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Home > News > PTI

Left will not give way on nuclear deal: Karat

September 12, 2007 18:41 IST

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The Indo-US nuclear tango

In spite of the United Progressive Alliance's best efforts to pacify the Left Front, the latter seems to be in no mood to hold the fire on the controversial India-United States nuclear agreement.

After holding street protests against the 'pro-US' tilt in the foreign policy and writing an open letter to members of Parliament, a book comprising a collection of articles penned by Communist Party of India-Marxist's General Secretary Prakash Karat trashes the deal.

In the book -- a revised compilation of articles written by Karat over a period of two years -- he minces no words in saying that the Left and democratic forces have to decide on the course of action to counter the government's 'pro-imperialist path'.

He also bluntly tells the Manmohan Singh [Images] government to realise that "as a government that does not command a majority in Parliament it has been unmindful of the need to create a broader understanding on such issues."

"The Left parties continue to accord priority to having a secular government and keeping the communal forces at bay. However, this cannot be taken as a license by the UPA government to go ahead with such a long-term agreement which has serious implications for India's independent foreign policy and sovereignty," Karat says in one of the articles.

Rubbishing the government's argument that the deal was vital for meeting India's energy needs, Karat said "there is no convincing or valid basis for seeing nuclear power as central to our energy security."

"The strategy for energy security requires India developing various sources of energy, both hydrocarbon and nuclear power. India must get access to diverse sources of energy, particularly oil and gas, and promote efforts for an Asian energy security grid," he argued.

Karat added, "It will be a mistake to see the nuclear cooperation deal in isolation from the overall context of the strategic alliance (with the US) which involves quid pro quo."

Citing India's vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency an instance of the quid pro quo, he said, "The Prime Minister's oft-repeated claims that India's foreign policy will not change due to the nuclear deal, is not borne out by his government's record."

The Left, he said, is clear that going ahead with the agreement will bind India to the United States in a manner that will seriously impair an independent foreign policy and strategic autonomy.

"The UPA government has not set out a strategic policy document. What stands out is the step by step movement towards a strategic engagement with the US in which the latter's interests pre-dominate and this shift is camouflaged with evasive and high-sounding pronouncements," Karat said

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