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Nuclear Thread - 3
<b>UPA leaders meet to fine-tune strategy</b>

July 11, 2008

Top leaders of UPA allies met on Friday to fine-tune their political strategy as the ruling coalition braced towards a trust vote in the Parliament in the wake of withdrawal of support by Left parties, plunging the government into a minority.

A date for convening a special session of the Parliament to seek trust vote is also understood to have been discussed.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi indicated that a session of Parliament may be convened after July 22.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images], RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, Shivraj Patil, T R Baalu (DMK), Praful Patel (NCP) and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti among others. JMM leader Hemlal Mummu also attended the meeting, capping speculation that it may keep out of the parley with the party being peeved at the "attitude" of coalition leaders towards its chief Shibu Soren.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of Indian Union Muslim League, whose MP E Ahamed is the Minister of State for External Affairs, voicing concern over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The Muslim League is also considering various options, including withdrawing Ahamed from the ministry. The party has decided at a meeting of its top leadership in Palakkad in Kerala [Images] on Thursday to vote in favour of the government when it seeks the trust vote.

The UPA leaders are understood to have reviewed the current situation and the stand to be adopted as the government moved ahead with the deal circulating the draft safeguards agreement among members of the IAEA Board of Governors.

The Congress managers are burning the midnight oil to ensure that the combine sail through the trust vote and are in constant touch with small groups like Deve Gowda's JD(S) and Ajit Singh's RLD.

The party is hopeful that the government could bank on the support of 273 members in the Lok Sabha which currently has 543 members due to two vacancies. Singh said yesterday that he will seek a vote of confidence "as early as possible" and the cabinet would meet to decide the date for convening the Lok Sabha.


Govt. to seek national support for nuke deal: Ashwani Kumar

New Delhi (PTI): With the government readying itself for a trust vote in Parliament, Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar on Friday said the UPA will seek wide national support for the India-US nuclear deal.

"We seek widest possible support for the deal. We are going to prove our majority in Parliament," Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of an All India Management Association function here.

The government is "talking to all political parties" to garner support for the deal, Kumar said a day after the text of the India-specific IAEA safeguard agreement was made public.

Addressing the AIMA members, Kumar said there was "overwhelming support" for the nuclear energy agreement with the US.

"We see overwhelming support and the nation will rise above the partisan line accepting it as a national project", he said.

On the Left charge that the UPA government was tilting its policies towards the US, Kumar said, "We never compromised on our foreign policy".

Referring to inflation which has reached close to the 12 per cent mark, Kumar said the government's priority is to stabilise prices. "Cement prices are falling, we would like them to stablise," he said.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Bondage in perpetuity </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
India set to join nuclear have-nots
But for the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency -- like many other UN watchdog bodies -- leaks like a sieve, we would still have been ignorant of the contents of the draft safeguards agreement submitted by the UPA Government for circulation among IAEA Governors for their approval. The Government of India, it is obvious, is yet to recognise the power of the Internet and realise the importance of transparency at home instead of obsessive secrecy. But even if there had been a tradition of transparent governance -- look at the remarkable way policies are framed in the US -- the Government would have been reluctant to make the draft of the proposed safeguards agreement with the IAEA public. On the contrary, it would have exerted -- as it has done -- to keep it a secret, just as it has been less than forthcoming about the fineprint of the proposed India-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement ever since it was first mooted on July 18, 2005. Sure, the Prime Minister has on various occasions made statements in Parliament on this issue; in retrospect, on none of these occasions has he been upfront. Doubts and apprehensions raised by parliamentarians were brushed aside as being 'unfounded'; questions asked by scientists were studiedly ignored as being 'irrelevant'. Yet, with the unveiling of the draft safeguards agreement, those 'unfounded' doubts and apprehensions have come true and the 'irrelevant' questions have been answered: The UPA Government has led India into a binding commitment that has little to do with the production of civilian nuclear energy and everything to do with bringing us within the restrictive framework of nuclear non-proliferation. The 'deal' is not about liberating India from the clutches of wayward oil-producing nations and the vagaries of fossil fuel, but binding us to the interests of the non-proliferation lobby and the business interests of the nuclear power industry.

<b>So, while the UPA Government is all set to agree to a safeguards regime, no different from and equally rigorous as that imposed on non-nuclear weapon states, in perpetuity, it has conveniently forgotten the Prime Minister's assurance that the nuclear deal and its attendant agreements would ensure nuclear fuel supply in perpetuity. The 'corrective measures' India can take in the event of disruption in supplies that have been mentioned almost perfunctorily in the preamble to the draft agreement with the IAEA remain unelaborated in the text. If the draft were to be approved and signed by the IAEA Governors, India would continue to remain at the mercy of nuclear fuel suppliers and as vulnerable as it was when supplies to Tarapur were choked on the most specious and untenable grounds. There is nothing in the draft which substantiates the UPA Government's claim, reiterated so often by the Prime Minister, that it would be a 'India specific' safeguards agreement which would set us apart from the non-nuclear weapon states and tacitly accord us a status similar to that enjoyed by the P5. The IAEA divides the world into two halves: The nuclear haves and the nunclear have-nots. With this action of the UPA Government, India is set to be formally placed in the second category, and will be doomed to remain there forever.  </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Selling India Better Than Signing N-Deal</b>
Saurav Basu
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->So, Manmohan Singh has finally cast the die which has stumped both the NDA and the left. The Samajwadi party which in 1998 refused to support the congress coalition has proved the old adage that in politics there are no permanent friends and enemies. Dwindling electoral returns in UP has forced it to commit compromise and retain its identity in Indian politics. The BJP which was expecting fresh polls will now have to go back to the drawing board and concentrate on assembly elections. Its gambit for forcing early elections has collapsed.

