• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Nuclear Thread - 2
I am quoting from BR.

<!--QuoteBegin-"RaviBg"+-->QUOTE("RaviBg")<!--QuoteEBegin-->Govt ignores Left protest on Indo-Israel ties - By Rajat Pandit

Why is this article coming now? This has to be seen in the context of Left - UPA fissures. Media is being used in their fights over IMs. Left and Congs are fighting for this space and they married Nuclear deal to this issue.

This is one more psy-ops being used in the context. Why the hell these folks are talking about Israel NOW.
M Vidyasagar, DRDO insider and former head of CAIR now in a large desi Pvt firm in an article published on the '98 tests:
Review of Strobe Talbott's Book "Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy and The Bomb"

Review of Strobe Talbott's Book
"Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy and The Bomb"
Copyright: The Brookings Institution, 2004
Nostalgia for days gone by
I had found out about this book through the book reviews column of some Indian newspaper (I can't remember which one). Normally books that are copyrighted in 2004 would have been published in late 2003. In contrast, the present book was published during the second half of 2004, because it mentions recent events such as the surprising defeat of the NDA in the 2004 general elections. Though book ends in 2004, its focus is on the two-year period between May 1998 when India conducted its shakti series of nuclear tests, and February 2000 when Bill Clinton visited India, thus signalling a de facto acceptance by the USA of India's nuclear status. Since the author went out of the US State Department in January 2001 after the changing of the party in power, his description of the events after Clinton's visit are pale and impersonal, in contrast to his vivid and personal portrayal of the events between 1998 and 2000. Reading the book brought back many pleasant memories of the eleven years I had spent serving India's Ministry of Defence, during the last eight of which I had the distinct privilege of reporting directly to the charismatic Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, our current President.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to have been in DRDO during the nuclear test period will never forget the heady feeling immediately following the tests themselves, the stoicism with which we put up with the angry US reaction and all the silly "sanctions" that followed, the various ways in which we bypassed the sanctions, and last but certainly not least, our belief that over time the US business interests themselves would undermine the sanctions -- something that actually came to pass. Unlike the author Strobe Talbott, who seems to have kept copious notes of all of his meetings with Jaswant Singh, not to mention copies of various official documents, I did not keep any diary nor copies of any documents -- indeed, it would have been strictly illegal for me to have done so. So before old age and the passage of time dim my memory, I thought I will share with my readers whatever I can about those events, under the flimsy pretext of "reviewing" the book.

Let me begin with the review. First, let us recall some facts: It is well known that in 1974 during Indira Gandhi's time, India conducted a "peaceful nuclear explosion" (PNE) in Pokhran, Rajasthan, but did not conduct any further tests. As a reaction Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, vowed that Pakistanis would "eat grass" if they had to, but that they would develop their own bomb. As it came to pass, over time Pakistan evolved a very efficient weapons procurement program, which it tried to pass of as a weapons "development" program. With the USA turning a helpful blind eye to all of its shenanigans, over time Pakistan obtained nuclear designs from China, and subsequently traded those designs to North Korea in return for missile designs. In 1995, when the late P. V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister of India, the US government put out the story that India was getting ready to test its own nuclear device, and sent out strong messages that it was not to do so. The US story was that US spy satellites had picked up the preparations for the test in Pokhran, and that this was the basis for the warnings to the Indian government. Given that the very same (or improved) satellites were fooled quite effectively in 1998, this claim seems difficult to credit. Whatever be the truth of the matter, there was no test in 1995.

Subsequently, in 1998 the NDA formed the government with BJP as its largest party. Within weeks of forming the government, to be precise on May 11, 1998, India announced to a stunned world that it had conducted simultaneous tests of three devices: a conventional nuclear device, a "low yield" nuclear device (of the kind that could be fitted on a tactical weapon for battlefield usage, as opposed to a "strategic" weapon with a much bigger yield), and a "thermonuclear" device. Two days later, India conducted two more tests. The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, announced that the results of the tests were completely in accord with theoretical predictions, and therefore India felt no need to conduct any further tests.

American reaction was angry and swift. It kicked out overnight all the Indian scientists who were working in various US-based laboratories and companies (see below), and imposed a wide range of sanctions on India. Subsequently, when Pakistan followed with its own series of tests on May 25 and 27, (allegedly) five on the first day and two on the second day, USA imposed similar sanctions on Pakistan as well. The US also orchestrated very tough statements about the Indian tests from the G8 and whenever and wherever it could. The intent was to turn India into a pariah among nations.

At the same time, the Deputy Secretary of State of the USA, Strobe Talbott, began a series of engagements with Jaswant Singh, who was initially an "Advisor" to the Indian PM, and was the External Affairs Minister in all but name. Sometime later, Jaswant Singh was actually named the Minister for External Affairs, but continued to interact with Strobe Talbott, even though he now outranked the latter. (Protocol would have demanded that he interact with the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.)

The book under review is a detailed description of the engagement between Strobe Talbott and Jaswant Singh, culminating in the withdrawal of sanctions. Overall the book is very interesting to read, as Talbott writes very well and clearly. What comes through unmistakably is Talbott's admiration of Jaswant Singh and his appreciation of the difficulty Jaswant Singh had in persuading his BJP party colleagues to accept negotiations with the US government. He exhibits no such warmth towards his Pakistani interlocutors. The contents of the book reinforce what I felt at the time, namely: Jaswant Singh is a master diplomat, and but for him (and the unstinting support lent to him by Vajpayee), India would have caved in to US pressure. The situation then makes a sad contrast to today, when a silly, self-important twerp like Natwar Singh is our Minister for External Affairs, and takes his instructions from the "Acting Prime Minister" at 10 Janpath.

Aside from long verbatim (or at least, purportedly verbatim) quotations, there is very little in the book that is not already in the public domain. Hence anyone hoping to learn some new facts would be sorely disappointed. Just about the only fact I learnt from this book (which I have not read anywhere else) is that when Henry Kissinger visited India in 1974 after the Pokhran-I test, he supposedly said to Indira Gandhi "Congratulations. You did it. You showed you could build nuclear weapons. You have the bomb. Now what do we do to keep from blowing up the world?" Then in a 1975 memorandum written in the State Department, he directed that the United States should adopt a "basic policy of not pressuring the [Indians] about their nuclear weapons program." (See page 17.) Given that Kissinger was the author of the infamous "tilt" towards Pakistan during the Bangladesh war of 1971 (both the policy as well as the expression), it is difficult to believe that he really advocated this policy seriously. His own subsequent public utterances, both then and more recently, do not lend any credence to the thesis that he himself was in favour of normalizing relationships with India. But since Talbott mentions this reference in the bibliography, I suppose one must take it seriously. In any case, clearly Kissinger's recommendation was not followed up either by himself when he was in power and in a position to implement it, or by his successors.

While there is relatively little new information in the book, the book is nevertheless invaluable as an indication of the thought processes within the US State Department, its biases and its predilictions. We in India are always concerned about the perceived "tilt" towards Pakistan in US foreign policy. It is therefore somehow reassuring to discover from Talbott's book that the "tilt" is not imaginary but quite real, and apparently permanent. Presidents and parties may come and go, but the "tilt" goes on forever. The US State Department policy towards Pakistan is a vivid illustration of George Santayana's maxim that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

I can quote two very specific examples from the book. The first has to do with the repeated use, by various Pakistani leaders, of what might be called "emotional blackmail." After the Indian tests of 1998, Talbott and company went to Pakistan to meet Nawaz Sharif and tried to dissuade him from following up with tests of his own. Protesting his inability to oblige, "If he did as we wanted, the next time I came to Islamabad, I would find myself dealing not with a clean-shaven moderate like himself but with an Islamic fundamentalist 'who has a long beard.' " (See page 63.) Musharraf made the same argument (see page 191)when he tells Talbott that a political snub by Clinton would "strengthen the hands of the extremists." It does not seem to have struck the folks in the US State Department that somehow everyone in power in Pakistan makes exactly the same argument: Let me do whatever I feel like and keep your hands off, because otherwise I will be thrown out and whoever follows will be a whole lot worse than I am. Either the Americans are monumentally gullible to keep falling for this argument time and again, or else they perceive it to be in their best interests to continue to ignore the illogic of it all. I would have expected Talbott, as an intelligent man who is no longer in power, to acknowledge clearly the fact that US policy towards Pakistan is on a treadmill, in that the Americans have to keep running just to stay in place. I do not expect Talbott-like individuals to offer any resolution, but at least acknowledging that the problem exists would have been nice.

The second theme I would like to cite is the imbalance of US concerns over nuclear proliferation. Of the five "benchmarks" set by the Clinton administration for normalizing relations with India, one consists of instituting careful controls to ensure that nuclear know-how is not proliferated to other nations. Immediately after the shakti series of tests, Prime Minister Vajpayee announced that India would desist from further tests. Moreover, over time India discussed and partially implemented its own nuclear doctrine (with which I have serious disagreements, but this is not the place to go into them). One of the noteworthy features of the Indian nuclear doctrine is a "no first use" policy, whereby India pledges that it will not use nuclear weapons against any state unless it is itself attacked with nuclear weapons. (Subsequently this condition was expanded to include also attacks by biological or chemical weapons.) In contrast, Pakistan has pointedly not published a nuclear doctrine. When questioned, the then government of Pakistan explicitly refused to rule out being the first to use nuclear weapons. Moreover, ever since Musharraf came into power, Pakistani nuclear technology has been clandestinely transferred to various nations such as North Korea, Iran and Libya. Musharraf found a convenient fig leaf to cover his own proliferation activities by making the chief scientist A. Q. Khan "confess" on national TV that he (almost single-handedly) transferred the technology, and then exonerating him. While Musharraf could have done little else under the circumstances, it is strange that Talbott fails to express even an iota of concern over such episodes, but continues to remonstrate with India to put proper controls in place. Here again, the current US administration of George W. Bush has thrown in its lot with Musharraf in the name of its "fight against terror," so it needs to put up a public posture of swallowing such nonsense (i.e., that A. Q. Khan single-handedly transferred nuclear technology to several nations, while those in power were clueless about his activities). But there is no reason for Talbott to swallow it so wholeheartedly. Talbott's studied silence in the face of Pakistan's calculated and long-standing policy of nuclear proliferation is very puzzling, from someone who claims to have a soft corner for India.

