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Nuclear Thread - 3
No question of joining hands with BJP: CPI</b>

Chennai (PTI): Refuting criticisms that Left parties move to withdraw support to UPA Government over the Indo-US nuclear deal would benefit BJP, CPI National Secretary D Raja on Wednesday said that the left would never join hands with the BJP.

"We will be the first one to oppose the communal BJP. It is unfair to say that we have joined hands with the BJP to dislodge the UPA government at the Centre. It is the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is responsible for the present situation," Raja said.

He said there was no question of joining hands with the BJP. "We are pursuing our own policy against the deal. There is no question of joining hands with BJP. It was the Congress, which bailed out the NDA government, when a bill to allow FDI in insurance sector came up in the Parliament. It was also Congress, which toppled the V P Singh, Deve Gowda and I K Gujral governments with the BJP," he said.

Asserting that Left parties would vote against the Manmohan Singh government in Lok Sabha during the trust vote, he said the Prime Minister was having a single point agenda of pushing through the Indo-US nuclear deal to fulfil his commitment to US President George Bush.

He said the deal would harm India's independent foreign policy.

On the issue of the firing on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, Raja said he was at a loss to understand the UPA government's "silence" on the issue.

The Centre should take up the issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the SAARC summit hosted by Sri Lanka next month, he said.

summarizes alot of issues espaecially with regard to US-China Alliance.

<b>The Drama of Unreality - Indo-US nuclear deal</b>
Dr.Dipak Basu
PM should clarify whether the nuclear deal is 'done': BJP</b>

New Delhi (PTI): BJP on Thursday demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make his stand clear on media reports suggesting that the Indo-US Nuclear deal was a "done" deal irrespective of UPA government's survival or otherwise.

"Media reports quoting highly placed officials suggest that the deal is done, whether the UPA survives the trust vote or not. The BJP demands that the Prime Minister immediately make his stand clear on this matter," a party release said.

The matter should be made clear before the session convenes. If this is indeed the understanding of the government, it is a very serious matter. It is tantamount to "showing disrespect and contempt for Parliament," it added.

"All further action in respect of the nuclear deal be suspended by the government untill it proves its majority on the floor of the House," BJP said demanding an assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the draft of the safegaurd agreement sent to IAEA would be withdrawn if the UPA loses the trust vote.

Going by the reports, it appears that the Prime Minister no longer believes Parliament to be "sovereign". As far as "broad national consensus" is concerned, it simply does not exist. Nevertheless, flouting his own assurance given three years ago, the Prime Minister has gone ahead with the deal, the release said.

The saffron party also asked the UPA "why it has hurriedly sent a team of officials to meet IAEA secretariat in Vienna, barely four days before the trust vote in Parliament".
<b>Two CPI(M) Muslim MPs defend voting alongside BJP</b>

Kolkata (PTI): With Left parties under fire for deciding to vote along side BJP against the government in the trust vote in the Lok Sabha on July 22, two prominent Marxist Muslim MPs on Thursday defended it saying it was the issue at stake which was important.<b>

"If I have to decide to take a flight to Delhi, do I enquire about my co-passengers? We have been consistently opposing the nuclear deal for the last two years. The BJP has been dithering. We are against the government and so is BJP. But that does not unite us," CPI(M) central committee member and MP Md Selim told PTI.</b>

He disagreed with the view of West Bengal Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty, who had toed Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's line taking exception to the party leadership creating a situation where the Left would have to vote with BJP against the Congress-led UPA government.

Another marxist MP and central committee member Hannan Mollah told PTI that "no one in the party attached importance to the utterances of Subhas Chakraborty who had also made controversial statements in the past. We do not subscribe to his view."

Both Selim and Mollah, however, admitted it would have to be explained to the people and the Muslims in particular during the elections.
UPA Govt will not be able to prove majority, says BJP</b>

Mumbai (PTI): Despite attempts by the Congress to influence MPs by paying them "large sums of money," the Manmohan Singh Government will not be able to prove its majority in Lok Sabha next week, the BJP said on Thursday.

"The Congress has distributed Rs 25 crore to MPs but still will not be able to prove a majority during the trust vote (on July 22)," BJP spokesman Prakash Jawadekar said here.

People are unhappy with the UPA government's performance, he said.
Criticising the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, Jawadekar said the government has "deceived" people by hiding certain features of the deal, being opposed by the BJP.</b>

"The deal will improve the power situation only after 12 years and at three times the current cost. Even then, only three per cent of the total power requirement of the country would be met through nuclear energy," he said.
NLP to vote against UPA govt.</b>

New Delhi (PTI): As UPA managers continued to woo smaller parties, the one-MP strong National Loktantrik Party (NLP) on Thursday announced that it will vote against the Government during the trust vote even as Samajwadi Party claimed the support of its lone member in favour of the ruling coalition.

