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Nuclear Thread - 2
<b>Uranium sales to India appear inevitable:Opinion in Australia paper</b>

News that federal cabinet will consider allowing uranium sales to India is generating more heat than light. Critics of the idea insist Australia is shedding principles to reward an outlaw, thus encouraging others to seek nuclear weapons. In response, supporters claim that nuclear co-operation with India will reduce the spread of these most destructive of arms.

If the public ends up confused, it is because both arguments are overdone. Both obscure that the central issue is not some ideal called non-proliferation, but a way to reconcile the messy reality of nuclear policy with India's changing place in the global system. Non-proliferation - the effort to stem the spread of nuclear weapons - is vital for international security. But its effects in shaping how states behave cannot be divorced from the unequal and changing distribution of power among them.

The Government's prospective policy shift shows that Australia accepts India's relatively small nuclear weapons program - even though New Delhi has not signed the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But non-proliferation diplomacy has always been marked by double standards. The treaty allows only the five countries that tested before 1967 to bear nuclear arms, with vague promises to disarm one day.

The status quo, with one of the new century's giants treated as a rebel and denied civilian nuclear trade, is unsustainable. Trying to help India sign the treaty by reopening the text, with 187 signatories wanting a say, would risk more damage than any informal deal - and could take forever. So slipping India into the club through the back door, 34 years after it first tested the bomb, is the best bad outcome. This logic informs the historic US-India deal, ostensibly finalised last month, ending decades of bans on civilian nuclear trade and paving the way for Australia's move.

Australian uranium exported to India would be used solely to help meet huge electricity needs. Our insistence on inspection-and-audit safeguards ensures this, as it does with China, France and others. As for the argument this would free India's limited uranium reserves for bombs instead of energy, were that to be a basis for policy, we would absurdly ban coal exports too - since coal-fired power stations also free up uranium for arms-making.

And neither the US-India deal nor Australian uranium sales will determine whether third countries opt for nuclear arms. Each state that might want such weapons has its own reasons based on fear, power and prestige.

There should be no pretending atomic commerce with India will make the world safer from proliferation. The US deal puts most of India's reactors under safeguards. But these would probably have been for civil use anyway. By ending trade bans, the US recognises India does not share nuclear weapons materials or knowledge with others, but in that sense India always has been responsible.

The flaws in the Government's looming policy change are in timing, priming and bargaining. The US-India agreement is not quite over the line. Technical details were finalised just days before Canberra's July 26 announcement-by-leak.

American negotiators made last-minute concessions on reprocessing and on whether the deal would end if India tested again. That fix might yet prove too tenuous to convince the middle ground in the US Congress or some countries in the international group that sets guidelines on nuclear trade.

So, in considering exports, we still have scope to ask a political price from Delhi's djinns of diplomacy. Any uranium transfer agreement should include our right to cease supply if India tests another nuclear bomb. We should also seek a special public declaration, not least to satisfy our cautious mining industry.

This would affirm that India sustains its moratorium on nuclear testing. It would state that India will support the long-overdue negotiation of a verifiable global treaty to ban producing fissile material for weapons. It would proclaim India's determination to help thwart efforts by any other state to acquire nuclear weapons, and it would commit India's navy to interdicting illegal nuclear trade in harmony with the Proliferation Security Initiative. It could also reiterate that India has a strictly defensive nuclear posture based on no first use, along with a moral commitment to global nuclear disarmament.

Ending New Delhi's nuclear isolation recognises the massive importance of India in a changing world. For Australia, it is about forging the missing link in our strategic Asian diplomacy, building a bond of indispensability to match our ties with China and Japan. That should be our destination.

Rory Medcalf directs the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

<b>Apsara reactor to move out of BARC post Indo-US nuclear deal</b>

Asia’s first nuclear reactor ‘Apsara’ will not be Mumbai’s pride henceforth. The reactor situated at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Turbhe, is set to be shift out of Mumbai. Apsara’s foundation stone was laid 51 years ago on August 4, 1956.

The development has been underlined with the finalisation of India’s nuclear deal with America on Friday. According to the deal, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have the powers to inspect those of India’s nuclear reactors that are built from foreign assistance and are operational for civil purposes.

S K Malhotra, Executive Director (Media Relations) of BARC, confirmed the development. “Apsara’s core was built with an assistance from the United Kingdom. So only the core will be shifted from Mumbai. However, its new location has not been finalised yet,” he reveals.
Justifying the decision to shift Apsara, Malhotra says, “Apsara is situated in the BARC complex, which hosts other strategic nuclear reactors too which are completely indigenous and would not be open for inspection from any international body.

We don’t want any foreign body to come to the BARC at the pretext of inspecting ‘Apsara’. That is why the reactor will have to leave Mumbai.”

According to the pact, Apsara will be under IAEA’s inspection wherever it will be situated.

What Apsara meant.

India’s nuclear power programme began with Apsara on August 4, 1956. It enabled Indian scientists and engineers to gain insights into the complexities of design and construction of a nuclear reactor and to learn the intricacies of controlling the nuclear fission chain reaction.

