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Left parties again object to Indo-US deal
June 28, 2006 20:00 IST
The Left parties Wednesday objected to several clauses in the bill for implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, including enlisting India's support to "contain Iran" and conditions on nuclear test, saying they "completely contradict" the assurances given by the United Progressive Alliance government.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Communist Party of India, which provide key outside support to the Congress-led coalition, expressed strong reservations over the clauses in the bill and asked the government not to deviate from its stated foreign policy commitments and positions under American pressure.
"The bill makes a specific reference to securing India's 'full and active participation' in the US efforts to dissuade, isolate and if necessary sanction and contain Iran for seeking nuclear weapons.
"This clearly substantiates the CPI-M's apprehensions that through the nuclear deal, US will arm twist India to change its foreign policy to know tow to US strategic global designs," the party politbureau said in a statement.
It also slammed clauses in the bill which seeks to push New Delhi to comply with the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty saying that the Presidential waiver will "cease to be affective" if India conducts a nuclear test.
"India's unilateral moratorium on conducting nuclear tests cannot be subservient to such US conditionalities. India's sovereignty on these matters cannot be compromised," it said.
India had in the past refused to sign the FMCT treaty on the grounds that it was discriminatory.
The CPI-M also expressed concern over the clause which states that the US President must first determine that India and the International Atomic Energy Agency have concluded a safeguards agreement requiring the application of IAEA safeguards in perpetuity.
"This runs completely contrary to the assurance given by the prime minister in both the houses of Parliament that India will approach the IAEA for safeguards only after the US endorses the July, 18 2005 nuclear deal."
Asking the ruling coalition not to fall prey to America's "carrot and stick policy", it called upon the government to uphold India's sovereignty and not deviate from its stated foreign policy commitments and positions under US pressure.
Reacting to the developments, CPI National Secretary D Raja said the conditions in the draft bill raise "serious concerns" as it was at variance with what the UPA government has been saying all along."
"The US cannot decide and dictate what India should be doing... The bill has made India accountable to US legislation and made the US congress the watchdog of India's nuclear policy.
"This will have serious consequences for the country's independent nuclear policy," he said.
Raja said the government should take Parliament into confidence on the developments on the deal.