NLP president Arshad Khan said his party would issue a whip to its MP Baleshwar Yadav to vote against the Government on July 22 in Lok Sabha as it was opposed to the nuclear deal with the United States.

Yadav, who quit Samajwadi Party earlier, is the NLP MP from Padrauna (UP) Lok Sabha constituency.

"The Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) has explained the deal to SP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh only. He should explain it in detail to other parties also," he told reporters.

After submitting a fresh letter to President Pratiba Patil vowing support to the UPA, Singh has claimed on July nine that the NLP MP would vote in favour of the UPA.

"Baleshwar Yadav is basically of Samajwadi Party origin," Singh has said.
<b> China may not raise objection</b>

BEIJING: On the eve of India presenting its case on the nuclear deal before the International Atomic Energy Agency, China hinted that it might not be a stumbling block when the safeguards accord came up before the global nuclear watchdog.

“I believe countries could under the presentation of fulfilling international obligations carry out peaceful cooperation in peaceful [use of] nuclear energy and I hope the relevant issues can be resolved through negotiations between relevant parties,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told journalists here on Thursday.

Mr. Liu’s remarks came on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Japan early this month. After the talks, India voiced confidence that there would be no “difficulty” from the Chinese side when the matter came up before the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

China is a key member in the IAEA and the NSG, whose approval is needed for India to secure international cooperation for nuclear commerce.

“We have taken note that the U.S. and India are making further contact on this (nuclear) issue,” Mr. Liu said. — PTI

U.S. sends top envoy to IAEA</b>

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration has despatched a top envoy to Vienna to bolster support for the India-U.S. nuclear deal on Friday when India is to brief the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on the safeguards pact.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns will be at the IAEA headquarters en route to Geneva for a weekend meeting over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

“Friday, he’s [Mr. Burns] going to have some consultations at the International Atomic Energy Agency, related to the nuclear deal,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters here. “... I don’t have many more details for you than that, that he is going to be in Vienna at the IAEA for some consultations on the civil nuclear deal...,” he said of the trip by Mr. Burns. Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon will present India’s case at the IAEA.

The IAEA Board of Governors will meet on August 1 to discuss a draft safeguards agreement with India. India must also obtain a waiver from the NSG before it gets the approval of the U.S. Congress. — PTI
Politics of the deal
The UPA government has lost the people's confidence not only on the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal but also on the economic front. </b>Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's repeated assurance that inflation will be brought under control, nothing substantial has happened. On the nuclear deal, the government has repeatedly contradicted itself. Not only did it digress from the common minimum programme it agreed to with the Left parties, it also betrayed the people by going ahead with the deal without reaching a consensus in Parliament. To top it all, it is trying frantically to get sufficient numbers in the Lok Sabha to help it win the trust vote, allying with parties it would have never considered for powersharing. Even if the UPA scrapes through, it will only be a technical victory of a government that has lost the support of its people.

Seriene Mohammed,
It is painful to see the trust vote campaign leading to the formation of new political groupings, based neither on ideology nor action plan but political opportunism. </b>The Congress, which happily enjoyed the support of the Left parties until recently, is now keen on clinching the nuclear deal through means that cross the limits of political decency. The common man is expecting nothing from this trust vote because the issue at stake does not concern him at all.

C.K. Rahul,
The deal is no longer a national issue - it is a political issue on which the UPA is doing everything it can to appease those who agree with it and blindly ignore those who seek explanations. The focus is just on winning the trust vote.</b>

Neha Singh,
Even if the UPA government wins the trust vote on July 22, it will be at the mercy of small parties that will keep demanding their pound of flesh every now and then.</b> It is better to hold early elections, after which hopefully the UPA or the NDA can get the required numbers to run a stable coalition government that is free from the influence of small parties and individuals.

D.B.N. Murthy,
I cannot believe that a party which fought for independence is mortgaging sovereignty to a declining empire. </b>The government should solve the greater crisis of inflation which is hitting the poorest of the poor. Unfortunately, it has ignored the sensible advice of the Left parties and chosen to follow the American doctrine of neo-liberalism.

Jouhar Hussain,
It is most unfortunate that the Congress, which was in the forefront of the freedom struggle, has thrown all principles to the winds to continue in power.</b> The nation has not witnessed a scenario in which the ruling party has been driven to seek a vote of confidence on an issue that it did not want to discuss in detail in Parliament.

S. Nallasivan,

The political scene is utterly mindboggling and reiterates that truth is stranger than fiction. Leaders who have rarely met, meet each other very often. Who met who is a conundrum.