Manmohan Singh without exaggeration has been the most effeminate prime minister of India, every decision of his being dictated by Sonia Gandhi and son, who represents herself as the unconstitutional head of the UPA coalition. Sonia Gandhi"s play on renunciation was lapped up by the melodrama seeking junta - her inner voice had supposedly contradicted her greedy outer voice which was itching to grab power from the NDA by orchestrating the grand conspiracy in which the Vajpayee government fell by a single vote in 1998 - the Congress supremo also committed the ideological fraud in allowing Gomango, who had even been sworn in as CM of Orissa to vote in the house on the flimsy excuse that he had not yet resigned from his Lok Sabha membership. But her desire to capture power then had been terminated ironically by the very man who has chosen to keep the Congress boat rocking now - Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav

For over four years, Manmohan Singh has been found wanting in every department - from security to economics. New records have been set in inflation, cross border infiltration, Muslim minoritysim, Hindu defamation and the reservation rhapsody. Each time Singh chose to keep mum when the nation was grappling with key issues. His tongue only wagged when Sonia Gandhi expressly sanctioned so - like the babble in which events in Gujarat were described as a holocaust. Farmers committing suicide in Andhra and Vidarbha, or terrorists blowing up Hindus does not cause him to lose sleep - but when a Muslim with suspect terror links is detained in Australia Singh admitted to having sleepless nights. He apologized to the Sikhs for the pogrom without explaining what are the compelling reasons which necessitate protection of the Congresswalas who performed them and constituted the vanguard of the movement. Where was he hiding in 1984 when Sikhs were burning? Even Khushwant Singh, who declared India for Indira, rebelled against his profound sycophantic tendencies in the aftermath of the Sikh pogrom but not Manmohan Singh.

There are Indians who deify Singh since he won a gold medal in his economics exam. (Admittedly, it does not help in controlling inflation) They speak of his liberalizing tendencies in 1991 forgotten to add as a catchnote that it was the iron whip of the World Bank which compelled India to gallop towards globalization. Ironically, the very party which had debased India into license raj submission was the Congress and Manmohan Singh had been party to the same policies for over two decades. His actions have to been seen as actions under duress because in 1991 the nation was gasping on its last forex reserves - in effect India faced bankruptcy and Manmohan and the congress political extinction.

Those who vouch for Manmohan"s meritocracy seem to be living in a different planet for sure. Have they forgotten that it was Manmohan Singh in 2004, who just after assuming power declared his noblest intentions in enforcing caste based reservation in the private sector by quoting Victor Hugo "it was an idea whose time had come." [1] Now, it doesn"t need one to be a rocket scientist to deduce that who was the inspiration behind Arjun Singh"s scheme of grand reservation!

So when Manmohan Singh clinched the nuclear deal, there was no need to go gaga over the affair. But hagiographic Congress manipulated media, were quick to pounce on the so called success and spread the myths of India"s grand success in registering the deal. But the saner scholars had already smelt a conspiracy.

Neither has the PM"s conduct been inspirational. It is very surprisingly that a PM has suddenly rediscovered his manliness in case of the deal when it was all but nonexistent when the left was persistently obstructing UPA"s economic and foreign policy? Even two days back, Manmohan Singh continued his banter on the nuclear deal not being detrimental to India"s national interests and yet dogmatically refused to competently and expertly allay the apprehensions of those against the deal. He also keeps harping on the deal being essential for rescuing India from an impending energy crisis. And what a surprise that most major media houses internalized his suggestions right from the start without any critical questioning on a deal of such strategic implications. But what is most disappointing is the attitude of some loudmouthed Manmohan mongers who have surrendered their intellectual faculties to their US centric boardroom bosses. I distinctly remember that in the last US elections, Indian BPO employees were rooting for Bush because he was pro outsourcing. How much more parochial can you get?

At least in this debate which involves major technical details the efforts should have been to arrive at a consensus amongst experts in science, technology and economics. But every tom-dick and harry seems to be opinionated to his own understanding of the deal. Have they even questioned themselves that how nuclear energy can solve India"s growing energy needs when they have failed in the very country which is marketing the deal and which has chosen to migrate to solar energy instead. They should have the humility to appreciate that it is only for professionals in hard sciences and economics to judge the deal, and not laymen some of whom don"t even possess a +2 degree in the same.

An urgent digression is required at this point. Some obscure economist has concurred that India would not get a better deal [but what if it ain"t any worth at all!] Some have pointed to the victory of Indian diplomacy which ratified the deal in the US Senate with such overwhelming majority. Instead as Arun Shourie pointed out when the overwhelming margin simply reflected the fact that, so many new conditions having been added to the Bill, the overwhelming proportion of legislators felt it would now overwhelmingly advance US" objectives, and sink our autonomy. America is a nation which will never surrender its self interest at the cost of any other, leave alone India which does not count high in its agenda. Our American friends were the first to impose sanctions on India when India conducted its nuclear tests in 1998. Previously, it had also scuttled the Congress government"s attempt to perform nuclear tests twice. This was despite it being aware that the rogue state in Pakistan was in possession of Chinese based nuclear technology which they emphatically demonstrated just two weeks after India"s tests. Apart from that it constantly pressurized successive Indian governments to sign the unfair CTBT. Have we forgotten that in the not so distant past, the Dabhol ENRON power treaty was projected as being vital to India"s energy and investment - and its consequent signing by the 13 day Vajpayee government caused the Maharashtra Electricity board to slip into bankruptcy? In the past, America exhibited its generosity to India by selling it wheat contaminated with the deadly Parthenium weed. [2] At that time we had surrendered opportunities for an agricultural surplus in the future and perhaps now we may be surrendering chances in reinvigorating both our energy and security.

