Indian Nuclear News & Discussion - May-2008

ramana
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Indian Nuclear News & Discussion - May-2008

Postby ramana » 06 May 2008 01:49

Restarting the Indian Nuclear discussion thread. Just missed the historic 10'th annversary of Pok-II on 11 May,2008.

-Arun_S (Admin hat on}

---------------------------------------------
Deccan Chronicle, 6 May 2008

Are we hiding from the Hyde Act?
By Pran Chopra

The defenders of India’s proposed nuclear deal with the United States have often argued that the "deal" would be protected by the 123 Agreement between the two countries. Now a major newspaper has gone a bit further. It has argued editorially that "the 123 Agreement does not stop India from conducting a nuclear test." But what does the Hyde Act do?

The editorial does not deny that the Hyde Act authorises the US to impose major penalties upon India if the latter conducts a nuclear explosion. India might escape the penalties if the purpose of the explosion suits America’s own needs as well. But what will happen if it serves only India’s needs? Will the 123 Agreement still hold the Hyde Act at bay?

The newspaper’s answer is implied in its further assertion that "The Hyde Act ... is not binding on India," and it is "a domestic issue to be thrashed out in the United States." But where will the "thrashing out" leave India? The answer to that will depend upon the circumstances prevailing at the time, and the circumstances have changed significantly since the time when the 123 Agreement was reached. The Hyde Act itself is an ominous result of that change.

The United States has often said it before, and the White House said it again on April 29, that the "main stumbling block" in the way of the Indo-American nuclear deal was "the internal political process in India." But in saying so America forgets, and would like others to forget, that it was the same "process" which produced the 123 Agreement, and that India still abides by that agreement in spite of India’s opposition to the Act.

It is America’s own "internal political process", dominated at present by the electoral tussle between the Democrats and Republicans, which has put the unacceptable Hyde Act in the way of the 123 Agreement. The agreement itself remains broadly acceptable to India. What is not acceptable is the Hyde Act as it has emerged from an "internal political process" in the US.

At a time when President Bush, a Republican, was negotiating the 123 Agreement with India, the Democrats found that they could do nothing to block it because making foreign agreements is within the executive discretion of the President, and they were also in a minority in Congress. But when they captured Congress, in the Congressional elections held a few weeks ago, the Democrats used their newly-won Congressional majority to pass the Hyde Act as a counter to the 123 Agreement, which had earlier been sailing smoothly towards an agreement with India.

Now the political scene in America has shifted further, and this exposes India to certain dilemmas which have yet to receive adequate attention from those who are pressing for an early "deal". Whoever the "those" be — the American or Indian enthusiasts for the deal — they must find answers to these dilemmas.

They are urging India to sign the deal quickly because otherwise, they argue, a Democrat will capture the White House, and whether that be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, the White House which India will then face will be a tougher one than it was under the Republican Bush, at least on the issue of India’s nuclear ambition.

But the negotiations on this issue are not between the Congress in India and a Democrat or Republican in the White House. They are between the Indian and American governments. As such, the negotiations do not involve a transitory issue which may vanish as soon as the White House changes hand again. They are on an issue concerning a vital aspect of India’s defence, and the outcome will remain vital for India’s defence so long as nuclear weaponry remains vital, no matter which party captures the White House or Congress.

What is at stake is a basic agreement on a long term issue, and it will affect — positively or otherwise — many aspects of a wide range of relations between the two countries and the relations of each of the two countries with many a third country.

One look at the Hyde Act will reveal how widely and deeply it ranges over many aspects of the security and foreign policies of the two countries and also how much it expects of India in terms of "congruence" with the foreign policy objectives of America. It will also show how little will be India’s energy gains from the Act, either in comparison with India’s needs or with India’s likely gains from other sources, including India’s own.

Of course the Hyde Act also applies to America, and of course it has clauses under which India can withdraw from the Act if it finds the conditions too onerous. But of course the penalties India would face if it withdrew would be probably greater than the loss it would suffer if it avoided coming under the Act in the first place.

In these circumstances it would be much better if neither country hurried the other into an agreement without fully weighing its consequences for both. As was pointed out in this paper once before, for the past few months both countries have been going through "processes" which can affect the present positions of each in material ways, and the processes are too valuable for each to be skirted around instead of being followed sincerely.

Both countries are democratic, and are proud to be so, and in each case the "process" is central to the credibility of its democracy, not only in its own eyes but also in the eyes of the other country and in the eyes of the world. Therefore, each country should face the Hyde Act in all honesty after fully understanding all its implications and consequences. Such an understanding would show that the Act can have a wider and more harmful fall-out on India than the agreement would have had.

Therefore, one can find little comfort in the discovery which America has been hawking for sometime — and which India too appears to have swallowed now — that since the Hyde Act is not binding on India we need not worry about any individual provision of the Act. This is sheer self-deception. The Act commits America to the position that if India violates the Act or any of its provisions, then America can —- indeed must —- proceed against India under any of the numerous additional powers it has acquired under the Act.



