A Dangerous Deal with India?

Former US President Jimmy Carter, after whom there is a village named in Haryana, near New Delhi, and one who has been for long respected in India, on the proposed US- India deal.In the post- Cold War scene, right wing regimes (extreme right wing BJP/NDA and centre right Congress/ UPA) in India have derided the principles that guided Indian foreign policy that did not believe in toeing the line of any of the Superpowers. Blatant self- interest, as the quagmire over the deal shows, can tie the governments in both countries in knots.

It must be remembered that there are no detectable efforts being made to seek confirmed reductions of almost 30,000 nuclear weapons worldwide, of which the United States possesses about 12,000, Russia 16,000, China 400, France 350, Israel 200, Britain 185, India and Pakistan 40 each — and North Korea has sufficient enriched nuclear fuel for a half-dozen. A global holocaust is just as possible now, through mistakes or misjudgments, as it was during the depths of the Cold War.Knowing for more than three decades of Indian leaders’ nuclear ambitions, I and all other presidents included them in a consistent policy: no sales of civilian nuclear technology or uncontrolled fuel to any country that refused to sign the NPT.

Besides the international ramifications, there are other concerns from US Congressmen that the Bush administration would need to answer:

Several lawmakers said they would be reluctant to change U.S. laws until they understood the scope of the inspections — the terms of which will be unique to India.

One Democratic Senate staff member said whether the changes in U.S. law or the IAEA agreement come first is important because “this is a president who has a very low stockpile of trust left.”

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