The text of the 123 agreement is available online [3].

WHAT THE DEAL DEMANDS

1. The Security concerns:

A. Put more reactions under IAEA safeguards, close down the vital CIRUS reactor: currently only four Indian nuclear reactors are under IAEA safeguard. Signing the deal would mean India shall put 14 reactors under safeguards by 2014. Closing down the recently renovated CIRUS reactor by 2010 would imply that India will lose out on one of the two nuclear reactors available to it which supplies weapon grade plutonium. Arun Shourie reminds us that it has hitherto been supplying 1/3rd of the fissile material available to our nuclear program which proves its pivotal importance. The economist Dipak Bose argues that about 90 percent of all nuclear facilities, including the Fast Breeder Reactors which can produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, will be included in the civilian sector and there will be regular inspection by the IAEA and the US authority to make sure that these facilities will not be used to produce nuclear weapons. On the contrary Pakistan and China can keep pursuing their evil designs against India.

Well known nuclear scientist Homi Sethna has opined that India would be better off signing the NPT, which permitted the exit of any signatory nation, rather than the nuclear deal with the US that would bind the country. Dr A. Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, has exposed the very enormous financial price that India will have to pay as well, between Rs 300,000 to Rs 400,000 crores in nuclear reactors that will be totally dependent for their existence on a yearly audit of our policies by the US Congress for perpetuity. [4]

2. The sovereignty concerns:

The bill passed its house bill in 2006 which clearly mentioned that its aim was to "Seek to halt the increase of nuclear weapon arsenals in South Asia, and to promote their reduction and eventual elimination." Contrary to the PM"s claims, the 123 agreement solved nothing.
The 123 act denies India the right to conduct future nuclear tests since the very Section of the 1954 Act under which the "123 Agreement" is entered into - Section 123 - states that, should any nuclear device be detonated for any reason whatsoever, not only shall all nuclear commerce be halted with the country, the US shall have the right to demand the return of "any nuclear materials and equipment transferred pursuant" to the agreement for cooperation as well as any "special nuclear material produced through the use thereof if the cooperating party detonates a nuclear explosive device [5]

The 123 act allows America to shutdown the deal citing its internal laws: Shourie informs us that the US immediately stopped nuclear supply to Tarapur when India conducted a solitary nuclear test in 1974 despite the fact that the Americans themselves to this day are unsure whether India offended any part of its 1963 agreement in consequence of that test. How can you rely on such a party? Shourie also completes exposes the double standards of the Americans who when signing a similar deal with China in 1985 had included the one necessary provision missing from its Indian counterpart - The parties recognize, with respect to the observance of this Agreement, the principle of international law that provides that a party may NOT invoke the provisions of its internal law (like 1954 act and Hyde act) as justification for its failure to perform a treaty."

What Happened to the draconian Hyde Act?

As mentioned previously, the 123 agreement automatically binds the American government to its internal laws regarding nuclear energy transfer namely the 1954 act and the Hyde Act. According to Section 102 (13) of the Hyde Act "The United States should NOT seek to facilitate or encourage the continuation of nuclear exports to India by any other party if such exports are terminated under United States law" According to Section 103 of the Hyde Act the US would oppose development of a capability to produce nuclear weapons by any non-nuclear weapon state within or outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime. The PM claims that the Hyde act has been diluted in the 123 agreement since the act contains a clause which considers that in case nuclear fuel supply by US is stopped or delayed, America shall help seek fuel from India from other friendly countries like Britain, France and Russia. Shourie exposes it to be hogwash since none other than Richard Burns who negotiated the deal declared in no hesitant terms that "if India conducted any nuclear test future the American president will have the right to ask for the return of the nuclear fuel or nuclear technologies that have been transferred by American firms. That right is preserved wholly in the agreement" [6]

What is worse is that even if the 123 act expires or is terminated by India, the IAEA shall continue to maintain the right to keep a tab on India"s nuclear reactors and the US shall insist on its right to act on any concerns raised over such safeguards. [See article 16(3) of the act; "Notwithstanding the termination or expiration of this Agreement or withdrawal of a Party from this Agreement.."]

2. The Energy Concerns:

Nuclear Energy no solution to the looming energy crisis

India must increase its primary energy supply by three to four times and its electricity generation capacity by five to six times of its 2003-2004 levels. By the year 2030, power generation capacity must increase to nearly 800,000 MW from the current capacity of 160,000 MW. This translates, in simple arithmetic, to an annual addition of about 29,000 MW.
In the event Manmohan Singh succeeds in pushing through the nuclear deal with the USA before President George Bush demits office in January 2009, India will be able to add at the most 30,000 MW by the year 2030 using imported power generation machinery, which works out to less than five per cent of the projected 800,000 MW. Can this provide energy security by any stretch of imagination? [7]

Nuclear energy is not the energy panacea

A 2007 report by an Oxford University Research Group concludes "nuclear power must be able to achieve energy security and a reduction in global C02 emissions more effectively, efficiently, economically and quickly than any other energy source. There is little evidence to support the claim that it can, whereas the evidence for doubting nuclear power"s efficacy is clear."

