Pawar defends Indo-US nuke deal

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Shillong, Oct 11 (UNI) Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar today defended the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement and said it was aimed at generating nuclear power for the country.

''India had always believed in maintaining good relations with her neighbours and the deal was not meant for arms race,'' Mr Pawar said.

The Nationalist Congress Party leader was addressing the Party's Central Working Committee at Hotel Pine Wood to discuss on NCP's poll strategies for the Assembly elections in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland.

Union Minister in charge Civil Aviation Praful Patel, senior NCP leaders Purno A Sangma, TPP Master and Wilfred D Souza were among those who attended the meeting.

Mr Pawar said the government had been working at every level to meet the energy requirements of the people in every part of the country.

''The proposed deal civil nuclear deal with the US was also aimed at that and also to ensure clean power energy,'' the NCP Chief said.

Refuting the Left's arguments on the Hyde Act, the Union Minister said the Hyde Act would have an impact on the Indian foreign policy, adding that the US legislation had its implications only in the US.

'' We are not compromising on our security and defence or bilateral relations, nor are we going to support America or Iraq,'' he said.

Mr Pawar said the UPA-Left committee was constituted to iron out the differences. He expressed hope that both sides would amicably and with full responsibility settle the issue at the earliest.

The CPM has said it would ''watch'' if the government stayed the operationalisation of the deal.

UNI

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