Apsara served as the stepping-stone for advanced work in several nuclear facilities that were subsequently set up at Turbhe. It is also used for research purposes by universities and educational institutions countrywide.

Swimming pool reactor.

Apsara is a swimming pool type reactor loaded with enriched uranium as fuel. The fuel core is suspended from a movable trolley in a pool filled with water. The pool water serves as coolant, moderator and reflector, besides providing the shielding.

Father of the Indian atomic programme, Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha, conceptualised Apsara’s design. It was built entirely by Indian engineers in a record time of about 15 months. It was named Apsara (celestial damsel or water nymph) by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru because of its swimming pool type reactor.

<b>Long-term scenario taken care of in 123 agreement:Indian Experts</b>

MUMBAI: Indian experts took utmost care to include several "insulation mechanisms" in the draft agreement to implement the nuclear deal with the US in order to protect security and nuclear commerce interests, official sources have said.

Though the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation and the draft 123 agreement, which was made public on Friday, is between two "unequal partners", the experts took all possible long-term scenarios into consideration in the interest of the country, said the sources familiar with the negotiations.

Reacting to concerns expressed by some quarters about the pact curtailing India's right to conduct a nuclear test, a source said: "Every article of the draft 123 agreement is carefully worded with many in-built insulation mechanisms to protect India's interest."

Though the deal is for civil nuclear cooperation, India has taken all possible security situations into consideration and article 14 of the agreement clearly states that both India and the US have agreed to carefully consider the circumstances that may lead to termination or cessation of such cooperation, the sources said.

The two sides also agreed to take into account whether the circumstances that may lead to such a termination or cessation resulted from India's serious concern about a changed security environment or were a response to "actions by other states which would impact national security", they said.

Legally, the conditions remain the same whether India conducts a nuclear test now or after signing the deal. But if the testing is done after the signing of the agreement, "there would be an additional economic penalty", the sources said.

Article 14 also points out that if one side seeks the termination of the pact while citing a violation of the agreement as the reason, the US and India will have to consider whether the action was inadvertent or otherwise and whether "the violation could be considered as material", they said.

It is also made explicitly clear in the same article that no violation can be considered as "material" unless it corresponds to the definition of "material violation or breach" in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the sources said.

Moreover, if a party seeks termination while citing a violation of the proposed IAEA safeguards agreement as the reason, a crucial factor will be whether the IAEA's Board of Governors has made a finding of non-compliance, the sources said.

"The Americans also understand this," a source said.

The sources also said there is no mention of any foreign policy prescription in the draft 123 agreement.

With regard to IAEA safeguards, the sources pointed that if the application of these was no longer possible, both the supplier and recipient countries should hold consultations and agree on appropriate verification measures.

<b>Disclaimer</b>:Above reports were first posted on BR, posting them here since it can reach a wider audience. Please DONT blame me for cloning BR threads. <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
123 agreement compromised India's case: Former BARC chief

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mumbai, Aug. 6 (PTI): The agreement to operationalize the Indo-US civil nuclear deal has "compromised India's case to a large extent and the United States could "remotely drive our atomic programmes in the long run," former Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Dr A N Prasad, said here Sunday night.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->He pointed to Burns' remark that "it had been an easy 'strategic' choice for Washington when faced with the question - should we isolate India for the next 35 years or bring it in partially now (under safeguards inspection) and nearly totally in the future."

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>He said it was naive to judge the merits of the civil nuclear deal purely based on the language of the draft of the text of the 123 agreement. </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Try they will, but whether we are smart enough to thwart their designs or they manage to succeed given the tremendous access they get through this deal, time will tell," he said.

Prasad said even though there is what is called a fast reactor nuclear fuel cycle, not a word is mentioned in the agreement on fast reactor cooperation while the text calls for all future fast breeder reactors to be put under civil list for applying safeguards in perpetuity just because plutonium extracted from imported uranium spent fuel is fed into these reactors.

<b>Congress rejects BJP's demand for JPC review of N-deal </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, Aug 6 (ANI): The Congress Party on Monday went ballistic against the opposition BJP over the Indo-US nuclear deal, and rejected the latter's demand for a review of the bilateral agreement by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).

Stating that the 'frustrated' BJP could not 'digest' the fact that <b>an "incredible, unprecedented and historic agreement" has been achieved by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh</b>, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that there has never been a convention wherein an international treaty was referred to the JPC.
<b>123: Rethink before we go forward</b>
<b>N-deal: Left has 9 queries</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>'N-deal will hit our strategic programme' </b>
It's not a question of agreeing or disagreeing with the 123 Agreement, says former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra in a candid interview to Karan Thapar, the India-US civil nuclear cooperation deal is ab initio faulty. Any future nuclear test, forced by security concerns, will come with a hefty price tag, he warns, unless India can carry the NSG countries with it

Former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, who played a key role in convincing the US that taking a tough position on India after Pokhran II served no purpose, least of all American interests, and crafted the beginnings of a strategic relationship between New Delhi and Washington, feels the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement will adversely impact on our strategic programme.

