In a significant development, India has joined a key global ballistic missile proliferation regime on June 2. New Delhi, however, clarified that it will not have any impact on the national security as well as the country’s missile programmes.
Elaborating on India’s decision to join the regime, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “India has joined the Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC) against Ballistic Missile Proliferation by notifying the HCoC Central Contact in Vienna through diplomatic channels.”
“The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction,” Mr Swarup added. The HCoC was formed in 2002. It comprises 137 members with China, Pakistan, Israel and Iran not being members of the voluntary regime.
On being asked whether India’s plan to join the HCoC will effectively mean that country has to shelve its Agni missile programme, Mr Swarup said: “Our national security interest will not be impacted in any manner, whatsoever, by joining HCoC.”
India will now have to provide pre-launch notifications on ballistic missiles, space launch vehicle launches and test flights as a signatory. As per the guidelines, India will also have to submit an annual declaration of policy on satellite launch vehicles and ballistic missiles.
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