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India must re-negotiate its nuclear deal with US: Mishra
February 08, 2006 04:25 IST
India must re-negotiate its nuclear deal with the US in order to save its strategic interests, former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra said Tuesday night.
In an interview to NDTV 24X7, he said, "We must have some kind of deal with the US and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. It is to our advantage. The problem with this deal is that it will affect our strategic nuclear programme, that is the development of our nuclear warheads."
Elaborating, he said the US is talking about specific facilities to be put under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, which would lead to curbing our capacity to maintain a credible minimum deterrent which was envisaged in our nuclear doctrine adopted two years ago.
To a question on why he was opposed to putting the nuclear reactors under the IAEA safeguard while he supported the same when he was the national security adviser and in fact proposed that two such reactors should be placed under IAEA safeguards, he said what he had offered to the US at that time was a couple of the existing reactors and what India would build in the future, but not the reactors under construction.
"My offer was not accepted by the US," Mishra said adding, if Americans had agreed to the offer "we would have certainly negotiated subsequently".
Mishra said the deal should be negotiated in such a way that it does not have any adverse impact on India's strategic interests.
On whether it was too premature to object to the deal, he said, "No, but what is coming out of the reports and has been said in the United States by these very people who are negotiating is very clear. For example Mr Burns (Nicholas Burns), US under secretary, Political Affairs, who has been negotiating on behalf of his country has said that there must be a credible separation and credible identification and credible number of nuclear power reactors to be put under safeguards."
"What does credible mean? This is something I cannot accept because I am committed to credible minimum nuclear deterrent for us," he added.