In a candid interview to Karan Thapar, host of CNBC's India Tonight on Tuesday, he voiced his reservations about the nuclear deal and explained why there's reason to feel concerned. The following are excerpts from the interview:

Karan Thapar: Let me ask for your overall opinion about the 123 Agreement. The Atomic Energy Commission chairman has called it a satisfactory agreement. Mr NR Srinivasan has termed it the best compromise with which we can live. Do you agree with them?

Brajesh Mishra: It's not a question of agreeing or disagreeing. When this deal was announced in July 2005, I had said this would have an adverse impact on our strategic programme. The separation idea that came in March 2006 reinforced that concern. And the promise to go for an early conclusion of FMCT further reinforces what I had said. Because of that the text of the 123 Agreement doesn't really matter as far I am concerned. The deal ab initio as it was outlined in the July 2005 declaration was itself faulty.

KT: What you are saying is that regardless of the language of the 123 Agreement the entire deal ab initio is deleterious to India's interest. It impinges on India's military strategic programme. And, therefore, it's not in India's interest.

BM: That's right.

KT: You stand by that?

BM: Yes.

KT: And nothing in the agreement has given you assurance that your earlier fears are now laid to rest.

BM: No. Because the 123 Agree-ment also includes the separation plan

KT: You don't think it is satisfactory... it is an unfortunate, unwelcome outcome for India.

BM: Well, whatever language we may use, it is something which causes us great concern.

KT: It causes you great concern. In other words, it means a vote against it.

BM: Yes. I won't go for this agreement.

KT: Let's come to the specifics. Let's take the testing issue. Now the critics of the 123 Agreement claim that India's freedom to carry out further nuclear tests has been taken away. The Government, on the other hand, says that the very word nuclear testing isn't there. Nicholas Burns says that India retains the sovereign right to test. What's your view about the implications for testing?

BM: Of course, India retains the sovereign right to test. But the conditions that have been imposed through the 123 Agreement or the US laws, they continue to have the right of return. Which means down the years, say 5, 10, 15 years, if we face a national security situation which leads us to test then we have reason to be worried about the economic cost of that test which will be far greater than in the past. So, any Government at that point of time will be faced with a dilemma. Do we go for allaying our national security concerns or sacrifice all this. So, we are in that situation.

KT: What you are saying is that because the cost of testing has gone up exponentially because of this agreement, the Government's capacity to take a simple, easy decision will be a lot less. The concern, therefore, will be greater.

BM: Yes, the Government at that point of time can take a decision to test, but the costs will be greater. And it will have to convince the public about the reasons. Since the costs are greater, it becomes a difficult decision to take.

KT: Since it's a difficult decision to take, the ease has gone down and the constraints have gone up.

BM: Obviously, but the right to test remains.

KT: Connected with this is the whole issue of Indian strategic reserves in the event of India testing or for that matter if 123 is terminated. By my count, there are three separate references in the 123 Agreement to this issue. Do they add up to effective immunisation, or are they simply repeated assurances to favourably consider the issue as and when the matter arises?

BM: Well, so far as American fuel given to us is considered, I think it's going to be very difficult to refuse the right of return. But in the end, if the NSG countries support the idea of strategic fuel reserve then there is nothing to worry about. What is to be seen is that does the 123 Agreement impact the thinking of other NSG countries, or it applies only to the US?

KT: At this moment we don't know whether it would impact the thinking of the NSG. If it does and the NSG insists on right of return, then India's fuel reserves will be in jeopardy should India test, regardless of where they come from.

BM: But there is a point... The agreement with the NSG will have to be arrived at before this agreement is signed.

KT: If the NSG doesn't insist on the right of return, then India, if it conducts tests, could lose supplies from the US but not the NSG. In that event, one could say that strategic reserves are effectively immunised.

BM: Effectively immunised or not, they are under less of a risk.

KT: Under less of a risk! Let's take one step backwards and look at how the 123 Agreement permits India to build strategic reserves - lifetime supplies of fuel that last for 40 years of a reactor's lifecycle. There are three separate references to lifetime supply in the 123 Agreement. Section 5.6 contains details of it. In your eyes, do they assure India right to effectively build lifetime supplies?

BM: If these provisions in the 123 Agreement are carried out honestly, then it should give us comfort. But I repeat we are yet to discuss the matter with the NSG countries.

KT: You are saying two things: If the US lives up to what it has committed on paper - and we have no reason to believe that the Americans would cheat - and if there is good faith from the Americans, we will build effective reserves.

BM: Well, if they are going to build reactors in India, it's in their interest to continue operations.

KT: So, you say it's in the US interest not to cheat us.

BM: Yes.

KT: Are there any reasons on which the NSG might differ on building of lifetime reserves?

BM: It depends upon the fact how the agreement is seen by other countries. I am told we have a problem with China. I don't know what other countries think. There could be problem.

KT: Assuming that the US lives up to the assurances it has given to the Government in the 123 Agreement to help us in the NSG and presumably China's concern will also be allayed in due course of time...

BM: It depends upon China.

KT: Let's put it this way. At the end, we get assurances from the NSG to build reserves - an assurance identical to the Americans - then you feel we have got lifetime reserves.

BM: There is no point in going for foreign reactors when we won't have the fuel to continue their operations.