While the book can be read as "entertainment," I was very disappointed with it on several counts. There is very little by way of introspection and analysis of past US foreign policy, especially as it relates to India. Given that Talbott would now have to wait until at least January 2009 to re-enter the State Department, now would have been a very good time for him to have taken some bold steps and to have challenged the palpably poor manner in which the US has been formulating (and, alas, continues to formulate) its policy vis-a-vis India. But no such introspection can be found in the book.

Talbott's oft-repeated admiration of Jaswant Singh does not prevent him from endless repetition of various homilies and bromides to the Indian governments, then and now.

Talbott also betrays a serious lack of understanding of the BJP as a political party. Talbott's characterizations of the BJP and its philosophy border on comic book caricatures, and only reinforce my firm belief that even the so-called "professionals" in the US State Department are little interested in understanding the nuances of Indian society or Indian politics. In particular, Talbott's repeated use of cliches such as "hardline Hindu right-wingers" (as though there are no hardliners in any other religion) are extremely irritating. At one point he describes a casual conversation he and his wife had with Jaswant Singh, where Jaswant gives a masterly description of the evolution of Indian (read Hindu) society over the millennia, and shows how every minority save the Muslims have found themselves in a comfortable niche within the Indian society that is dominated by the Hindu ethos. Jaswant talks about Islamic radicalism as the "avatar of evil" and warns the US not to underestimate its potential. Talbott himself dismisses all of Jaswant's arguments as mere polemics and justification for what he (Talbott) sees as BJP's brand of sectarian, exclusionary brand of politics. He seems not to understand that 42% of the Indian electorate voted for the BJP and its allies in the 1999 election -- all 42% of us can hardly be accused of being "hardline Hindu right-wingers." He also seems not to understand that there are reactionary forces among Indian Muslims that have considerable interest in preventing Indian Muslims from joining the national mainstream. Indeed, the obscurantists among Indian Muslims have just as much, if not more, interest in keeping Indian Muslims isolated than the lunatic fringe within the Hindu segment of society. It is another matter that the BJP itself did not understand why people voted for it in 1999, and managed to lose the 2004 election through its own stupidity and arrogance. But the noteworthy point is that Jaswant Singh gave his warning to Talbott describing Islamic terrorism as the "avatar of evil" before the events of September 2001, but Talbott carefully avoids mentioning how Jaswant Singh's forebodings have come true. All in all, the lack of depth of analysis in Talbott's book does not augur well for the future of Indo-US relations.

Now that the fig leaf of the "book review" is out of the way, let me get to the second point of this posting, namely: my nostalgic recollections of the nuclear tests and their aftermath from an insider's viewpoint.

When India conducted its tests, we in DRDO were quite sure that Pakistan would follow very quickly with its own tests. In fact, we were quite surprised that it took Pakistan two full weeks to conduct its own tests (on May 25). There was a joke going around in DRDO back then:
Question: Why did it take Pakistan two weeks to conduct its own tests, once India had tested?
Answer: Because all the instructions on the boxes were in Chinese.

Getting to back to the subject of our own tests, American reaction was angry and swift. Relations between India and the US, especially in the strategic sectors (consisting of atomic energy, defence research and space) have always been strained and "off again, on again" -- to be blunt, more "off" than "on." Though the Americans ostensibly tried to improve relations with India, in actuality they tried their best to undermine the development of each of the strategic sectors, including the space sector which in India is officially civilian and unconnected to the military. For instance, when India tried to procure the cryogenic final stage launcher for its GSLV (Geo-Stationary Launch Vehicle) from Russia in the early 1990's, the US took advantage of Russia's desperate situation following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 to bully Russia into annuling the deal with India. At the time the tests were conducted, there was some semblance of "cooperation" between DRDO and the US government, in connection with India's LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) program. Some folks from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio were regularly interacting with the LCA program to "advise" us, and presumably, to assist in India getting the requisite clearences to procure GE aircraft engines, "high speed" computers, etc. The LCA is one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world, then and now, because it is unstable and thus highly maneuverable. In all the public and private discussions about the LCA, two aspects were always mentioned as the key challenges: the design of a control law (to stabilize the aircraft and to allow the pilot to control the aircraft), and the design and fabrication of the composite wing (to lighten the weight of the aircraft). To this day I feel proud that my laboratory, CAIR, had a hand in the design of the LCA CLAW (Control Law). Unfortunately the DRDO laboratory that was entrusted with the task of actually building the actual on-board computer, referred to as the DFCS (Digital Flight Control System), put up its hands and professed its inability to do so. As a result, much against the philosophy of "self-reliance" that Dr. Abdul Kalam advocated, a contract was given to Martin Marietta to build the DFCS on its premises in the USA. Some DRDO scientists were in MM working on the DFCS when the tests took place. On the evening of May 13th, these scientists were unceremoniously bundled out of the USA, and the hardware they were working on (which was the property of the Indian government) was "impounded." At that time Dr. R. Chidambaram, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, as the Vice President of the Crystallography Society, an international body that was holding its annual convention in Florida in late 1998. However, the US refused to give a visa to Dr. Chidambaram to attend the conference. Of course, true to its devious ways, the US Consulate in Mumbai did not actually deny a visa -- it simply kept asking for one "clarification" after another until the date of the conference had passed.

The USA also published a list of "banned" organizations, both within and outside the government, to which it was illegal for US companies to sell anything. In the case of DRDO, the US government seemed to have used a two-year old telephone directory to come up with the list of banned entities, since laboratories that had recently changed their names were listed under their old names, while laboratories that had been created during the preceding two years were not listed at all! Needless to say, US computer companies took full advantage of these omissions and did a roaring business selling all of their hardware and software to the "non-banned" entities in DRDO. These "nonbanned" entities suddenly saw their procurement go up by an order of magnitude, with the full understanding on the part of the vendors (all of them US-based) as to what was happening. The whole episode fully reinforced my firm belief that the US sanctions were doomed from the outset, and that all India had to do was to sit tight and the American businesses themselves would argue for the lifting of the sanctions. In the book, Talbott mentions how, within six months of the sanctions being imposed, Senator Brownback introduced a bill in the US Senate that gave the President the legal cover for lifting the sanctions. To quote Talbott (page 127), the bill "technically allowed the President to waive a number of sanctions but in fact encouraged him to do so."

In 1995, the story was that US spy satellites picked up signs of preparations for the nuclear tests, and as a result, Bill Clinton warned P. V. Narasimha Rao not to proceed with the tests. At least, that is the story. In 1998, the spy satellites were apparently fooled because the Indian Army first put up some canopies and only then drilled holes under the canopies (to house the nuclear devices). This story is as difficult to believe as the other one. If all it takes to fool US spy satellites is to erect a few canopies, then I can only say that US "high" technology is a lot less high than I thought.

I can perhaps narrate a small story about the efficacy of spy satellites. In May 1999, India conducted the third test of an Agni missile, and the first since 1992. The missile tested in 1999 was the longer Agni-II, which had a longer range than Agni-I. Moreover, whereas the first two launches of Agni were conducted from Balasore in coastal Orissa, the 1999 test was launched from Wheeler Island, which is about 80 kilometers off the Orissa coast. Before the test, Dr. Kalam told another person and me that the preparations for the launch were so carefully camouflaged that no satellite could detect them. So this person and I downloaded the satellite images of Wheeler Island, from which the preparations for the test were quite obvious. After all, the Agni-II is more than twenty meters long and is launched from a vertical position, so it is not all that easy to camouflage the launcher. However, my friend and I had one advantage that the spy satellites did not have -- we knew where to look!

We showed the images to Dr. Kalam and told him that the preparations were not so well hidden as he might have thought. He conceded the point, but since the test was then just days away, he did not worry. Indeed, the changed location of the test launch seemed to have come as a big surprise to those monitoring the Indian missile program.

Now let me conclude by discussing what, if anything, might cause the USA to change its approach to India. I have always held the view that the USA is able to persist with its lopsided approach to India simply because it does not pay any price for doing so -- or at least, it does not perceive that it is paying any price. Clearly, the mandarins in the US state department do not see any connection at all between supporting Zia ul Haq in his proxy war in Afghanistan against Russia, and (for example) the 9/11 bombing of the twin towers. The use of the Taliban as killers for hire was seen as a master strategy when they sent the Russian Army packing from Afghanistan. The fact that, with no immediate enemy, these hired killers were then pushed into Kashmir did not cause any disquiet amongst US policy planners, since they genuinely seemed to believe that terrorism could be cordoned off and confined to faraway places on the map. These self-delusions were rudely shattered on September 11, 2001.

Prior to September 11, 2001, the USA could conveniently divide killers of innocent civilians into two categories: "Terrorists" who kill innocent white people in pursuit of political objectives, and "freedom fighters" who show restraint and confine themselves to killing only innocent brown people. One would have thought that the events of 9/11 would have made the US policy makers rethink their world view, and to realize that ultimately their safety rested in promoting shared values and in strengthening relationships with countries such as India with whom they already share values. Instead, one finds that Pakistan has yet again become a "frontline" nation in America's never-ending battle against yet another "enemy" -- this time Al Queda. No one in the US establishment, not even Talbott, seems to have made the connection between the 9/11 bombings and its flawed foreign policy, especially vis-a-vis Pakistan. In particular, no one seems to have viewed 9/11 as one of the serious long-term repurcussions of having supported Pakistan blindly in its promotion of the Taliban and in turn the patronization of Al Queda by the Taliban. When even those who are out of power cannot bring themselves to admit their past mistakes, what hope can there be for a sensible American foreign policy to evolve?

I can think of only one hopeful sign. In early April, the Chinese Prime Minister (Wen Jiabao) visited India. The newspapers on April 12 were full of stories of his visit. In a pleasant departure from past pattern, the International Herald Tribune led off its front-page story with the sentence "India and China, world's two emerging economic superpowers ..." What sweet revenge! To be mentioned in the same sentence as China as an emerging economic superpower! I believe that the USA just might try to mend its ways towards India, if we don't yet again muck up the opportunity to become a strong economy. (And we are quite capable of doing so, what with the dinosaurs of the various communist parties and the clueless National Advisory Committee engaging in backseat driving.) By now at least a few persons in the US establishment must have realized that India is now in a different league from Pakistan, and therefore cannot be bracketed with it any longer. Besides this, however, I do not see any impetus towards change.
Dated 15 April 2005

<b>We were not consulted on nuke deal: BJP </b>
Monday, September 3, 2007 | MP

New Delhi, Sep 2 (ANI): Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said that the party was not consulted before the finalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, <b>as claimed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi."</b>Regarding what Soniaji (Sonia Gandhi) has said that the Opposition was taken into confidence, I would say that giving information and coming to an agreement are two different things. Giving information does not mean that an agreement was reached," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters on sidelines of a party meeting.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi in an open letter published in party journal had supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the Indo-US nuclear deal, and said that the <b>Congress-led UPA Government had done nothing in isolation and had kept the Left and the Opposition parties informed of every move.</b>

<b>BJP today reiterated its demand of setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to review the nuclear deal, </b>which will end the global restrictions imposed on India in the field of nuclear commerce and technology."<b>They are making a committee to solve a family matter between the Congress and the Communist.</b> That is why the BJP has been demanding the Joint Parliamentary Committee," Javadekar said.

