New Delhi, Apr.27 : Former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra has said that the Government should go ahead with its civil nuclear energy cooperation deal with the United States, as long as it does not affect New Delhi's right to carry out further nuclear tests.
In interview with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme which is to be broadcast tonight, Mishra admitted that while he had opposed it in the past because he felt it would place a cap on India's strategic programme, he now was all for it, as scrapping it could cost India dear.
"There could be severe loss of face for India if the nuclear deal doesn't go through," Mishra said.
"After the talks I've had with various representatives of the Government of India at a fairly high level and some scientists, I'm convinced that this deal doesn't stop us from continuing our strategic programme," he added.
He said the deal does not affect India's right to carry out further nuclear tests.
"In my view, we are not restricted from carrying out tests and, more or less, the programme we had devised before we left the NDA government is ongoing."
Mishra warned that if the deal falls through it will hit India US relations.
The deal is presently deadlocked with the Left threatening to withdraw support if the UPA goes ahead with it. The Left is particularly concerned with conditions set down in the Hyde Act that govern the operationalisation of the separate 123 agreement on bilateral nuclear energy cooperation between Washington and New Delhi.
A UPA Left panel is to meet on May 6 to examine the draft of the safeguards agreement negotiated with the IAEA and how the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is likely to move on the deal.