KT: But if we know in advance by October that with the NSG clearance we can have the fuel then we can do so.

BM: I presume if we enter into a contract, it will be taken care of.

KT: To sum up, the cost has gone up, so it has become a difficult decision to test. Freedom is there, but it has become a tough decision. You also agreed that at least US fuel apart, all other fuel supplies will be immunised if the NSG follows what's here in the agreement...

BM: I am not fully aware of the 1954 Act of the US Congress. Whether it is just the right of supply that will be affected or there will be sanctions or something else. So, if it is merely right of return or there is additional cost we don't know. And it's worrying. Anything unknown.

KT: As you read the 123 Agreement, has India got prior consent for reprocessing as the Government has often repeated. Or, is it over-interpreting the language?

BM: It's very clear that India has approval for right to reprocess in principle, but it is subject to further consultation, which may take a year or so. But what happens at the end of it, it's not said.

KT: If after 18 months two parties don't agree on procedures, can India reprocess?

BM: India is stymied as far as the US fuel is concerned.

KT: If the NSG follows same pattern as the US for reprocessing we are stymied all around.

BM:On reprocessing, like the other two issues of immunisation and building reserves, it all depends on what the NSG does. Assuming that the NSG takes a different route than the US, we are through.

BM: Yes

KT: On all the three issues, 123 is an interim agreement; the NSG gives it real teeth. Let's come to the desire of India to purchase technology of enrichment and heavy water. Article 5.1 of the 123 Agreement requires further amendment for the 123 for such transfers. Do you agree with the Government that they haven't been denied transfers?

BM: They (the US) haven't given it, nor have they denied it. They have left the possibility open for the future. It's just a mere possibility because the US hasn't given that technology to anyone so we can't take it as a firm promise. And this agreement has to go through the US Congress.

KT: It raises the hope but without any realistic rational expectation of fulfilling that hope.

BM: If the NSG agrees to sell those technologies to India, then we can say that we have achieved full civilian nuclear cooperation with the NSG through the US route, if not the US alone... That's a possibility, but I don't know if other countries have similar technologies as the US, which they say they haven't given to anyone, including the nuclear weapons states.

KT: You want to say that you want the US technology, as they are the best.

BM: Maybe I am not a scientist; or, may be we are asking for these technologies to say that it's full civil nuclear cooperation.

KT: Do you share the fears that this 123 document impinges on India's foreign policy and more importantly on India's freedom to take its decisions when the US decides to take a different line?

BM: Not this document. But people are saying this because the deal does (impinge on India), not this document... If the deal goes through, the two countries will be very close. Then we will have problems of aligning our views with their views. In other words, the agenda of the two countries has to come close to each other. Now, in that case, take the example of Iraq. What you are going to do? And the US is the more powerful and more important party in this. They are going to come to you every other day, seeking support for one thing or another. The answer to your question is: Is the Government of India capable of saying 'no' to America that we can't do it. Say, in the case of Iran, can it say that we don't agree with you and we will continue with our cooperation with Iran?

KT: You mean, will the future Government be capable of saying 'no', if they know 'no' is the right answer...

BM: It depends upon what kind of Government we have.

KT: But the pressure to say yes would have grown.

BM: The pressure will grow obviously. When you come close, it becomes difficult to say 'no'.

<b>Business Implications of the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal</b>
<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> N-deal not acceptable to Parliament: Karat
11 Aug 2007, 1736 hrs IST,PTI
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NEW DELHI: Adopting a tough posture against the government it is supporting from outside, the CPI(M) on Saturday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must realise that the Indo-US civil nuclear deal was not acceptable to the majority in Parliament.

"As far as the approach to the government is concerned, we will take our own counsel," party General Secretary Prakash Karat said in a statement here, reacting to Manmohan Singh's challenge to the Left to withdraw their support on the nuclear deal.

"The Prime Minister and the government must realise that this agreement is not acceptable to the majority in Parliament," he said.

The CPI(M) leader said his party has been asking the government not to proceed with the negotiations for the bilateral 123 Agreement since the Hyde Act, which contained "unacceptable conditions", was passed by the US.

"We do not share the optimism that India can become a great power with the help of the United States," Karat said, adding India was a country endowed with sufficient resources and self-confidence to carve out its own path of development.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The First Blink </b>
By Seema Mustafa
Deccan Chronicle, Aug. 11, 2007

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the 123 Agreement will not be re-negotiated. And this is expected to convince the people of India that he is a strong Prime Minister, a man of convictions, a person who does not let down those he has given a commitment to, and somewhere in the midst of all this, he is also a patriot and a nationalist.

This is what the spin masters in his office and the Congress party wanted the message to be. But how have the people of India read it?<b> Going by the majority of their representatives in Parliament, the Prime Minister has sold India's strategic soul to the Americans, he gave the political instructions to his officials to bend over backwards and ensure that the deal was done (Nicholas Burns has said that the Indian team came to Washington determined to complete the deal), and then use double talk, a deviously drafted text, and falsehoods to convince the Indian parliamentarians and media that theirs was a job well done. And that India's interests had been fully protected.</b> The media looking at the government for approval was convinced, with even seemingly independent newspapers falling like skittles, but fortunately, the politicians did not let the country down. The NDA, UNPA and the Left that comprise the majority in Parliament have come out in a resoundingly strong rebuttal of the deal, a complete rejection, and a warning to the government not to proceed with the anti-national pact.