M. Ramankutty,

Many a time, cartoons have an edge over detailed reports published in the media. The one on the alleged horse-trading indulged in by the Congress-led UPA government (July 16) was apt and timely. It was pregnant with meaning.

K.D. Viswanaathan,

On seeing the cartoon, I laughed out aloud. A common man does not understand the government's undue urgency to push through the nuclear deal which puts at risk the very survival of the government. As there are other burning problems to be addressed internally, the nuclear deal can wait till new governments take over here and the U.S.

K.S. Gopalarathnam,

What will the Left parties achieve by bringing down the UPA government? Parliamentary elections will follow and, as recent elections have shown, the BJP will improve its position at the cost of the Congress.

K. Balu,
The nuclear deal has until now done more harm than good.</b> At a time when the nation is grappling with issues such as inflation, food insecurity, and the slowing down of the economy, it has further pushed us towards political instability. Instead of tackling the pressing problems, the government has been forced to prove its majority in Parliament and ensure that it completes its term. It will be a pity to see the deal crash out without giving us the benefits it is meant to, after all the chaos it has caused.

Vivek Agarwal,

For and against

No one could have summed up the situation more clearly than Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer ("A betrayal of India's constitutional vision," July 17).<b> Even a speck of support for the Prime Minister's stand on the nuclear deal should disappear without a trace after reading it. </b>If Dr. Singh had shown a similar zeal and tenacity to settle the border disputes with China and Pakistan, he would have made a permanent place for himself in the hall of the nation's great.

N. Khosla,

The article clearly enunciated the implications of the nuclear deal. But of what use will be convincing the common people of its after-effects if we cannot convince our Prime Minister?

Devendra L. Abbigeri,
Ours is a country of the netas, by the netas and for the netas. Unless they stop believing that they are the sole authority to decide what is good for the country, any advice given by Justice Iyer or Ashok Parthasarathi (July 15) will be rendered meaningless.</b>

Raghavan Natarajan,
New Delhi

Justice Iyer has strongly and cogently brought out how suicidal and thoughtless the ominous nuclear deal could be. To reiterate, we need no nuclear imports (with strings attached, surely) to attain self-sufficiency in energy. It is a sad fact that India's national policy has veered away from the non-alignment of the Nehru-Indira Gandhi era to embrace U.S. big business investment.

Cdr. R. Ganapathi (retd.),
Justice Iyer's advice "Do not nuclearise our freedom" is the best that could have been rendered to the government. </b>He has appealed to "every patriot in Parliament" to ponder over the implications of the deal. But how many patriots do we have in our Parliament today?

Rameeza A. Rasheed,

The deal will end nuclear apartheid and Dr. Singh deserves the highest praise for going ahead with it. It is a tragedy that our political parties do not show the maturity to put the national interest ahead of assumed short-term electoral gains.

Srinivas Chandrasekhar
The reason the nuclear deal has become so contentious is that it has been highly politicised. It is meant to address our energy issues and should be dealt with as such.</b> As a first step, a committee comprising the country's top scientists, especially those who have no political affiliations, should be constituted. The government should treat the committee's report with respect.

Shahnaz Mohamed Thahir,

Is there an Indian Christian view on the deal?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->An unorthodox look at the nuclear deal
18 Jul 2008, 1551 hrs IST, Bhasker Roy

From the very beginning, the Indo-US nuclear deal has been embroiled in controversies, charges and counter-charges, debates over the issues of national security and provocations directly or indirectly from interested power centers abroad.

The India-US joint statement on the deal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement to Parliament in 2005 was certainly not clear enough for the people to comprehend clearly how much was being given away and what was being received in return. Questions were raised not only among the retired community of nuclear scientists in India, but also among those serving.

Trying to get around the opacity surrounding the deal from July 2005, many questions arose.

While the government in India kept things under a wrap, the Americans began leaking elements of the agreement to their hardline non-proliferation lobby which was determined to ensure by some means that India was forced to roll back its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

Although India enjoys an internationally impeccable record on proliferation, leaks to the US media from the Bush administration insinuated that Indian scientists have been helping Iran in its weapons programme. There were one or two Indian nuclear scientists who had earlier been with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who, after retirement, had taken up consultancy assignments with Iran's nuclear establishment. There was nothing secret about their activities. They were experts on “safety” of nuclear plants, not enrichment facilities. The nuclear industry is a very wide spectrum of specialised sectors and one does not overlap with the other.

The efforts of the non-proliferation lobby failed. This lobby, which played a major role in the Democratic administration of President Clinton condemning the 1998 nuclear tests, had their supporters in the Republican Bush administration, too. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) headed by Dr. David Albright, a former UN Inspector in Iraq, played no small role in trying to depict India as a proliferator and accusing it of illegally acquiring nuclear weapons technology from abroad.