It might be best if Democrats come and ratify the CTBT for that will set of its own dynamics.

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Postby Anujan » 06 May 2008 03:48

ramana wrote:It might be best if Democrats come and ratify the CTBT for that will set of its own dynamics.

Ramana-saar,
CTBT ratification wont happen. If the dems infight for more time and air their dirty laundry in public, McCain seems poised to win. Even if the Dems win, Hillary is too much of a hawk (she said she will "obliterate" Iran) and is a prisoner of her own words to do a U turn on the nuclear issue. Obama is widely seen as an affable and likable guy who is weak on national security and wont do something like ratifying CTBT to further justify that view. The Republicans will beat them on the head with it, especially if Iran progresses more towards enrichment or if NoKo tests once more. What will set off its own dynamics is if Oil touches $250 a barrel, central asia oil is locked up by the lizard and the bear, Dems come to power and US withdraws from Iraq rashly and Iran starts poking her fingers into Unkil's eye and chinis start sending their subs on deterrence patrol near Diego Garcia.

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Postby NRao » 06 May 2008 04:04

It might be best if Democrats come and ratify the CTBT for that will set of its own dynamics.


There is a very nice article in Newsweek by Fareed Zakaria. Essetntially, that GOTUS is rather narrow minded and sets her own rules and openly breaks them when it pleases her.

It i s THIS that India has to stand up against.

There is no doubt that India will face some "sanctions", how severe is up for debate. However, India needs to face these situations and the US or any other country will have no choice.

It has to be clear to anyone that the Indian position is reactive - no China, no Indian nukes. That is perhaps where India has patently failed to market her position. Sadly. With that kind of mind set she will not even be a regional power.

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Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 06 May 2008 07:31

I dont see it that way. India's PR has been decent in its nuclear buildup. We militarized after Nehru's dreaming, successfully. We then portrayed ourselves as poor but striving to every foreign dignitary who visited, while nuclearizing, dismembering Pakistan, and increasing GDP from 50 billion in 1971 to USD 1 trillion USD today, while growing at 9% a year. Why bear the sword when you are weak. We will do so, if needed, when we are strong, and when it serves our interests, to do so.

We are on our way to being a neer-peer to the US by 2030. After that, we shall see. There have have been many periods when the Hindus have outshone Europe and China, economically, culturally, and militarily. The future will be no different. We are on our way to becoming a superpower. Do not underestimate us.

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Postby Sanku » 06 May 2008 15:45

Egg on both UPA and Left faces as NAM and Iran slam nuclear deal

:rotfl:

[quote]The recent developments, in particular the nuclear cooperation agreement signed by a NWS (Nuclear Weapon State) with a non-party to the NPT is a matter of great concern.â€

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Postby NRao » 06 May 2008 17:36

vina wrote:Russia to sign 123 pact with the US! .

Now if Russia can sign the 123 pact, why not India! , espcecially when the weapons part is well taken care of!


The US already HAS one 123 with India.

I would not be surprised to find umpteen 123s with RU!! After all the US is using Uranium from dismantled Russian missiles to fuel US reactors.

123s are dime a dozen. The issue is what is in each 123. And, in the case of India the Hide Act.

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Postby John Snow » 07 May 2008 01:39

so a decade after POK II the day will go uncelebrated? :roll:

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Postby Gerard » 07 May 2008 02:08

[quote]the Non-Aligned Movement countries which are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty have called for “complete prohibitionâ€

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Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 07 May 2008 09:00

John Snow wrote:so a decade after POK II the day will go uncelebrated? :roll:


Nah, we have the IPL on right now .. Besides, molding Pokhran II into a nationalistic chest thumping point ten years on will take some significant marketing. Easier to just make Pakistan the nationalist pinyata. But I gotta admit, POK II was some rasher of bacon, got me all pumped up! What a proud day for me as an Indian.

Suddenly, the world sat up and took notice of India as more than just any other country, but a nation which would matter on the international stage. America started treating us a near peer, and began to engage us strategically. Israel took a closer look at India, and began to develop a significant defence partnership. The world just changed before our eyes on a single day.

Its unfortunate but true, the size of the stick you carry, matters a lot. Germany or Ukraine(even it weren't in Russia's shadow) or even Japan will never be great powers without huge military capability. India gave herself a ticket to great power status by joining the nuclear club. Without nuclear weapons, we would just be another Brazil, not a China.

Our ultimate goal is to be an Indian version of America, or more precisely, to be a great power with only America and China, as peers, in the remainder of this century, while remaining democratic, pluralistic, while retaining our civilizational values.

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Postby Anujan » 10 May 2008 04:49

Washingtonpost Uvacha. Should be read in full.
State Department Asks Congress To Keep Quiet About Details of Deal

Washington's civil nuclear deal with India is in such desperate straits that the State Department has imposed unusually strict conditions on the answers it provided to questions posed by members of Congress: Keep them secret.


* The State Department made the request, even though the answers are not classified, because officials fear that public disclosure would torpedo the deal, sources said.

