CPI(M) slams Mulford for asking India to speed up nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Sep 19 (UNI) Sharply reacting to US Ambassador David C Mulford's remarks that India should take the next steps early to operationalise the civil nuclear deal, the CPI(M) today asked the government to specify whether it plans to abide by the advice of Washington or respect the ''majority view of Parliament'' opposed to the pact.

''The UPA government should tell the country whether it plans to adhere to this timeframe or examine the serious objections raised to the agreement and keep in mind the fact that the majority in Parliament is against proceeding with the agreement,'' the CPI(M) said in statement here.

The US Ambassador has suggested to India that there should be no delay in the finalisation of the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement. He had set out the roadmap for India to take the next steps with the IAEA for the safeguards agreement and for going to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, in order to ensure that the 123 Agreement is voted upon by the US Congress in the timeframe set out by the Bush administration.

The CPI (M) also quoted Mr Mulford as having said India needs to move from 123 to 456, setting the contours of the ''comprehensive relationship'' being forged with the United States. According to him, this encompasses, defence, economic and strategic collaboration.

''The Ambassador has only confirmed that US-India relations is broader, for which Civil Nuclear is important, but only one part of the larger whole. This is precisely what the Left parties have been saying that the nuclear cooperation agreement must not be seen in isolation from the wider strategic alliance being forged with the United States,'' the CPI(M) added.

UNI

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