India should become party to MBT: Red Cross panel
New Delhi (PTI): The International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday suggested that India become a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT). "India should become a party to MBT as it would be more appropriate for India to look for a solution before the problem aggravates," Regional Representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross Vincent Nicod said participating in a conference on anti-personnel mines.
"India is not a party to the treaty. About three-fourths of the world is party to the treaty. India is a growing power, so it can sign (the treaty)," Nicod said.
Noting that in India there is a high rate of casualties along the LoC and International Border with Pakistan, Medha Bisht of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis said an agreement should be signed with the neighbouring country as a confidence-building measure.
Drawing concern to the fact that about 15,000-20,000 people become victim to landmines across the world, she advocated that India should sign the convention.
However, terming the use of landmines as a matter of security strategy rather than solely a humanitarian concern, Defence Strategy Analyst Maj Gen Vinod Saighal said there was no need for India to sign the treaty.
Speaking at the conference on `Indispensability of Anti-Personnel Mines for India's Defence - Myth or Reality', Saighal said, looking ten years ahead, it is the Non-State Actors who are extensively going to use these cheap weapons.
Echoing Saighal's views, Lt Gen Kalkat said thinking of a ban without an alternative solution was illogical.
"There exists a certain kind of the hypocrisy in this regard. The NATO is not a signatory to the convention, nor are powers like the US, Russia and China, even though 156 nations have signed it," Kalkat said.
Von: www.hindu.com, 26.03.2008