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Dr Tellis's denial, and our stand

July 25, 2006 15:23 IST
After his interview was published by on July 19, Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, sent us this e-mail:

I want to state for the record that the remarks attributed to me in this interview do not accurately reflect the discussion I had with Onkar Singh.

Citing a faulty tape recorder, Mr Singh did not record my comments but transcribed our fifteen-minute conversation into the sentences posted on your web site. I did not, for example, ever assert, "We got more from the government of Manmohan Singh." What I did say was that the Singh government sought more from the United States than the NDA government, namely full civil nuclear cooperation and, accordingly, made appropriate commitments towards that end.

Similarly, the question as it now appears, "What is it that you wanted from the Vajpayee government but could not get?" was never asked of me. "What did the Vajpayee government offer in 2002?" is the question I responded to.

The same goes for the discussion on the United States, China, and India, where I denied that the United States needed a nuclear deal to buy India's support against China or that containment of China was current US policy.

It is indeed unfortunate that Mr Singh chose to post his redaction of my remarks -- which is different, both in content and tone -- rather than my original answers in full. I would appreciate your posting this letter on your web site.

Senior Associate Editor Onkar Singh responds:

I have gone through Dr Tellis's e-mail. I am glad he did not deny the interview itself. Dr Tellis's responses are correctly reproduced because his answers were very short, and there is no question of my posting my own views.

He did say that the Americans got more out of Dr Singh than the Vajpayee government. So naturally I asked the logical question, which was: What is it that you wanted from the Vajpayee government?

His answer on China was very short as he got a call from a friend and he terminated the interview halfway. I stand by the reproduction of the interview.