(Given below is the full text of a letter written by the BJP leader, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi to Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on Indo-US nuclear deal.)
The events unfolding have made it abundantly clear that the Indo-US agreement on civilian nuclear co-operation signed by you during your visit to USA in July 2005 is prejudicial to national interests. This puts onerous restrictions on India without any countervailing restrictions or restraints on the other high contracting party. We are highly concerned that the agreement is designed to emasculate Indian nuclear options-both in the military and civil sectors and make India perpetually dependent on USA for all initiatives in application of nuclear energy.
One of the most incongruous and inappropriate provision of this agreement is forsaking of all further nuclear tests by India. Nuclear tests-underground, atmospheric, in space or in laboratories-of zero, low, high or super-high yield are essential for nuclear research. The envisaged agreement with the US will sound the death-knell of Indian independent nuclear initiative.
One of the immediate effects of this agreement was that India'svote in IAEA on Iran issue. The logic of this vote would result in using the same arguments against a denuclearized, badly armed India also, since India can then be shown up as defaulting on an international agreement. India, having resisted signing of NPT and CTBT, could not be faulted till now. I regret that your government could not comprehend such a scenario and a possibility. Today India has been recognised as a responsible country because of its past performance, henceforth we will have to continuously be on the scrutiny for being designated as a responsible State. One wonders whether the mandarins of the PMO have the vision and capacity to realise these possibilities.
It would be interesting to note that after condemning India vehemently and imposing comprehensive and crippling sanctions, embargoes, denial and control regimes against India for Pokhran II tests, the USA went ahead and carried out many nuclear tests after May 1998. This ought to have been known to the Defence Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who visited the ?Holocaust Museum? in Hiroshima after Pokhran II. The Mayor of Hiroshima ritualistically sends out letter of protest for each detected and confirmed nuclear test to delinquent countries. A copy of each letter is artistically engraved in silver (or such like) metal plates and these are prominently and chronologically displayed in the Holocaust Museum. Shri Mukherjee could not have missed these records of tests by USA. The UPA government could have drawn the attention of USA to this fact, which would have eased up the pressure on India. This can be brought on record even now.
Transparent attempts are being made to force India to be a virtual signatory to NPT and CTBT, with the carrot of some modern nuclear technology for civilian power projects. India will then be forced to accept full-scope and ever newer obligations and restrictions imposed by the superpower or IAEA. Indian Nuclear Power status will ever remain unrecognised. India will be saddled with super-costly outdated technology devices. India'sinternational indebtedness, fiscal deficit and distress in Indian economy will increase, with common man being additionally burdened. There will be further degradation in social services.
Demand for separation of civilian and military reactors has serious ulterior motives and is premised on total distrust of India as a responsible nuclear power. This is also a firm message to India that it cannot hope to get USA to accept India as a full-fledged nuclear power.
Separation of handful of Indian reactors into two separate categories will lead to most inefficient utilisation of available resources. Other than avoidable massive administrative costs in maintaining designated entities, lack of Indian resources will stifle nuclear energy development. This sort of luxury can only be considered feasible in super/highly developed countries with innumerable rectors at their total control.
Separated reactors will be subjected to heightened control and restrictions by superpower and its client IAEA. The so-called civilian reactors will be subject to legal and overt surveillance and espionage by IAEA and superpower. The military reactors will be subject to directed and enhanced covert surveillance and espionage by superpower. Life will be made easier for the superpower intelligence agents.
We are worried that much strategic and operational data must have been shared with the superpower interlocutors while negotiating which all reactors to be put under IAEA control. We consider that such negotiation itself was uncalled for. India should have just handed over a list, if that was essential and foreclosed all further negotiations on that subject. Further, there was no requirement for this sort of detailed and multi-level negotiations.
The separation of our fully integrated nuclear energy programme into civilian use and military use sectors simply means that we put ?three quarters? of our nuclear programme inclusive of its scientific personnel and particularly the plutonium breeder reactor project and the subsequent thorium cycle under International Atomic Energy Safeguards. India possesses huge thorium reserves capable of providing large quantities of energy for about 30-40 years as and when we are able to put this technology in use.
What happens if we agree to this suggestion? The USA promises to waive the NPT structures and other offensive mechanisms which in any case the Indian scientists have already made irrelevant or redundant. It also offers India to involve in high cost Global Nuclear Energy Programme which will make India completely dependent on enriched-uranium technology and link its thorium reactor technology programme with the GNEP. This will further reduce the military utility of proposed Indian breeder reactor.
It appears that the UPA government is nevertheless deliberately trying to put a moratorium on country'snuclear military capabilities and potential and its civilian nuclear energy independence, which have a mutually interdependent relationship. Perhaps the UPA government wants to tread the path where the US-led nuclear oligopoly despite their most strenuous non-proliferation efforts, could not march forward and wants to convince the nation that some sort of ?enlightened? national interest will be served by this suicidal exercise. It is indeed ironical that while you are talking about an ?enlightened? national interest, President Musharraf talks of ?enlightened moderation? to justify the respective stands which benefit whom, one can only guess.
India should have raised, and should even now raise, the issue, which is disturbing the international community, how the clandestine devices through which nuclear technology, including centrifuges and fissile material, have been transferred to Iran from Pakistan and several other countries have not been discussed by IAEA and steps not taken to prevent these deals. These deals and acquisitions are in violation of the commitments under NPT. One wonders why the UPA government slept over this vital issue.
I urge upon you to hold a free and full debate in the current session of Parliament and clarify the UPA government'sstand to the nation.