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Proposed IAEA safeguards will confer nuclear status to India

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 11 (UNI) Asserting that the separation plan under the Indo-US nuclear deal would not adversely affect India's strategic programme to maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the Lok Sabha that New Delhi would seek the status of a nuclear weapons state while finalising the India-specific safeguards for its civilian facilities with the IAEA.

''India will not accept the safeguards meant for non-nuclear weapon states'' which were signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Dr Singh said while replying to a day-long debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The five nuclear weapon states, which were permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), had signed safeguard agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to their respective requirements. India would negotiate a safeguards agreement on these lines, Dr Singh said.

He, however, clarified that the safeguards were yet to be negotiated and as such it would be difficult to spell out its ''contours and details''.

Allaying apprehensions of various members over India's acceptance of perpetual safeguards for its civilian facilities, the Prime Minister said it should be viewed in the context of proposed perpetual nuclear fuel supply by the suppliers group (NSG), which included the US, he said.

The deal provided for India taking ''corrective measures'' in the case of any interruption in nuclear material supplies, he said, implying that the inspections would also be stopped simultaneously.

UNI

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