PMO issues clarifications on Nuclear Deal

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New Delhi, Jul 02 (UNI) Within hours of Samajwadi Party demanding a clarification to the nation from the Prime Minister over the nuclear deal after the meeting of its general secretaries Amar Singh and Ramgopal Yadav with National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, the PMO today issued a statement to allay the various doubts raised by the two SP leaders.

The PMO said it was clarified to Mr Amar Singh that the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement did not and would not affect the autonomy of decision-making in regard to foreign affairs in any manner.

On the SP leaders' doubts over the Hyde Act, the PMO said a careful reading of the provisions of the 123 Agreement would make it clear that substantive rights and obligations under the Agreement were not affected by the national laws of the parties.

''It is the 123 Agreement and its provisions that indicate the obligations of both sides. The 123 Agreement clearly overrides the Hyde Act and this position would be clear to anyone who carefully reads the Act.'' The 123 Agreement with the United States contained a specific mention that the Agreement would not affect unsafeguarded nuclear activities, i.e. activities involving the strategic programme which were not under safeguards, and it also underscored that the Agreement would be implemented in a manner that did not hinder or otherwise interfere with any activities involving the use of nuclear material, information or technology and military nuclear facilities produced, acquired or developed by them independent of the Agreement for their own purposes, the PMO said.

''The position would be clear to anyone who goes through the provisions,'' it said.

On Mr Amar Singh's doubt raised over the effect of the nuclear deal on the country's relations with Iran, the PMO said the relations with Iran were time-honoured and civilisational in nature and no outside influence or pressure could force India to deviate from this path.

Referring to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, it said the project epitomises the nature and importance of the relationship, something that was strongly reinforced during the visit of President Ahmadinejad to Delhi in April.

The National Security Adviser had just returned after a very productive meeting with Iranian leadership, and also had a meeting with President Ahmedinejad, at which apart from economic issues like the IPI pipeline, certain other and related matters were discussed.

''India is not under any pressure, nor can it be pressurized to follow a course of action that was not dictated by enlightened self-interest,'' it said.

The statement said that the National Security Adviser pointed out to the SP leaders that the Prime Minister had reiterated on many previous occasions that the deal would not in any way impinge on the country's strategic programme.

This was an agreement for Civil Nuclear Cooperation, whose purpose was to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation between parties and concerned nuclear reactors and all aspects of the associated nuclear fuelcycle.

It catered for the development of a strategic reservoir of nuclear fuel to guard against disruption of supplies over the lifetime of India's reactors, and for advanced R &D in Nuclear Sciences, the statement said.

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