Nuclear deal final

By Kirtiman Awasthi
Published: Friday 31 October 2008

US Senate okays pact with India

THE American Senate approved the us-India nuclear deal on October 2. The deal, already cleared by the us House of Representatives, was approved with a majority of 86 votes in favour and 13 against it.

On September 6, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (nsg), a 45-member body which controls trade in nuclear fuel and technology, granted a waiver of norms for nuclear trade. The us-India Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy--123 Agreement--will allow the us to sell nuclear fuel, technology and reactors to India for civilian use (see 'Decoding Indo- us nuke deal', Down To Earth , October 15, 2007). However, us secretary of state Condoleezza Rice assured the Senate that a nuclear test by India would result in cancellation of nuclear cooperation and other sanctions.

Rajesh Rajagopalan, professor at the Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, said, "These are us -specific conditions and other countries signing nuclear agreement with India, say France, may not follow them. Cutting off nuclear cooperation also depends on the context of violation; India has declared unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests."

France and India signed an agreement on September 30, allowing French firms to sell civilian nuclear technology to India. The us Senate has added a supplementary resolution saying the us will seek to prevent transfer of nuclear fuel from other nsg members if it suspends nuclear cooperation with India.

In India, while the ruling Congress party termed Senate approval a "landmark development," the bjp and the cpi (m) called it a defeat for the country. Some critics say providing India with new nuclear material without it being party to npt and ctbt will fuel nuclear weapons race in Asia.

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