| GEO World|
| India, Pak, N Korea urged to sign CTBT|
| Updated at: 0751 PST, Thursday, August 21, 2008|
VIENNA: India, Pakistan and North Korea were on Wednesday urged to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) for the political stability in the region.
The call was made by Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) of the United Nations, a day after Iraq signed the treaty in New York.
With Iraq signing the CTBT, the number of signatories to the treaty has gone up to 179 and "we expect to cross 180 shortly," Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of CTBTO Preparatory Commission told reporters here.
Of the 179 countries, 145 have ratified the treaty. But to bring it into force 44 specific countries' ratification is important. Six of the signatories -- the US, China, Iran, Israel, Egypt and Indonesia -- are yet to ratify while missing signatories include India, Pakistan and North Korea, Toth said.
He suggested that the ratification by the US could trigger other non-ratifiers, especially major weapons state like China, to do the same.
It does not, however, mean that China should wait for the US to ratify it, he said, adding "it is better that all the nuclear weapon countries are on board."
He said there were various levels of complications involved, but was optimistic about India, Pakistan and North Korea coming into the CTBT family.