Friday, July 18, 2008

Nuclear Deal

Jammu, Jul 18 (PTI) Strongly backing the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal, Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz today said it will help the country generate more power to meet its energy needs."By signing the deal, India will get access to clean nuclear fuel. It will help us to generate enough power to meet the requirements of the country," said Soz who is also the President of Jammu and Kashmir Congress."Most of the electricity in the country is generated through coal, but generation of power through nuclear fuel would enable us to get clean and enough supply of power," he said while addressing the JKPCC convention here.Yesterday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi took the deal to the people's court and said that the deal will help generate more power.Gandhi, addressing a rally in Nellore yesterday, had attacked the opponents of the deal, saying that the party does "not need any certificate from anyone on patriotism and national interests." Soz said India is the only nation which has been offered such a deal despite having tested nuclear weapons twice earlier."India is a proven nuclear power but a responsible democratic government which has such nuclear weapons not to use to attack others but only as a deterrent," Soz said."We are soon going to sign the agreement on the nuclear deal in the interests of the people of the nation," he said and asked his party workers to carry this message throughout the state.Referring to the power crisis in Jammu province, the Union Minister said that he had already taken up the matter with the officials concerned and the Haryana Government. PTI
India will brief representatives of a total of 54 countries from the IAEA Board of Governors and the NSG on the safeguards agreement of the Indo-US nuclear deal on Friday. Twenty-six of the 54 member nations are part of both the IAEA and the NSG. The briefing - to be conducted by Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon - is an Indian initiative and not taking place at the IAEA premises in Vienna. The presentation will try to explain: The importance of the deal for an energy-hungry India. India not being a signatory to the NPT, will also try to allay fears of nuclear proliferation. Controversial elements in the safeguards agreement are also likely to come up. Especially references to India's unspecified right to 'corrective measure' in the event of a disruption of fuel supplies. India will also try to make a subtle pitch to NSG countries for future nuclear trade. Menon will be helped in the task by a top official of the Department of Atomic Energy, R B Grover, India's permanent envoy to the IAEA, Saurabh Kumar and the MEA's negotiator on the agreement, Venkatesh Varma. A safeguards agreement approved by the IAEA's board is necessary for India to amend the rules of global nuclear commerce determined by the NSG. The board is scheduled to meet on 1 Aug to take a decision on the safeguards agreement. IANS correspondent in Vienna Mehru Jaffer spoke with CNN-IBN early on Friday morning and below is her analysis: “What India has to convince the 35 board of governors of IAEA is that it will continue to use the technology that it buys USA & the other suppliers countries in a responsible way. The concern is that India has promises to open up only 14 of its for IAEA inspection, what about the other six? There are skeptics with the board of governors there are member who jealously are for non proliferation and they are very concerned that it is a 100 per cent safeguards draft, how are they going to monitor the nuclear technology and what India buys will not be diverted from civilian use to its military.”
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