M A I N   N E W S

No compromise on N-deal: PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
In a categoric signal to Washington and political opponents at home, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that there would be “no compromise” on the Indo-US nuclear deal, days ahead of the US Congress vote on the civilian nuclear energy cooperation.

“I wish to assure the House that we will never compromise in a manner which is inconsistent with the provisions of the joint statement of July 18,” he told the Lok Sabha while intervening during question hour.

The Prime Minister said he was trying to ensure “utmost transparency” and “overall accountability” about the nuclear deal which would open the doors of global nuclear commerce for India in return for placing its civilian nuclear facilities under international inspections.

“I have given you many assurances that there will be utmost transparency,” he said, pointing out to his statement in Parliament early this year on India’s separation plan for its civilian and military nuclear facilities.

He said the government was ready for a debate and if the Speaker wanted “I am ready for a suo motu statement.”

The Prime Minister’s intervention comes close on the heels of the criticism from the Left parties, alleging that Washington had brought in “new issues, reciprocity and sequencing that has gone beyond what was first stated by the Prime Minister in Parliament.”

The Left wanted Parliament to set out parameters on the basis of which nuclear cooperation could be reached with the US. The Left, which had planned to raise the issue in Parliament by evolving a consensus among other parties, has found support from the BJP, which had been critical of the deal.

The Prime Minister's response came after Deputy Leader of the BJP V.K. Malhotra sought a debate on the nuclear issue to which Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said he had no objection but a notice would have to be given for it.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma also assured the House that India would “not accept any new conditions or obligations” outside the July 18 statement.

On members’ apprehensions over certain conditions mentioned in the two Bills to be voted by the US House of Representatives and the Senate, he said these were premature as “there is no final legislation.”

Observing that the deal was based on reciprocity by the two sides, he said India had finalised a separation plan on its nuclear facilities and the US was required to adjust its laws and policies.

Washington was also required to work with its allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, he said.




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