| GEO World|
| India warns Obama on nuclear test ban treaty|
| Updated at: 0541 PST, Tuesday, March 24, 2009|
WASHINGTON: India on Monday warned it would oppose the UN treaty banning nuclear tests, calling it disciminatory, despite President Barack Obama's hopes that the United States will ratify it.
Shyam Saran, India's special envoy on nuclear issues, conceded on a visit to Washington that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) could prove to be a "contentious" issue with the new US administration.
The CTBT would ban all nuclear explosions for any purpose. It cannot come into effect as nuclear powers such as the United States and China have not ratified it or, in the case of India and rival Pakistan, even signed it.
Saran said India opposed the CTBT because it "was not explicitly linked to the goal of nuclear disarmament."
"For India, this was crucial since it was not acceptable to legitimize, in any way, a permanent division between nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapons states," he said at the Brookings Institution.