Nuke deal may come back to Parliament: Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (UNI) Declining to make what he said any value judgement on the desirability of getting international treaties ratified by Parliament, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said it has its advantages and disadvantages.

Replying to a question at Orientation Programme for media persons covering Parliament, he said the India-US nuclear accord has to undergo three processes of safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), exemption agreement with Nuclear Suppliers' Group(NSG) and its ratification by the UfS Congress. Once it comes back to India after passing through these processes the government will return to Parliament to get the ''Sense of the House'', he added.

Mr Mukherjee said: ''International treaties are not self-executing ...these require legislation (and hence) we have to come back to Parliament''for its implementation.

He said Parliament in 1994-95 had refused to amend the Indian Patent Act to bring it in line with the intellectual property regime as required under the World Trade Organisation but passed the required amendment later in 2001 to protect Indian interests.

Similarly, he recalled having initialed an agreement with a neighbouring country on hydro power project as External Affairs Minister in 1995 which was later signed by the Prime Ministers of two countries but could not be implemented because Parliament of the neighbouring country has not ratified it so far.

Asked if the government will go to Parliament to get its approval before providing asylum to the king of Nepal and whether he will be allowed to indulge in political activity on Indian soil, Mr Mukherjee said, ''There is no need to go to Parliament but it will be informed.... Guests are not permitted (to indulge in ) political activity.'' On Tibet, he said the policy was formulated in 1949 when India recognised China and Tibet its autonomous region. It was reiterated in 1959 when the Dalai Lama was granted asylum, he said, adding along with him India has given shelter to 1,86,000 Tibetans.

The Minister said government fully recognises problem of continuing infiltration from Bangladesh, adding it has social, economic and political reasons.

Asked why Saarc has not evolved the way the European Union and Asean have, Mr Mukherjee quipped:''Once Safta materialises Saarc will take shape.'' Reiterating India's commitment to reconstruction of ravaged Afghanistan, he said India will not succumb to the Taliban's pressure, revealing of three people abducted there one is an Indian national, another an Afghan, while the nationality of the third person was yet to be ascertained. He is one Gurrum; could be an Indian or a Nepali, he added.

Mr Mukherjee said India has zero tolerance to terrorism and will take all necessary security measures to protect personnel engaged in reconstruction of Afghanistan. Besides local security, the Minister revealed India had sent it own security people for protection of Indians engaged there. ''We are building important and major roads in Afghanistan, including one connecting the country with Iran,'' he added.


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