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India need not conduct tests to prove its N-status:Kalam

November 25, 2008 15:16 IST

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Contending that India is a nuclear-weapon state whether the world recognises it or not, former President APJ Abdul Kalam [Images] has said the country needs not go for any more atomic tests to prove this status "again and again".

Kalam, who has brought out a special edition of his e-magazine 'Billion Beats' on the Indo-US nuclear deal, has said the country should believe in its strength as he sought to allay fears that the agreement would compromise India's sovereignty.

The deal, apart from paving the way for Uranium imports, will help India develop nuclear technology that the world may need in the future, said the strong proponent of the agreement in an article 'Strength respects Strength'.

He said people should believe in the country's strength in economy and security and prove to the world that "India is wiser" in playing a responsible nation in achieving energy independence vision before 2030.

"I am still confident that one day the nation will wake up to this call. That day is not too far. It should be remembered that the nation is bigger than any individual, organisation and all political parties," he said.

Detailing the country's three-stage atomic programme in the magazine, Kalam said, "India is a nuclear-weapon state. The nation should behave like a nuclear-weapon state. We do not have to prove to any country that we are again and again a

nuclear-weapon state by doing more nuclear tests, whether they agree or not, whether they recognise or not.

"If they don't recognise it is not our fault; It is not that we are going to lose anything."

Kalam, a scientist who played a major role in the 1998 Pokhran tests, said India has "full capability" to deter any nuclear threat by any nation through all means.

"Yes, we should believe in our strength. Strength respects strength. That is what is happening in the process of Indo-US nuclear deal agreement," said the former President who has also replied to questions posed by some students.

Seeking to allay concerns over the Hyde Act, he said the laws and regulations of the United States would not come in the way of the agreement. The Act enables America to have nuclear trade with India and constraints imposed by it are applicable to firms in that country only, he said.

"Indo-US nuclear deal does not have any binding effect on the socio, economic, and political decision of our nation with USA. We have our own independent foreign policy. The government of a particular time certainly has the option to protect the sovereign interest of the nation," he said.

"Certainly," Kalam said, "this nuclear agreement protects India's interest in the nuclear power sector. Separation plan for civil and defence nuclear facility clearly gives the independence in maintaining the strategic decision.

Nobody can interfere in our foreign policy.

"We can maintain our strategic autonomy in social, economic and political spheres," he added.

Kalam also said the 123 Agreement did not impose constraints on India with regard to signing any contract with firms from other countries.

"Please note that 123 Agreement is a framework agreement and not an implementing contract. Whenever implementing agreements or contracts are signed between Indian entities and US energy firms, India and US firms have to ensure that they are in accordance with laws and regulations as applicable to them. 

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