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Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

Thursday December 18, 2003

On December 18 the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation hosted a roundtable in New Delhi for parliamentarians to introduce them to the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and encourage discussion between parliamentarians across party lines on nuclear weapons issues.

Mani Shankar Aiyar

The meeting, organized by Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar (Congress Party), attracted parliamentarians from a range of parties including the government coalition and opposition parties. It provided a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to discuss nuclear weapons issues across parties in a non-partisan, informal environment where there was no need to score political points or remain wedded to party positions.  

Guest presenter Alyn Ware (PNND Global Coordinator) briefed the parliamentarians on current developments in nuclear doctrine and international nuclear disarmament initiatives. Achin Vanaik (Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace) gave a presentation on possible nuclear risk reduction measures between India and Pakistan.

Opinions expressed by parliamentarians ranged from support for India's current nuclear doctrine to support for changes in doctrine which would allow for greater progress on nuclear risk reduction measures and towards nuclear disarmament.

There was general support for an increase in parliamentary participation in nuclear weapons policy development, in international dialogue with parliamentary members from other countries particularly the other States possessing nuclear weapons, and in international disarmament meetings.

The dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir was raised as a key issue shaping nuclear policy. There was hope that some progress might be made at the forthcoming meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

This was the first PNND meeting in India and serves as a platform to hold further cross party informal discussions between parliamentarians on nuclear weapons issues.

A list of participants is attached.


Members of Parliament
Shrimati Krishna Bose Trinamul (Chair of the Committee on External Affairs)
Shri Rashid Alvi BSP
Shri R.L. Bhatia Congress (Member, Committee on External Affairs)
Shri M. Bhattacharya Revolutionary Socialist Party
Shri S. Chaturvedi Congress (Member, Committee on External Affairs)
Shri K.P. Singh Deo Congress
Shri Suresh Kurup CPI (Member, Committee on External Affairs)
Shri Suresh Prabhu Shiv Sena (Member, Committee on External Affairs)
Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar Congress (Member, Committee on External Affairs
Alyn Ware Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament
Achin Vanaik Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace
Shri J.N. Dixit Chair of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
Proj Muchkund Dubey J. Nehru University
Shrimati Savita Pandey J. Nehru University
Ashok Sharma World Peace & Nuclear Disarmament
Dr Vinay Jain Scientist
Apologies from Members of Parliament
Shri Prithviraj Chavan Congress
Shri Roy Choudhary
Shri Krishna Dev BJP
Shri Balbir Puny BJP
P.M. Tripathi BJP
Shri Abdul Saheen NC
Shri K. Yerrannaidu TDP
Shri K Narwar Singh Congress
Shri Shyana Singh Congress



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