Push Indo-US nuclear deal when Bush is in power: Talbott

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New Delhi, February 24 (UNI) Former US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott today enjoined upon India to get through the Indo-US nuclear deal while the Bush Administartion was in power and said the American establishment was extremly worried about the future of Pakistan in the post-poll scenario as also that of President Pervez Musharraff.

''This is a very very good deal for India and I say that as someone who has reservations about the deal,'' he said.

Mr Talbott said putting hurdles in the way of the deal was akin to a classic case of putting a bullet in the gift horse's forehead.

''If India does not implement this deal, I am not sure the next US administration will simply pick up from where the Bush Administration left off,'' he said.

Mr Talbott, who is now the President of the Brookings Institution, said it would be ''unfortunate'', if the deal did not reach its final conclusion and will have a bearing on the Indo-US ties.

The former top official expressed concern over the situation in Pakistan without Mr Musharaff and did not mince words in stating that the former Army General should start counting his days in office.

Asked if President Musharraf's days in ofice were numbered, Mr Talbott said, ''Oh yes, it's just not clear how he will exit and what form he will leave office.'' ''Across the board, the American establishment is extremely worried, and there are also those in the establishment who think it was wrong for the Bush administration to bank only on Musharraf.'' UNI KD DB2304

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