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Indo-US nuke deal not to trigger arms race: Burns

Written by: Staff
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Washington, Apr 5 (UNI) Asserting that the Indo-US nuclear deal will not result in an arms race between India and Pakistan, US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns has also firmly rejected the charge that Washington is adopting double standards on the issue.

''Frankly, I'm not persuaded by the critics inside my own country. Some people say well this lead to an arms race between Pakistan and India. We don't think so. There's no reason why India should seek to use this opportunity to double or triple its strategic programme,'' Mr Burns told NDTV in an interview.

Pointing out that India was for ''safe relations'' with China and Pakistan, he acknowledged that ''other people say, well, it's a double standard...how can you treat India one way and Iran another.'' However, ''We say, quite easily. India is democratic. India plays by the rules. India wants the IAEA to come into its country. Iran is autocratic, does't play by the rules. It's trying to kick the IAEA out. So, there are responses. I think, persuasive responses to the critics. Lucky for Indians and Americans, we live in a vibrant, sometimes noisy, sometimes disputatious, democratic systems.

''Would we have it any other way? We wouldn't. And so, we and the administration knew that when we put the deal to the Congress, it was going to be a tough debate. It might take some to gain Congressional approval. People would ask a lot of questions, but this was to be expected. And we're satisfied with where we are and we beliee we're well positioned to make a persuasive case,'' he said.

UNI XC/SN VJ RS1537

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