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|September 15, 1998||
PM deplores sanctions in area of hitech research
Prime Minister A B Vajpayee today deplored the Western countries for imposing sanctions on India's high-tech research and development programmes, especially in the field of nuclear technology, in the wake of the Pokhran nuclear tests.
Dedicating to the nation, the Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant at the nuclear facility complex in Madras, he said, "It was unfortunate that the international nuclear regime today is highly distorted. On the one hand, the traditional nuclear weapons states want to keep destructive power of nuclear technology in their own hands and resist nuclear disarmament. On the other hand, they restrict the enormous benefits of peaceful nuclear energy from reaching humanity at large that needs it most."
However, research, that too in a frontier area like nuclear science, could not only be a national endeavour, he said adding, "By its very nature, it demands international cooperation".
Emphasising the close relations between energy and development, Vajpayee said energy was not only crucial for the national development but also for national security.
"I am not referring only to our recent exercise of the nuclear option for national defence. We have made our stand on this matter very clear, and I am happy to note that the rest of the world is rapidly beginning to appreciate India's perspective," he added.
Stating that energy was a critical input of national development, he said a weak economy and strong national defence could not go together. However, "It is unfortunate that the politics of energy has become the sub-text of international relations today," he added.
Congratulating the scientists and engineers of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre for successfully completing the KARP, the prime minister said the nuclear facility would form a critical link between the country's pressured heavy water reactor and the fast breeder programme.
Lauding the engineers, Vajpayee said "today was engineers' day". He assured that the government would support all their endeavours in fulfilling the national mission to develop nuclear energy at a cheap cost.
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