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'India's military programme was never the focus of N-deal'
Sridhar Krishnaswamy in Washington | March 08, 2006 01:58 IST
The US has said India's military programme was never the focus of the landmark Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, while brushing aside the notion that the deal was meant to contain China.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns also told CBS channel's Charlie Rose Show aired Monday night that the deal, signed by US President George W Bush during his India visit, will not be extended to Pakistan because of "proliferation history".
"We never set out to arrange a deal that would roll back India's entire nuclear programme over the last 30 years, meaning the nuclear weapons programme. It was not meant to.
"This deal was meant to do one thing: Take the largest country in the world, which had been completely outside the international mainstream -- we had zero impact on its nuclear facilities. We did not have the ability to have any kind of strategic oversight over its nuclear programmes.
"And they will accept on the majority two-thirds of the nuclear programmes, international inspection. That's what we set out to do," said Burns, who played a crucial role in finalising the civil nuclear agreement.
On the notion that the deal was meant to contain China, Burns said, "Our relationship with China stands on its own. It's too powerful a country, too big a country that it can be contained. And we're certainly not establishing a relationship with India meant to be some kind of counterbalance to our relationship with China."