And what was the Prime Minister's response? A telephone call to the Left, after which the men in his office informed the media that he had read out the bottom line, and there was no question of going back on the deal. Really? What an audacious response! The entire Parliament, except for the few in the UPA and the allies, mind you, are completely silent on this, has come out to reject the deal, and <b>the Prime Minister of democratic India insists that he will exercise his right as the executive and will go ahead with the deal. Who is he? A leader nominated to the post by a political party that could not get a majority in Parliament, and could cobble together a government only with the support of a number of regional parties. </b>Even this was not enough and the Left had to extend support to the government from the outside. And this person, unelected, heading a minority government has really the gall to tell India that he will not re-negotiate the nuclear deal with the Americans even though the majority in Parliament has completely rejected what he has to offer. Amazing, and what an example of the Executive acquiring powers not foreseen by the writers of the Indian Constitution who clearly based the country's Bible on the goodness of "man."

Well, now that "man" has proved that he cannot be trusted with national security, it is time for Parliament to amend the Constitution so that all international treaties are brought to it for ratification. This must be done on an urgent basis, in this session itself so that Parliament acquires the same significance for Prime Minister Singh as the US Congress has for President George W. Bush.

What is as, if not more, disturbing, are the possible answers to the question: Prime Minister ko yeh deal itni pasand kyon hai? Why does Dr Manmohan Singh determine to push ahead with an agreement that is not acceptable to his own supporting partners in government, and to Parliament? It is clear from the devious manner in which the deal has been negotiated that Dr Singh knows it is unpopular, that he has a lot to hide, and that he is directing our government to take orders from Washington on not just what does or does not determine non proliferation, but also foreign policy, defence relations, and of course trade and business for the huge US MNCs looking for big markets in a saturated world.

India is formulating a foreign policy "congruent" with that of the US as stipulated by the overarching Hyde Act. The energy deal with Iran is now on the back burner, getting cooler by the day, as the Bush administration and the US Congressmen have made it clear that not even NSA M.K. Narayanan's "God" can save the deal if New Delhi pursues the gas pipeline, or supports Iran at any level. Nicholas Burns has been very clear — and the Americans are far more honest and direct, speaking with the confidence of a secure nation — that he expects the government to, one, support the US policy on Iran, and two, demonstrate this again with direct support when a fresh sanctions resolution comes up for a vote. He has said that the Bush administration has been urging the Indians not to enter into any gas and energy agreements with Iran, but to take the same position as the US against Iran's nuclear programme.

On Pakistan, NSA Narayanan has already proved his mettle by speaking in glowing terms of President Pervez Musharraf's graceful abilities to cope with the internal crises that almost had the general imposing emergency!

The Prime Minister has decided not to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet, leaving it to minister Pranab Mukherjee to complete the formalities. New Delhi has been brought into a Quadrilateral brought together by the US with Australia and Japan. China issued a demarche to the four participating nations that virtually ignored the protest. The government here has put its national security at risk as a result, with the giant neighbour in a position to ensure that the present pinpricks — like claiming Tawang — actually begin to hurt. The huge naval exercises — the largest since the end of the Cold War — by the Quadrilateral and Singapore in the Bay of Bengal will definitely hit the India-China relationship further.

Nicholas Burns has made it clear that one of the strategic goals of the deal was also increased military cooperation with India — joint exercises, defence deals, etc etc — that is now being translated into action. The naval exercises — intercept, board, search, seize — are a precursor to India joining the Proliferation Security Initiative, another stipulation of the Hyde Act. In other words, gradually New Delhi under this government is starting to accept Washington's definition of friends and foes, and this is being reflected in the number of high level visits, and the agreements reached and signed with other countries. Subtle but noticeable.

The majority view in this country favours trashing the deal with the US. That is the hard truth reflected in the position taken by the majority of parliamentarians who are concerned about the nation's security, but are also responding to the pressures of the Indian constituency. Those who sit in the seats of power forget that they are accountable to the people, that they cannot act outside Parliament, and that while the executive legally has the powers to enter into international agreements without ratification by the legislature, the executive certainly cannot act with the abandon of an unaccountable power centre against the expressed wish of Parliament.

The NDA has asked for a Joint Parliament Committee to look into the agreement. It has also asked for a vote in Parliament. The UNPA has also rejected the deal, and asked for a vote in Parliament. The Left has still to determine its strategy in Parliament, but both the CPI(M) and the CPI have made it clear that the Prime Minister does not have the last word in a democracy, that the government cannot go ahead with the agreement, and that the Congress party will have to pay a very heavy political price if it does. The Prime Minister has locked eyes with the rest of the country. Let us see who blinks first.

http://deccan.com/Columnists/Columnists.asp?#The First Blink 
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>N-deal: VP Singh seeks PM's resignation </b>
Akhilesh Suman | New Delhi
<b>'Left has two choices - save nation or Govt'</b>
Jan Morcha leader and former Prime Minister VP Singh on Sunday joined the brigade against the Indo-US nuclear deal and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He also asked the Left parties to withdraw their support to the UPA Government "in national interests".

