cant remember if anyone posted this, but here's more about how the dirty deed has been done.
this is collective national suicide, and manmohan singh is right in the middle of it.
2006: the year in which india became a nation with no future.
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PM spells out how he moved the goalposts
- By Our Special Correspondent
Asian Age, Aug 18, 2006
New Delhi, Aug. 18: In a speech short on specifics but long on platitudes in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tried to reassure an increasingly sceptical nation about his controversial nuclear deal with the United States. But in the process he laid bare how he himself has shifted the nuclear benchmarks.
For the first time in Parliament, the PM acknowledged having moved the goalposts that he had defined on the floor of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on July 29, 2005. He had pledged then that the sole parameters would be the July 18, 2005 deal and that no deviations would be allowed. Now, having breached his earlier assurances, the PM has added another yardstick to embrace the deviations. He said: "Our approach is guided by the understandings contained in the July 2005 joint statement and the March 2006 separation plan."
It is the civil-military separation plan that embodies key departures from the July 18, 2005 joint statement, abandoning the principles of parity and non-discrimination enshrined in the original deal and solemnly pledged by the PM in Parliament.
Some of the distinguished nuclear scientists who earlier this week issued a joint appeal now want the PM to examine his civil-military separation plan anew. Under the plan, India has agreed to undertake unique international obligations that no other nuclear weapons state has accepted, including a watertight civil-military separation of the nuclear programme and international inspections of a type applicable only to non-nuclear states — perpetual and legally irrevocable. This happened despite the PM's pledge to Parliament that "India will never accept discrimination".
In his long speech, Dr Singh managed to avoid defining what the likely deal-breakers are in his view. He also skirted both the lack of assured fuel supply in the US House bill and the draft Senate bill, as well as the recent revelations in congressional testimony that New Delhi has been aware all along that the US will maintain sanctions on transfer of reprocessing, enrichment and heavy-water technologies to India despite the deal. Yet, he again assured Parliament of securing "full" civil nuclear cooperation with the US.
Also, by stating with a flourish that "there is no question of allowing American inspectors to roam around our nuclear facilities," the PM evaded a response to another recent congressional revelation that his government has already consented to American end-use verification measures, on top of IAEA inspections. The draft Senate bill indeed wants a third, statutory layer of verification in India, which both Washington and New Delhi are resisting.
According to Dr Singh, "the separation plan would not adversely affect our strategic programme," with the emphasis being on the subjective and undefined term "adversely".
Given the PM's general assurances and dodging of the specific conditionalities common in both the US House and Senate bills, his latest speech cannot dispel the mounting misgivings over the deal's purported benefits in comparison to its costs. The deal is likely to remain highly contentious.
The PM's speech was in three parts. The first part, delivered extempore with a calculated emotional pitch, was addressed to his own party and Cabinet colleagues at a time when he is feeling politically weaker, if not besieged within the ruling circles. Seeking to squelch creeping criticism of his leadership within the party, including over the nuclear deal, Dr Singh reminded his flock that he didn't aspire to be PM.
He sought to take on the whispering campaign against him head-on by ridiculing what he called was an unfounded charge that he is an "American agent". In the same breath, he also sought to rebut K. Natwar Singh's criticism by saying that history would judge whether he had been a weak PM.
The second part of an essentially political speech on a core security matter was addressed to the Left, in an effort to keep the governing coalition intact.
In response to the CPI(M)'s demand that he address their nine points of concern relating to the deal, he laboured to provide assurances to the Left by reading a text prepared for him by his bureaucrats. Dr Singh can draw satisfaction that the Left, leaving the NDA in the lurch, let his government off the hook on the issue of a "sense of the House" resolution or statement.
The third part of Dr Singh's speech, also a prepared text, sought to dismiss the concerns expressed by the group of leading nuclear scientists, whom he has invited to join Atomic Energy Commission members in a discussion with him on August 26. Several scientists in the group, while welcoming the PM's new assurances, however, suggested re-examining the separation plan.
As former nuclear chief P.K. Iyengar put it: "There should be a re-discussion on the separation plan more logically." Another ex-nuclear chief M.R. Srinivasan said that unless what the PM said in the Rajya Sabha was firmly embedded in the bilateral nuclear agreement with the US currently under negotiation, India could face important problems in the future.
By the time Dr Singh finished his long speech amid yawns by members, he had ignored the issues raised by the main Opposition, the NDA.
Through his generalisations and nice-sounding assurances ("no compromise on India's sovereignty," "India's foreign policy will be decided on the basis of Indian national interests only," etc), the PM has kept sufficient elbow room for himself on the deal.
On the other hand, giving fresh assurances when he has broken past assurances can hardly reassure the nation. When at the end of his speech, he was asked by Mr Yashwant Sinha about the specific departures he has made from his solemn assurances to Parliament on July 29, 2005, the PM tellingly kept quiet. He also didn't reply to Mr Arun Shourie's query on why he decided to shut down the newly refurbished Cirus reactor — the source of 30 per cent of India's plutonium production.