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Bush made N-deal central to Indo-US ties, says NYT

September 30, 2008 15:33 IST

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Attacking President George Bush [Images] for initiating the "ill-conceived" nuclear deal as the "centerpiece" of Indo-US bilateral ties, a leading US daily on Monday appealed to the Senate to postpone its vote on the pact.
"We hope that the Senate shows better judgement," the New York Times said in an editorial, ahead of the Senate's likely vote on the legislation on Wednesday.
The American House of Representatives had approved the deal by an overwhelming majority on Saturday.
The Times said the approval of deal would make it even harder to rein in nuclear ambitions being perused by countries like Iran.
'India is a democracy, a rising power that has sent many thousands of talented people to live and work in the United States," the paper noted and said Bush has correctly chosen to build a new relationship with India. But he erred in making the nuclear deal the centerpiece of that relationship. And he erred in assuming that he could selectively break the nuclear rules for India and still argue that other countries had to do a lot more to rein in Iran.'
'The deal approved by the House fails to meet legal requirements set previously by Congress,' it said.
Stating that the deal was pressed hard by American businesses and Indian lobbyists, the Times said President Bush and his aides were so eager for a foreign-policy success that they didn't even try to get India to limit its weapons programme in return.
'They got no promise from India to stop producing bomb-making material, no promise not to expand its arsenal and no promise not to resume nuclear testing,' it added.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee, the editorial said, abdicated its oversight responsibilities. It held no public hearings and sent the deal straight to the floor without even a committee vote.
'We are befuddled as to how the committee's chairman, Representative Howard Berman, could say he has concerns about ambiguities in the agreement and still vote for it,' the paper said.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Times said, has done only slightly more work. It held one hearing at which administration "cheerleaders" were asked to testify.

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