Kremlin says world ‘more dangerous’ if US drops nuclear treaty

The violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2018
0

Kremlin says world ‘more dangerous’ if US drops nuclear treaty

  • ‘Russia has been and remains committed to the provisions of this treaty’
  • The treaty was signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev

RUSSIA: The Kremlin on Monday said the world would be less safe if Washington goes ahead with plans to withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty that banned intermediate-range missiles.
“Such steps, if taken, will make the world more dangerous,” said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov as he rejected claims by US President Donald Trump that Russia had violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
“Russia has been and remains committed to the provisions of this treaty,” he said.
The US had previously undermined the foundations of the agreement, Peskov added.
“The intention to withdraw from this document is of the deepest concern.”
Peskov reiterated an earlier statement by President Vladimir Putin that Russia would never strike first even if threatened with a nuclear attack.
“We don’t feel that we have the right to inflict the first strike,” he said.
The INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.
The treaty was signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, who at the weekend also criticized plans to pull out.
US national security adviser John Bolton is in Moscow for two days of talks in which the issue will be discussed.


Kashmiri students flee Indian backlash after suicide attack

Updated 19 min 44 sec ago
0

Kashmiri students flee Indian backlash after suicide attack

  • The crowds shouted “traitors” and “terrorists” at the Kashmiri students’ apartments and hostels
  • More than 500 students and 100 businessmen fled back to Kashmir because of the increasing tension

SRINAGAR, India: Junaid Ayub Rather cowered alongside 30 other students in a small room for two nights while mobs chanted for their blood outside, before finally escaping the rage sweeping India after last week’s suicide bombing in Kashmir.
Similar scenes have played out across the nation as Kashmiris living away from home flee violent reprisals following the latest attack in the restive Himalayan region, which killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers.
Rather said angry crowds gathered outside hostels and apartments rented by Kashmiri students in Dehradun, north of New Delhi, shouting for the “traitors” and “terrorists” hiding inside to be shot.
“It took us four days to reach home in Kashmir with some help from police and a Muslim businessman,” Rather, who had lived in the northern city for two years, told AFP after reaching his home south of Srinagar.
“Thirty of us slept in one room for two nights before we could mobilize help to flee.”
The businessman let them take refuge in his home until buses could be organized to get them to safety.
Around 11,000 Kashmiri students enroll at Indian universities outside their home state each year.
Many are now clamoring to return home to a region battle-scarred by 30 years of civil war, fearing violent attacks if they stay.
Video footage of Kashmiris being beaten and taunted in Indian cities has been widely shared on social media, while rightwing Hindu groups and pundits on TV news channels have encouraged reprisals.
A professor from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University this week publicly called for the execution of 40 Kashmiris to avenge the suicide bombing, while two other colleges announced they would no longer accept students from the territory.
More than 500 students, along with 100 businessmen, have already arrived back in Kashmir to flee a “climate of fear and intimidation across India,” said Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation chief Mohammad Yasin Khan.
More were on their way, he told AFP.
“We are continuously receiving distress calls from all kinds of people asking for help,” Khan said.
Some Kashmiri students have also been suspended by Indian universities for allegedly posting insensitive comments on social media about the suicide attack, while others have been arrested on sedition charges.
India’s interior ministry has ordered state governments to protect Kashmiri students — but several political leaders have also stoked aggressive anti-Kashmir sentiment since the bombing.
“Don’t visit Kashmir ... Boycott everything Kashmiri,” Meghalaya state governor Tathagata Roy wrote on Twitter.
More than 500,000 Indian troops are stationed in Kashmir, a territory administered by New Delhi but also claimed by neighboring Pakistan.
The two countries have battled three wars for control of the region, while an assortment of local insurgent groups have fought for a merger with Pakistan or outright independence.
Last week’s suicide attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group, based in Pakistan.
India has long accused Islamabad of giving official backing to Kashmiri rebel groups.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces an election in the coming months and is under pressure to take a tough stand on militants, has promised those responsible for the bombing “will pay a heavy price.”
His Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan promised retaliation against any Indian attack on his country’s soil.