Nuclear deal not on ''auto-pilot'', India will have to go to NSG

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (UNI) The Indo-US Nuclear deal will not be on ''auto-pilot'' even after the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA as India will have to go to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for its approval, official sources said here today.

This negates the Left contention that India would not have any role once the deal was through at the IAEA and that Washington would take care of the remaining two stages -- at the NSG and the US Congress.

Poll wary Left-allies had suggested a ''compromise formula'' that they would not let the deal go to the NSG if the government was allowed to seal the India-specific Safeguards Agreement.

The Left had rejected the assurance and demanded a written statement on the issue, which the government was not willing to give.

The sources, while declining to comment on the political aspect of the developments on the deal, said the government did not have any such formula.

''The (IAEA) Board (of Governors) will laugh at us if we go to them (with the proposal). The NSG is an independent body of sovereign States...It will not take up the matter suo motu. We will have to approach it,'' the sources said in reply to a question. The sources refused to give a time-frame, saying the IAEA and the 45-nation NSG had their own procedure to do things.

''We have never been part of the NSG. Nothing is on auto-pilot.

The NSG will not do anythng on its own. We will have to cooperate,'' the sources said.

They said the US had told India earlier that if India gets clearance from the IAEA, it would take the matter to the NSG. But India, too would have to cooperate, the sources added.

UNI RB SKB RK1931

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