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IAEA draft cannot be made public: Kakodkar

Mumbai, July 9
India’s Atomic Energy chief Anil Kakodkar today came to the defence of the UPA government to blunt Left’s strident demand for releasing the nuclear safeguards text being negotiated with the IAEA, saying the draft cannot be made public until it is finalised.

“The text of the draft of the (Indo-US nuclear) agreement with the US is in public domain but what is not is the India-specific safeguards being negotiated with the IAEA,” the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission told the Indian Merchants Chamber here.

With the chorus from the Left for revealing the draft text getting loud, the Congress brought in a new dimension saying divulging such a “confidential” information with the communist parties could expose the country’s nuclear reactors to terror threat. “Work on text of safeguards is currently under progress and has to be kept between the two parties, while they are discussing it. It cannot be made public,” Kakodkar said. — PTI


Text of IAEA pact a privileged document: Cong
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9
The Congress today asserted that the text of the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was a privileged document and placing it in public domain could lead to “nuclear terrorism”.

“Article 15 of the text clearly talks about confidential clauses. Putting the information about nuclear facility in public domain amounts to nuclear terrorism,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said.

Tiwari’s comments came after CPM general secretary Prakash Karat criticised the government for keeping the text of the agreement a secret. “It is a legal document that is contractually binding. How can a sovereign government divulge the details to people who are not in the government?” Tiwari asked. Reiterating that the Indo-US nuclear deal was important to meet the country’s growing power needs, Tiwari said: “By 2050 we would be the most populous country and our energy demands will grow exponentially. We will have a deficit of 5,000-6,000 MW energy per year and 26 per cent of it will come from nuclear energy.”

He said the Left should have taken time to study why the government was reluctant to share with it the draft safeguards document before making a “reckless” and an “irresponsible” charge.

Tiwari said external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, convenor of the UPA-Left panel on the nuclear deal, in his letter to the Left parties, had explained why the document could not be placed in public domain. He said the nuclear establishment, the security establishment and the scientists were taken onboard as far as the deal was concerned. “It is completely erroneous to say that they were not consulted,” he added.



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