Singh, who has been supporting the Congress-led UPA Government since its inception on several issues, has been criticising the proposed civil nuclear deal for the last one week. On Sunday, he mounted a campaign against the Prime Minister.

"When it is clear that the majority of members of Parliament are against the deal on which he has staked his name, I am sure, his conscience will dictate the Prime Minister to resign," Singh told the media.

The Mandal messiah, who had once raised alarm in the country over Bofors defence deal, said on further clarification, "Manmohan Singh should resign." Saying that the "Cabinet constitutes of PM's own chosen men", the former Prime Minister said, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was ignoring the opinion of the majority of MPs.

<b>"If the Prime Minister cannot renegotiate the deal, then he should terminate it," </b>he said and added," if he cannot do even this, then we will have to find a Prime Minister who would do so."Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier said that there was no scope for "renegotiating" the deal.

This is the first time, VP Singh who is close to the Left and many of the UPA partners, has come out in open to ask for PM's resignation.

The Jan Morcha leader alleged that the Prime Minister did not answer any of the queries put up by either the Left or other political parties.

"I have also written a letter to the Prime Minister but did not get any reply," he said.

<b>VP Singh also attacked the Left parties for not pressing the debate on Indo-US nuclear deal under rule 184 that allows voting. </b>

"The hard fact is that the choice has to be made (by the Left) whether we save the country or we save the Government," he asked the Left leaders who had said that there was no threat to the Government.

<b>"Left parties should withdraw the support," </b>he said, adding that if the Left did not withdraw the support from the UPA Government, the "credibility of the Left would be in question.

Singh said that he would talk to CPI (M) chief Prakash Karat on Monday.

<b>"Having declared that the present Government has not taken care of the "national interests" then it would be inconsistent to support such a Government,"</b> he told the Left parties.

Entering into polemical debate with the Left for the first time, the former Prime Minister said, "What is the use of mass campaign against the deal, once the deal is already signed."

Raising a doubt over the intention of the UPA Government, VP Singh said that it was more urgent to act now because, in its remaining tenure, this Government could enter into contracts on advance for import of nuclear plants and uranium from the US and commit country heavily making difficult for the future Governments to terminate the agreement.
<b>Liar, liar! PM's N-talk all white lies, claims BJP</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Within minutes of the PM's detailed statement in Parliament, the party dismissed it as a 'bundle of the same untruths, half-truths and pure white lies'.

The party, which had shouted slogans and tried to disrupt the PM's speech in Parliament earlier in the day, said it would continue to oppose the deal in and outside Parliament.

<b>The Prime Minister has reduced Parliament to a farce by stating that the deal is signed and sealed and could not be renegotiated, making a mockery of the debate on the issue, the party charged.

Never before had Parliament been treated in such a 'cavalier fashion', they alleged.

"If the deal is signed and sealed and etched in stone, why does he want Parliament to go through the charade of a debate on it?" former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha and former Union minister Arun Shourie asked.

They pointed out that in his eight-page statement, the Prime Minister has conveniently ignored the sequence of legislative action in the United States and pretended as if the Hyde Act does not exist. "This is nothing but an ostrich-like attitude."</b>

They also accused Dr Singh of 'clearly misleading the nation' by not revealing that the agreement was silent on issues like annual certification by the US President and that India's right to conduct nuclear tests would be governed by the provisions of the Hyde Act, passed by the US Congress in December 2006.

The BJP leaders reiterated that the placing of indigenous fast breeder reactors under the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was an entirely 'unnecessary commitment' made by the UPA Government in the separation plan.

"Such a commitment will have an impact on India's three-stage nuclear programme as also on her research and development programme," they said.

Earlier addressing Parliament, the PM had claimed that India "has nothing to lose and only to gain from the 123 Agreement. Conducting nuclear tests in the future will be a sovereign decision, which rests with us," Singh said.

Meanwhile, in a bid to rally forces against the
I think there will be a Lok Sabha vote to ensure longivity of the deal. But might not be on the Rule 184.
I think we may see some surprise. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
I think that UPA should put the deal up for discussion in Lok Sabha to ensure the deal survives it. It can be under some Rule or the other but to stall discussion in whatever form-JPA, Rule 184 etc is not going to be good for the deal.

VP Singh has better prospects if he can assure the Left of a suitable replacement in case the cookie crumbles.

