New Delhi, June 11 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today made a strong pitch for Indo-US civil nuclear deal, and said that the deal will open up new possibilities of cooperation not only with the US but also with other nuclear powers like Russia and France.
He said that without the Indo-US nuclear deal, trade in dual technologies could not become a reality and it is "very important for us to move forward to end this nuclear apartheid that the world has sought to impose on India".
"This nuclear agreement that we signed with the US has run into some difficulties, but it protects our national interest, it protects our capacity to use the nuclear power to protect our strategic interests," he said addressing Indian Foreign Service probationers at his residence.
"At the same time, it opens up new opportunities for civilian cooperation and without that, I think, the trade in dual technologies -- sensitive advanced technologies -- cannot become a reality," the Prime Minister said.
Noting that our domestic politics has prevented us from going ahead, Singh said: "I still continue to hope that we will make progress in the months that lie ahead."
The Left parties, which extend crucial outside support to the government, have been strongly opposing implementation of the deal with the US, arguing that it would compromise the country's security interests and independent foreign policy.
Left parties have warned the government of serious consequences if it implemented the deal and the two sides are currently engaged in talks to end the deadlock.
Singh said by entering into the nuclear deal with the US, his government has sought to give a new dimension to its relationship with Washington.
"It is for the first time we got the US to appreciate that India is a nuclear weapon state, that India has the right to develop nuclear power to protect its strategic interests, and that it is a decision that must be made by the people of India not subject to any international supervision or any international interference," he noted.
The Prime Minister said that despite India not being a signatory to the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and New Delhi's refusal to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, "there is no pressure from the US on India to sign NPT or any other international arrangement of that sort to enter into nuclear cooperation for civil energy."
Singh asked the IFS probationers to develop an Indian perspective on what is happening in our neighbourhood so that it can be used as an analytical tool in making India's foreign policy.
"We live today in an increasingly integrated, globalised world, and the growing interdependence of nations creates new challenges for the management of global economy, global polity and foreign policy is essentially a projection of our national interest abroad," he said.
And therefore the starting point of every good foreign service training must be a thorough grounding of what are our national concerns, what are our national objectives, Singh added.