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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mishra Expands on His Opposition

It was hard to see why BJP was objecting to 123 Nuclear Agreement with US beyound the slicing and dicing of legal verbiage by Arun Shourie and the notion that it will not get the credit for completing the deal. Brajesh Mishra, NSA during Vajpayee years expands on why he opposes the current deal - but then there is a contradiction.

However, he underlined that his “impression” was that the Government is “less than enthusiastic” about the nuclear weapons programme. He cited the separation plan that puts 14 reactors under safeguards as a step that would limit the supply of fissile material claiming that in 2003, when he was in Washington, “we said that we in India would put a couple of our reactors under safeguards and all those to be built under international surveillance.” [Convince me n-weapons plan safe... - IE]

And he goes on to say, Manmohan's team kept in the loop, or at least consulted him, during negotiations.

If Manmohan's team indeed doesn't care about strategic program, the agreement is a no-go. But Anil Kakodkar, in charge of strategic program as chair of AEC, the original decenter, is on board. And there is every indication that the Americans have left the strategic program alone - i.e. no curtails on future strategic programs such as building additional military reactors or number of bombs, or amount of fissile material generated, at least until FMCT comes in play.

So the question seems to be, is putting 14 reactors under IAEA safeguard too high a price to pay for the agreement that legitimizes India strategic program while freeing up civil nuclear industry to interact with global nuclear industry?