July 05, 2011

India cannot trust the US as a long-term and reliable parner on nuclear issues

Let us not count our chickens before they are hatched. Let us wait and see the terms of ENR transfers by France and Russia.

More importantly, we cannot trust the US as a long-term and reliable parner on nuclear issues. As long as there is a Democratic Party Adminstration in the US that country cannot and will not be a reliable partner on nuclear issues. We should never forget how the Carter Administration tried to squeeze us on nuclear fuel supplies for the Tarpaur Power Plant, or the relentless efforts of the Clinton Administration to "cap, rollback and eliminate" our nuclear weapons programme. There is no dearth of "Nuclear Ayatollahs" in Think Tanks like the Carnegie Endowment, who have close links with the Democratic Party and have spent a lifetime urging pressures against India on nuclear isues.

Moreover,there should be no question of us joining the NSG or any one of the other nonproliferation cartels unless we are not discriminated against and participate as an equal partner.

G Parthasarathy

India’s N-commerce NSG fiat will not hit supplies


IT is a matter of great relief for India that the US, Russia and France are ready to honour the commitments they had made to India under their respective civilian nuclear cooperation agreements signed with New Delhi. The Nuclear Suppliers Group’s (NSG’s) latest decision that the countries that have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty may get debarred from acquiring uranium enrichment and reprocessing technologies from any of the NSG members is not fair so far as India is concerned. India had been given a clean waiver after the operationalisation of the 2008 Indo-US civilian nuclear deal on the basis of its impeccable non-proliferation record. The NSG had then accorded India the right to do nuclear commerce with its members despite not being a signatory to the NPT. This was a major achievement for New Delhi, as the NSG waiver ended India’s status as a nuclear untouchable, particularly for the transfer of latest technologies.

At its coming meeting at The Hague the NSG is expected to announce strict conditions for the transfer of civilian nuclear technologies in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. No one can question the concern expressed by the 46-nation NSG. It intends to ensure that civilian nuclear technologies remain in safe hands. But clubbing India with such countries as have a dubious track record can never be justified. India has not signed the NPT because it considers it discriminatory in nature. But this has not affected in any way India’s conduct as a responsible nuclear power.

The controversial NSG announcement made after its recent meeting in Noordwiik, the Netherlands, propelled the US, Russia and France to quickly come out with their stand that the civilian nuclear cooperation agreements they had signed with India remained unaffected. A US State Department spokesman said, “Nothing about the new enrichment and reprocessing technology transfer restrictions agreed to by NSG members should be construed as detracting from the unique impact and importance of the US-India agreement or our commitment to full civil nuclear cooperation.” France and Russia, too, have made similar commitments. All other countries which had been planning to go in for nuclear trade with India should declare that they will go ahead with their plans regardless of the decision of the NSG.

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