Renewable energy resources: Answers to our growing energy needs

India is well endowed with renewable sources of energy. Latest estimates give the potential for wind power at 45,000 MW; small hydro-power at 15,000 MW; biomasspower/co-generation at 19,500 MW and waste-to-energy at 4,200 MW, making a total of 83,700 MW. Of these, only 13 per cent has been exploited so far. India has unlimited solar power and ocean energy, but is unable to exploit these due to lack of sufficient R & D. With estimated reserves of 360,000 tonnes of thorim, India could develop the thorium fuel cycle instead of relying on imported uranium. [cited by Sam Rajappa]

3. The Economic concerns

The reference to "aspects of the associated nuclear cycle" implies that the agreement does not cover the full nuclear cycle; provisions for transfer of sensitive nuclear technology, heavy water production technology, and major critical components should have been covered by the agreement but have not been covered [8]

A group of top scientists have asserted that "The real issue facing India, therefore, is whether or not we want this mythical extra "energy security" through this deal, paying almost thrice the unit capital cost of conventional power plants, with the additional burden of subjugating the freedom to pursue a foreign policy and indigenous nuclear R&D programme of our own." [9]

The cost of energy derived from nuclear sources will be as much as 5 times higher than normal fossil fuel based plants. The problem of nuclear waste disposal adds another dimension to the problem. And who will rule out any environmental catastrophes? The fact of the matter is in India, you can get away with murder. The Bhopal gas tragedy is ample testimony to the fact as to how some Congress leaders conspired with the American syndicate and left the victims in the lurch; and yet very inexplicably went on to win successive elections

CONCLUSION

The intention of the Manmohan Singh government is to clearly deflect attention from its all round failures in every sector and share a false sense of security with the nation. Unfortunately, elements of our naïve junta consider the deal to be panacea to all the evils plaguing our nation. The Left"s opposition to the deal is being viewed as a communist conspiracy ignoring the fact that the BJP is also opposing the deal although the reasons are entirely different. The Left is opposing the deal because it is opposed to any dealing with America which can hurt Chinese interests or even sentiments [although the fact is the Chinese would want the Indians to sign the deal!] The BJP on the contrary has consistently maintained omission of the Hyde act provisions for signing the deal. On a sidenote, the left and BSP have declared the deal to be Anti-Muslim. The ludicrous notion apart, even if it was so, one cannot appreciate how a minority of 12% could hold the national interest of an entire country to ransom. Another instance of what I would call the perverted anti-national face of Indian (pseudo)secularism. What is most disappointing is President Kalam allaying the fears of Mulayam Singh Yadav by giving the deal a clean chit on the illogical basis that India could walk out of the deal later if its national interests become jeopardized. In effect, he fails to rule out the possibility of the deal being sabotaged later by American laws but yet consents to the deal which is absolutely antithetical to the position adopted by other eminent scientists. Walking into the quagmire, you are expected to get sucked it, not march back!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>
Ajit Singh says no harm in N-deal with US</b>

Kaithal (PTI): RLD chief and party MP Ajit Singh on Friday said that no harm or danger is likely to be caused to the country in case the Indo-US nuclear deal is finalised.

The special Lok Sabha session to be held on July 21 and 22 will decide when the next general elections will be held, he said.

Singh, however, blamed the UPA government for failing to control rising prices.

The former Union Agriculture Minister also criticised the Mayawati-led government in Uttar Pradesh for worsening law and order situation.
<b>US think-tank warns against hasty decision on nuke deal</b>

Washington (PTI): A leading think-tank here has advised Nuclear Suppliers Group and the American Congress not to make a hasty decision on the Indo-US nuclear deal, given the "dangerous" ramifications of the agreement for non-proliferation efforts.

"India and the Bush administration have played fast and loose in negotiating this agreement, disregarding the clear conditions that Congress had stipulated," Leonor Tomero, Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said in a statement.

"Given the discrepancies between the provisions that Congress insists on before completing the deal and the agreement that the administration negotiated with India, it is incumbent upon Congress and the Nuclear Suppliers Group to give the agreement careful consideration and to not allow themselves to be rushed into a hasty decision," he said.

The IAEA Board of Governors is expected to meet on July 28 to consider the safeguards agreement, after which the NSG members will be asked to exempt India from rules barring nuclear trade with those states that do not accept full-scope safeguards agreements on all of their nuclear facilities.

"These are not trivial issues," said John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Centre.

"This exemption would tie the hands of the next administration and greatly compromise US and international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and materials," he added.

The Centre has said that the Nuclear Suppliers Group may meet in September and that it is expected that at least two sessions will be needed to come to agreement. Once these two steps have been completed, the US Congress will be free to vote on the final Indo-US 123 agreement. Time is running out, however, as the US Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the year on September 26," the Centre has said.

<b>
Signature campaign in support of nuclear deal
</b>

Phagwara (PTI): Two NGOs have launched a signature campaign here in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal, which they say would place the country in the group of global powers.

Citizens Rights Forum, Phagwara and Junior Chamber of India (JCI), while launching the campaign, said no politics should be done over the issue of nuclear deal.

"We were neither for nor against any political party," the representatives of the NGOs said, adding, they were perturbed over the "continued pinpricks being given by a political coterie to the honest and dedicated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh" over the issue.

The NGOs claimed that they have secured about 500 signatures in favour of the deal so far.
<img src='http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/12/images/2008071260391201.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<b>
Small parties, independents in great demand
</b>

Anita Joshua

Both the ruling combine and the Opposition parties are trying to woo those who are still undecided on support


NEW DELHI: With the government and its opponents more or less equally poised in the numbers game ahead of the July 21-22 trust vote, both sides are making every effort to woo 11 Lok Sabha members who are still undecided.

As of Friday evening, the United Progressive Alliance had “ensured” the support of 268 members, four short of the half-way mark in a House with an existing strength of 543. This includes, besides the UPA’s 226 members, 37 of the Samajwadi Party, one each of the Bharatiya Navshakti Party and the National Loktantrik Party, and three independents whom the Congress claims as its own.