* The nearly 50 questions posed by Congress are highly technical, but they were carefully crafted to get to the heart of the balancing act the administration has performed

*For instance, one of the questions pertains to whether the United States would terminate nuclear trade if India resumes nuclear testing. This is a sensitive point in India and is required under U.S. law, but the answer is not entirely clear from the text of the U.S.-India agreement.

*Another series of questions addresses the commitment by the United States to supply India with a "reliable supply of fuel"

* whether the commitments would be affected by a nuclear test.

*Lawmakers question whether these commitments in the implementing agreement are consistent with the Hyde Act.

*State Department had little choice but to be candid with lawmakers about the answers, in ways that senior State Department officials had not been in public.

* The committee has agreed not to disclose the answers because "some data might be considered diplomatically sensitive."

BRFites arent the only ones debating the deal. The obfuscation is intentional.

Several questions arises in this SDRE's mind
1. Have the answers been shared with the Indian side ? If yes, then why isnt the Indian side sharing it with the parliament or the public ? If not, does it not amount to deceptive negotiations ?

2. WaPo says from "diplomatic sensitivity" it is not clear whether the sensitivity is from the Unkil's side or India's side. This is a good train full of nandi droppings. The lawmakers on Unkil's side already know the answers, there is no question of diplomatic sensitivity. This gives rise to three questions (a) Diplomatic sensitivity from NPA ? (b) Diplomatic sensitivity from the Indian powers that be ? (in which case it implies the answers were not shared with the indian side, again deceptive negotiating tactic (c) Diplomatic sensitivity from the Indian public ?

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant,"
--U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

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Postby sraj » 10 May 2008 10:41

[url=http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/may/09iaea.htm]IAEA agreement is final, but wait for Additional Protocol
[/url]
1. According to information available, in the final drafts between India and the IAEA, India is accorded special status but is unlikely to be recognised clearly as a Nuclear Weapons State. India is expected to get 'a special status of Non-Nuclear Weapons State who is not signatory to the NPT'.

All international red lines are drawn in terms of NWS and NNWS (e.g. Pelindaba, Raratonga, Additional Protocol).

For India to exchange its current status of "SNW Not Party to NPT" with "NNWS" (whatever the tail after that may say) is a step backward, and exposes the entire Indian program to all kinds of intrusive inspections backed by the full force of international law and enforced by the P-5 under UNSC (of which India will conveniently not be a member despite all the Bush Admn talk in 2005).

Just as a contrast, the 1998 UNSC resolutions were words -- not enforceable at a multilateral level under international law.

3. The IAEA wants the issue of guarantee of assured fuel supplies to be dealt between the seller and buyer of fuel. India, the buyer country, will have to tackle it directly with the countries supplying fuel for producing civil nuclear energy.

4. Also, the inter-changeability of nuclear establishments kept under civil head and strategic head, available to countries like China, is not expected to be given to India.


Media reports claim that the Left parties want clarifications on guaranteed uninterrupted fuel supplies, full civil nuclear cooperation, the issue of reciprocity and implications of America's domestic Hyde Act on India's foreign and security policies.


Also, it is strange to observe that at least officially speaking, the much-awaited final text of the safeguards agreement which India is stated to have concluded with the IAEA has been a no-show at the May 6 meeting of the Joint Committee with the Left parties. It is paradoxical that even those members who are most crucial in the decision-making process, leave alone the public, are denied access to scrutinise the full text while many in the international community, particularly those from the NSG countries, must be scanning it with a microscope!

The safeguards agreements being highly loaded legal documents couched in language usually subject to various interpretations, require careful scrutiny. Serious decisions based on excerpts could be misleading. So what kind of discussions will the Left parties do without the actual text?

Although India is a de facto nuclear power, since it has no formal recognition as a weapons state the safeguards arrangement, particularly the additional protocol as and when negotiated, may include safeguards provisions as applicable to non-weapon states.

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Postby vsudhir » 10 May 2008 16:39


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Postby vsunder » 10 May 2008 18:28

As part of forum "gag orders" ; posted without comment:

The POK-1 crater, by Chidambaram, Sikka et al

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Postby Tilak » 10 May 2008 21:57

X-Posted from India-Us Civvie Deal Thread:

Let us seal IAEA, others may scuttle: UPA to Left
Posted online: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 0025 hrs
DK SINGH & CITHARA PAUL

[quote]NEW DELHI, MAY 6: Making a strong plea to the Left to at least allow it to confirm the India-specific Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, the Government today argued that if this didn’t happen, India stands the risk of allowing other countries to scuttle it.

At the eighth meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal today, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that time was running out for India as a change in the composition of the IAEA Board next September-October could imperil the current draft safeguards agreement. The Government also underlined that the safeguards agreement is unique — as it recognises India’s strategic programme and clearly restricts all application of safeguards to the civilian side — and that its approval is a pre-condition for nuclear commerce with any country.

The Left wanted to see the text of the agreement. Declining this request — on the grounds that it would be a breach of the negotiation process — the Government agreed to provide selective and relevant portions of the text by the next meeting of the UPA-Left committee on May 28.

