There is a strong China-Pakistan lobby in India that opposes any engagement between India and the United States. This group would like to see India isolated and unable to withstand pressure from outside designed to break its unity, and is therefore backing Sonia Gandhi in her pandering of ISI elements such as the Hurriyat Conference. When Manmohan Singh heard about the bombs that exploded in Varanasi, did he remember that those carrying out the attack have the explicit support of the Kashmiri jehadis that the PMO?on the instructions of the UPA Chairperson?patronises? Has he factored in the gain in terrorist morale caused by the sympathetic attention given by his office to strategems designed to first dilute and then eliminate India´s sovereignity. Under Sonia Gandhi, the Government of India is no longer negotiating partnerships with foreign powers, but surrendering.
This writer admits a bias towards the creation of a strong India-US alliance.Both countries are natural partners, and face common enemies, many made strong by decades of US policy, noticeably the Brezezinski-Kissinger launched backing to Communists in China and to Wahabbi fanatics worldwide. But cooperation between India and America is different from the servitude of New Delhi towards Washington, which is the status that Sonia Gandhi has forced on a country. The Nuclear Deal agreed upon by Manmohan Singh, will have the effect of retarding India-US relations, because of the anger and suspicion that its harsh and surprisingly unpublicised conditions will generate in the Indian public. No deal is better than a bad deal, and this is a very bad deal, one that would have the effect of fulfilling the implicit objective of the non-proliferation lobby in the US and the EU of ensuring a Chinese nuclear monopoly in Asia. The clarifications made by the US side (which, to their credit, have not lied or obfuscated in the manner of the Sonia brigade) make it clear that (1) India will not be given the rights of a Nuclear Weapons State, whether explicitly or impliedly and ( 2) all future reactors built and commissioned within India will come under international safeguards in perpetuity
The first misleading statement is that only 65 per cent of the country´s reactors would be placed under safeguards. The actual figure is over 80 per cent. This is because, out of the 8 reactors to be placed on the ?military? list, four are still at the planning stage,while a fifth is incomplete . Thus there are at present only three operational reactors kept out of the crippling safeguards regime planned.
The second incorrect assertion is that there would be no impact on the country´s military system owing to the agreement. In actual fact, the military programme would get capped at a level far below that needed to independently defend against threats from Pakistan and elsewhere. The removal of CIRUS from operation will reduce the stock of highly-enriched plutonium and uranium for nuclear warheads by 35 per cent. It may be mentioned that during earlier US-India nuclear talks as well, the demand for shutting down CIRUS was made by the US side. At that time, the Government of India had clearly been warned by the scientific establishment that the removal of CIRUS from operation would significantly degrade India´s strategic nuclear capability unless an alternative military reactor was built and commissioned before the CIRUS shutdown. Sadly, whether five years ago or now, no action has been taken to built an alternative facility.Under the circumstances, the decision to close down CIRUS by 2010 creates a gap in the military programme that cannot any more be filled, once the deal comes into effect.
The third point that has been concealed from the Indian public is the cost of creating capacity that would compensate for what will be removed from defence applications under the deal. Conservative estimates are that such a duplication of facilities would cost US$ 16 billion over the next five years,and cross US$ 40 billion in ten years. This is an impossible financial outlay, and the government is silent about its strategy, which is to confront the nation with a fait accompli and then turn around and say that compensating capacity cannot be built,because the same would be ?prohibitively expensive?. They will say that the tiny (and rapidly degrading) deterrent now available to the Indian Armed Forces will be sufficient to meet future threats, a statement that is completely wrong. Any ambition of having a triad of nuclear delivery systems (including nuclear-powered submarines) would be given up. The country would slide rapidly down towards the status of a dependency.
Because India has not been given the rights of a Nuclear Weapons Power (even though that is precisely what it is), any inspections regime would be harsh and intrusive, having the effect of crippling reasearch and development, and making available any technology indigenously developed to any country with the means to prise information out of the IAEA. World-class facilities such as the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research are going to be rendered ineffective by safeguards, that could be used also to get commercial secrets from companies such as Larsen & Toubro and Tata enterprises. Through the IAEA, foreign companies can gain access to Indian technology and methods, thus destroying this country´s competitive edge. It is extraordinary that?as usual with the Nehru family, as seen for example at Shimla in 1972?the concessions made by India are made at the beginning, while those supposedly agreed to by the other side are placed far into the future. India ought to have refused to make the sweeping concessions that it did on critical programmes until the IAEA signed on to a safeguards regime that would protect Indian technology and methods from spies, and until the US agreed to a bilateral agreement that took care of the same issue. Instead, what Prime Minister is banking on is hope, the same hope that P.N. Haksar had in Pakistan´s readiness to accept the status quo in Kashmir.