The Centre has constituted a high-level committee that would look into the concerns raised by the Left parties, particularly the implications of the US Hyde Act on the bilateral 123-agreement, that leads to the operationalisation of the nuclear deal.

The BJP, which recently softened its harsh opposition against the deal, today said that it would also review the nuclear deal if the party returns back to power.Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who also served as External Affairs Minister in the previous NDA regime, has said to a private news channel that if the deal is operationalised in its present form, then his party would renegotiate it when it would return to power. "If the deal were to go through in its present form, which we had decided was unacceptable then obviously, it flows from it.

Logically, that we'll reconsider and renegotiate," Sinha said.The bilateral civilian nuclear energy cooperation deal with the US ran into rough weather after Left parties also joined with the opposition BJP in criticising the deal. (ANI)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Do not approach IAEA on N-deal: Karat </b>
PTI | Thiruvananthapuram
Posted online: September 4, 2007
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has asked the Union Government not to approach the IAEA as a follow up of the Indo-US nuclear deal till the UPA-Left committee comes out with its findings, warning that if it does so, the outside allies would take steps to stall it.

The Government was planning to approach IAEA in September. Usually, September is the time when the IAEA conducts most of its business. The CPI(M)'s firm stand is that the Government should not approach IAEA before the Hyde Act panel brings out its report.

<b>"If the Government takes any follow up action on the deal, all steps to stall it would be taken", Karat told CPI(M) official organ in Malayalam Deshabhimani.</b>

The joint statement issued after the UPA-Left meeting has made it clear that any further step on the deal would be taken only after getting the report of the panel set up to study the Hyde Act, he said adding the decision to set up the panel was welcome.

The CPI(M) would also come out with an open letter to all MPs explaining as to why the party was opposing the nuclear deal.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--emo&:blow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blow.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blow.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Indo-US Nuke Deal
Join us in opposing deal: Karat to BJP
Posted online: Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 1730 hours IST
Updated: Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 1758 hours IST

Ongole, AP, September 6: Holding that the agreement to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal was not acceptable to the majority in Parliament, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat asked the BJP to join all others in telling the government not to proceed with it.

"The question will boil down to whether the Parliament can ratify this agreement. If we take that position, there is no point in asking for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) or a vote," Karat, who is leading a Left procession against joint Naval exercises involving the US in the Bay of Bengal, told a television channel.

Disagreeing with the BJP demand for a JPC, he told a TV channel, "I think the question is political. The agreement is not acceptable to the majority in Parliament. We can all tell the government, don't proceed (with the deal). And I don't see why the BJP cannot take that position".

Karat felt Parliament should discuss the nuclear issue and BJP should voice its views there. "Let the country know whether this government has any support in Parliament on the nuclear deal. That will be the best way to make sure that this deal is not proceeded with. How can a government go against the majority in Parliament? "

In Nellore, the CPM leader questioned government's nod for Naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal involving the US.

He said ‘imperialists’ were being invited to come to India and bring their Navies here, like the Walmart, which would like to run shops here, retail trade would destroy the livelihood of our small shopkeepers".
From Pioneer, 6 Sept 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Lame duck Parliament
Navin Upadhyay/Nidhi Sharma/Rajeev Ranjan Roy | New Delhi
Parties take positions: Govt reckless, belligerent NDA-UNPA unite, Left silent

If the Government is paralysed by its stand off with the Left over the India-US civilian nuclear agreement, then Parliament seems to have entered a lame duck phase. A sense of resignation has dawned on both the Treasury and Opposition benches about the inevitability of a mid-term poll. It was no surprise then, that both sides on Thursday refused to budge from their rigid positions on setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the nuclear deal. The scheduled debate in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday was an obvious casualty. There is little likelihood that the Lok Sabha will be able to take up the debate on Monday.   

The Government may be assuring its allies that the UPA-Left committee will find a way to resolve the political crisis, but the writing on the wall is clear. The Left leaders have started talking about the possibility of a mid-term poll early next year. So have senior-most Ministers in the Government. The corridors of Parliament are agog with speculation about the timing of the poll and anguished MPs are exchanging notes about their prospects.

The fallout of the India-US nuclear deal on the Muslims, who are bitterly opposed to the American intervention in Iraq and elsewhere, has emerged as a serious cause of concern for the Congress MPs, who hope that soon the Government will come up with major doles for its "captive vote bank".

Even political parties have begun to position themselves for mid-term polls, Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi's accusation that the BJP was stalling in the House at the behest of someone in Chennai (read AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa) was more than enough hint of the Congress' worry about the nature of political churning in the Opposition camp.

Talking to newspersons Dasmunsi said: "I was told by influential quarters in the BJP that these (disruption) are happening because of some specific directions from Chennai. There is an invisible hand in this. They are being continuously advised to disrupt the House. I cannot disclose the name of the MPs who told me this."

When asked who he was referring to, Dasmunsi refused to take any names and said: "I hope against hope that they would convey to Chennai that enough is enough."

A senior Congress leader said: "We know for sure that BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley wanted a debate but were brushed aside by Mr Advani because of Jayalalithaa." Claiming that the Congress was employing a wait-and-watch policy.

Dasmunshi's claims were debunked by BJP leaders who pointed out that the party had adopted a consistent position in opposing the deal and demanding that a JPC go into the India-US civilian nuclear agreement. "It is a figment of his imagination," said BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad.

But more than anything Dasmunsi underlined the bellicose mood of the Congress to take on the equally combative opposition head on. Such charges by a Minister who is supposed to coordinate with the Opposition for the smooth conduct of Parliament was seen as a clear message that the die was cast, and even the Congress was not interested in running the house , public posturing to the contrary notwithstanding .

Dasmunshi may be wide of the mark in claiming that the BJP was being dictated by the AIADMK leadership, but the fact remains that the AIADMK has sent subtle hints that it would not be part of any UNPA-Left combine in the event of mid-term polls.

But Dasmunshi did not spell out an equally discomforting development for the Congress. If the AIADMK was veering towards the NDA then the Left and some of the harshest critics of the Congress within the UNPA were also in the process of building bridges for the midterm polls.

With repeated disruptions by the Opposition, the speculation of a sine die adjournment has gained much momentum. Congress sources said that there is a strong possibility of an adjournment if such disruptions continued even next week. Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "Why don't you ask them (BJP) instead. The Congress party and the Government tried their best. Lets see what happens."

Sources said that the decision on a sine die adjournment would depend on the Opposition's conduct on Monday - the day the Lok Sabha is likely to debate on the nuclear deal. If the Opposition disrupts the House again, the Government could move for an adjournment. A senior Congress leader said: "This would clearly reflect their intentions. Then at least the Government would not be blamed for shying away from a debate on the nuclear deal."

Sources said that the BJP leadership has decided it was better to bring an early end to the Monsoon Session instead of entering into any compromise with the Government in running the Houses.

"What is the point in continuing with this farce? We know we are heading for midterm polls. Why should we legitimise the Left-Congress committee on the nuclear deal by taking part in the debate. After all the nuclear deal is not a family matter among two parties," said a senior BJP leader.

The NDA meeting on Thursday preceded by the BJP's Parliamentary Party meet decided against the debate on the deal if the JPC were not constituted. They rocked the two Houses to press for their demand, resulting in repeated adjournments.

A confident Sushma Swaraj of the BJP said that the Centre had no option but to agree to the reasonable demand of the Opposition for a JPC to look into their concerns with regard to the Indo-US civil nuclear co-operation. "The debate without a JPC is a trap, and we would not get into such a trap," she said.

"The Government has to concede to the Opposition demand. It took the Opposition over a fortnight to force the Government for a JPC on the Bofors kickback and the security scams," said Swaraj, the BJP's deputy leader in the Rajaya Sabha.

By refusing to buy the argument that the UPA had categorically rejected the JPC demand, she said that there was nothing categorical in Parliament. "It is a war of nerves. At times, the Government concedes to the Opposition as well. We do not consider the Government's response to be categorical," she said.

Since there is total unanimity among the NDA leaders over continuing their high-pitched attack on the UPA's total disregard for the House and the Opposition, there is hardly any scope for doubt that that they would accept anything less than a JPC to end the impasse. That too at a time when the UNPA leaders have implicitly thrown their weight behind the NDA on the JPC issue.

She said that both the Houses could debate the deal after the JPC submits its report, and termed the UPA-Left mechanism as a family welfare committee (FWC). "The FWC would not do. We want the Nation Welfare Committee that is the JPC," she said, giving the UPA strategists the liberty of having a majority on the committee.

Senior leaders attended Thursday's NDA meet chaired by LK Advani and would meet again on Friday morning to chalk out their next course of action. As the Government is 'continuously holding talks with the allies and other groups,' the NDA would favour working out their strategy on a daily basis. "Tomorrow's strategy would be discussed tomorrow," Swaraj said.

Advani in the BJP and NDA meetings blamed the UPA Government for the current imbroglio in the Houses, stating that the Centre's attitude was in contempt of Parliament and reiterated that they would not allow such things to happen. "The Opposition must be heard. Their concerns about the nuclear deal must be properly addressed," he said in the two meetings.

Stating that there was no need for any 15-member mechanism when the UPA-Left alliance already had the co-ordination committee where they discuss a plethora of issues, Swaraj said the Government should have immediately accepted the JPC demand.

"Earlier the Government did not agree to have a discussion on the deal under Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha, which involved voting. We wanted a similar discussion in the Rajya Sabha as well. Now they are rejecting the JPC demand without citing any reasons," Swaraj added.

