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PM makes a case for N-tech
February 27, 2006 18:37 IST
Last Updated: February 27, 2006 19:17 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday declared that India cannot accept safeguards on its indigenous Fast Breeder Programme and will ensure that no impediments were put in its research and development activities.
Making a suo motu statement in both Houses of Parliament, Singh reminded the US about "reciprocity" agreed to by India and the US in July 2005, saying, "certain assurances" relating to supply of imported fuel for Tarapur made then "remain to be fulfilled".
Observing negotiations on nuclear deal were "currently at a delicate stage, he said "we have judged every proposal made by the US side on merits, but we remain firm in that the decision of what facilities may be identified as civilian will be made by India alone, and not by anyone else."
Declaring government's "overarching commitment" to national security and related issue of autonomy of the nuclear programme, the Prime Minister said, "we have made it clear that we cannot accept safeguards on our indigenous fast breeder programme."
Singh emphatically stated that in deciding the contours of the plan to separate civilian and military nuclear facilities, India has taken into account its "current and future strategic needs and programme after careful deliberation of all relevant factors, consistent with our Nuclear Doctrine."
This envisions a "credible minimum nuclear deterrent to inflict unacceptable damage on an adversary indulging in a nuclear first-strike," he said. The tough-talking by Singh comes two days ahead of the visit of US President George W Bush and close on the heels of intense negotiations here to wrap up a follow-up agreement between Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns.
Complete Coverage: The Bush visit