M A I N   N E W S

Top scientist prefers NPT to Indo-US N-deal

Mumbai, July 2
“India will be better off signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which permits the exit of any signatory nation, rather than the nuclear deal with the US that will bind the country for perpetuity”, top nuclear scientist Homi Sethna has said.

“NPT may be discriminatory, but we will still be allowed to exit whereas in the Indo-US deal which is under negotiation, India will remain bound in perpetuity,” Sethna said while delivering a keynote address at the Forum of Integrated National Security (FINS) here last evening.

“Therefore, I prefer NPT to signing the current deal (with the US),” said Sethna, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

“India is supposed to get only uranium for expanding its nuclear programme. Simply for this, so much compromising is uncalled for,” he said.

“The Americans were out of the nuclear power reactor building business for the last 25 years. So where is the question of getting technology from them?” asked the octogenarian scientist who is credited with playing a key role in the 1974 nuclear blast that saw India's emergence as a nuclear weapons power.

“The Indian Government should now seriously think about it (signing the NPT). Instead of being looked down upon as a non-signatory , go ahead, sign and break it immediately, may be within three hours,” he said.

Asked whether it would be unethical on India's part to sign a deal with the US, he denied that this was the case, pointing to India's need for energy security .

“We had experience with them earlier. I am not saying Americans are not reliable. I want to say, they have a system which makes them feel that they are superior and want to dictate terms,” he said to applause from a gathering that included scientists and security analysts. — PTI





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