If it (the committee) is not binding, then what is it for. To have a cup of tea?
-- Gurudas Dasgupta (on Kapil Sibal’s statement that the UPA-Left committee’s suggestions were not binding on Government)

The agreement is not acceptable to the majority in Parliament. We can all tell the Government, don't proceed (with the deal). And I don't see why the BJP cannot take that position
-- Prakash Karat

NDA has converted itself into Never Do Anything Opposition You have before you the National Disruptive Alliance. They have become habitual offenders
-- Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress spokesman

Of course, it is my job to save the Government. It is my additional responsibility to carry my supporters so that the Government continues
-- Pranab Mukherjee (On BJP’s charge that the committee was a way to save the Government)

The UPA-Left mechanism is a family welfare committee (FWC). The FWC would not do. We want the Nation Welfare Committee, that is, the JPC
-- Sushma Swaraj, BJP spokesperson<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Two reports.

Pioneer, 9 Sept., 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Congress scared of 123 debate</b>

It is now clear that neither the Prime Minister nor the Congress wants a debate on the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement in Parliament. <b>It is also clear that for reasons that are best known to Mr Manmohan Singh, his aides in the PMO and a clutch of 'Yes, Prime Minister' bureaucrats in the Foreign Office who negotiated the deal do not wish it to be scrutinised by either parliamentarians or the citizens of this country who are aghast that so momentous a decision is being taken without even a public debate worth its name.</b> Last week's scheduled debate in the Rajya Sabha went for a toss; it is unlikely the Lok Sabha will get around to discussing it this week.

<b>A section of the New Delhi media,</b> which has made the passage of the 123 Agreement as much an issue of personal prestige and declaration of loyalty to America as the Prime Minister, <b>has been prompt to blame the Opposition (minus the Left, which can do no wrong as far as the la-di-da crowd is concerned) for stalling the debate in the Rajya Sabha.</b> But the fact of the matter is that Parliament's business, though decided in consultation with all parties, ultimately depends on Government's intention. In the Rajya Sabha, the Chairman has gone out of his way to snub the Leader of the Opposition and not helped matters by his strange decisions that fly in the face of both rules and conventions.

The BJP and its allies in the NDA, as well as the UNPA (a strange acronym for the so-called 'Third Front') have been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee to discuss the 123 Agreement. <b>The Government says this is not possible; the Left has taken upon itself the task of explaining the Government position: Bilateral agreements and international treaties cannot be discussed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. But it can be discussed by an 'unofficial' committee comprising mutual backscratchers of the Congress and the Left whose recommendations, at least so the comrades claim, shall be binding.</b>

That's balderdash. A Joint Parliamentary Committee can look into the 123 Agreement under the broad rubric of, say, 'India's civil nuclear programme'. <b>If the Government's intentions had been truly in tandem with India's national interests, then it would have agreed to the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, with a fortnight to conduct its proceedings, preceded by a full house debate.</b> Let us not forget that President's George Bush's original notification, informing the US Congress of his Administration's proposal to enter into a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India, was discussed, deliberated and debated by Senate and House committees before being discussed in both Houses: What emerged from that process is known as the Henry Hyde Act. Congress will also vote on 123 Agreement. So, why this reluctance to allow scrutiny by India's Parliament?

It is absurd to suggest that we cannot do this because of our 'Cabinet system' which is no more than a Cabal deciding for a billion people what's good for them and more often than not getting it all so horribly wrong. <b>What the present crisis also shows is the mismatch between democracy modelled along British lines and republican aspirations as they obtain in countries that do not have a monarchy, even if notional.</b> That apart, I personally feel the Opposition should still press for a parliamentary debate, if only to put on record its position on the nuclear deal. Let future generations not say that nationalists failed to protect the nation's interests.

Meanwhile, here's a suggestion for those who feel that the 123 Agreement is flawed and needs corrective action. <b>The best thing to do, under the circumstances that prevail, is to push for a constitutional amendment that will mandate parliamentary approval for all agreements, treaties and protocols which touch upon national security issues and deal with India's territorial sovereignty. Second, the Opposition must now demand a national law that will serve as a countervailing force to the obnoxious Hyde Act about which we can do nothing since it is an American law and, frankly, is the US Administration's problem, not ours.</b>

The 123 Agreement says, "The Parties shall cooperate in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement. Each Party shall implement this Agreement in accordance with its respective applicable treaties, national laws, regulations, and licence requirements concerning the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

<b>At present, we have two national laws to deal with nuclear issues: The Atomic Energy Act of 1962 and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2005.</b> The first deals with setting up of nuclear facilities, their purpose and Government control. The second deals with non-proliferation of fissile material and carriers: It commits the Government of India to bringing its export control enforcement to the strictest international standards.

Instead of seeking amendments to the Atomic Energy Act to have our version of the Hyde Act and act as a dyke against a repeat of what happened in 1974, as has been suggested in some quarters, <b>it would be preferable to have a separate 'national law' to protect India's interests, just as the Henry Hyde Act, as US 'national law', protects American interests.</b> The Hyde Act flows from the overarching US Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as does the 123 Agreement (it refers to Article 123 of the US Act). The proposed Indian 'national law' can flow from the Indian Atomic Energy Act, which can then become the overarching law.

<b>The proposed 'national law' could deal with three specific issues. First, irrespective of the 'right to return' clause in the 123 Agreement and any similar future agreement, it could mandate that neither fuel nor hardware under safeguard shall be sent out or allowed to be taken back if that adversely impacts the operation of nuclear power reactors, affects total quantum of nuclear power generation and impinges on strategic concerns. Second, it can lay down that no reactor or fuel shall be imported unless the commercial contract provides for reprocessing of spent fuel. Third, it should provide for the setting up of a separate storage/reprocessing facility under safeguards, access to which shall be decided by the Government of India and not deemed to be automatic by inspectors of non-Indian origin.</b>

<b>Institutions are far more reliable than dodgy individuals who may find themselves in office, thanks to what the Prime Minister has referred to as "destiny". India's destiny cannot be tied to the destiny of those who can't look beyond Washington, DC from their perch in Lutyens' Delhi.</b>



123 an analyis

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The 123 Agreement: An analysis
By M.D. Nalapat

Safeguards will in all likelihood be numerous and intrusive, in conformity to those offered to non-nuclear weapon states, and in perpetuity without any similar commitment on the part of the US in ensuring uninterrupted fuel supplies over the lifetime of the purchased reactors. A few palliative statements about joint research and development are included but continue to be restricted to the narrow scope of the Hyde Act and other existing US legislation and therefore do not substantially alter the situation concerning collaborative ventures possible even today.

Of the other promises made to India, that of ”full” nuclear co-operation has not been kept. The 123 Agreement expressly excludes dual-use processes as well as technologies related to reprocessing, heavy water production and major critical components connected with such facilities.

A cursory reading of the 123 Agreement reveals a document deliberately loosely- worded so as to leave itself open to multiple interpretations. More than the formulations that it contains, however, the proposed bi-lateral deal is a masterpiece of purposeful omission. It is a well known legal practice that when a particular agreement is contested, interpretations will be made in consonance with the specific laws that govern it. In this context, separate from the wording of the 123 Agreement, India’s acceptance of any Agreement automatically implies acceptance of the Hyde Act and its attendant requirements.

Before attempting to go into what is omitted, it is worthwhile to consider what it actually contains. As it stands, the draft 123 Agreement is an understanding intended primarily to facilitate the import of foreign nuclear reactors with foreign uranium fuel and aspects of associated technologies that are allowed under the Hyde Act and the US Atomic Energy Act. All imports will be under the watchful monitoring of the IAEA including US, Chinese and other inspectors who can roam our facilities following “consultations” – in this case a euphemism for invoking the relevant verification mechanisms provided through the Hyde Act . Safeguards will in all likelihood be numerous and intrusive, in conformity to those offered to non-nuclear weapons states, and in perpetuity without any similar commitment on the part of the US in ensuring uninterrupted fuel supplies over the lifetime of the purchased reactors. A few palliative statements about joint research and development are included but continue to be restricted to the narrow scope of the Hyde Act and other existing US legislation and therefore do not substantially alter the situation concerning collaborative ventures possible even today. Indeed, the import of foreign reactors and fuel remains the only certainty that this Agreement gives. However, in exchange, the costs are far out of proportion to the benefits of sticking to tested indigenous technologies.

Of the other promises made to India, that of “full” nuclear co-operation has not been kept. The 123 Agreement expressly excludes dual-use processes as well as technologies related to reprocessing, heavy water production and major critical components connected with such facilities. Under the current writing, Section 5.2 states that “sensitive nuclear technology, heavy water production technology, sensitive nuclear facilities, heavy water production facilities and major critical components of such facilities may be transferred under this agreement pursuant to an amendment to this agreement.” If indeed such an amendment is possible, it is an open question as to why it couldn’t have become a part of this writing since both leaders have promised “full” cooperation.

With respect to reprocessing, the same section further states that “transfers of dual-use items that could be used in enrichment, reprocessing or heavy water production facilities will be subject to the parties’ respective applicable laws, regulations and license policies.” Under the US Atomic Energy Act, it is amply clear that such technologies will not be shared with India. In fact, Article 6(iii) clearly states that the right to reprocess will only be given following the dedication of a special facility, presumably at Indian expense.

The most likely scenario would be that India will get sucked into the inequitious GNEP (Global Nuclear Energy Partnership) initiative as a “recipient” nation and make itself a willing receptable to the “supplier” countries willing to dump their toxic waste. Where the US Congress itself has refused to place faith in the cost-effective viability of such a venture in that advanced and wealthy country, the dedicated Indian re-processing facility will serve as a useful test case, all at our expense. According to Manmohan Singh, India has been given ”prior consent” to re-process spent fuel. Neither the words nor the intent are however reflected in the 123 Agreement.

Another marked deviation from promises made to the Indian people is the promise of uninterrupted fuel over the lifetime of imported reactors in exchange for safeguards in perpetuity as set out in the separation plan of 2006 and as promised by George bush during his official visit in March last year. Seen as the deal clincher then, this significant departure from what has been agreed may be seen in the context of the Indian government substantially changing its earlier position where the Hyde Act was dismissed as internal US legislation and non-binding on India, to having acknowledged that it is in fact the governing legislation. Having accepted the rigidly constraining parameters of the Hyde Act and other internal US legislation, India has had no option but to give up assurances for life-time fuel supplies since the request was specifically discussed and struck down by the US Congress before passing the Hyde Act. This has been adequately detailed in the writings of Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan and we will not deal with it here. However, with the US retaining a unilaterally enforceable right of termination followed by the right of return, the future of strategic fuel reserves that the US seeks to assist India in maintaining also remain questionable and may possibly become a matter for “consultation”. It is likely that these reserves will be reduced to an amount “commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements” as provided for under Section 103(b)(10) of the Hyde Act. At any rate, there is no fail-safe built in to safeguard future uranium fuel supplies or reserves.

