A win-win deal?

IT'S THE paradox of Indo-US nuclear deal that it has been receiving buoquets and brickbats in both the countries. While its supporters see the accord as a milestone in Indo-US relations and a strategic step to boost India's nuclear power generation, its critics view it as a 'sell-off' of the country's indigenous nuclear industry to America.

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Published: Fri 28 Jul 2006, 11:05 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:11 PM

On the other hand, US detractors, including some lawmakers, think Washington has given away New Delhi too much in return for naught.

Experts on both sides have been analysing various clauses and provisions of the 'landmark' deal for months, because it has profound implications for India's nuclear development, both for military and civilian use, and international repercussions as far as the US foreign policy is concerned. Serious questions have been raised as to how the Bush administration, which has been running a major diplomatic offensive against Iran's nuclear programme, can join hands with another nuclear weapons state India.

Leave aside the mumbo-jumbo, the agreement boils down to: selling American nuclear reactors and fuel to India; opening civilian N-facilities to IAEA inspections; capping further nuclear tests; and cooperating with the US and others in stopping nuclear exports.

These pro quid quo terms and conditions have not gone down well with Indian scientists who have expressed serious reservations about the way the Congress-led UPA government has negotiated the accord without taking the country and parliament into confidence. Opposition BJP and the government's own Leftist partners are up in arms against the deal and want a debate. Before the pact becomes a reality it has to cross the US Senate hurdle and get Indian parliament's nod. So let's wait and watch.

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