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Home > News > PTI

Indo-US deal will not affect India's strategic programme: Cong

September 21, 2007 12:55 IST

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The India-US nuclear tango

With the Left Front stepping up its campaign against the India-United States nuclear agreement, the Congress has come out with a booklet rejecting charges that the deal will affect India's foreign policy and its strategic nuclear programme.

Putting forward its point of view in the key matter, the party has also denied that the 123 agreement will in any way hamper India's right to conduct nuclear tests.

The 21-page booklet brought out to counter, 'inadequate information, cynical criticism and partisan politics' emphasised that any informed discussion must trace India's 'long and difficult journey to attain nuclear self-reliance.'

"This agreement is not at the cost of the autonomy of our strategic nuclear programme, our three-stage programme and our research and development activities," stated the booklet.

"The Hyde Act is only a US law and it is not binding on India. We have entered into a bilateral agreement with the US. As far as India is concerned, we are committed to the terms and provisions of the 123 agreement only," it said.

The US administration has categorically assured India that the Hyde Act enables it to fulfill all of the commitments made in the joint statements issued by the two countries, the booklet said.

Supporting the Centre, the All India Congress Committee said, "A responsive government embraces a correct approach to meet the genuine needs of its people. The government had given categorical assurances that any agreement reached will be within defined parameters guaranteeing India the right to reprocess, create strategic fuel reserves and access full nuclear cooperation with the international community.

"There has been no departure. All the commitments have been fully honoured," the booklet stated, adding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] had taken into account all apprehensions expressed by the Opposition and the Congress' allies.

The booklet stresses on the fact that the agreement has been negotiated between two sovereign countries.

"India has done this as an equal partner," it said, adding that the government has pursued the negotiations with an, "unprecedented nature of transparency which was underscored by three full debates in both house of Parliament".

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