The position adopted by the US non-proliferation lobby under the Clinton administration following the Pokhran-II nuclear tests on May 11 and 13, 1998 need to be seen against their position on Pakistan-China and Pakistan-North Korea nuclear and missile technology proliferations.

For years, the American administration at the highest level refused to make a determination of the China-Pakistan proliferation channel, including Chinese supply of M-11 nuclear capable missiles in 1990-92. The US intelligence, the CIA, had the smoking gun evidence on the M-11 missiles transferred to Pakistan and kept at the Sargoda airbase, but President George Bush Sr. ignored the evidence.

Skipping to a more recent frame, there was very little criticism and protests from the Washington anti-proliferation group led by people like Einhorn, when Libya decided to come clean on its nuclear programme and handed over all connected documents and items to the USA. This was the unraveling of the infamous nuclear proliferation network headed by Pakistani scientist A Q Khan. Khan had been very close to Chinese and North Korean nuclear and missile establishments. The surrendered Libyan documents included manuals in Chinese script. The blame was put squarely on one individual, Dr.Khan. And Dr. Khan, a hero of Pakistan, remains without any international access to question him.
No questions really asked by the US lobby</b>
Following India's May, 1998 nuclear tests the Clinton administration and China joined hands to try and force India to roll back its nuclear programme. During his visit to China that year President Clinton handed over the ombudsmanship of South Asia to China. This was published by China's official news agency, Xinhua. But the American media accompanying Clinton knew nothing about it.

Following the Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan followed with tests at the end of May. The demand from China was that India destroy its nuclear capabilities first and Pakistan would follow only after that, since India tested first. The Chinese and the American lobby concealed the fact that Pakistan had the bomb five years before India fabricated its own. The first Pakistani bomb was tested in China's Lop Nor nuclear testing site.
All this is known. Then why the anti-India charade?</b>
Indian scientists and analysts have not forgotten US actions following the 1998 nuclear tests. Indian scientists and engineers working in the USA under bilateral agreements were bundled out of the country over night. Indian scientists were also blacklisted from visiting the US even for international conferences.

In the initial stages of the nuclear deal negotiations the signals from the USA were anything but assuring. Statements from US officials competent to comment on the deal declared that the deal was aimed to defang India's nuclear weapons programmes. This, combined with whatever came out on the civil-military separation plan, suggested that the Indian programme was quietly being strangulated to death through this deal.

It is not news that every US administration has had its fair share of anti-elements who stood on shaky high moral grounds to condemn India, and looked away from blatant proliferation by Pakistan and China.

An Indian apprehension was what would be the fate of India's three-stage programme using thorium. This process would require enriched uranium to start with to produce plutonium, and electrical power. India has one of the largest deposits of thorium in the world. And the Indian Thorium technology is also the most advanced in the world. The IAEA and the concerned countries are well aware of this achievement. Once India's thorium programme is under way, and there is no reason why it should not by 2014, the cut off year for separation, India could shake off external pressures. There is enough natural uranium available in the country and more deposits may be discovered, to get the thorium route through. What is required is increase in the budget to get things going, instead of cutting the AEC budget.
The legalities and IAEA draft</b>
The Hyde Act enacted by the US Congress to guide the US policy towards India covering the deal contains strong elements of not only intrusive US coverage of India's nuclear programme, but also forces India to toe Washington's foreign policy. For example, how can the US President determine how much natural uranium India mines every year unless India signs a subservient agreement with the USA to provide such information? Or, will the US intelligence efforts in India be primed to such levels to collect all information on the Indian nuclear programme? There are other such articles in the technical areas that have the potential to demolish India's indigenous minimum nuclear deterrent programme.

On the political side, the Hyde act tries to bind India to US foreign policy, especially on Iran. This aims to reduce India to a US puppet, and subjugates India's foreign policy to the subservience of Washington. It was not so long ago that the US exerted substantial pressure on the NDA government led by Prime Minister Vajpayee to send troops to Iraq. New Delhi did not comply, but only after some heated debates inside the government.

A look at the 123 Agreement with the USA on the nuclear deal, and read with the draft safeguard agreement with the IAEA released on July 8 after initialing, suggests certain important parameters have changed for the better.

It may dismay many that neither the 123 Agreement nor the IAEA draft agreement and additional protocol says explicitly that India is a “de jure” nuclear state. But both the “123” Agreement and the IAEA draft give enough indications that India is a de facto nuclear power. Both texts stick closely to the premise the issue is civilian nuclear cooperation on energy only. Both make it clear they are not concerned what India does with its indigenously acquired nuclear technology and material, and stretches it to the extent the two agreements are not concerned beyond the purview of the 123 Agreement. Neither text discusses India's weapons programme. The IAEA text acknowledges India as a state with advanced nuclear technology.

