going by some reports in American papers, you'd think Bill Clinton was the worst president who ever ruled America! Yet this is clearly not so. There is tremendous freedom of expression in that country. Even here I saw in the papers the other day that I had "thundered and blundered" about something I had never even said! Sometimes things are put into my mouth that exist only in the imagination of journalists. But this doesn't mean we don't have to discuss the CTBT.
Is it an irreconcilable difference?
Nothing is an irreconcilable difference before full discussions have taken place. We have been periodically telling the world since 1954 about nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. In 1988, Rajiv Gandhi announced his action plan for a nuclear-free world by 2010. In a joint statement by Clinton and Narasimha Rao in May 1994, there were statements about non-proliferation and reduction of nuclear weapons with a view to their elimination. So what we are now saying, what the Prime Minister and...