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Support Indo-US nuke deal: PM urges Vajpayee
March 05, 2008 17:51 IST
Describing Bharatiya Janata Party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the 'Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics', Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Wednesday appealed to the former Prime Minister to rise above narrow party politics and support the India-United States civilian nuclear agreement.
"Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics Atal Bihari Vajpayee should listen to his conscience and let national interest prevail upon narrow politics," Singh said in the Rajya Sabha, seeking the support of his predecessor on the nuclear deal.
In his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on President's Address, Dr Singh assured the Parliament that the government would not compromise on requirements of national security in inking the nuclear deal with the US.
While the Prime Minister mounted a strident attack on the previous National Democratic Alliance government, Singh had words of praise for Vajpayee for his courageous steps to foster peace with Pakistan.
"The most courageous steps to build peace were taken by Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Atal Bihari Vajpayee," Singh said in an identical speech in the Lok Sabha.
The Prime Minister said that his government has continued the process with President Pervez Musharraf [Images].
Singh noted that the dialogue process was started by the then Pakistan Prime Minister late Benazir Bhutto [Images] and Indian Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi.
Singh was also happy with former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra "coming out openly in defence of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement." Mishra had expressed his support for the nuclear deal in an exclusive interview to rediff.com.