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Atal sermon to nuclear priests

Mumbai, Oct. 31: An angry Atal Bihari Vajpayee today lashed out at the “high priests” of non-proliferation, asking them to first tackle illegal development and transfer of nuclear technology before lecturing India on the ethics of it.

The Prime Minister was referring to recent reports in the American media of a transfer and exchange of nuclear technology between Pakistan and North Korea.

“The high priests of non-proliferation should first tackle the illegal development and transfer of nuclear technology before lecturing India on the ethics of the issue,” said the Prime Minister, in an apparent reference to nations that have developed nuclear technology.

India had always been transparent about its nuclear-weapons programme and the reasons for the May 1998 nuclear testing in Pokhran was “well known”, asserted Vajpayee, who was here to inaugurate new facilities at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (Barc).

The tests were carried out to ensure minimum credible deterrence, he said.

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