Next is the contention that India’s right to test remains intact since it is not explicitly mentioned in the text of the 123. Most worryingly, what is contained is an entire section warning India of the serious and extreme consequences of precisely this through the use of euphemisms. Where the UPA government has touted the absence of an explicit statement to the effect as a victory for India - (it is indeed a minor victory) - while repeatedly stating that the US was not insisting on a bi-laterally enforceable moratorium on nuclear tests, they have chosen to overlook that the fact that such loose wording may be interpreted to include any act of non-cooperation by India upon which the US reserves the unilateral right to suspend cooperation and introduce sanctions. This could include India being shy about “isolating, containing and sanctioning” Iran, not toeing the line of the PSI (having already agreed to its precursor, the container security initiative) Australia Group etc and any and all future American whims and fancies that are often thinly disguised as “foreign policy” but enshrined in the Hyde Act. The concession made is that through “consultations” the exact nature of forthcoming sanctions could be delayed or waived, but the course of action would be ultimately governed by the Hyde Act and India would have to rely on the good offices of future US leaders. Apart from sanctions and in the event of a suspension of exports to India, the right of return clause (solely applicable to NNWS under the US Atomic Energy Act and therefore not applicable to China) includes compensation to India at “fair market value” for the items returned including costs. This is a joke, for the compensation will only be for the much lower costs of the fuel supply, rather than the huge price of the reactor itself which India would have imported at a substantial value addition over indigenous technology

Coming back to the exclusion of this point from the 123 agreement and the apparent confidence with which both sides believe the Agreement will find favour with US Congress, the change of sequencing must be addressed. In yet another departure from the promises made to the Indian Parliament, Manmohan Singh in his new found acceptance of the supremacy of the Hyde Act and its dictates, has paved the way for us to negotiate India-specific safeguards with the IAEA and get an “unconditional exemption” from the NSG, prior to final US approval. Quite apart from the duplicity of such an act, it appears that this move is quite consistent with the plan of action that appears to be unfolding. It appears that if required, the USS will work through the NSG (and the IAEA) to fulfill what has been set out in the Hyde Act – the roll-back and termination of India’s military programme to fulfill non-proliferation requirements. It is feared that the NSG may insist upon India agreeing to the FMCT and the MCTR as a condition for allowing international trade in civilian nuclear materials. Without a contingency plan in place and having agreed to the 123, India would find it hard not to accept such terms. Manmohan Singh could then throw up his hands before the Indian parliament and state that where the 123 Agreement met his commitments (although the truth is far from this) India had no choice but to follow through on NSG requirements. This fait accompli would assist the US Congress in making a determination that the terms when taken together are consistent with the enabling legislation and may pass their vote in favour. India will be left with a loosely worded 123 Agreement furiously negotiated in 5-days with no obvious legal help, while subscribing to the alphabet soup in toto without an exit clause. Indeed, the only way out would be if India had the gumption to pass legislation retroactively at a future date cancelling the effect of the 123 Agreement and attendant incursions into sovereignty knowing full well that we will be bound by the one-year termination notice and attendant clauses as agreed. This would appear to be highly unlikely especially after we have commenced purchases. A more suitable plan of action would be to defer implementing the 123 Agreement until all terms are met. Such a course, for reasons that are not clear, seems anathema to Sonia Gandhi’s men.

In fact, the only right India has retained through the 123 Agreement is the right to terminate albeit without any recourse to other remedies. This is perhaps the most telling aspect of the entire writing, putting India squarely in the position of a recipient nation rather than a future supplier nation, putting us at a huge disadvantage even in comparison with the present. Any wording seeking to grant equality as two states possessing advanced technology is negated through such implications. In fact the absence of suitable legal phrasing to make the deal more equal is noticeably lacking throughout the documentv .

It comes as no surprise that what remains unmentioned throughout the entire debate is that the impractical and ruinously expensive separation plan that Sonia and her team have forced down the throat of the Indian scientific establishment as already been revised in the course of the above saga – a fact that the Prime Minister is unlikely to reveal. That we have agreed to safeguards in perpetuity without assurances of permanent fuel supplies strikes at the very root of the principles that guided the separation of Indian facilities. It is also clear that contrary to attestations by the AEC Chairman and other bureaucrats, all future breeder reactors will fall under these safeguards. Hence, the technology developed by us will become known to our comnpetitors, especially in the absence of suitable changes in Indian law to protect the intellectual property rights of the processes developed by our scientists

As Sonia Gandhi drives her government towards taking the decisions required to effectively endorse the FMCT and other three and four letter acronyms all signifying the emasculation of nuclear India, the thorium programme and the security it offers may forever remain a distant dream, as also the prospect of an adequate nuclear deterrent . Meanwhile, while India gets hobbled, China gives Pakistan wings.

Could anyone have convinced Ekalavya of the Guru Dorna's intentions behind seeking the Guru Dakshina? And even if Ekalavya knew would he have refrained from giving the dakshina as he wanted to belong to the system? So is the case with the UPA govt.

History repeats because it is dismissed as myth.
Next four weeks are for traitors - lets see how cheap they sell themselves.

Moron Singh will try to please his master in ranch, down south. Queen is coming here to make her purse and Swiss bank smiling, Babus who were eager to close deal, will be visiting land of opportunity for future job in Rockefeller, Ford and other foundation. They had already accumulated lot of miles for whole family to travel.
This is what I wanted.
From Deccan Chronicle, 13 Sept., 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->How to sweep Hyde out
By Pran Chopra

<b>The Hyde Act is a burden cast on India by the domestic politics of America. But the Act has also created a precedent which India can use for shifting the burden back. Can use it, that is, if our own political parties allow the voice of our Parliament to be heard clearly. </b>To be heard by India itself to begin with, and then by the world. We can do this without causing any harm to our energy prospects. <b>We need to clearly pose a question to America first and then to the rest of the world: Does America accept the 123 Agreement? </b>

<b>It was urged in an article on August 20 (The Curious Silence on Hyde, The Op-Ed Page) that India must help the world — and first of all must help Indians themselves — to see quite clearly what are the limits of what India and America have mutually agreed upon, who is trying to cross those limits, who should be blamed if the 123 Agreement broke down, whether both should be blamed, being joint custodians of the agreement, or America should be blamed for bringing down the agreement through its unilateralist insistence upon the Hyde Act.</b>

<b>Unlike the agreement, the Act is wholly an American product, and on top of that it is partly a product of the domestic politics of America. Therefore, the blame should lie upon America if the agreement is shown to have been killed by the Act. Little of the Hyde Act was publicly known to have figured in the Indo-American negotiations in which the 123 Agreement was hammered out.</b> But those negotiations were mostly with a Republican presidency which also controlled Congress. <b>However, before they could be completed the negotiations came under the shadow of several internal rifts in America.</b>

<b>For example,</b> the many countrywide rifts between the Republicans and the Democrats on domestic issues; and next the rift between a Republican presidency and a Democratic Congress; and next, between some pro-India Republicans and the many non-proliferation ayatollahs of the Democratic party; and between the power of the presidency to make a treaty and a congressional itch to put legislative curbs upon it.

<b>Hence, the drastic intrusions of Clauses (B) and (D) of the Hyde Act into the purposes of the agreement.</b> These clauses can deny certain benefits of the agreement to countries which, among other things, have a foreign policy which is not "congruent to the foreign policy of the United States," or which do not give "greater political and material support to the global and regional objectives" of the United States in respect of nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism. <b>In general terms, these may seem to be harmless requirements for India to meet, and in fact the Act itself states that India has met them already. But if they are applied selectively to particular regions or countries on particular issues they can become severe restrictions on India’s diplomatic choices.</b>

In his detailed statements recently in Parliament on all that goes under the name of a "nuclear deal" between India and America,<b> Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was outstandingly eloquent in defending the agreement.</b>

<b>But equally eloquent was his total silence on the Hyde Act, confirming what the whole country knows by now, that large and very vocal sections of Indian opinion have serious problems with the Hyde Act.</b>

Since then, Mr Kapil Sibal, India’s minister of state for science and technology, has spoken in about the same as the Prime Minister.

As one of the few ministers who has tried to confront the avalanche of public criticism of the Hyde Act, he wrote recently that the "Hyde Act cannot possibly override the provisions of the 123 Agreement" because the former, he says, is "the last expressions of sovereign will."

<b>But as they stand, the silence of the Prime Minister about the Act, and Mr Sibal’s accolade for the agreement as an "expression of sovereign will" do not constitute a sufficient safeguard against what someone else may posit as the sovereign will of another country. Mr Sibal does not tell us in whose "sovereign will" he sees such a "safeguard," and in which document of which government has the "sovereign will" found "expression."</b>

<b>However, there have been some recent developments which show which way India should go if it is to develop suitable "safeguards" of its own,</b> and there have been joint statements by some leading scientists which affirm that such safeguards can be entirely viable, and some prominent political opponents of the "deal" have indicated that the ideas given by the scientists will not lack the political backing they may need to make them India’s own "sovereign will" in this matter.<b>Some of the way ahead lies parallel to the precedent set by the US Congress in passing the Hyde Act.</b>

The rest lies in a more cool assessment of what are our present energy needs and capabilities and what they can become in future; and whether the gap between them can be closed by other means less expensively than by immediate submission to the Hyde Act; and what part nuclear energy must play in this strategy, in addition to what other sources of energy can realistically contribute; and what view may be taken of this strategy by other countries when they are shown what part has been played by India and what by others in bringing us to the present pass. Some views on all these issues are mostly floating at present on the power of phrases.

<b>India must of course remain faithful to what it has openly and freely agreed upon in transparent negotiations with any other country or countries. But it must carefully weigh any obligation that is sought to be thrust upon it by purely unilateral declarations such as the Hyde Act. Similarly, in accepting whatever it decides to accept it must also put down, perhaps in its own equivalent of the American 123, what it should not be assumed to have accepted. We should do that without being crippled by fears or hopes of reactions in one country or another.</b>

Some indications of what may be attainable have surfaced of late. India’s external affairs minister, <b>Mr Pranab Mukherjee, who now speaks on these subjects with prime ministerial authority, said recently, "We have initialled separate texts of the 123 Agreement." He did not say with whom, or what are the differences between the two texts. But his silence is not without meaning in the given context. </b>A more recent report in a reputed newspaper has said that <b>in signing its own 123 with US, "China has managed to incorporate a provision that neither side would invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to observe the principles of a treaty." Are these precedents too high for India to quote?</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Govt to be minority before IAEA signing, says Left </b>
Navin Upadhyay / Santanu Banerjee | New Delhi
'Not to support confidence motion'
With the UPA Government determined to push through the India-US civil nuclear agreement, the Left parties are seriously considering withdrawal of their support before beginning of the IAEA and NSG negotiations hoping the international community will not negotiate such sensitive international agreements with a tottering minority establishment.