KP Nayar's article seems to be tied to the politicial discussion in India and has nothing to do with Foreign Affairs in which he is an expert. Reminds the reader of The Telegraph owners(Amritha Bazaar Patrika) interests just in case one is carried away by KPN's objectivity.
The way MMS is pushing this deal is not good for country or any democratic society. He is setting up a wrong example. There should be a discussion in parliament and should go through vote. Public had right to know every single pros and con. We should not get information from media what Sonia led Congress want to tell. During Enron deal she was the one who played politcs, she is lucky that Enron failed due to accounting.
India needs energy but not through choked neck.
Cookies will crumble and will create a real mess and all blame will go to dictator Sonia Queen and jaichand babus who are propmoting her agenda with close brains.
India Free to test
What was Sen. Joe Liberman's position during the debate on Hyde Act?
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> Came across this!
Mudy Dec 19 2006, 10:27 AM Post #3

Runaway PM
15 December 2006: What would you call it? Running away? In the middle of the Parliament session, prime minister Manmohan Singh takes off for Japan. The irony is he hasn't faced Parliament since renewed controversy broke out over the Indo-US nuclear deal. But he speaks about it, and related issues, to the Diet, the Japanese Parliament. Who is he PM of? India or Japan?
In political terms, what does this mean? The PM is unable to face the opposition in Parliament on the nuclear deal. He cannot stand up to the consummate questioning of skilled and seasoned parliamentarians like Advani or Jaswant Singh or the insuperably brilliant Arun Shourie. So what does the PM do? Or what does his party chief do? She replaces him from the firing line with Pranab Mukherjee. Manmohan Singh flies to Japan. He addresses a Parliament which won't ask him questions. So judge for yourself if he is PM material.
<b>Congress seen backing India nuclear deal</b>

"There will be debate, there will be some dissent," Lieberman told reporters. "In the end, it will be accepted and endorsed by strong majority in both houses of Congress because it is so clearly in the interests of the United States.

"It's a good agreement, it's a honorable agreement," said the independent lawmaker from Connecticut, the 2000 Democratic vice-presidential nominee known to be close to the White House.

The nuclear deal aims to give India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in 30 years to help meet its soaring energy needs, even though it has stayed out of non-proliferation pacts and tested nuclear weapons.


Although the pact does not mention India's relations with its old friend Iran, these would loom large over Congress due to the "fanaticism of the regime" in Tehran, its "direct threats" to Washington and its "support" for anti-American forces in Iraq, Lieberman said.

<b>"No one can reasonably or fairly ask India to disengage from Iran, no matter how negatively we feel about the government, because some of our close allies in Europe and Asia, including Japan, have diplomatic relations with Iran," he said.

"But the question is ... to be certain that India, in its commercial relations with Iran, does not fall on the wrong side of any of the U.S. sanctions legislations against Iran."</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Congressional staffer said that although President George W. Bush signed a presidential signing statement in December that took exception to parts of the Hyde Act, there was "no indication yet" that the Bush administration had flat out ignored any provisions of the legal restrictions Congress placed on the US-India nuclear deal.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We're very satisfied because we know the agreement is well within the bounds of the Hyde Act," Burns told reporters after testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Hyde Act, approved by Congress in December, created a unique exception to U.S. export law to allow nuclear cooperation with India. The just-completed agreement, called a 123 agreement after a section of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, spells out technical details for that nuclear cooperation.

Like the Hyde Act, the 123 agreement must be approved by Congress. But that cannot happen until India agrees on a program of inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group changes its rules.

"None of this will happen this year," the congressional source said.
Two reports from Pioneer, 14 August 2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Govt on edge as Opp sharpens attack </b>

Nidhi Sharma/Akhilesh Suman | New Delhi

Cancel trips, be present in House: PM, Sonia tell Ministers

The politics over opposition to the Indo-US civil nuke deal came in full play in both Houses of Parliament on Monday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made look like a bystander and a sense of unease visible within the Government over the Left's next move.

<b>The Congress</b> has initiated a damage control exercise to pacify the Left, which is enraged by the Prime Minister's challenge to "take it or quit", but <b>for the first time the realisation of a serious crisis seemed to have dawned on the leadership.</b> With both sides not willing to climb down, the Congress leaders are talking of efforts to stabilise the Government and refusing any possibility of having a debate on the 123 agreement under rules entailing voting.

<b>"Congress party is interested in running the Government for full term. We will explore all possibilities," said External Affair Minister Pranab Mukherjee.</b>

At the same time, sounding clear warning to the Left, he said, "It does not mean we will compromise on basic principles," Mukherjee said after a meeting with CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

Mukherjee's comments came a day after CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said the onus of running the coalition Government was on the Congress and his reiteration that the UPA regime would have to pay a heavy political price if it went ahead with the deal.

<b>Mukherjee also made it amply clear that there was no question of putting the Indo-US nuclear deal to vote in Parliament.</b>

"Where is the precedent? Why should we create precedent? <b>Never has any international treaty ever been ratified by Parliament. Whenever there has been a treaty or international agreement, the Prime Ministers have only informed the House,"</b> he asserted.

<i>{Yes. But they were governments that had full majority and not a shaky coalition put together after the elections. This is not a normal government. Seems like Pranab Mukherjee has lost his mind.}</i>

Incidentally, last week Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi had said the Government was ready to have the discussion on Indo-US nuclear deal in Parliament under rule entailing voting. The change of tacks indicates the growing unease with in the Government about the Left stand.