For its part, the Left agreed it would “clarifyâ€

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Postby Gerard » 11 May 2008 02:24


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Postby Gerard » 11 May 2008 17:04

Last edited by Gerard on 11 May 2008 17:11, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Gerard » 11 May 2008 17:07


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Postby Gerard » 11 May 2008 18:02

A decade after May 11, 1998

Kanchan Gupta

The Daily Pioneer
http://www.dailypioneer.com
2008/05/11
posted in full since site does not archive

Ten years ago this Sunday, India stealthily conducted three nuclear tests at Pokhran, sending shockwaves around the world. The 'Powerful Five' and Janus-faced moralists like Canada and Australia were aghast and almost disbelieving -- not so much because India had decided to demonstrate its nuclear capability, which it had kept under wraps for years, but because of its audacious disregard for consequences, especially economic sanctions. The US had an additional reason to feel hugely upset: For all its 'eyes' in the sky and 'ears' on the ground, it had been taken by utter and total surprise.

Unlike PV Narasimha Rao, who almost dared the world but stopped short of conducting the crucial tests that would enable India to cross the Rubicon and emerge as a nuclear power, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee was both crafty and determined. We will never really know whether an accidental discovery by the Americans of preparations for conducting tests at Pokhran resulted in sufficient pressure being applied on Rao for him to call them off. But we do know that Mr Vajpayee instructed, and ensured, that no such discovery occurred between his giving the green signal for Operation Shakti and Buddha 'smiling' on May 11, 1998.

That demonstration of India's shakti was no doubt essentially the achievement of our scientists and technologists who toiled ceaselessly to put together, with indigenous know-how, nuclear devices of calibrated yields, including a hydrogen bomb, despite the barriers that had been raised after Mrs Indira Gandhi taunted the world with her 'peaceful' explosion of May 18, 1974, erasing forever the image of India as a nation with a begging bowl, perpetuated in no small measure by a mocking America since the days of PL 480 aid. Unlike Pakistan, we neither received nuclear technology nor burgled it from unsuspecting countries.

Hence, when the tests were conducted in May 1998, they were seen as an assertion of self-esteem and self-pride, a declaration of national resolve -- thrice over on May 11 and twice over on May 13. The front page of this newspaper captured the mood of the nation by running the story on the tests under a banner headline, 'India explodes H-Bomb', accompanied by a triumphant signed editorial, 'Explosion of self-esteem', by its editor, Mr Chandan Mitra.

Yet, it would be nothing short of cussedness to deny Mr Vajpayee the credit for daring to tread where his predecessors had feared to venture. Since Mrs Gandhi's decision to conduct the first test in 1974, all other Prime Ministers, including Rajiv Gandhi, had chosen to indulge in peacenik mumbo-jumbo about universal disarmament, hoping to join the ranks of disingenuous non-proliferationists like former US President Jimmy Carter. Mr Vajpayee chose to be different and, as subsequent events were to prove, initiated a tectonic shift in India's foreign policy and strategic posture.

Yes, it marked a break with the past, which had become so pitifully meaningless ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Empire. But it also marked the beginning of India's foray into a brave new world heralded by the advent of the 21st century two years later. In his own way, Mr Vajpayee foresaw the potential of India entering the 21st century as a nuclear power and acted accordingly. It helped that the BJP had never been squeamish when it came to the nuclear question.

The fallout of Pokhran II was felt on two fronts. Pakistan, enraged that it had been upstaged, conducted five nuclear tests on May 28 and a sixth test on May 30. That was Islamabad's assurance to Pakistanis that it could still steal a march over New Delhi. Almost simultaneously, donor countries turned off their taps and came down heavily with economic sanctions, apart from imposing harsh restrictions on technology transfer or whatever little of it was happening.

India rode through the storm and survived the vicious response. We continue to be a stable and responsible state, unlike Pakistan whose nuclear arsenal has become a cause for worry across the world as an unstable state implodes on itself, notwithstanding an elected Government taking over from the illegitimate regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Our strategic engagement with the US to fashion a new over-arching security paradigm and the attempt to redefine our relationship with other countries, including Russia and China, both aggressively pursued by Mr Vajpayee, stands in sharp contrast to the co-option of Pakistan by the post-9/11 US-led Western alliance, not as an equal but as a client state. When the US refers to Pakistan as a "staunch ally" what it means is beggars can't be choosers.

But a decade after that stunningly awesome display of India's determination to secure its rightful place in the comity of nations, of announcing its arrival in a world where the voice of the powerful is heard over the clamour of those whose survival depends on the munificence of the 'Powerful Five', and 34 years after Mrs Gandhi posed for photographers at Pokhran, we appear to be losing the gains that accrued from Mr Vajpayee's decision to go nuclear.