And, the members committed to showing the government the door, on the issue of the India-U.S nuclear deal, add up to 263. They include three Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) members who have warned that they will vote against the government if an assurance of separate Statehood is not made by the hour of reckoning.

Among the fence-sitters are the National Conference, the All India Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Janata Dal (Secular). While the Left parties are hopeful of getting the JD(S) on board to vote the government out, the Congress camp is pinning its hopes on the RLD, whose president Ajit Singh has made favourable comments on the nuclear deal.
Differences persist

In the JD(S) camp, differences persist between president H.D. Deve Gowda and Kerala member M.P. Veerendra Kumar. After meeting Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat, Mr. Kumar made it clear that he would vote with the Left, leaving the JD(S) with two undecided votes.

Mr. Gowda, who was in the capital on Thursday, attracted attention from both camps. While the Congress top leadership is understood to have spoken to him, his visitors included Mr. Ajit Singh, Telugu Desam Party leader K. Yerrannaidu and Indian National Lok Dal leader Om Prakash Chauthala. A leader of the Asom Gana Parishad is also understood to have met him and TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao spoke to him over telephone.

On Friday, at a meeting between Mr. Karat and JD(S) secretary-general Danish Ali the need for secular regional parties coming together was stressed.

According to Mr. Ali, the CPI(M) and the JD(S) have not given up hope on the “third front” despite the departure of the SP from the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA).
Both are linked: Omar Abdullah

Though the National Conference is technically still with the UNPA, its president Omar Abdullah maintained that his party was yet to firm up its stand on the nuclear deal and the trust vote. “Unfortunately, both are linked. If you want the deal, the government has to survive,” he told The Hindu, adding a decision would be taken in consultation with other party leaders.

Over the past couple of days, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Mr. Karat have reached out to him.

While independent MPs and leaders of the undecided parties have pitched tents in the capital in anticipation of the intense lobbying, it is learnt that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu is in touch with Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati in an effort to get her to jump on the UNPA bandwagon, now in disarray with its biggest constituent parting company.

Govt. confident of getting exemption from NSG

New Delhi (PTI) The government on Saturday insisted that the country's "sovereign" interests, including in strategic nuclear field, were protected in the the IAEA safeguards agreement and expressed confidence about getting an exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

It also ruled out putting Fast Breeder Test Reactors under the IAEA safeguards and asserted that the country's Intellectual Property Rights are firmly protected.

With questions being raised over the agreement, the government fielded its top officials -- National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar and chief negotiator R B Grover -- to "explain" that the pact is in India's interest.

They claimed that the agreement was still under negotiation when the Left parties decided to withdraw support to the government and was initialled on July 7.

A formal letter to IAEA, asking it to circulate the draft, was sent on July 8 after the Left parties announced their decision not to attend the last meeting of UPA-Left committee scheduled for July 10 which was to finalise its findings.

"A negotiating text of an agreement cannot be given out till it is complete," Menon told a press conference here.

They said the agreement was not initialled till the Indian government was satisfied that all its interests have been protected.

Under the agreement, IAEA safeguards will apply to civil nuclear facilities identified solely by India, the officials said, adding the pact recognises nuclear programme outside the civilian field.

Contending that the country's "strategic (nuclear) programme is totally insulated" in the safeguards agreement with IAEA, Kakodkar said "There is a non-hindrance provision" in the pact.

Research and development in the strategic area will continue, he asserted.

On the right to conduct a nuclear explosion, he pointed out that India has already declared a unilateral moratorium on tests.

Seeking to allay apprehensions that the IAEA inspectors could get an idea of the country's strategic research and development, he said India is under no obligation to share technology unless it wants.

The IPR rights are taken care of, he said, adding India had a long experience of safeguards agreement since Tarapur plant in 1960s.

This agreement is different and specific to India as it is an umbrella pact that the IAEA has with a non-NPT country.

Asked when the agreement with IAEA will be signed, Narayanan said it could be done any time after the Board of Governors of the UN agency approve the pact and NSG gives a "clean exemption".

After that, "We will be at liberty to sign the agreement even after three years... We will sign when we think all the necessary conditions are fulfilled," he said.

He hoped the IAEA Board of Directors would meet by the end of this month to take up the India-specific safeguards agreement.

Asked whether India could withdraw from the agreement if supplies were disrupted to a particular facility, Narayanan said if such a situation arises, India would have the right to take corrective steps.

Kakodkar said the "corrective" measures will include legal steps. The corrective steps will depend on the threat of disruption to a nuclear facility.

He, however, expressed confidence that such a situation will not arise, arguing that there are enough layers to ensure that operation of a nuclear facility is not disrupted.

In this regard, he cited the provision for uninterrupted supplies and creation of strategic reserve for the lifetime of a reactor.

If there is disruption in supplies, India will report it to the IAEA, Kakodkar said. He, however, added that discontinuation will not happen suddenly as there is provision for discussions.

Kakodkar was also dismissive about the argument that the safeguards agreement treats India as a non-nuclear weapon country. "We are a nuclear weapon state. We know that and the world knows that. We should not worry about that," he said.

He maintained that the definition of nuclear weapon state was derived from NPT, of which India is not a part.

To press his point, he said the IAEA safeguards agreement recognises that India has a nuclear programme outside the civil nuclear programme.

To a question, Kakodkar said India can export nuclear items to a third country as per the export guidelines, which are "very strict".

While exporting, India will be insisting that the receiving country puts the particular facility under IAEA safeguards, he said.