The IAEA text also notes India's rights to build strategic fuel reserves for its civilian nuclear reactors for their lifetime. If there is breakdown in supplies, the IAEA will assist to the best of its ability. Finally, if nothing works, it is up to India to take steps, according to its sovereign rights.

This has wide interpretations. In such agreements, when a situation is reached action is taken. Safeguards in perpetuity are not god's own words. All agreements have two sides i.e. reciprocal actions. Safeguard in perpetuity is directly linked to supply of fuel in perpetuity.

Another aspect of the IAEA draft is that while all foreign acquired components and material under the agreement will automatically go under safeguards, for indigenously built facilities, it is up to India to decide. Also, it would be for India to decide which of its indigenously built nuclear power plants would be listed in the IAEA for safeguards. It is to be noted the IAEA draft agreement appendices for the purpose of listing, are blank. There are more negotiations with IAEA which the USA will take up for special protocol.

Returning to the Hyde Act which is US national law, it is supposed to supercede all other agreements and joint statements. But according to the Geneva Convention on Agreements, agreements between two sovereign nations stand by themselves. But it is also known that the US has increasingly demonstrated its scant respect for international laws and agreements. The Hyde Act is a problem India has to live with. But it necessarily is not the sword of Damocles. And India is no pushover as it proved its resilience and strength following the US sanctions post Pokhran-II. It is interest that guides policies.<b>

Both the 123 Agreement and the IAEA draft refer to national laws of each country as operative elements in the deal. This is a critical aspect and needs to be acted upon by India. The Indian government much enact its own laws through Parliament to protect its indigenous nuclear assets, without loss of time. The Act must be retroactive to ensure that no external laws have any influence on national assets or national policies. The Atomic Energy Act needs to be revisited to attend to new developments.
The politics</b>
Unfortunately, the nuclear deal has shown up the dirty underbelly of Indian politics. Almost every political party big, small or tiny wants bounties in a manner which has nothing to do with the merits of the deal itself. To support the beleaguered Congress on the confidence vote on July 22 in Parliament on this specific issue one party is demanding a separate state, another wants to settle scores on corporate loyalty; and a third on the protection of its state's fishermen. A grand old man eyes the Prime Ministerial chair. The interest of the country almost does not figure anywhere. Such is the sorry state of affairs.

There is another much more serious aspect: the external dimensions and its compatibility with some political sections inside the country. The national conscience must ask the question: if the deal is so bad for India, why is there so much opposition from abroad especially from the centers that have been traditionally inimical to India's growth and development, and aspirations to become a world power commensurate with its natural endowments?

One of the most emphatic opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal came from China. Beijing has argued variously both officially and through its propaganda institutions, that Pakistan should be given the same access to nuclear technology as India through a similar 123 Agreement, and that giving access to India will disturb the power balance in South Asia and lead to an arms race.

China is acutely aware that the 123 Agreement will not only add to India's energy security but also help retrieve it from the nuclear apartheid hole. China has also complained the US was helping India to join the nuclear weapons club through the back door. It is also aware that once the deal goes through, doors to technology that were closed to India following Pokhran-I in 1974 and Pokhran-II in 1998, would open up gradually. There is not only US technology but technology from other advanced countries of the world which could assist India's development in the civilian areas.

It may not be out of place to mention that while Chinese propaganda periodically depicts the US as an imperialist country, in its bilateral relationship with the US it officially discards any ideological or political label. After all, it signed a 123 Agreement with USA last year as a nuclear weapons state.

The Left Front in India has steadfastly opposed the deal on the grounds that India was entering into a deal with the “US imperialists” and bartering away its independent foreign policy. The CPM has hardly ever seriously come out with the demerits of the nuclear deal, except quoting from some retired scientists.

It is to be noted with serious concern that the Left Front, especially the CPM central leadership, has been loath at criticising China's anti-India policies and diplomacy, including the Chinese official attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Not a word has come out from the Left Front on China's repeated violations of the 1993 and 1996 Confidence Building Measures (CBM) agreements between India and China on the borders.

What is the Left Front up to, especially a few leaders of the CPM at the central level? Their position on the nuclear deal is bereft of any national sovereignty reasons. The bottom line of their position, wittingly or unwittingly, is the same as Chinese opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal!
There is still a long way to go for the Indo-US nuclear deal to be culminated. The IAEA Board vote has to be overcome. Since a majority vote clears the IAEA agreement, India is reasonably safe to go through. But the NSG clearance is another issue. It is a consensus decision. Even one dissenting member of this 45-member group can kill the entire process. China is unlikely to be a lone member to oppose the deal, especially since Russia, France, UK and especially the US are in favour. If it can club together a European opposition group, that would be a different matter.

