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India, Pakistan Reaffirm Nuclear Test Ban

India and Pakistan Sunday announced to renew a moratorium on nuclear test and agreed to establish a new hotline between their foreign ministries to reduce nuclear risks.  

"Each side reaffirmed its unilateral moratorium on conducting further nuclear test explosions unless, in exercise of national sovereignty, it decides that extraordinary events have jeopardized its supreme interests," India's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


In the joint statement issued by the two countries, after two days of talks in New Delhi, they agreed to establish a telephone hotline to prevent misunderstandings and reduce risks of a sudden nuclear flare-up.


The joint statement said an existing hotline between directors-general of military operations in both countries also would be improved and secured.


Nuclear tests were carried out by India and Pakistan in May 1998, provoking military and economic sanctions by the United States and its allies. The world was in fear of a possible nuclear confrontation when the two countries fought in 1999, and came close to war again in mid-2002 when India accused Pakistan of launching a terrorist attack on its Parliament compound.


(Xinhua News Agency June 21, 2004)

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