Double Dealing

via News Today Editorial published on September 4, 2008

A 26-page letter written by American President’s Administration to the US Congress in January 2008, which has been kept as ‘secret’ till now, regarding the India-US Nuclear Agreement, has been made public by Representative Howard L Berman of the House Committee of Foreign Affairs. The contents of the letter, which are ‘categorical answers’ to the ‘vital questions’ raised by the US Congress, seem to be confirming some of the worst fears of the opposition in India, and the UPA government in general and the Congress party in particular stands completely exposed. More than the party and the government, it is the Prime Minister, who has been bared thoroughly, as the revealed document and its contents have proved the BJP’s allegation that he had been lying on the nuclear deal, both inside and outside parliament, for the last three years since July 2005.



The ‘secret’ letter confirms the anti-India features of the agreement such as, no binding assurance of fuel-supply; no assurance for India’s lifetime stockpiling of fuel reserves for safeguarded reactors; India cannot test in future; US can suspend or terminate the deal as and when it pleases; India has no right to take corrective actions on disrupted supplies and 1 2 3 agreement must abide by the requirements of the Hyde Act. Sadly and unfortunately, the Prime Minister has assured the nation in parliament, the exact opposite of the above! This is nothing short of fooling the nation. 


That the Prime Minister has been ‘secretive’ right from the beginning on this N-deal is not a secret. Apart from giving false assurances, his government had released the India specific safeguards of the agreement to the governors at the IAEA after being reduced to a minority government. After ‘successfully’ clearing the agreement at the IAEA, the government also achieved a ‘tainted’ victory in the trust vote on a confidence motion at the floor of parliament. Even while going to the first meeting at the NSG level, it had not come out with the facts.


At the first round of the NSG, small nations, who are ‘nuclear nothings’, have opposed the draft of the agreement, leading to the suspicion that they are behaving so at the behest of the US. As the new draft has been circulated at the NSG and just 24hrs before the second round of negotiations at the NSG level, the US Congress has made this particular letter public – despite Bush administration’s request to keep it secret – and hence there is every possibility to believe that the deal may not go through before the end of Bush’s period.


The Indian government has stuck to its ‘false’ guns and tried to brush aside the issue by saying that it is an inter-departmental correspondence of another nation. The government still says that Indian is bound only by the 1 2 3 agreement, which doesn’t disallow nuclear testing. All of a sudden the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee talks about ‘Unilateral moratorium on testing’ and he cites the July 18, 2005 joint statement. Even during the debates in parliament, there was no talk on this ‘unilateral moratorium’! Was it a unilateral decision by UPA and why was the opposition silent on it?


The US Ambassador David Mulford has said that the ‘secret’ letter didn’t contain anything new, which have not been shared in the open. This statement clearly indicts the Indian government and confirms its involvement in the dubious game it played along with the US. Even after this If India talk of a ‘clean and unconditional waiver’ at the NSG and attempt to sell the ‘sellout’, it amounts to fool and insult the nation.


It is laughable that the Left, which has been deliberating with the government through many rounds of the so-called coordination committee meetings, has said that ‘America has misled India’. The mainstream media has also gone to town with the story that Bush and America have misled India. The Left and the media brazenly attempt to absolve Sonia, Manmohan, Congress and the UPA government by putting the blame on America and it is nothing short of telling the people of India, ‘you are all idiots’! The point to note is that Bush has served his nation well taking care of its interests, but here, it is sadly the opposite!


The UPA government had earlier lost the moral authority to govern India, when it achieved a ‘tainted’ victory in the trust vote on the confidence motion over the N-Deal. Now, the Bush Administration’s letter to the US Congress has unequivocally confirmed the fact that the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement is a complete sell-out and the UPA government has lost even the ‘immoral authority’, which it gained through the tainted victory on 22 July.


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