An American Senator's Quest for Disarmament

Larry Pressler (L) and Sidhart Bhatia (R)

The Pressler Amendment restricted financial and military aid to Pakistan if the U.S. President did not annually certify that Pakistan was not in possession of, nor building towards nuclear arms. Invoked in 1985, the amendment was a meant to monitor and potentially restrict the nuclear armament of Pakistan. Presidents Reagan and Bush were found to be in violation of this amendment as Pakistan continued to develop nuclear capability during their tenure, which in turn led to increased tensions with India, and other neighbors in the region.

Would pursuing the Pressler Amendment standards in the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere have made the world a safer place? Can neighbours in Asia maintain peace while fully armed? How do U.S. concerns on North Korea, Afghanistan, and the South China Sea impact the relationship of Asian neighbors?

Join Senator Larry Pressler, who championed the landmark legislation, as he talks about the nations and neighbours of South Asia from a historic and prospective viewpoint. His recent book, Neighbours in Arms: An American Senator’s Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Subcontinent, throws light on U.S. foreign policy in the subcontinent. Joining him in the discussion will be Sidharth Bhatia, founding editor of The Wire.

Senator Larry Pressler was a U.S. senator for 18 years. The first in his family to attend college, he interrupted his Rhodes scholarship to Oxford to enlist in the U.S. Army and served two combat tours in Vietnam. He went on to earn graduate degrees from Oxford, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Law School. Elected twice to the House of Representatives and later to the U.S. Senate for three terms, among his signature achievements were the Pressler Amendment, which briefly halted the spread of nuclear weapons in the 1990s, and the epochal Telecommunications Act of 1996 which enabled the start of the Internet.

Sidharth Bhatia is the Founding Editor of The Wire, one of India’s best-known independent online publications. He was on the founding team of the English newspaper Daily News and Analysis (DNA) in Mumbai in 2005. He has written and edited several books on cinema and popular culture. He was awarded a Press Fellowship in Wolfson College, University of Cambridge in 1990, and then again in 2001 and writes on politics and society.




Event Details

Mon 25 Sep 2017
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Visitors Annexe, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Fort, Mumbai
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