But the whole issue can be attacked politically through quiet diplomatic interactions. If the government loses the Parliament vote on July 22, NSG members could be influenced by interested parties that since the majority in India is opposed to the deal there is no need to endorse it in the NSG.

The ball is now in the court of the Indian political parties. They must respond to differentiate between their narrow political interests and that of national interest. India is on the steps of becoming a big power. The nuclear deal is much larger than “imperialism” or even civilian nuclear energy. It is an imprimatur for a proud and resurgent India.

The ingredients of the nuclear deal have traveled a long way since July 17, 2005. Many adjustments have taken place. In this avatar of the deal, the BJP can take credit since it started the negotiations. The CPM, on the other hand, can choose to walk on the same road as their position during the independence movement and the 1962 India-China border war.

Having said the foregoing, a serious note of caution is not unwarranted. The Americans are not saints. With its strong urge to control the world, getting into an “ally trap” would be a windfall for them, and a disaster for India. An eye must always be kept on the negative aspects of the Hyde Act, and work accordingly in the interest of the nation, independent of all pressures.

Guard against China, which is disturbed at India getting the deal under the current conditions. Be alert to Chinese penetration of the Indian intelligentsia and politics. They already appear to have penetrated to an extent.

Ensure greater bilateral coordination with the G-8 members, but do not discard non-alignment and nurture the developing relations with the others. Simultaneously, concentrate urgently on “development” and “security” concurrently. This should be the core of India's foreign policy.

(Bhasker Roy is a foreign policy expert)
Uncovering the Indo-US nuclear deal</b>

July 18, 2008 

There are several good strategic reasons why India should not sign the 123 Agreement.

The Indo-US nuclear deal is essentially a diluted version of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which India, under both Congress and BJP governments, has refused to sign since the 1970s. Why? Because the NPT is deeply biased in favour of the five original nuclear "proliferators" -- the US, Russia [Images], Britain, France [Images] and China. It unjustly ties the hands of a responsible nuclear power like India which uses nuclear technology to run its civil reactors as well as maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrent.

The Bush administration, recognising that 30 years of coercing different Indian governments on non-proliferation had failed, adopted a new strategy after 2005. The 123 Agreement is the culmination of that strategy. The basic tenet of the Bush anti-proliferation strategy (fully backed by both John McCain [Images] and Barack Obama [Images]) remains unchanged. Usable nuclear weapons must remain the exclusive preserve of the five old proliferators led by the US. That leaves five other countries with nuclear weapons capability: Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran. The US has structured a nuanced policy to deal with each.

Israel is a US proxy state and its (undeclared) nuclear arsenal is directly under Washington's control. Pakistan is a US client-state. Control over its nuclear weapons too lies in Washington. North Korea has over the past year been successfully "persuaded" with a combination of coercion and cash to abandon its nuclear weapons programme. That leaves Iran and India. Iran has been threatened with invasion. Sanctions against it have been enhanced. The Islamist state remains unmoved. It is Washington's biggest proliferation worry and could yet be the target of a pre-emptive US-Israeli missile attack.
And India? This country is unique. We are a parliamentary democracy, the world's fourth largest economy, a big financial and consumer market, liberal, secular, English-speaking with Anglo-Saxon laws, judiciary and accounting, a professional bureaucracy and a strong, independent media. Recognising belatedly that India was an "honourable exception" among the five new nuclear states (four of them proxy, fundamentalist or rogue), the US in 2005 crafted a customised nuclear agreement to cap India's nuclear weapons capability.</b>

This is the genesis of the 123 Agreement. The 123 does not explicitly bar India from conducting nuclear tests -- which are vital to maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrent. But if India does test, consequences follow. The principal consequence? The 123 Agreement will be terminated by the US President.

Immediately following this, the US and the NSG (a cartel created specifically by the US to punish India for its Pokharan nuclear test) will ask India to return the uranium fuel supplied by them for the country's nuclear reactors. That will effectively end India's civil nuclear power programme, despite assurances of India-specific fuel safeguards from the IAEA and the NSG. To get back to an indigenous uranium fuel supply chain will be extremely difficult for India. The Americans are counting on this to make it virtually impossible for any future Indian government to conduct a nuclear test since the consequences are so unpalatable.

