Another Betrayal by the UPA-this time on Missiles: Jaswant

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New Delhi, Sep 17 (UNI) In a startling disclosure, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Jaswant Singh, has said the UPA government had secretly made a 'formal commitment' to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), thereby crippling forever India's missile programme.

A statement issued last night by Mr Jaswant Singh, former External Affairs Minister in the NDA givernment, said US President George Bush had recently informed the US Congress of India's ''formal commitment'' to the MTCR.

This was done by the Ministry of External Affairs in 'separate letters' on September 8 and 9.

''This, to say the least, is an alarming announcement. When was this decision made by the UPA Government of virtually abandoning the country's decades-old indigenous programme of missile development,'' Mr Jaswant Singh asked.

The MTCR makes it mandatory upon its adherents to restrict the development of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technologies.

It limits payloads to 500 kg, and the range to just 300 km. This Regime's controls apply also to complete rocket systems (to include ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and sounding rockets and unmanned air vehicle (UAV) systems (to include cruise missiles, drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles).

Mr Jaswant Singh said the Government's recent actions on the nuclear agreement, when assessed with this total surprise of 'MTCR adherence', and making the conduct of India's foreign policy subservient to US interests, are singly and collectively, acts of grave national wrong.

''In formally committing in writing its adherence to the MTCR, Dr Manmohan Singh has crippled, forever, the country's missile development programme. This is a step that follows the already revealed crippling of the nation's nuclear programme by this government,'' The senior BJP leader said.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh owed an explanation to the Parliament and the country.

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