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Listen to voices of wisdom: PM

New Delhi, May 10
Welcoming former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s endorsement of the Indo-US nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hoped the country would listen to the voices of wisdom.

“I hope the country will listen to the voices of wisdom,” he told reporters when asked to comment on Kalam’s remarks that India should go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal as it would give a boost to country’s nuclear programme. Dr Manmohan Singh said Kalam was “a distinguished scientist and had been intimately involved with Pokhran explosion”. Asked whether the Left should also listen to the “voices of wisdom”, pat came the reply “people should listen to it”.

Kalam had said India should go ahead with the deal and rejected suggestion that it would undermine the country's sovereignty. He said the deal would give a boost to India's nuclear programme. "We have plenty of thorium, but very small reserve of uranium and it will take a lot of time to develop thorium-based nuclear reactor,” Kalam had said in Bhubaneswar yesterday.

Asked about the exchange of fire on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the Prime Minister said India had to be alert as there had been attempts of infiltration. At the same time, he expressed the hope that the Pakistani authorities would maintain peace and tranquility on the border.

He refused to comment on human resource development minister and Congress leader Arjun Singh's remark that the party lacked a transparent decision making process, but said Arjun Singh was great leader of the party.

He sought to make light of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's statement that the Centre had failed to perform and was unable to check inflation, stating that these were expected in politics, particularly when elections were round the corner. — Agencies

Pranab, Rice discuss deal

External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice discussed the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal and the situation in Myanmar following the devastating cyclone. The conversation took place on telephone yesterday when the US secretary of state rang up Mukherjee as part of a series of calls to foreign leaders to urge them to use their influence with the military junta in Myanmar to allow humanitarian supplies to the cyclone-hit people, officials said here today. The two leaders also touched upon the civilian nuclear deal. It was, however, not clear what was discussed on the nuclear issue.



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