Just how much we have compromised on our self-esteem, our self-pride, can be gauged from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's desperation to strike a flawed deal with the US for civil nuclear cooperation. It is reflected in the hesitation that has replaced confidence while dealing with foreign policy, most noticeably in our relations with China. It is exemplified by our reluctance to take Pokhran II to its logical conclusion by putting in place a credible minimum deterrent that is alive to changing geo-political realities and not a stagnant doctrine with an irrelevant posture.

The decline is as perceptible on the domestic front where non-governance has become the mantra of survival and as Ministers indulge their own perverse whims and fancies, a weak Prime Minister watches from the margins. It's nice to think of India as a nuclear power but that idea of India does not square up to facts that should embarrass us. Nor does it make sense to sell national honour for a nuclear agreement with America when basic issues remain untouched by either policy or programme.

It would be foolish to believe that the image of a resurgent India, that captivated the world after May 11, 1998, still obtains. The Prime Minister and his cronies in the media believe that India's deliverance depends on the 123 Agreement, that nuclear power -- as opposed to nuclear power - will take us to new heights of prosperity and a new level of strategic clout. What they forget is that in this wondrous land of ours, 67 million children below the age of five live without basic healthcare, more than a million children die every year before they complete a month of their wretched lives, and millions of adults and children still go to bed hungry even as the middle class struggles to cope with runaway prices and a tottering economy.

Mr Vajpayee had a vision for India to emerge as a powerful nation, prosperous at home, equal to others abroad. The most memorable highlight of his years as Prime Minister will no doubt remain the decision to empower India by going nuclear on May 11, 1998. But we would be unfair to his legacy if we failed to recall the beginning he had made in empowering Indians by improving their lot. That legacy has been squandered by Mr Manmohan Singh; it's not surprising that his Government should choose to shun the 10th anniversary of Pokhran II.

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Postby Singha » 12 May 2008 10:52

the Telegraph:

Helium debut on nuke date
M.R. VENKATESH

Kuthalam (Tamil Nadu), May 11: The country today got its first pilot plant to extract helium from natural gas on the 10th anniversary of the Pokhran II nuclear tests.

The plant at an ONGC gas collection centre in Kuthalam village, over 300km from Chennai, was built with technical expertise from the Calcutta-based Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics.

The Rs 6-crore project is the first step to make India self-reliant in extracting the “strategic gasâ€

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Postby Gerard » 13 May 2008 06:50


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Postby Arun_S » 13 May 2008 23:01

Operation Shakti and after: Chandigarh Tribune
[quote]Problems with India’s N-capability
by Gen V.P. Malik (retd)

Nearly seven months after I had taken over as Army Chief, Director-General, Military Operations, informed me that although there was no official information, 58 Engineer Regiment supporting the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Pokharan had intensified its activities. Both of us understood its significance. Earlier, 8 Engineer Regiment had maintained two deep shafts in the area dug in 1981-82, added some more, and had gone through similar activities in 1995. Besides, the newly installed NDA regime had already declared that it favoured India becoming a nuclear power state.

So, when a call came asking me to meet Prime Minister Vajpayee at his residence — 5 Safdarjang Road — on a holiday morning without indicating any agenda (similar calls had gone to the other two Service Chiefs), I had some idea of the discussion that was likely to take place. A few days later, India conducted Operation Shakti and became a nuclear weapon state!

It is very unlikely that any political leader or nuclear scientist will remember the Corps of Engineers on the 10th anniversary of Operation Shakti. I must, however, do my duty to acknowledge and compliment the Corps, particularly its six regiments — 62, 113, 107, 267, 8 and 58 Engineer Regiments — which were deployed at Pokharan from 1973 onward till the success of the mission in May 1998.

Post-nuclear tests reaction in military circles was of “great satisfactionâ€
Last edited by Arun_S on 13 May 2008 23:23, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Arun_S » 13 May 2008 23:09

Bheeshma Pitamah Uvaacha:

[url=http://publication.samachar.com/pub_article.php?id=1895682&navname=News%20&moreurl=http://publication.samachar.com/chandigarhtribune/news/chandigarhtribune.php&homeurl=http://publication.samachar.com]Memories of N-bomb
National misunderstanding over nuclear weapons continues[/url]
[quote]by K. Subrahmanyam

I was a Consulting Editor of The Times of India on the day when the “Shaktiâ€

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Postby Arun_S » 13 May 2008 23:38

Country should listen to voices of wisdom on nuke deal: PM
11 May, 2008, 0016 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: In a virtual message to BJP and Left parties opposed to the Indo-US nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hoped the country would listen to the voices of wisdom.

"I hope the country will listen to the voices of wisdom," he told reporters without naming any party.

He made the remarks when asked to comment on former President A P J Abdul Kalam's remarks that India should go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal as it would give a boost to country's nuclear programme.

Singh said Kalam was "a distinguished scientist and had been intimately involved with the Pokhran explosion".

Asked whether the Left should also listen to the "voices of wisdom", he said "people should listen to it".

Kalam had said India should go ahead with the nuclear deal and rejected suggestion that it would undermine the country's sovereignty.

