Indo-US nuclear deal: Some facts

Contrary to its commitment of pursuing an independent foreign policy, UPA is now ready to sign an agreement, which will make our foreign policy congruent to that of America. It's sad that government is now ready to sell its sovereignty..

THE INDO-US nuke deal is the hot debate in the nation and for the first time in last couple of decade, people of this nation is engaged in a debate on the foreign policy. This is a constructive debate, but unfortunately not honestly promoted by the media. The pro deal columnists and speakers are given prominence over those who are opposed to this deal. The promoters of the deal are skipping the technical debate and are harping on the issue of 'national interest'. To substantiate the issue of national interest, the term 'energy security' is used regularly and it is described that India is a developing nation, which in the time to come would require energy. Some enthusiasts of deals are also claiming it as a milestone in our way to become a superpower. Apart form these jargons, pro- deals orators are not throwing light on the nature of the deal and have forgotten completely to bring forth the debate on some of the articles, which are magnificently crafted by America.

Lets start with the issue of national interest, from our Prime Minister to Amar Singh, everyone is giving long sermons on national interest. This is a bilateral deal and if India has an interest in this deal, what interest does America have in this deal? No one is ready to utter a word on this. How come America arrived on a decision to have a deal with India without calculating its own interest? The flag bearers of national interest are not even claiming this is philanthropy on behalf of 'big brother', which is very much concerned about the energy security of our nation. Why is that America suddenly got interested in giving India uranium for producing electricity? The invader of Iraq and Afghanistan is so much worried about our energy security. It is a sorry state of affair and complete bankruptcy on the behalf of 'deal-defenders' who evaded this part and never explained to the people of this nation.

America is a nation, which gave the concept of 'no free lunch' to this world, but is giving India a free ride to the nuclear world that too with much of exceptions. The 123 agreement, which India is going to have with America is not the first one, nor is India the only country, which is going to sign such a deal with America. There are many other countries, which have similar deal with America including China. The exceptional part is that India is the only Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory nation, which is going to get this cake to eat. America has always kept its interest on top and cannot give India such a gift without taking its own pound of flesh. Lets examine some of the issues involved in this deal, and then only we can measure the worth of this deal.

The 123 agreement is the core of this deal. To quote form article 2 of this deal: "The parties should cooperate in the use of nuclear energy, each party shall implement this agreement in accordance with its respective applicable treaties, national law regulations, and license requirements concerning the use of nuclear energy". Now to quote from American domestic law (Hyde Act) Section 102 part 6 (a): "The country has a functioning and uninterrupted democratic system of government, has a foreign policy that is congruent to that of America." Further 6(d) of the Act states: "Such cooperation will induce the country to give greater political and material support to the achievements of America." Coming to the Hyde Act, which is America's domestic law and applicable on the 123 agreement. Section 104 of the Hyde Act, which is for 'Waiver Authority and Congressional Approval'.

In this section, clause 'g' deals with the 'Reporting to Congress'. This section binds American president to report to American Congress about the activities of Indian government. The future of the supply of nuclear energy will depend on the certificate, which our government will get from American Congress. Why our foreign policy needs to be congruent with that of America? India is a free nation and has enough foreign policy experts to decide its course, but the pro-deal elites are ready to out source this work and to enter in a contract with America, which has more foes than friends in the international relations. The out sourcing of our foreign policy is in the national interest. This is unbelievable.

Coming to the second most advocated issue of 'energy security', it is unfortunate that it is our government, which is the real culprit in creating energy crisis in this nation. In the last 15 years, the government of India has not been able to find money to invest in the power sector. According to the reports of the Planning Commission in the Seventh five-year plan, we added about 21,000 MW. In the eight and ninth plans, we added 16,422 MW and 19,095 MW respectively. In the 10th plan, we have added a little more than 20,000 MW. This slowing down of adding to the installed capacity is based on the plea that the government has no money. Coming to the nuclear power, if imported nuclear rectors are considered, the figure for the production of energy becomes unfavourable. According to the Business Week, "The cheapest plants built recently, all outside America have cost more than $ 2,000 per kilowatt". With the same amount of money, we could put up 30,000 MW of a coal -fired power plant instead of 10,000 MW of imported nuclear plant. Coal- fired plants today produce electricity at the plant end at about Rs 2.20 – Rs 2.50 per unit, depending on the coal cost at the location.

Dr Manmohan Singh has claimed that the nuclear energy will cost only Rs 2.50 per unit. This calculation of Singh has nothing to do with maths, but with his love for president George W Bush. The real cost of nuclear energy, which will be produced by the imported reactor will cost more than Rs 6.00 per unit at production level. Prime Minister, which aam adami (common man) can buy the electricity at this cost? From where are you going to get the money now to invest in the nuclear energy sector, the money that you denied to our domestic nuclear plants? If the Prime Minister is so worried about the energy security, why was the gas project with Iran dumped? Lets examine the truth behind this. Nicholas Burn, who spearheaded the nuclear deal with India in America told an interviewer that they have been actively involved in counselling Indian government that they should remain with the rest of the international community in arguing to the Iranian that they should not become a nuclear power. In the same interview, Burn said, "We told India that it should not conclude any long term oil and gas agreement with Iran." Whose interest we are serving, snapping ties with Iran is not in the interest of our country particularly for energy security.

The common minimum programme of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) stated, "The UPA will pursue an independent foreign policy keeping in mind its past traditions. This policy will seek to promote multi-polarity in the world relations and oppose all attempts at unilateralism." Going contrary to its own commitment of pursuing an independent foreign policy, UPA is now ready to sign an agreement, which will make our foreign policy congruent to that of America. It is very sad that government of independent India is ready to sell out its sovereignty, don't know for what reason, but it is a duty of every true Indian to stand up and to say 'No to nuke deal'.


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