Straight Angle™: Nuclear Deal
Monday, July 07, 2008
Most readers of this blog would know by this time the fate of the Nuclear Deal. It is more likely to go through the Indian Polity. However, a very good of friend mine, Mouly, has some takes on it. Though he had been against the Nuclear Deal from Day One and me for it from Day One, We have had pretty interesting conversations/arguments on the merits and the fate of the deal all these days. We even felt good/bad respectively when the Communists took up the Nuclear Deal more than Inflation and other burning issues with the Government. But, seems like our feelings were short lived- But that's for another day.
Coming to the post, Mouly makes some points on why the Deal would be "disastrous day" for India in his words. I would like to counter those points, though the wise man that he is, he had already put on the counters for some of those pointers.
Nuclear test: Contrary to what has been officially projected, The deal implicitly takes away India's right to conduct further nuclear test.Counter: India has already declared a unilateral moratorium on further testing, with Vajpayee announcing that all the tests to validate the design and yield have been completed after the May 11, 2001 tests. So, the inability of testing comes mostly from we ourselves breaking the moratorium than any treaty.
Uninterrupted fuel supply: There is no concrete assurance on the uninterrupted and perpetual fuel supply even though India has committed to perpetual IAEA/US safeguards and inspection regime which cannot be revoked or suspended for any reason at any time after the agreement comes into effect.......Counter: Right now, we don't let any agency to inspect our nuclear facilities and also we don't have any demarcation on whether a facility is a civilian or a military facility and the inspection is only for Civilian sites - not for Military sites- it is not as if we are throwing away everything to an external agency- we are opening up only those facilities that would receive foreign fuel. As a vendor, I think anyone would be interested in how their product is being used. If non-proliferation concerns can be added to it, better to everyone. Also, the above concern assumes that India's stature would remain the same as it is in the NSG for eternity- We would not remain the same way we are right now. Things will change for sure.
Inspection regime: As part of the deal, India is obligated to segregate and open up its civilian nuclear facilities for inspection of IAEA and the US.The inspection is only by the IAEA and not by the US in case the deal is terminated. All in all, I would definitely welcome the agreement. I don't see a point of being secluded from the World Community on Nuclear issues. With Oil becoming dearer by the day and Coal being the worst polluter, Nuclear Energy is a much cleaner option.
I would say, with the Left withdrawing support, this would be the best thing to have happened to India in the past 4 years. But, the timing of the left withdrawal did bring a smile to my face. They waited till SP came out open in support of the deal and the recent pronouncements of the UPA constituents don't surprise me a bit- already there are talks about how grateful UPA is to have had the left support them for 4 years and kept the communal forces out of power and how UPA wouldn't want the left to leave the coalition and would welcome the left if they chose to come back. Seems like a carefully orchestrated drama forced on the People of India!
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