The result: an effective abandonment of India's independent minimum credible nuclear deterrent -- the cornerstone of every Indian government's policy for nearly four decades. Meanwhile, the original five nuclear proliferators (the US, Russia, Britain, France and China) have between them over 25,000 nuclear bombs (India has less than 12) and are unwilling to dismantle even a fraction of this arsenal.

The choice is stark. By signing the 123 Agreement, India is effectively giving up it 34-year-old nuclear deterrent at a time when China is enhancing its own nuclear capability. (So is Pakistan; both China and Pakistan are, unsurprisingly, delighted with the 123 Agreement). In return, we will be "allowed" to give Western and Russian civil nuclear infrastructure companies business (from Indian taxpayers' money) worth over $120 billion.

But what about India's energy security? Nuclear power currently accounts for 3.10% of our total energy output. If the 123 Agreement is signed, that figure will crawl up to 6% (around 16,000 mw) by 2020. (Remember: over 25% of India's power output is lost in transmission and distribution). In return for the miniscule accretion of 2.9% to India's total energy output over 12 years, the country will surrender its independent nuclear deterrent.

The Indo-US nuclear deal serves America's and the NSG's non-proliferation interest. It certainly does not serve India's national interest or secure its energy needs as (untruthfully) claimed by the government.

Now consider this:

1. The Additional Protocols governing the "guarantee" of uninterrupted supply of uranium fuel to India's civil nuclear reactors in the event of termination of the 123 Agreement have not yet been revealed. These are certain to be far more invasive and intrusive than the draft IAEA Safeguards agreement.

2. In the preamble of the IAEA Safeguards draft agreement, there is a clause that states: 'An essential basis of India's concurrence to accept Agency safeguards under an India-specific safeguards agreement is the conclusion of international cooperation arrangements creating the necessary conditions for India to obtain access to the international fuel market, including reliable, uninterrupted and continuous access to fuel supplies from companies in several nations, as well as support for an Indian effort to develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of India's reactors.'
In the absence of these 'international cooperation arrangements', the India-specific IAEA Safeguards agreement is itself legally invalid. For members of Parliament to vote on a nuclear deal without the above two crucial documents (the Additional Protocol and international cooperation agreements with key NSG members) is therefore a charade.</b>

In sum: the 123 finally gives the US-led non-proliferation lobby what it has wanted -- but not got -- for 34 years: an India without usable nuclear weapons. In return India gets a trickle of additional nuclear power and invasive inspections in perpetuity of 70% of its civil nuclear reactors (compared to only 1% of China's nuclear reactors under the US-China 123 Agreement). A good bargain? For the original five nuclear proliferators, led by the US, yes. For India, no.

The prime minister has in the past stated categorically that the Indo-US nuclear deal must have a "broad national consensus" to be seen as legitimate. With Parliament split down the middle on  the deal, the definition of a broad national consensus is not met.

The honourable course of action in these circumstances is to wait for the newly elected governments in the US and India next year to seek that consensus � and only then proceed with the deal.

The author is the biographer of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Aditya Birla
Apparently the Left gave 202 page rebuttal of the Left-UPA coordination meetings. Can some one find it?

here is the stuff from their website

Politics & nuclear deal
One is bemused at the manner in which the Manmohan Singh government is seeking to push the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal through heeding, in the process, to the demands made by small parties. All of us are aware of the horse-trading that is going on and the price parties are demanding to support the government. What a pathetic situation!
B.P. Upendra Roy,

The UPA government is frantically wooing small parties for its survival on July 22. The airport at Lucknow has been renamed Chaudhury Charan Singh airport to appease the Rashtriya Lok Dal, which has three MPs in the Lok Sabha.</b> JMM leader Shibu Soren with five MPs is reportedly demanding a ministerial berth.

Some MPs undergoing imprisonment are being roped in to vote after obtaining clearance from courts. So much for our national motto: satyameva jayate.

Malaya Krishnamurthy,

Croydon, U.K.<b>
That a large number of netas with a criminal background are MPs is an open secret. </b>Now, politicians languishing in jails are to be released to participate in the trust vote on July 22. How unfortunate!

Vasudeva Rao,

Looking at the manner in which MPs are being wooed, one wonders how politicians can claim to be our leaders.</b>

Even those who were known to be clean seem to have jumped on to the bandwagon. They do not care for the people who voted them to power.

R. Gopal,

Political parties want to exploit the situation to their advantage. Playing politics on such a vital issue of national importance will prove dangerous.</b> An amicable solution is not impossible if parties make the national interest their priority.

B. Gurudas,

What is striking about the downward spiral of the Congress and the UPA is that Sonia Gandhi has allowed herself to be carried away by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the nuclear deal. Ms Gandhi displayed great intuition and boldness in leading her party to successive victories.</b> Her choice of Dr. Singh for the post of Prime Minister was excellent. But she should also understand that the people, not a commitment to an outside power, ought to be at the centre of political thinking.