<b>Taking no chances, the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have personally told the Congress Ministers to cancel their outstation trips during the current session of Parliament and be present in the House whenever the Indo-US civil nuclear deal is being discussed. All MPs are also being told to be present in the House.</b>

Mukherjee gave the example of treaties with Russia and Bangladesh wherein the then Prime Ministers had informed when the treaty was finalised and later when it was terminated. Referring to the Left's call for gauging the "sense of the House", he said: "there is no such thing as the sense of the House. The rules are clear that voting is done only on a substantive motion. No treaty is ever discussed under substantive motion."

The discussion on nuclear deal is expected on November 20 at the earliest. This would give the Congress adequate time to hold talks with allies and sort out the issues. Indicating this, Dasmunsi said: "The Government's responsibility is to inform Parliament. This has been done by the Prime Minister. Now the prime concern is flood situation in the country. We would discuss it this week."

The Congress may have to worry more than the Left's "barbs". With majority of the UPA allies not too comfortable to be seen supporting an agreement which would go against their regional politics, the Prime Minister had to rely solely on the Congress members to "do" the rescue act when the Opposition raised slogans against him while he defended the deal in the Lok sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Even when the UNPA members trooped into the well of the Lok Sabha and raised slogans that "don't sell the country," and "don't mortgage the nation's nuclear sovereignty", <b>the UPA allies mostly remained silent. The Left leaders sat on their benches as did the BJP members, but at the fag-end of the PM's speech, the Left MPs walked out of the House.</b>

In Rajya Sabha again, the Prime Minister faced the same predicament and read just one paragraph of his speech and then laid it on the table of the House. The Prime Minister must have sensed the mood of the House as even that one brief paragraph was greeted by vociferous protests by the Opposition. As soon as the Prime Minister laid his speech on the table of the House, the Left members staged a walkout.

<b>This will be one of the rarest occasions when the Prime Minister faced such protests while making a statement in Parliament. </b>

Sources said that PM was very unhappy with the way the Opposition, particularly the UNPA and Left members behaved in the House.

<b>"No Prime Minister in parliamentary history was disrupted like this during his speech," a senior advisor to Singh told a group of mediapersons. "What is the need of running Parliament like this, when even the Prime Minister is not allowed to speak," </b>he added.

<b><i>{Must be the goon Sanjay Baru}</i></b>

<b>"We had no inkling of the Left's attitude, they demanded a discussion and the Government was ready for it," he said.</b>

<b><i>{So PMO was sleeping? What was Intel Bureau doing? Should fire the PMO secy and handlers for not getting the sense of the politicians}</i></b>

Sources said seeing the unseemly development of the day, efforts are being made to persuade the Left to take part in the debate, whenever it takes place.

PMO sources were apprehensive that the Left could abstain from the discussion altogether.

<b>The presence of Left during the debate is important for the ruling coalition to bring on tracks the strained relations between the Congress and the Left parties.</b>

Dasmunsi and his deputy Suresh Pachauri talked to Yechury twice to pacify the Left. Mukherjee too met Yechury to persuade the Left parties to take part in the debate.

<b>While the Left leaders have indicated they won't destabilise the Government, the Congress seemed not to be taking any chances. </b>The PMO seems cautious and officials are busy reading the fine prints of the various statements emerging from the Left camp.

Nuclear DEAL

Cong in tight spot

For the first time, realisation of a serious crisis seems to have dawned on Congress leadership

<b>With both sides not willing to climb down, Congress leaders are talking of efforts to stabilise Govt

Govt refusing possibility of debate on 123 under rules entailing voting</b>

Congress initiates damage control exercise to pacify Left



<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>PM meets Karat, CPI(M) says no to deal </b>

PTI | New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today had a significant meeting with CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat on the Indo-US nuclear deal after which <b>the party came out with a strong statement dismissing Singh's views in Parliament and asked the Government not to operationalise it.</b>

The unscheduled breakfast meeting at the Race Course Road residence of the Prime Minister came in the midst of a war of words between the two sides topped by Singh's challenge to the crucial Left allies to withdraw support to the Government on the deal.

Singh is believed to have told Karat that he has fulfilled the assurances given to Parliament and the Left parties. "What else can I do," he reportedly told the CPI-M leader seeking the Left parties' support on the deal.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also attended the meeting after the PMO came out with a statement that Karat and Prime Minister "reiterated that efforts would be made to sort out the issues."

The PMO statement also informed that Karat told the Prime Minister that he would put the Prime Minister's points to the party's Polit Bureau meeting scheduled on Friday.

Hours later, <b>the CPI(M) Polit Bureau with a point-by-point rebuttal of Singh's statement in Parliament yesterday, saying it did not shed any new light on the Agreement with the US that "calls for a re-assessment on our part."

"He (Singh) has reiterated his position on the Agreement and has not addressed the issues that we have raised," it said.</b>

The stand-off between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Left parties today showed no signs of easing despite a breakfast meeting between him and Prakash Karat, leader of CPI(M) which still demanded that the Indo-US nuclear deal should not be operationalised.

The brief PMO statement was an indication that the differences between the two leaders persisted which was confirmed later when the CPM Polit Bureau issued a two-page statement later saying what the Prime Minister had told Parliament did not shed any new light on the deal and address the issues raised by the party.


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