--

Govt. launches media blitzkrieg on nuke deal

New Delhi (PTI): The government on Saturday launched a media blitzkrieg seeking wide national support for the Indo-US nuclear deal on which the Left parties have withdrawn support.

Carrying pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the well-spread advertisement in leading dailies read, "the Nation now needs to unite and support the government for the economic growth and better future of the country".

The advertisement quotes Chief of the Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar as saying "history will not forgive us if the deal is not clinched...sooner the better (the nuclear deal should be executed)".

The insertion by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas seeks public support in the wake of concerns over soaring prices of crude oil.

It lauds the government for "its persistent diplomatic efforts... in securing support of the international community".

--

UPA will survive confidence vote: Amar Singh

Chennai (PTI): Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, on Saturday exuded confidence that the UPA government would survive the trust vote in the Lok Sabha.

Amar Singh told reporters at the airport here that his party, which had detailed discussions with former President A P J Abdul Kalam on the Indo-US nuclear deal, had appreciated the need for the deal.

"We are supporting the deal in the national interest. We will vote for the UPA government in the Lok Sabha on the trust vote," he said.

He said senior leaders of the country like L K Advani had opposed the deal, without considering the national interest.

Singh was here to participate in the Filmfare award function.

<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> The advertisements appeared with pictures of PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, including nuggets of information like "nuclear energy is the most efficient, environmentally cleanest and safe source of energy. It produces more energy than any other source and is replenishable".

The ads, which hope to swing public opinion in favour of the deal, have been issued at a time when the Manmohan Singh government is gearing up for a crucial floor test on the issue scheduled for July 21 and 22. Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) chief spokesman S K Malhotra told TOI : "I welcome the support, but I do not know how it has happened."
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/O...how/3227514.cms
<b>
Dump Indo-US nuclear deal: Jayalalithaa to Centre
</b>

Chennai (PTI): Opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal, AIADMK Chief Jayalalitha on Saturday said the "contentious" deal was not the need of the hour and the government should "dump" it if no consensus could be reached.

"Whether the nuclear deal with the US is necessary for our country or not can be decided only after all the tenets of the agreement including the fine print were known," she said in a statement.

The tenets of the agreement have to be debated after the official version of the draft agreement was posted on Government websites for at least six months and the whole procedure had to be fully transparent and above board.

When the people were reeling under an impact of a double digit inflation, unprecedented fuel prices, hike in the prices of essential commodities, the "Minority UPA government" was "hell-bent" on pushing through with an international agreement, which had nothing to do with the people, she alleged.

"Is the agreement, which has been on the anvil for quite some time, so vital that it cannot wait for another six to eight months, when more representative dispensations will hopefully be available in both India and US," she asked in an apparent reference to US presidential elections and Lok Sabha polls.

The government, instead of concentrating on the deal, should take strong measures to control the price rise, she said.

<b>The sell-out </b>

<i>An elected PM would not have accepted the Indo-US nuclear deal as Manmohan Singh has, argues N.V.Subramanian.</i>

5 July 2008: After Manmohan Singh, most intellectually honest people would say no to a technocratic prime minister. Is the fall back to an elected PM not only inescapable but desirable? Very probably yes.

If you were to take a secret poll of the Congress leadership, Manmohan Singh and the Indo-US nuclear deal would lose hands down. The deal won't win the Congress party the next general election, even if it beats the tight US congressional calendar. It is not even about winning polls. The deal sells out India's military nuclear programme by prohibiting testing. Without explosive testing, weapons, especially thermo-nuclear weapons, but most of all, warheads on medium- and long-range missiles, cannot be perfected. The Samajwadi Party has trudged up the former President, Abdul Kalam, to certify the worthiness of the deal. With due respect to Kalam, he is a technologist, not a scientist, far less an atomic scientist, and not at all the cream of that company, a weapon's designer. And what should and does frighten the Indian military is that the lone thermonuclear weapon in the May 1998 test did not produce the intended bang.

The point is, most Indian strategic writers know this and more. Anyone with any legal comprehension who has read the entire (available) documentation on the deal also knows that an explosive test will kill the unique exemption for India provided by the Henry Hyde Act. Whether or not it is feasible to evacuate all or a majority of the reactors facilitated by the deal in the event India tests, the fuel cut off that is bound to follow (like the Tarapur crisis) will paralyze all the connected commerce and industry. That unstated but ever-present risk to growth will baulk India from ever testing, and an untested, obsolescing deterrent is worse in some ways than no deterrence. The pro-dealers say that that risk is always there. True. But that produces a self-imposed moratorium, as now. The deal binds India, hands and feet, to never testing. The deal only assures fuel for normal reactor operation, no reserve. The IAEA won't go beyond this, nor will the NSG. Indeed, the NSG sanction for nuclear commerce with India has to mirror the US deal.

The fuel will be low enriched uranium for the common commercial light water reactors that will be imported under the deal, thirty-some reactors costing about $1000 billion. By the DEA's own estimate, uranium reserves worldwide won't last sixty years. That estimate was made some years ago before China became hungry for nuclear power. A US study lasted the reserves longer, but only if the reactor numbers did not dramatically increase. With conditions for peak oil rapidly approaching, environmental concerns growing, and commodities inflation taking firm roots, the shift to nuclear power is being strenuously campaigned for by the US. Already commanding a high price because of Chinese hoarding, uranium is going to get more expensive to import (making uranium power uneconomic), and the five NPT-recognized nuclear powers and industrial giants like Japan will stake – and get – the first claim on dwindling uranium reserves. Even without explosive testing, our enormous investments in LWRs would have been criminally liquidated.

