India urged to ban use of anti-personnel mines (India)
New Delhi, UNI: The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) has said it would try to persuade the government to ban the use of anti-personnel landmines in the country.
At the conclusion of a two-day conference on ''Towards A Mine Free World and Ottawa Treaty'' here last evening, ICBL said it would make serious efforts to create a political will on the crucial issue.
ICBL National Coordinator Balkrishan Kurvey said it planned to engage with the Parliament Standing Committee of the Defence Ministry and persuade the government to march towards a mine free world and the Ottawa treaty.
Dr Kurvey appreciated the government for looking at the humanitarian aspect of the Ottawa treaty, and said the issue of landmines could be tackled through dialogue.
Earlier, participants dwelt upon the impact of landmine on agriculture and environment in detail, calling for an immediate end to the use of landmine.
Environmentalist and biologist Dr L K Dadhich said toxic elements in landmine contains poisonous lead and mercury, which lead to soil erosion and have ill effects on environment.
Wildlife board member from Maharashtra, Dilip Yardi, said there was a hazardous effect of landmines on wild animals. Several incidents have been reported on wild animals becoming victims of landmine blasts.
India is committed to the humanitarian ideals of the Ottawa treaty, he said, adding that the government had certain reservations on signing the agreement due to the long porous border it shares with neighbours.
However, India had attended all meetings on the issue since the Nairobi Review Conference as an observer, Mr Yardi said.
Von: 25.4.2008, www.deccanherald.com