Left sources claimed that with little hope of a breakthrough on nuclear deal, the Left will wait only till the end of the ongoing discussions in the UPA-Left committee before withdrawing its support.

<b>"The clock is ticking. The last round of the UPA-Left meeting will be the end of the UPA Government," </b>said a senior Left leader.
The next round of the UPA-Left meeting is slated for September 19 and the following round on October 5. "We could have at best a couple of more rounds but the whole process will surely come to an end by October-end," said a Left leader, adding, "We hope nothing from this committee, and the withdrawal of support is inevitable once the deliberations end."

<b>"If the Congress thinks it could go ahead with the deal, they are mistaken. The UPA will be a minority Government in November and then we will appeal to the international community to leave the negotiation for the next Government," said the Left leader. "The NSG has 45 members and we don't think all of them will bow to US pressure and oblige the minority Government,"</b> he added.

However, wary of the adverse fallout of toppling the Government, the Left will not vote in favour of any no-confidence motion moved by either the BJP or any other party. But it will vote against any confidence motion brought by the UPA Government.

<b>"We can't bring down the Government on a no-confidence motion by joining hands with the BJP. But the circumstances will force the Government to convene a special session of Parliament to prove its majority. We will certainly oppose the confidence motion,"</b> said a Left leader.

The Left has also taken into account the post-mid-term poll scenario and is determined not to extend support to any Congress-led regime without commitment to scrap the deal if it has been given final approval by the US Congress by then. "If the UPA returned to power with our help, the Government will have to write a new Common Minimum Programme which will have to accommodate our views on nuke deal and foreign policy," Left sources said.

The thinking within the Left camp is that if the Government falls in November, the general elections could take place only in March or April and that would give them time to set their house in order... "We know from day one that the UPA-Left committee is an eyewash, but we have to take a close look at the timing of withdrawal of support. We want to file the divorce paper at our chosen time, but we are aware of the need to stop the Government in track on proceeding with international negotiation on the nuclear deal," said a Left leader. "At the same time, the timing of the election is also crucial," he added.

<b>Left strategy!  </b>
Last round of UPA-Left meet to be end of UPA Govt

If Congress thinks it could go ahead with deal, it's mistaken

UPA will be a minority Govt in November

Then we will appeal to international community to leave negotiations for next Govt

NSG has 45 members and "we don't think all of them will bow to US pressure and oblige the minority Govt," say comrades
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Brahma Chellaney's rejoinder to Science & Technology Minister Kapil Sibal's reply 123 Questions Won't Go Away – A Rejoinder </b>
The terms of civil nuclear cooperation with India have been unequivocally defined by the Hyde Act, a 41-page anthology of conditions. No other 123 agreement is governed by such a country-specific law.
Brahma Chellaney
The Hindu , September 19, 2007
Kapil Sibal jumbles up my15 sets of questions to reply selectively or make statements that are either specious (the 123 Agreement will "override" the Hyde Act) or imaginary, such as the advent of a global "nuclear renaissance" or the accord conferring " de jure nuclear-weapons-state" status. The government, instead of utilising Mr Sibal's legal acumen when the text was being negotiated, has drafted him after the event to help beat back a rising political storm at home. His assertions thus are largely political.

First, Mr. Sibal does not deny the following:

(i)                          the operational consent to reprocess will have to await India's construction of a new United States-approved reprocessing facility and the negotiation thereafter of a separate agreement that would need to pass congressional muster;

(ii)                          as in the ill-fated 1963 Indo-U.S. 123 Agreement, India has again settled for toothless "consultations";

(iii)                        the U.S. is empowered to suspend all cooperation forthwith, without having to assign any reason or bring in an alternative supplier;

(iv)                        while American law seeks to regulate only spent fuel of U.S.-origin, New Delhi has agreed to route all "foreign nuclear material" through the new reprocessing facility;

(v)                        there is no enforceable link between perpetual international inspections and perpetual fuel supply; and

(vi)                        the ambiguities in the text relate to vital issues for India.
Second, India can miss no bus because a "nuclear renaissance" remains chimerical. Even the Prime Minister has referred merely to the "talk the world over of a nuclear renaissance." In fact, ever since such talk began in the mid-1990s, the share of nuclear power in global electricity has stagnated at 16 per cent. Today, 429 power reactors worldwide generate 370 gW, with just another 24 under construction, but none in the U.S. Ironically, as Finance Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh starved the indigenous nuclear-power programme of funds for expansion. The nation has a right to know whether his new-found interest in nuclear power is centred on imports.

Third, Mr. Sibal plays to the public gallery when he argues that the 123 Agreement, once ratified, will be "the last expression of the sovereign will and override all other laws including national laws." When in 1978 the U.S. rewrote the terms of its then-existing 123 Agreement with India by enacting a new national law, New Delhi was left helpless. India took the stance that although the accord did not constitute an international treaty, it had the "force" of a treaty because of congressional ratification. Yet it did not approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) because it realised it had no real case.

How can Mr. Sibal go one step further and present the new agreement as a treaty that will override U.S. law? America insists that a 123 agreement is neither a treaty nor has force under the Vienna Convention. Far from the new 123 Agreement overriding American law, both sides have been at pains to emphasise that it complies with U.S. law! U.S. Undersecretary Nicholas Burns has said "we have the Hyde Act. And we kept reminding the Indian side, and they were good enough to negotiate on this basis, that anything we did had to fall within and respect the legal guidelines that Congress had set forth." Indian National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, in an interview to this newspaper published on July 28, 2007, said: "As far as we are concerned, we haven't breached the Hyde Act … We have seen to [it] that no law is broken."

Fourth, before seeking to inventively set apart the operative portions from the "non-binding" parts of the Hyde Act, Mr. Sibal would do well to read the Tarapur debates in Congress, where India, after its 1974 nuclear test, was held not just to the letter of U.S. law but also to the intent behind such law. Today, unlike in the past, the terms of civil nuclear cooperation with India have been unequivocally defined by a unique law, the Hyde Act, a 41-page anthology of conditions. No other 123 agreement is governed by such a country-specific law.

Fifth, the agreement does not incorporate the international-law principle that neither party will invoke its internal law as justification for a failure to honour the accord, or provide for an arbitral tribunal in case of any dispute. Mr. Sibal's contention that the omission of that principle in the text "does not result in its inapplicability" is hardly plausible, given that the principle applies only to a treaty but America does not accord treaty status to the agreement. Mr. Sibal is also silent on why the U.S. granted Japan and EURATOM the actual right to reprocess upfront but India is to negotiate a separate Section 131 deal in the years ahead.

Sixth, Mr. Sibal contends that in all 123 agreements either party can "in the interim, suspend cooperation without assigning reasons" but the accord with India is "unique" because it "provides for a one-year notice of termination along with reasons." He is mistaken on both counts. In most 123 agreements, not just termination but also suspension is tied to precise triggers. For example, the Japan-U.S. Agreement permits either party to cease or terminate cooperation only when there is non-compliance with the accord's provisions or the arbitral tribunal's decisions or a material breach of safeguards. Yet India has armed the U.S. with an open-ended right to suspend supplies straight away while issuing a one-year termination notice by citing any reason it wishes. The India-U.S. Agreement is "unique" in that the recipient has willingly put its faith in the abiding goodwill of the supplier, which is to enforce the Hyde Act's stipulations by hanging the Damocles' sword of arbitrary cessation of cooperation.

Seventh, ignoring the U.S. agreements with Australia and Japan, Mr. Sibal says that America has a longstanding policy of not transferring reprocessing and enrichment equipment even under safeguards. The Hyde Act's explanatory statement notes that such transfers are "not restricted" in U.S. law but that the administration assured Congress that there be no such cooperation with India.

Eighth, Mr. Sibal is misinformed when he asserts that "this is the only Agreement which confers on any country to take corrective measures." Corrective steps are permitted in some other 123 agreements in response to contingencies that extend to even a threatened suspension of cooperation or invocation of America's "right of return." The Indo-U.S. Agreement does not "confer" any right to take corrective measures, but merely records that India will negotiate an IAEA safeguards agreement with such a right. But with India blocked from ever lifting safeguards, such measures cannot be corrective but cosmetic.

Ninth, Mr. Sibal admits the deal permits U.S. end-use monitoring but contends such inspections "can neither impinge upon nor impact on India's sovereignty." What about the Prime Minister's assurance to Parliament that "we will accept only IAEA safeguards" and that "there is no question of accepting other verification measures or … allowing American inspectors to roam around our nuclear facilities"? The China-U.S. 123 Agreement, which he cites, is so liberal that its Article 8(2) says "bilateral safeguards are not required." To placate Congress over the absence of IAEA or U.S. inspections, the Clinton administration worked out a loose arrangement with Beijing for nominal on-site safeguards. In India's case, U.S. end-use inspections won't be nominal. Also, they won't be a substitute to IAEA inspections but an addition.

Tenth, far from the agreement granting India "a de jure nuclear-weapons-state status," it actually freezes its position in a third aberrant category – neither a formal nuclear power nor a non-nuclear nation but a NPT non-signatory with a nuclear military programme that the Hyde Act targets for " reduction and eventual elimination."
<b>Wary of Left jab, UPA stays out of NSG ring</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi: As Left parties reacted sharply to reports from Vienna about Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) meeting on Thursday to discuss aspects of Indo-US nuclear deal, the government is understood to have conveyed to its key outside supporters that Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar would not be present at the meeting.

Left sources said the issue of the proposed NSG meeting came up at the deliberations of the Left parties and it was decided not to press the matter since Wednesday's meeting was being convened by the US.

CPI leader AB Bardhan said Kakodkar has given a speech in the IAEA conference and has not been discussing India specific safeguards.

<b>No stopping to N-deal, operationalising begins</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi: The Government has not stalled its efforts to conclude the Indo-US civil nuclear deal. Ahead of a closed-door meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, where America is expected to brief the member nations on the civil nuclear deal, a US State Dept official has for the first time put a time-table for operationalising the deal.