P. Vijayaraghavan,

Unfortunately, unseemly attempts to seek support from uncommitted MPs have become acceptable to fight out a political battle in Parliament.</b> One hopes the Congress would have realised the folly of forming a government with the support of the Left parties, which have a diametrically opposite ideology, in the name of anti-communalism.

Krishnakant Seth,

V.R. Krishna Iyer’s article “A betrayal of India’s constitutional vision” (July 17) was enlightening. It rightly pointed to the need to explore alternative sources of energy. The Congress, which fought for our Independence, is mortgaging the nation to the American empire. It is time the nation geared up for another war of independence.

M. Kamal Naidu,

Even after the nuclear deal has been torn to shreds by experts, UPA spokespersons continue to advance the energy security argument.</b> It has been established beyond doubt that the nuclear energy proposition is neither safe nor clean nor abundant nor cheap. As for ending nuclear apartheid, India will at best be treated as an associate member at the club of nuclear weapon states.

Ancient Indian wisdom has been insulted by treating the Hyde Act and the deal in silos, and not perceiving any relationship between the two. The Act is not an internal matter of the U.S. It details the effects of non-conformity with the provisions of the deal.

Gowri Narayanan,

Give it a chance

What Dr. Singh is doing is in the best interests of the nation. The nuclear deal is a highly complicated issue and is best left to experts. I wish the government had been more proactive in selecting a panel of eminent scientists and economists to take a decision on the deal. Their findings should have been published with clear conclusions. It would have prevented much of the confusion.

Rony Nandy,

Already, the race for nuclear weapons has begun in the Asian continent. China and Pakistan are nuclear weapon states and Iran has a nuclear programme. The contribution of nuclear energy may appear to be small but it is significant in the long run in terms of a cleaner environment. National security is of prime concern to the government. Unfortunately, smaller political parties are using the political crisis and openly bargaining with the government. The people should isolate these parties and their leaders to safeguard democracy.

E. Muralidharan,

Shoulder to shoulder

This refers to the article “Standing shoulder to shoulder with U.S.” (July 16). <b>Dr. Singh went overboard by describing India’s ties with the U.S. in such a flamboyant manner. Rather than standing shoulder to shoulder with the U.S., India should keep a distance from it to make clear its opposition to Washington’s hegemonic and self-serving policies in the name of the war on terror.</b>

Satwant Kaur,

India has always followed the policy of non-alignment. It has even guided other nations to take firm, unbiased and courageous stands. In the current international context, the Prime Minister’s remark at Hokkaido was unfortunate. He should have been aware that every word of his is our nation’s word.

Abhinav Saxena,


Dr. Singh’s statement at Hokkaido has dented his image further. He should have been mindful of the fact that he was representing a nation.

C.M. Karthikaeyan,

Dr. Singh, I am sure, did not suggest that India supports all U.S. policies. What he said was with reference to the nuclear deal. India should oppose the U.S. on issues where there are differences.</b> But certainly there are a number of areas in which we can cooperate with it. Iran is not a benign power. It has publicly demanded Israel’s annihilation and supports militancy in some parts of the world.

As a mature, confident, and large country, India should strive for an independent foreign policy without toeing any ideological or religious line. At the same time, we should work with all countries on mutually beneficial terms.

Haridas Ramakrishnan,

Seaside, California
By saying India should stand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S., Dr. Singh meant that it wanted to stand on its own legs like the U.S. on the economic, hi-tech and educational fronts.</b>

Interpreting the statement as an expression of India’s desire to be in the company of killers in friendly countries is unfair.

Rahul Vijayan Valsala,

The Prime Minister was only stressing the need for stronger bilateral ties with the U.S., in the context of the nuclear deal.<b> What does his statement have to do with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq? India has been traditionally opposed to such tactics of aggression by the U.S.</b>

However, the opposition should not come at the cost of the much-needed nuclear cooperation.

K.V. Vivek,

I think the best thing about the war on terror was the fall of the al-Qaeda backed Taliban and the formation of a democratic government in Afghanistan. Even while the NATO troops are present in the region, Pakistan is helping the resurgence of the Taliban. If it succeeds, India will be the greatest sufferer. We cannot vote for the withdrawal of troops, unlike Westerners who don’t see an immediate threat.

K. Sai Charan,


NDTV seems to be all for the deal ..
The Indo-US Nuclear Deal II: 123… Hyde!

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal I: Skinning the Hyde
self-deleted post.

Author of above artlcle seems to overstate things. The verbiage doesnt seem to support her claims. It was interesting to read nevertheless.

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