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Postby sraj » 14 May 2008 00:52

Atal upset with Brajesh over N-remarks
And when former finance minister and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh met the former PM on Friday, Vajpayee is understood to have reiterated his view that the nuclear deal was not acceptable.

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Postby sraj » 14 May 2008 01:06

[url=http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/may/09guest.htm]Politics has defeated the purpose of Pokhran tests
[/url]
KS says:
Today the political wrangles among our major parties and political parochialism of regional parties are threatening to keep India shackled in the global technology denial regime.

Major powers of the world want India as a partner. But our political parties are unable to partner each other to a limited extent to advance national interests and liberate India from technology denial apartheid.

Without the lifting of the technology denial and India acquiring the ability to interact freely with all major nations economically and technologically India will not be able to have a real independent foreign policy which will make it an effective balancer of power. That was the real purpose of Pokhran II. Today there is countrywide concern whether India is likely to lose face and its international credibility on the nuclear issue.


'Govt investing heavily in uranium exploration'
AK says:
However, the deal would not be as crucial if the investment in uranium exploration yielded returns, he said.

"We are making massive investment in uranium exploration and if we hit a huge find then the problem is over."


Who is correct?

Does this deal "liberate India from technology denial apartheid" or only provide additional Uranium?

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Postby abrahavt » 14 May 2008 01:31

I suspect it is both. Technology denial is not something that cannot be overcome given time, but there is little you can do about the Uranium deficit as long as Uncle and his cronies have an iron hold on the supply.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 May 2008 02:46

If necessary, India should revive the issue of nuclear technology sharing amonst the Non-Aligned Nations, given that high energy prices are causing severe pain to the developing world.

If enough like-minded countries can bring broad-based pressure onto those who have imposed the technology denial regime, then that regime will crumble.

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Postby ramana » 14 May 2008 03:05

That AK is speaking above his ken. He should stick to the exploration bit.
I know there is technology denial regime in place since 1974 test but this agreement is not the way to undo it for it constrains India quite bit. If the Intl regime were able to agree to lifiting the denial regime under so many conditions they should be able to lift them under different conditions more favorable to India.
Again Indian wise men are looking at the elephant from their own vantage point of view.

I dont like MMS shooting from Dr Kalam's shoulders. He should do his own lifting as he is the PM even if appointed.

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Postby NRao » 14 May 2008 03:15

Sanjay M wrote:If necessary, India should revive the issue of nuclear technology sharing amonst the Non-Aligned Nations, given that high energy prices are causing severe pain to the developing world.

If enough like-minded countries can bring broad-based pressure onto those who have imposed the technology denial regime, then that regime will crumble.


I doubt that will happen. It will be rather difficult to hold the gang together.

The US could very easily force India into a corner by providing a better deal for the rest.

There is no better alternative to going it alone and doing better than expected.

I do not think at the moment AK has an alternative outside of toeing the party line and hoping that more Uranium will be found in the country.

On the flip side I am more hopeful (today) if Obama comes to power

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Postby satyarthi » 14 May 2008 03:17

A set of curious facts:

1. Brajesh Mishra, AB Vajpayee's man, comes out openly against official BJP policy, as articulated by Advani.

2. Kalam, appointed to presidentship during Vajpayee's regime, repeats the same.

3. Kalam praises AB Vajpayee for his leadership during POK-II blasts.

It may be that the pro n-deal lobby is trying to get through BJP resistance using Vajpayee.

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Postby ramana » 14 May 2008 03:25

If you overfeed on hope you die of starvation. And AK is a very hopeful person.

Satyarthi, As I mentioned once before its the officials ex and current who are pushing the deal. Thats the common thread in all the experts.

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Postby satyarthi » 14 May 2008 03:31

Ramana,

Ex-babu angle still holds. But Vajpayee angle seems to be another one. Just saw an edit by Raja Mohan in IE which seems to support the view.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/309186.html

With the tenth anniversary of Pokharan II now behind us, one political fact stands out. The BJP leadership is so determined to prevent the Congress from gaining credit for the Indo-US nuclear deal that it is prepared to abandon the political inheritance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who ordered Pokharan II and laid the foundation for India’s integration into the global order as a full-fledged nuclear weapon power.

There is no other way of explaining the BJP’s decision to dismiss the arguments of two individuals who helped Vajpayee put India on a bold nuclear path. One is Brajesh Mishra, Vajpayee’s national security adviser, who planned Pokharan II and managed its consequences. The other is former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who as head of DRDO organised the nuclear tests along with the Department of Atomic Energy.

Neither of these gentlemen was quick to endorse the Indo-US nuclear deal. Both had reservations on the ability of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fully realise the historic agreement they signed on July 18, 2005. It is only after asking very difficult questions and satisfying themselves of its merits that Mishra and Kalam have come out in defence of the civil nuclear initiative. But the BJP, it seems, is in no mood to let either facts or India’s national interest come in the way.