Richard Stratford, Director at the Office of Nuclear Energy Affairs in the US State Department has been quoted as saying, "The US wants to meet the entire pre-requisites of the operationalisation of the deal by the end of this year."

He said he would also "put forth the conditions asked by India for a clean, unconditional exemption (from NSG rules to enable nuclear commerce)."

Stratford, who is heading the US delegation at the NSG meet, admitted that it could be a tough job. "But we will try to do it, and I am optimistic."

"We are also going to tell about the safeguards issues which India has to sort out with the IAEA," he said.

Left looks like fool, or just a barking dogs.
Cant open the link, so no url to post, but I read the headline on India Daily via Rediff Abroad Newshound:

"China tells Indian Commies that Nuke Deal is Fine"

..so now CPIM etc are saying nuke deal is fine.

Bloody commies taking orders from china. <i>[Watch the language, please - Admin]</i> the spineless bastards. <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Here you go!
China tells Indian communists that India-US nuke deal is fine - the shames communists now say ''Indo-US civil nuclear deal is for nuclear energy''
<!--emo&:blow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blow.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blow.gif' /><!--endemo--> Sonia’s NY speech irks ALSO READ
Sonia stresses disarmamentOctober 03, 2007
Manmohan chants ahimsa mantraOctober 03, 2007Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 03, 2007
The Communist parties have accused UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi of belittling the role of the Left in Indian politics before an international audience.

The parties said that her speech at a gathering of Indian-Americans in New York made it clear that the UPA government was determined to operationalise the nuclear deal.

Sonia told the gathering on Monday that the Left’s concerns on the India-US civil nuclear deal were no cause for alarm. “Sometimes a great deal is made in the public domain of the opinions expressed by our friends who support our coalition. But this should not alarm you,” she said. “We believe that it is important to listen to all points of view because it strengthens the democratic process and the process to arrive at a consensus.”

These remarks came ahead of her address on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in which she spoke of the international community’s “collective failure” to move towards comprehensive universal disarmament.

Sonia’s remarks on Monday were her first public and formal articulation on the Left’s resistance to the deal. Last month, she had referred to it in the Congress mouthpiece Sandesh, where she said the Left was consulted at every stage when the deal was being made. The Communists then rejected the claim, saying they became privy to the deal only after it was finalised.

CPM politburo member MK Pandhe said the New York speech was an “expression” of the ruling coalition’s intent to go ahead with the deal.

Significantly, the CPM's Central Committee on Monday had once again asked the government not to engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on India-specific safeguards.

Forward Bloc secretary G. Devarajan said, "We have had two rounds of meetings. Naturally, she can say we would sort out issues. But in which way and how does she want the differences to be sorted out? If the Left's concerns are ignored, the government is in trouble."

"The Left is not only significant in Indian politics but the very existence of the government is dependent on the four parties. Can the UPA do away with the Left? Further, our concerns over the deal is in national interest," said CPI's Gurudas Das Gupta.

Another junior partner among the Left parties, RSP, which in fact demanded that support to the government be withdrawn, said the UPA might be ``hoping’’ to sort out differences. "But tell us how. Moreover, why would Sonia Gandhi want a furore in the US over the deal by saying something else," said RSP’s Abani Roy.

Sources said Sonia's speech may very well cast a shadow on the third UPA-Left meeting over the nuclear deal to be held on October 5.

‘No consensus on nuclear deal?’ - 1
Yashwant Sinha lambastes the UPA government on the Indo-US 123 Agreement.

By N.V.Subramanian and Preeti Sharma

Yashwant Sinha is one of the BJP’s most articulate opponents of the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement. Sinha, who was the NDA government’s foreign and finance minister, spoke at length to NewsInsight.net Editor N.V.Subramanian and Correspondent Preeti Sharma about the pitfalls of the nuclear deal.

The BJP, especially the former Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, first opposed the nuclear deal in letters written to the PM, Manmohan Singh. The government’s PR machinery and pro-establishment papers put out that the BJP initiated the nuclear deal with the Clinton and Bush administrations but turned against because the credit flowed to the UPA. Sinha calls this a lie and tries to set the record straight quoting from documents.

He also defends Vajpayee on two other issues. One relates to declaring a unilateral moratorium on testing after Pokharan II in May 1998. Sinha says that that was the only way to diffuse the huge international pressure that followed the test. He argues too that Vajpayee was entirely misunderstood when he agreed to bind the moratorium to the terms and conditions of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Specific to the nuclear deal, Sinha runs it down on all fronts. He says nuclear power is not the answer to India’s energy needs but it is the untapped hydel potential particularly in the North East. He denies that the 123 Agreement gives assured nuclear fuel or permits reprocessing of spent fuel. He insists that the entire agreement is unequal and that the UPA government is compromising India’s sovereignty by signing it.

Sinha is tough on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling him obstinate and accusing him of throwing tantrums. He says the PM has not kept his word of building a “national consensus” on the nuclear deal. But he admits that the Left has stolen the BJP’s thunder on the deal. He charges the media of not giving space to the Opposition. He clarifies, however, that unlike the Left, the BJP is not ideologically anti-American, but opposes the deal because it is unequal. Excerpts from the interview:
What are your principal objections to the nuclear deal?</b>

On the 20th of July 2005, the Prime Minister, after he issued the statement on 18th of July in Washington, went to the media. He was asked by a prescient media person whether he would be able to carry his allies and the Opposition on this deal, and the Prime Minister in reply said that the Parliament of India is sovereign. “I will make a statement in Parliament and the deal will only move forward on the basis of a broad national consensus.” Where is that broad national consensus today? Even if you don’t take sides on the nuclear deal, either for or against it, the fact remains that it has divided Parliament and divided the country as nothing before in foreign policy. And, clearly, everyone is saying that the majority of both Houses are opposed to the deal. The former Prime Minister, V.P.Singh, said recently that he (Manmohan Singh) is the first prime minister who has picked up a confrontation with Parliament. So, even if we forget about the merits and demerits of the deal, the manner in which the deal is been pushed is highly objectionable and highly divisive.
So why the frenzy about the deal?
I don’t know. You may have to study Manmohan Singh’s psychology. Was he an adamant child? We have seen children, some of us have brought up children, we are aware of the behavior of some children who just want this toy and nothing else and will throw tantrums if you don’t give him that toy.
Is Manmohan Singh throwing a tantrum?</b>

I should think that this is tantrum that whatever may happen I am going to go through with this deal. I have attached my personal prestige with the deal and nothing is going to deter me. In a democracy, this is not the attitude. Let me tell you from my personal experience about another incident. The Congress party wanted a parliamentary resolution on Iraq when I was the Foreign Minister and Mr Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The American troops had gone into Iraq. They stalled Parliament for four days and said that we must have a Parliamentary resolution on Iraq. We were discussing it with them repeatedly. The Speaker was involved. We were saying that the resolution on Iraq was not necessary. This is our foreign policy. But they said no, we must have a resolution. They would not allow Parliament to function.

I was personally against this resolution. I had Mrs Indira Gandhi’s (precedence) in 1968, when the Soviet forces moved into Czechoslovakia. Parliament demanded a resolution. She stood firm and said no. She said there is no need for this sort of resolution and this is our foreign policy. I was armed with what Mrs Gandhi said about a parliamentary resolution. But the Congress did not relent. Mr Vajpayee, the great democrat that he is, called me and said, “Your job is to run the External Affairs Ministry and not to run the Parliament of India. The Parliament of India is run by me and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. So you go and talk to the Opposition about the draft and let there be a resolution.” He was the Prime Minister. I obeyed him. I went and discussed the draft. The next day, the resolution was adopted by both Houses and Parliament started functioning.

I am giving this to juxtapose the democratic spirit of Mr Vajpayee and the undemocratic spirit with which Mr Manmohan Singh is tackling the whole issue. There have been instances in Parliament where urgent financial business has been taken up despite the din and confusion. A number of legislations have been passed without discussions when Parliament was not (fully) functioning. Even a very important bill, like the Competition Bill, was passed like this.

Now what is it that we have been demanding? Let me tell you that there has been a great deal of misunderstanding about the opposition’s position and especially the BJP’s position, that we are just interested in stalling Parliament and running away from a debate. No. All that we wanted was that we should be heard in Parliament on the issue of the UPA-Left “private committee”. We wanted the Leader of Opposition in both the Houses to stand up and speak. Jaswant Singh was not allowed to speak in the Rajya Sabha throughout this session. Every time he got up to speak to make a point, he was stalled, even when he had the chairman’s permission. But let me tell you the tradition in the Rajya Sabha. When Manmohan Singh was the Leader of Opposition, with or without notice, in question hour or during zero hour or at any time during the day, he could get up (and speak) and was listened to by the whole House. The government would say, “Let the Leader of Opposition have his say.” Now Jaswant Singh is in the same position and is not allowed to speak. He is very unhappy about this, very cut up.

To be continued…

‘No consensus on nuclear deal?’ – 2
Yashwant Sinha decries the gagging of the Opposition in Parliament, in this interview series with Newsinsight.net Editor N.V.Subramanian and Correspondent Preeti Sharma,

By N.V.Subramanian and Preeti Sharma

Why are we demanding the JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee)? (For a) simple thing like evolving a framework of broad national consensus, which is the Prime Minister’s own phrase. How do you evolve a broad national consensus on an issue like this, in an atmosphere which has been so surcharged? Through a joint parliamentary committee, which calls experts, deals with diplomats and others, and then comes out with a report. (It is) to take a fairly narrow and technical view that Parliament has no role in foreign (policy-making). If Parliament has no role in foreign policy, how can Parliament pass resolutions on China, Pakistan, Iraq and on so many other occasions? What is Parliament doing through all these resolutions? Parliament is laying down policies. Can any Prime Minister today violate the resolutions on China and Pakistan? No. He has to come back to Parliament. Suppose in the boundary negotiations, there is some give and take, you have to come back to Parliament. You cannot say, no, the Constitution of India gives the executive this authority. Can any government take this position?

The point I am making is…the democratic spirit required the Prime Minister not to pick up a confrontation with Parliament, to allow the Opposition to have its say and make sure that Parliament functioned. I will give you an example from this session. There were the Hyderabad blasts, and when Parliament reassembled, naturally everybody was charged with this issue. So what happened? Notices were given for questions in both Houses. The Speaker of Lok Sabha and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha permitted the question hour to be set aside to let every speaker have his/ her say…It is only when you do not allow the Opposition to speak that Parliament is stalled. This simple fact is not being properly represented in the media. An impression has been created that it is always the Opposition (that) is stalling Parliament and running away from the debate.