That is not all. Russia, the US, Japan and certain European countries have recognized the benefits of the plutonium economy. The US certainly is headed to produce reactors that deplete plutonium to produce power. India has made tremendous advances in breeding plutonium to make energy and to fire the thorium economy. The investments in LWRs mandated by the deal, because it assists the non-proliferation regime, will not only turn to dud, but will kill India's pioneering efforts in plutonium and thorium economies brilliantly envisioned by Homi Bhabha. And when India is down on this, the US and Western advances in them will force a second cycle of dependence.

That Manmohan Singh is a slave of the West is no secret. Not only leaders in the BJP and CPI-M, but many in the Congress party say so. The PM's own utterances betray him. He does not believe India has the inherent capability to become a great power. An elected prime minister in Manmohan Singh's place would never have been so pusillanimous. Mrs Indira Gandhi faced a revolt in the party, a sinking economy and a hostile United States when she determined to partition Pakistan. It is no surprise that she was the first PM to conduct the nuclear test, and A.B.Vajpayee, a supremely brave man, and another elected prime minister, who authorized the second test. On the other hand, Manmohan Singh choked India's military and civilian nuclear programmes as finance minister, and opposed the May 1998 nuclear test.

Is it any surprise that he has brought the Congress party to such straits that it could well loss the general elections just so to get the US deal?

<i>N.V.Subramanian is Editor, NewsInsight.net. </i>
<b>
JMM to decide stand on N-deal voting on July 19</b>

Bokaro (PTI): Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, a ally of the UPA at the Centre with five MPs, on Sunday said it will decide its stand on the trust vote to be taken by the Manmohan Singh government on the nuclear deal at its July 19 parliamentary party meeting.

"We will meet on July 19 in Ranchi or Delhi," Soren, who is the chairman of the steering committee of Jharkhand UPA, told newsmen here. He also denied any talks with the BJP on the issue as reported in a section of the media here.
<b>Govt. confident of getting exemption from NSG</b>

New Delhi (PTI) The government on Saturday insisted that the country's "sovereign" interests, including in strategic nuclear field, were protected in the the IAEA safeguards agreement and expressed confidence about getting an exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

It also ruled out putting Fast Breeder Test Reactors under the IAEA safeguards and asserted that the country's Intellectual Property Rights are firmly protected.

With questions being raised over the agreement, the government fielded its top officials -- National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar and chief negotiator R B Grover -- to "explain" that the pact is in India's interest.

They claimed that the agreement was still under negotiation when the Left parties decided to withdraw support to the government and was initialled on July 7.

A formal letter to IAEA, asking it to circulate the draft, was sent on July 8 after the Left parties announced their decision not to attend the last meeting of UPA-Left committee scheduled for July 10 which was to finalise its findings.

"A negotiating text of an agreement cannot be given out till it is complete," Menon told a press conference here.

They said the agreement was not initialled till the Indian government was satisfied that all its interests have been protected.

Under the agreement, IAEA safeguards will apply to civil nuclear facilities identified solely by India, the officials said, adding the pact recognises nuclear programme outside the civilian field.

Contending that the country's "strategic (nuclear) programme is totally insulated" in the safeguards agreement with IAEA, Kakodkar said "There is a non-hindrance provision" in the pact.

Research and development in the strategic area will continue, he asserted.

On the right to conduct a nuclear explosion, he pointed out that India has already declared a unilateral moratorium on tests.

Seeking to allay apprehensions that the IAEA inspectors could get an idea of the country's strategic research and development, he said India is under no obligation to share technology unless it wants.

The IPR rights are taken care of, he said, adding India had a long experience of safeguards agreement since Tarapur plant in 1960s.

This agreement is different and specific to India as it is an umbrella pact that the IAEA has with a non-NPT country.

Asked when the agreement with IAEA will be signed, Narayanan said it could be done any time after the Board of Governors of the UN agency approve the pact and NSG gives a "clean exemption".

After that, "We will be at liberty to sign the agreement even after three years... We will sign when we think all the necessary conditions are fulfilled," he said.

He hoped the IAEA Board of Directors would meet by the end of this month to take up the India-specific safeguards agreement.

Asked whether India could withdraw from the agreement if supplies were disrupted to a particular facility, Narayanan said if such a situation arises, India would have the right to take corrective steps.

Kakodkar said the "corrective" measures will include legal steps. The corrective steps will depend on the threat of disruption to a nuclear facility.

He, however, expressed confidence that such a situation will not arise, arguing that there are enough layers to ensure that operation of a nuclear facility is not disrupted.

In this regard, he cited the provision for uninterrupted supplies and creation of strategic reserve for the lifetime of a reactor.

If there is disruption in supplies, India will report it to the IAEA, Kakodkar said. He, however, added that discontinuation will not happen suddenly as there is provision for discussions.

Kakodkar was also dismissive about the argument that the safeguards agreement treats India as a non-nuclear weapon country. "We are a nuclear weapon state. We know that and the world knows that. We should not worry about that," he said.

He maintained that the definition of nuclear weapon state was derived from NPT, of which India is not a part.

To press his point, he said the IAEA safeguards agreement recognises that India has a nuclear programme outside the civil nuclear programme.

To a question, Kakodkar said India can export nuclear items to a third country as per the export guidelines, which are "very strict".

While exporting, India will be insisting that the receiving country puts the particular facility under IAEA safeguards, he said.

<b>
CPI(M) flays PM for 'appeasing' Samajwadi Party</b>


Kolkata (PTI): Continuing its tirade against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the CPI(M) on Sunday alleged that when the UPA government's fate was hanging in the balance, he was busy 'appeasing' the Samajwadi Party which had pledged support to the government during the trial of strength on July 22.