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Postby svinayak » 14 May 2008 03:33

satyarthi wrote:Ramana,

Ex-babu angle still holds. But Vajpayee angle seems to be another one. Just saw an edit by Raja Mohan in IE which seems to support the view.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/309186.html

But they should talk to people in current power and not blame on the opposition

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Postby Arun_S » 14 May 2008 04:09

ramana wrote:If you overfeed on hope you die of starvation. And AK is a very hopeful person.

So true.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 May 2008 04:39

NRao wrote:
Sanjay M wrote:If necessary, India should revive the issue of nuclear technology sharing amonst the Non-Aligned Nations, given that high energy prices are causing severe pain to the developing world.

If enough like-minded countries can bring broad-based pressure onto those who have imposed the technology denial regime, then that regime will crumble.


I doubt that will happen. It will be rather difficult to hold the gang together.

The US could very easily force India into a corner by providing a better deal for the rest.

There is no better alternative to going it alone and doing better than expected.

I do not think at the moment AK has an alternative outside of toeing the party line and hoping that more Uranium will be found in the country.

On the flip side I am more hopeful (today) if Obama comes to power


I doubt that the US could provide a better deal to developing countries, when it is constrained by NPT and NSG, and India is not. India could make an offer to responsible nations to withdraw from NPT, in exchange for helping them to develop civil nuclear power. And to generate further credibility for itself, India could then sign its own 123 Deals bilaterally with such responsible countries, creating safeguards that are just as good as the ones under NPT. In that way, India cannot be accused of making the world unsafe, when the safeguards would be explicitly delineated and made public.

The NPT does have a clause allowing nations to withdraw from it. India could help suffering nations to invoke that clause, and to then benefit by developing civil nuclear power programs.

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Postby Arun_S » 14 May 2008 06:22

ramana wrote:That AK is speaking above his ken. He should stick to the exploration bit.
I know there is technology denial regime in place since 1974 test but this agreement is not the way to undo it for it constrains India quite bit. If the Intl regime were able to agree to lifiting the denial regime under so many conditions they should be able to lift them under different conditions more favorable to India.
Again Indian wise men are looking at the elephant from their own vantage point of view.

I dont like MMS shooting from Dr Kalam's shoulders. He should do his own lifting as he is the PM even if appointed.


The US-India civil nuclear deal is not in Indian Interest and it certainly is not a one time offer to India; With a gun to Indian hear and it becomes a deal Indian can't Refuse.

India should keep its cool and not sign way against National Interests. There is no doubt that at a later point India will get a deal of its liking, the rest of the world has no option. One only has to look at how US Admin (and its agents) have constantly changed position for sign now under Bush, and then constantly change the sign now deadline, so much that now they say even of Bush leaves office the deal has bipartisan support. Sure evidence of bad-intent, deception and bad faith. One does not even have to compare the US-India (Bush- MM Singh) declaration of June-17, that is in high contrast and greatly different from to the actual Nuclear deal written and thrown at India in 'Bheekh' (begging bowl)!!

Those who say India should be confident of its strengths and sign now, I say that at a time when India is gaining strength every day that passes, why make a trade now rather then later when India is even more powerful and in a position to enforce its WILL on the nations that are dishonestly trying now to sell defective wares and "pull a fast one" on India??

Let this not be the case of self doubting Indians (I.e. in mind still weak) signing away its sovereignty for cheap.

Please fight and do everything to ensure India does NOT SIGN THE NUCLEAR DEAL.
Thank you.

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Postby Anujan » 14 May 2008 06:28

Sanjay M wrote:I doubt that the US could provide a better deal to developing countries, when it is constrained by NPT and NSG, and India is not. India could make an offer to responsible nations to withdraw from NPT, in exchange for helping them to develop civil nuclear power. And to generate further credibility for itself, India could then sign its own 123 Deals bilaterally with such responsible countries, creating safeguards that are just as good as the ones under NPT. In that way, India cannot be accused of making the world unsafe, when the safeguards would be explicitly delineated and made public.

The NPT does have a clause allowing nations to withdraw from it. India could help suffering nations to invoke that clause, and to then benefit by developing civil nuclear power programs.

Sanjay-saar,
Three things should be taken into account. If teeny weeny countries withdraw from NPT and sign 123's with India

(a) Where will they get the uranium from ?
(b) Even if they procure uranium, are they susceptible to economic sanctions (citing lame excuses) from Unkil, Russie, China etc ?
(c) US is not really constrained by NPT and NSG, in fact a clause in NPT says that free exchange of scientific results and technology for non-weapon purposes is allowed. In fact, for this privilege, Non NWS signatories of NPT give up all rights to the bum. So if India offers 123 for countries which withdraw from NPT, the stick of sanctions from Unkil and the carrot of tech sharing from Unkil will deter those countries from signing 123 with us.


So what exactly does India offer ? Uranium ? No. Better technology ? Debatable. On top of that we get labeled as the bad guys for wrecking NPT (and get into the club with Libya, NoKo and Iran) and the beneficiaries of our tech exchange get frivolous sanctions from Unkil.

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Postby Anujan » 14 May 2008 06:47

Arun_S wrote:The US-India civil nuclear deal is not in Indian Interest and it certainly is not a one time offer to India; With a gun to Indian hear and it becomes a deal Indian can't Refuse.