Another proof of the penchant of the Prime Minister to pick up a confrontation in Parliament lies in the fact that (the government) announced the UPA-Left committee when Parliament was in session. A democratic prime minister would have advised the government to wait for the Parliament session to get over…they could have waited just a few days and made the announcement of the committee after 14 September…don’t they delay the announcement of petroleum price hike when Parliament is in session only because it will create a row in the Parliament? In this way you are challenging Parliament and insulting the Opposition.

Manmohan Singh’s character is summed up in those three words, “So be it,” which he told the Left. He doesn’t care if Parliament is stalled. “I am obstinate, I do what I want.” This is not courage but obstinacy. And the Congress party is in a bind because Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi will not get a more pliable prime minister…Even a Shivraj Patil might be the worm that will turn. But Manmohan Singh will not.

To come to the merits of the nuclear deal…
Please also include in your comments about the UPA saying that the BJP initiated the deal.
Ok. The first thing they say is that it is going to give us energy, and in order to get, let’s say, twenty thousand or thirty thousand megawatts of energy in the next thirty years, we need to import nuclear reactors because we do not have our own resources. And they say it will help India grow and it will (eradicate) poverty. This is the argument.

Now look at the energy scenario of India. We are primarily coal-based; some of it is gas or hydel, wind or non-conventional biofuel-based. Manmohan Singh is very worried about CO2 emissions and its impact on the environment. The US is the largest polluter contributing twenty-two per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. We are the lowest per capita emitter. But we are worried about the environment. The US is not worried. The US did not even sign the Kyoto Protocol. But they are telling us that you cannot discharge these gases, so you have to take steps. This is the justification for nuclear energy.

In the next twenty to thirty years, India will be self-sufficient as far as nuclear energy is concerned. We are already setting up fast breeder reactors and once they start working, we will move to the third stage of (putting up) thorium reactors. We have enough reserves of thorium and also of uranium to provide twenty thousand megawatts of nuclear power during the intervening period. If we start exploiting the mines in Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Ladakh, we will have enough uranium. In fact, on 22 August, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs took a decision to start exploiting uranium reserves in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. The finance minister is on record saying that this is sufficient to support twelve thousand megawatts of nuclear power production for the next fifty years. And how long will it take to start mining and milling uranium? Three years. How long does it take to set up a nuclear reactor? Five years. (If the government) is so keen on nuclear energy, they must start working on a plan of action where they exploit the reserves and set up nuclear plants based on the reserves. In five to six years, we will have more than met the demand of twenty thousand megawatts of nuclear power.

The power minister told the Rajya Sabha on 20 August that we will be surplus in peak power by 2012. He also said that we have one hundred and fifty thousand megawatts of hydropower capacity along the Himalayas in India, not including Nepal and Bhutan. A hundred thousand out of that capacity is in the North East. Bhutan today has the largest per capita income in any SAARC country, including India, because of the three-four hydel power projects that they have set up with India’s assistance. Look what this will do to the economy of the North East. We have, according to the power minister, fifty to sixty thousand mega watts of untapped energy only in Arunachal Pradesh. We are only producing three thousand megawatts of power in the Himalayan area. So what is this twenty thousand megawatts of nuclear energy that we are talking about? And this twenty thousand megawatts of energy will cost two lakh crores at ten rupees per megawatt, which is the present price. This is the most expensive form of energy. If you invest a part of it in hydel power schemes along the Himalayas, you will get any amount of energy you want. Go for clean coal technology, more wind power technology. There are a lot of options. Go also for nuclear power technology. I am not saying don’t go for that. Let nuclear technology be the part of the total basket. But the government is only interested in nuclear energy and that too not (from) domestic resources but (from) imported reactors and fuel. So forget about the energy (argument).
Now what is in the 123 Agreement? Three things...</b>

‘No consensus on nuclear deal?’ - 3
A test ban hurts the credibility of the Indian deterrent, says Yashwant Sinha in this interview series.

By N.V.Subramanian and Preeti Sharma
One, (export of) nuclear reactors and an assured supply (of fuel) for the lifetime of these reactors. Two, you will get technology (that ends India’s) nuclear isolation after the 1974 test. And third, we will get reprocessing rights for the spent fuel. These are the three “great” things we (are told we) will get from this agreement. Let’s look at the claim.</b>

(The) 123 Agreement does not give you the guarantee for lifetime fuel supply. It merely says we will go back to the US Congress. (This) is ridiculous in the extreme because (the US has) repeated verbatim the language used in the Separation Plan of March 2, 2006. There, the US said that they (would) go back to Congress and incorporate that in the bilateral 123 Agreement. It sounded (okay) in 2006 because they had not gone to the US Congress. But after having gone to the US Congress, after having passed the Hyde Act, how can you repeat the same language? Section 15 of the Separation Plan and Article 6 of the 123 Agreement are word for word the same. And in this wretched 123 Agreement, they are saying we will incorporate it in the 123 Agreement. Which other 123 Agreement are (they) talking about? Our great negotiators…I have great respect for them and (for) our foreign service…but what have they done? They have bodily lifted from the Separation Plan, the entire Section 15, and put it in the 123 Agreement. And they are saying we have got assured supply of nuclear fuel.

(The US has also said) they…will amend the agreement by going to the US Congress…to give (India) advanced nuclear technology. The US Congress has already rejected that recently in December. Reprocessing will not be permitted to be done in our existing reactors. We have to set up a new national dedicated facility. Procedures and arrangements will have to be worked out between the two countries. It will be a new agreement and for approval we will have to go back to the US Congress.
All (these) three factors, which the government is tom-tomming as a great achievement, the 123 Agreement does not give (India). They are just pure lies….</b>

Then they are saying we have got the right to take corrective steps. Please for God sake explain what these corrective steps are. If they are supplying the nuclear reactor and can stop the supply, what corrective steps will you take? That they have not explained. What corrective steps can a country (in India’s position) take? Where can we go when a cartel like the NSG operates? Then the Americans have retained the right that is (there) in their domestic law to take back everything they have supplied. This amendment (to US law)…was made especially for India after the Tarapur experience and the 1974 test. (The government is) saying there will be consultation. Consultation in law does not mean consent. A telephone call from Washington to somebody in Delhi is consultation. Then the (Americans) are saying (they will) keep in mind the hurt it will cause and the adverse impact it will have on bilateral relationships (if the nuclear deal collapses). But did the Americans bother (about bilateral relations) when they abrogated the 1963 Tarapur agreement or when they imposed economic sanctions on us after 1998? Of course it had an adverse impact when they declared Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally. So have they bothered? No. For them national interest is supreme. They couldn’t care less about India.
And how will the agreement be terminated? It is not (a) nuclear test as mentioned clearly in the Hyde Act; and no (US) President will have the courage to say India has tested again (but) let them carry on. No. He will have to make a determination…
Then they have mentioned Iran in the Hyde Act at three places. And it is not that we will isolate, contain and sanction Iran, according to American wishes; it also says in the reporting requirements in the Hyde Act to present a report whether India is doing (all these things). If India is not…, what steps has the President taken to make India follow them? Then what has been the impact of these steps, and what has been the reply of India? So through the Hyde Act, the Americans are acquiring a series of pressure points, and the US Congress is going to be keeping a hawk-like eye on the whole arrangement…(The) provisions of the Hyde Act also require the US administration to keep a very close watch on our military nuclear programme, including the requirement on the part of the President to report how many nuclear explosive devices we are producing in a year. And (the government is) saying there is no impact (of the 123 Agreement) on the weapons’ programme.
And the fact that the Hyde Act requires India to assist the US to get an FMCT at the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva.</b>

At least now, the government, after the pressure we built, has come back to our old formulation that (any FMCT) should be universal, internationally verifiable. Last year, they gave in to American pressure on international verification. After we created a shindig, they went back to international verification. Till the other day, it was national technical means.

I now come back to the final point. We went for nuclear tests, declaring to the world we are a nuclear weapons’ state. We came out with (a) nuclear doctrine of no first use and no use on non-nuclear weapons’ states, and third, if someone would attack us with nuclear weapons, then in retaliation, we would attack them with our nuclear weapons and inflict unacceptable damage. This is the thrust of the nuclear doctrine, which this government has not changed. From that has been born a credible nuclear deterrent, a minimum deterrent but credible for our enemies. The enemies should know that India can inflict unacceptable damage; otherwise your nuclear doctrine is a hollow doctrine.

Now, that will need both quantity and quality (of nuclear weapons). The quality would come from testing. If you are barred from testing, the technology of your weapons is frozen at 1998 level. And the credibility of our nuclear deterrent will suffer. As far as the number of weapons is concerned, it is for the government of the day to decide how many they want to maintain the credibility of the deterrent. We want this judgment to be made by the Government of India, whichever party is in power. (Such a decision cannot be left to) Washington or London or Moscow….
…Or Beijing….</b>

…Or Beijing, or any other (state). The (size of the deterrent) must be decided by us. We must retain that right.

Pioneer, 5 Oct., 2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->DAE continues negotiations with IAEA

PTI | Mumbai

Posted online: October 04, 2007

The UPA-Left stand-off on Indo-US Nuclear deal notwithstanding, the Department of Atomic Energy(DAE), <b>Government of India is holding consultations with International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) for working out a safeguards agreement under the deal.</b>

"Since the process has to go on, <b>we are holding consultations as we cannot wait till the last moment to make the agreed text ready</b>, which is the pre-requisite for the draft agreement,"<b> a top source at the department of atomic energy said</b>.

With intricacies involved in the negotiations on the safeguards issues, <b>"it is expected that simultaneously several things had to be taken up and thus we have to go ahead with the continuous discussions/negotiations with the Agency officials," the source informed.</b>

<b>In September</b> during the IAEA general conference, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman<b> Anil Kakodkar</b> could not formally take up any negotiations on the safeguards agreement due to political situation in India, <b>although few round of informal talks were carried out</b>, sources said.

Early this week, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New York played down Left's concerns on the Indo-US nuclear deal saying they were not a cause for "alarm" and said in a democratic process it was important to listen to all points of view to arrive at a consensus.

Since the nature of the safeguards for India has been decided and could be placed under the Agency's safeguards system of 1966, it is better that the "agreed text" is being kept ready, sources added.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)