"It is because the Samajwadi Party is the lone party to have pledged support for the UPA government during the trust vote," CPI(M) daily 'Ganashakti' said in an editorial here.

"Whenever the Left parties pleaded with him for solution of the daily problems the common people were facing, the Prime Minister said he had no time and now he kept himself busy appeasing the Samajwadi Party," it said.

It alleged that the Prime Minister even during his hour of crisis had to 'rush' to settle the dispute of the Ambani brothers only to 'appease Samajwadi Party'.

The Prime Minister 'had no time' to think over the alarming inflation rate which was nearly touching 12 per cent, but found time to deal with issues like signing nuclear deal with the US, the article said.

"He hardly finds time to look into the rapid fall in industrial production either," it said.
<b>
Describing Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram as 'garrulous', the CPI(M) said, "now he has turned dumb when inflation rate is up and prices of commodities are touching an all-time high".</b>

<b>
Dump Indo-US nuclear deal: Jayalalithaa to Centre</b>

Chennai (PTI): Opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal, AIADMK Chief Jayalalitha on Saturday said the "contentious" deal was not the need of the hour and the government should "dump" it if no consensus could be reached.

"Whether the nuclear deal with the US is necessary for our country or not can be decided only after all the tenets of the agreement including the fine print were known," she said in a statement.

The tenets of the agreement have to be debated after the official version of the draft agreement was posted on Government websites for at least six months and the whole procedure had to be fully transparent and above board.

When the people were reeling under an impact of a double digit inflation, unprecedented fuel prices, hike in the prices of essential commodities, the "Minority UPA government" was "hell-bent" on pushing through with an international agreement, which had nothing to do with the people, she alleged.

"Is the agreement, which has been on the anvil for quite some time, so vital that it cannot wait for another six to eight months, when more representative dispensations will hopefully be available in both India and US," she asked in an apparent reference to US presidential elections and Lok Sabha polls.

The government, instead of concentrating on the deal, should take strong measures to control the price rise, she said.

<b>
Left wooing TRS in its fight against govt.</b>

New Delhi (PTI): Having made it clear that they will reach out to like-minded parties to corner the UPA Government, the Left parties have started efforts to rope in three-MP-strong Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) into its fold ahead of the trust vote.

A senior CPI leader has already spoken to TRS leadership, including its chief K Chandrasekhar Rao who has said that he would vote for the Congress-led Government if it promises separate statehood for Telengana, to support the efforts to topple the government on the nuclear deal, sources said.

The TRS leadership was non-committal and the Left was trying to persuade Rao, who resigned from the Union Cabinet and withdrew support to the Government over the Telengana issue, to join them, they said.

The Left have already roped in BSP and TDP to vote against the Government in the trust vote while they are in talks with other smaller parties like JD(S), whose chief H D Deve Gowda met Left leaders without committing anything.

Rebel JD(S) Lok Sabha member M P Veerendrakumar has already announced his decision to vote against the Government even in the event of his party issuing a whip to support the ruling coalition.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K Varadharajan, told PTI that the Left will persuade all like-minded parties to vote against the UPA government during the trust vote as it "did not keep up the promise and assurances it gave to the Left" four years back.

"Already we have met the leaders of TDP and other like-minded parties opposed to the nuclear deal and have appealed to them to vote against the UPA dispensation," he said.

<b>Veerendrakumar to vote against UPA Govt.</b>

New Delhi (PTI) Rebel JD(S) MP from Kerala, M P Veerendrakumar, will vote against the government in the trial of strength in the Lok Sabha on July 22 even if his party issues a whip asking its members to support the ruling coalition.

The MP from Kozhikode also appealed to JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda to immediately announce the party's stand on the nuclear deal and the trust vote as "things were clear" on the issues.

"I will vote against the UPA in the trust vote even if a whip to support the motion is issued. I am against the deal and anti-people policies of the Government," Veerendrakumar said.

Appealing to Gowda and the party's third Lok Sabha member M Shivanna to vote against the UPA, Veerendrakumar said, "What is the need to wait till the last minute to take a stand on the trust vote when the issues are clear."

Gowda, who was approached by the UPA managers for support, is keeping his cards close to his chest and weighing options before taking a final call on the trust vote.

Detailing his opposition to the deal, Veerendrakumar said the agreement with the United States would "force" India to toe American line in the foreign policy. "We are being made a satellite of the United States," he said.

"China took 17 years to negotiate a nuclear agreement. Japan took seven years. What is the hurry in clinching this deal? The Manmohan Singh Government is rushing to the deal like preparing instant food," Veerendrakumar said.
<b>
Noting that the PM's entourage to Japan where he met US President George W Bush consisted of bureaucrats only and not a single minister, he said it indicated that Singh relies on bureaucracy only and not on the political system. </b>
<b>
Nuke deal: NC to take decision today</b>


Srinagar (PTI): The National Conference, which has two members in the Lok Sabha, will finalise its stand on the India-US nuclear deal on Monday, party President Omar Abdullah, said on Sunday.

A decision on supporting or opposing the UPA government on the deal in the Lok Sabha will be taken at a meeting of party's core group on Monday, he told reporters here.

"We will hear arguments in favour for and against the deal at the meeting," Abdullah said.

"Since no voting has taken place in Parliament on the nuclear deal, the question of supporting or opposing it has not arisen," he said in reply to a question.

Abdullah said he held discussions with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and various political leaders on the deal during his recent visit to New Delhi.


http://www.hindu.com/nic/iaea20080711.pdf

http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/11/stories/...691100.htm

http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/13/stories/...830100.htm

http://www.hindu.com/nic/iaea-agreement.pdf



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