India should keep its cool and not sign way against National Interests. There is no doubt that at a later point India will get a deal of its liking, the rest of the world has no option. One only has to look at how US Admin (and its agents) have constantly changed position for sign now under Bush, and then constantly change the sign now deadline, so much that now they say even of Bush leaves office the deal has bipartisan support. Sure evidence of bad-intent, deception and bad faith. One does not even have to compare the US-India (Bush- MM Singh) declaration of June-17, that is in high contrast and greatly different from to the actual Nuclear deal written and thrown at India in 'Bheekh' (begging bowl)!!

Those who say India should be confident of its strengths and sign now, I say that at a time when India is gaining strength every day that passes, why make a trade now rather then later when India is even more powerful and in a position to enforce its WILL on the nations that are dishonestly trying now to sell defective wares and "pull a fast one" on India??

Let this not be the case of self doubting Indians (I.e. in mind still weak) signing away its sovereignty for cheap.

Please fight and do everything to ensure India does NOT SIGN THE NUCLEAR DEAL.
Thank you.


Arun-saar,
I used to be against the deal (vague clauses on reprocessing, right of return, fuel supply guarantees, testing, lack of transparency) and now am slowly gravitating to pro-deal. The shift by Kalam-ji changed my views. The reason to sign a deal now is as follows

(a) We need to lock up uranium supplies and like it or not, NSG controls the gates. This is independent of how much Nuclear energy we would be able to generate in the near future. If all Uranium is locked up by chini and Unkil, and if we need some at a future date, we would be shafted.

(b) We are seriously impaired through restriction on high tech transfers and if at all we hope to build up our manufacturing base at a rapid clip and move away from agriculture we need (1) energy (2) technology. There are still silly sanctions on decades old microprocessors that is impairing among other things, our manufacturing sector and high tech sector like space.

(c) We should free up domestic uranium and plutonium for our subs and weapon programs and build a plutonium stockpile to launch our 3-stage program.

(d) We need all high technology regarding alternate energy sources and need to launch our 3-stage program at the earliest. This is critical considering that an international consensus on climate change and further escalation in energy prices are likely.

Now what about testing and Unkil sanctions and fuel supplies ? I think that Kalam-ji and others are of the opinion that the current "meta-stable" state of no countries testing will not last for more than a decade. If any one NWS test, it is going to set off a chain of testing and we will join the band wagon too. The crucial consideration is that we should put as much distance between signing the deal and testing, so that in the meantime, we become indispensable to the International nuclear order and economy and no one dare sanction us.

Chini, their nuclear and missile transgressions is a case in point here. Nobody talks of sanctioning the chini, even though flagrant violation of NPT and MTCR have taken place. They copy anything and everything they like, from cell phones to aircraft with nary a whimper from anyone. Heck, they even captured a US spy plane and returned it in a basket, not allowing Unkil to fly it away with not even a whimper coming from Unkil. It is because they are a vital part of the international order and economy. We need to get into that position.

Now being anti deal on the basis of character judgment of MMS, Kalam-ji and Brijesh Misra and others is a red herring. An equally valid argument is that they are true patriots and their strategic assessment is that now is the right time to sign the deal.

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Postby shyam » 14 May 2008 07:03

lakshmic-saar,

Notwithstanding your points, why, do you think, uncle is offering this deal to India and wants it desparately? It is obvious that most of the business deals will go to Russia and France. Will India become a US tool to counter China? may not.

There is something more to the deal and that is what we are missing (okay, many people stated them but get dropped).

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Postby NRao » 14 May 2008 07:25

I doubt that the US could provide a better deal to developing countries, when it is constrained by NPT and NSG, and India is not. India could make an offer to responsible nations to withdraw from NPT, in exchange for helping them to develop civil nuclear power. And to generate further credibility for itself, India could then sign its own 123 Deals bilaterally with such responsible countries, creating safeguards that are just as good as the ones under NPT. In that way, India cannot be accused of making the world unsafe, when the safeguards would be explicitly delineated and made public.

The NPT does have a clause allowing nations to withdraw from it. India could help suffering nations to invoke that clause, and to then benefit by developing civil nuclear power programs.


No US President will let India lead in any way. The last nuclear test, per the US, clearly crossed the line and they will not let it happen again.

What the US can, and I think will let happen, is any efforts from within India. Specially the three stage stuff. However, only as long as India does not "export" that tech/s in any shape or form.

As far as the acronymS ...... they are meant to control countries (like India) ...... next is GNEP. And, of course, for Indians to debate about them internally. Otherwise they have no meaning. (I think that is pretty much true of all international treaties going forward.)

Besides that I really cannot see any country out there that is "pro" India at this time. They all have some large enough deficiencies - including Brazil and SA. The ones that could count - Japan, Singapore, OZ, etc - are non factors right now.

I think India should concentrate on getting Uranium .... soon, like today. India does not need help from anyone if she plays her game. In any field actually.


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