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Suo motu statement made by External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament on 12 December 2006
US Legislation on Nuclear Deal Not Acceptable: Communist Party of India (Marxist) statement of December 11
Bharatiya Janata Party statement of December 10
Congressional Research Service: Side by side comparison of final version of U.S.-India nuclear cooperation Act with earlier drafts
Bharat Karnad, an expert on nuclear issues, is however unsparing in his critique of the final legislation, that was voted by two chambers of the US Congress Saturday morning, and contended that the legislation shows the US’ resolve to “cap and freeze India’s thermonuclear weapons programme”.
“That’s what they wanted all along. And that’s what they have achieved through this legislation,” Karnad, a vocal critic of the India-US nuclear deal, said He also pointed to “several intrusive clauses” in the legislation that enables the US to gain an insight into India’s strategic programme. “They will get into the inside of our strategic programme under the guise of promoting proliferation. Otherwise, why do they want to know the quantum of uranium mined by India every year?”
Karnad warned that there was no need to crow that some of the controversial clauses have now been moved to the non-binding section in the final legislation.
“The trouble with non-binding clauses is that when the two sides sit down to negotiate the 123 agreement, they can’t ignore these clauses,” Karnad said.
“And don’t forget that the 123 agreement will go to a Democrat-controlled Congress next year. Democrats are known for their hawkish views on non-proliferation and they will not allow India to pussyfoot around these issues,” Karnad said. He pointed out that the legislation restricted the transfer of cutting-edge technologies related to reprocessing, spent fuel and heavy water and, therefore, it did not fulfil the promise of full civilian nuclear cooperation as mandated by the July 18, 2005, nuclear agreement between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush.
Most importantly, the legislation expects India to accept safeguards in perpetuity on its civilian nuclear reactors — a practice that is applicable to non-nuclear power states, Karnad said.