IUCNA gets you NSG waiver that you need for power reactor fuel. What will CTBT give you except shackle your future capability?
Yes IUCNA achieved amongst other things NSG waiver. Although the final deal was different from the one that was agreed to initially. On cost benefit analysis, it was still a deal that we can live with.
But ramana, the point I had made then was this deal negotiation represented a departure from two basic principles that have always been sacrosanct. I had written this many times in the past.
1. Sovereign decisions of India will be made India alone and no one can have a say on it.
2. Sovereign options of India will be maintained at all times and will not be subject to negotiations - whatever, may be the economic or political cost or benefit that may accrue by doing so.
The latter took a dilution when that deal was being negotiated. It was because India wanted to seize an opportunity. I still am ok with that deal as long we follow up with actions and legislative mechanisms to protect from some of the intrusive provisions of the enabling act on their side i.e. Hyde Act. Hopefully specific actions will materialize and on the legislative mechanisms, one has limited hope on this. Maybe at a future date, a future GOI may redress this at an opportune time.
What is important is that this established that sovereign options that India has can be viewed as something negotiable. That is a departure from past consensus. One can argue there is nothing wrong it. It is a type of argument.
So if we are willing to negotiate on sovereign options for some tangible gains, will not India seek some tangible gains like the one that you mentioned we got from IUCNA. What could those gains be? I have given a list. Is this tangible enough? Are these gains enough? Enough to barter away our sovereign options by signing up to something like CTBT? You and me may not agree, but there could be a significant section of our leadership and our population that may settle for this kind of deal making. There is little that can be done to stop them, should they wish to do so.
The other point you mention is also interesting, Do we want to shackle our future capability? But it presumes an assumption that we want this capability. Do we really want to retain this capability? Does it come in our calculus of strategic objectives?
Again I can only answer for myself and say that it would be suicidal and really wrong not to have this capability. I feel that this and a strong conventional capability and economic growth must go hand in hand and not one preceding the other. That the vision of India should not be limited to only a couple of dimensions. That any vision should be based on a realistic assessment of the world and not an aspirational ideology that others have scant regard or value for. No matter how right such an ideology may be. Without a more balanced vision, we risk the very thing that we so badly want economic growth.
Like you, I too would like to be dead against signing such a lemon treaty like CTBT. I think it is suicidal to do so. Matters for little though.