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No equation between Ind, Pak: US

T V Parasuram in Washington | July 21, 2005 11:15 IST

Defending its decision to give aid to India on nuclear-power related issues, the Bush administration said there could be no equation between India and Pakistan on the matter.

The administration said it was going to have individual ties with the two in the case of civil nuclear cooperation.

"There is no reason for us to have a hyphenated strategic framework for South Asia. There are issues where the US policy intersects and there are issues where we can have individual relationships with both countries.

"And certainly in the case of civil nuclear cooperation, we are going to have individual relationships," Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday.

"And, the fact is that India has a record of non-proliferation, which is exceptional; very strong commitment to protection of fissile material, other nuclear materials and nuclear technology; and there is a transparency about India's programme, which has been welcomed," he said.

"India has safeguarded reactors. In Tarapur, for instance, the reactors were built long ago by American firms," Burns said.

"What is significant about the agreement (inked on June 18 between India and the US) is that New Delhi committed itself in public, very specifically to a series of actions to which it had not previously committed itself," the senior US official said.

Actions, which will have India agreeing to the same measures that most of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty states have agreed to, Burns said.

Under the joint statement issued by India and the US on Monday, Burns said New Delhi has agreed to fully separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and to place all the civil nuclear facilities under full IAEA safeguards.

"This includes monitoring and inspections; to sign an additional protocol, which is very important, and, for the first time, to join the United States and most of other nuclear powers in supporting a fissile material cut-off treaty," he said.

India has agreed to refrain from any transfer of sensitive equipment or enrichment and reprocessing technology, he said adding they also agreed that they would maintain moratorium on nuclear testing.

"So we believe that the actions that the prime minister (Manmohan Singh) committed India to undertake will actually strengthen the non-proliferation regime and we are pleased about that and that is what was a benefit to the United States in agreeing to this construct in civil nuclear energy cooperation." 

Asked about past concerns on export controls in India, Burns said the US was 'pleased' with India's recently enacted law on preventing WMD proliferation.

"The government was able to have passed, in the Indian Parliament… a new export control law that imposes various stringent requirements on the authorities and strengthens their ability to protect the export of sensitive technologies and WMDs...So it is a very important step forward and also helped to bring them into line with many of the international requirements in that area. So we are pleased about that," he said.

The US decision to seek a new partnership is "not directed against any third country" but stands on its own, Burns said.


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