'N-deal not to stand in way of future nuclear tests'

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New Delhi, Nov 28: Allaying the concerns of the Opposition and the Left parties that the Indo-US nuclear deal would deprive the country of its right to conduct future nuclear tests, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was nothing in the agreement that would prohibit such tests from being undertaken.

Intervening during the debate on the nuke deal initiated by senior Marxist member Rupchand Pal in the Lok Sabha, Dr Singh said, ''In our wisdom, if any necessity arises, nothing in this agreement prohibits you from undertaking any nuclear tests. The agreement protects the sovereignty of the nation.'' On Mr Advani's contention that the nuclear agreement with the United States would mean that there would be no Pokhran-III, Dr Singh said it was the BJP which had imposed unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests after the Pokhran-II in 1998. ''We are following the same now.'' Dr Singh is expected to make a detailed intervention before the conclusion of the debate on the deal.


UNI

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